young people who use classic cameras

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by silverscape, May 14, 2009.

  1. I don't mean kids. I mean people around my age, in their 20's or early 30's. (the "MTV Generation", "Generation XY", "Generation Next", whatever they label us now.) People who were kids in the 80's and 90's. What got you interested in using classic cameras?
    There are a lot of interesting stories and anecdotes from people who use classic cameras out of nostalgia for what they used when they were young in the 1960's, 1970's, etc. But what about us? I grew up with film. But I really didn't know anything at all about classic cameras until recently. I didn't even know how to use manual exposure until maybe 2 or 3 years ago. All I was familiar with was simple point and shoot 35mm and 110 cameras. And disposable cameras. But I've always been interested in antique electrical and mechanical devices, and that's got what got me fascinated with classic cameras. There was something fascinating about using an all-metal, mechanical camera.

    We grew up surrounded by modern games, computers, cd players, etc. But we like to use film and love using classic cameras. Come on, where are you guys? I know you're out there somewhere. (Patrick Dempsey, where are ya?)
    What's your story? How did you get interested in using vintage cameras?

    I would of course welcome comments from anyone. But I really would like to hear from people around this age. Sometimes I feel like we're below the radar or we're kind of forgotten. It's not only you older guys...we use classic cameras too! :)
  2. I'm 29 and I have two classic camera which were made before I was born :) I like the feel of the all-metal camera&lens. The craftmanship-feel is so much better than the plastic/alloy bodies of more modern camera. Also having to work yourself (setting focus/aperture/shutter) is nice; combined with the cost of film&processing, it forces you to think more before shooting. And I like technique in general: for my job I frequently repair analytical equipment costing much more than any of the cameras I own...
    And finally (but less importantly compared to point 1) the prints from a film have a different feel to them compared to prints made from files of my digital SLR.
  3. I'm 44 but I like to think I'm 20. Does that count?
    I have about 30 cameras between twenty and sixty years old and I do occasionally see people of your age using old film cameras.
  4. Well, that all depends Steve. If I say "Zack the Lego Maniac" or "Turtle Power" does that mean anything to you? :)
    Zack, Zack...he's a Lego Maniac!
    Oh great, now I've got that song stuck in my head again.
    I wouldn't really consider a 20 year old camera to be a "classic camera" though. Or at least not within what we usually discuss on this forum. 20 years ago would have been 1989, and that sort of just brings to mind all the plasticky P&S cameras of the 1980's (which I guess is mostly what I was familiar with before I became interested in vintage cameras).

    And Kasper, I definitely agree with you. I'll never forget the first time I developed my own roll of B&W film, and the first time I made my own print. A real silver halide print just has a totally unique look to it, and there is just something so cool about seeing the picture materialize in the developing tray, right in front of your eyes.
  5. I'm 46, but I refuse to grow up. Other than the digicam that the wife got for me a few years back, all of my cameras are "classic." When I was much younger, the family camera was my father's Diax L-1. It was Voss' last try at making cameras before he closed up shop with the Japanese camera market in the ascendancy. Then one day our next door neighbour had a yard sale and there it was... A Kodak Signet 35. A mechanical camera. For four dollars. It was a chance for me to get a mechanical camera just like dad. So I got it. I didn't know the first thing about it. I bought a roll of film, then another, then another. The shutter was occasionally sticky, and the rangefinder; I didn't even what it was. It wasn't until the shutter completely got stuck shut that I started learning about the camera (about 25 years later). I learned how to fix (clean) the shutter. Then I learned what the rangefinder was, and then the depth of field scale. It was an awakening. In the meantime, my buddies at work started getting me into other cameras (first up was a Praktica Super TL with a Pentacon Electric/Oreston 1.8/50). Then a Fed 5C with an I61 LD. Then, the rest. If it weren't for the advancement of the computer age, (and then E-Bay) I'd have never gotten into this. It wasn't just old cameras, it was also various filters and adapters, then reflective umbrellas, other lenses and most recently, slaves. In the meantime the pictures got much better, (not as good as Gene's) not from having more technically advanced cameras, but from having a better understanding of photography in general. That Signet 35 still comes out with me and I have the Diax now. It needs some exercise. I've recently been playing with longer exposure times up to one second. Back then I could never understand why someone would need an exposure time up to one second. Who could hold still that long?
  6. 32 and a half here, only 3 cameras that were made after I was born in my closet and about 25 classic cameras, mainly from the 1930s and 1940s.
    I bought my first classic camera (ZI Nettar) back in early 2005, mainly to use at WW2 re-enactments/living history events. The results got me more and more interested in manual photography.
    My current collection ranges from box cameras to complex SLRs to various RFs. my favorites have to be my Leica IIIa and Leica IIIc .
  7. 20 years ago would have been 1989, and that sort of just brings to mind all the plasticky P&S cameras of the 1980's​
    I only have one of those (Nikon F601). All of my other cameras are either metal or wood. I was thinking more along the lines of Pentax SP500, Kodak Retina Reflex III, Zeiss Ikon folder, Speed Graphic, etc.
  8. Hi Chris,
    I am 32 and I will have to repeat what I said in a previous post.
    "I like machines and things of mechanical nature, almost no matter what it is. More importantly, I really like things that are made for precision. Before photography came into my life I was highly in tuned with firearms, and as you could imagine, I mostly favored ones built for accuracy. As the saying, "only accurate rifles make interesting rifles".
    As photography became a part of my life, I found the same interest in the gear. Well, as they say, they don't make it like that any more. So those all metal, finely made machines is what make me smile." :eek:)
    Yes I have to admit, Zack the Lego Maniac and Turtle Power bring back some memories. Right there with the &#%$# Smurfs and punk rock bands.
  9. 34 y/o, love my Retina IIc, FOCA Pf3, Pentax Me Super and Yashica TLR, I'm slowly learning digital, and can't find much time for darkroom anymore,but I love films and touching those great cameras, it's the way they are built, the sound, and every shot is something I make myself.
  10. I'm 30 and I love the old mechanical stuff. I do also have a digital kit and even an F75 (they're tools and they have their uses) but I grew up learning on an SRT, used it in college, learned to develop and print... Maybe I'm rebelling against digital society, or maybe it's just that the lenses are so good.
    BTW, I was a Lego maniac (still am sometimes). I was in Target the other day and they had a whole Lego section but none of it was just Legos - they were all kits for making some specific thing. What's the point in that? Maybe I just need a whole lot of pieces to make my Super Star Destroyer.
    And how sweet was TMNT 2: The Arcade Game?
  11. 21 here myself.
    When I was about 4 or 5, I came across an old Polaroid 125 at a yard sale. It fascinated me, and sparked an interest which I've kept to this day.
    In addition, the fact that most classics can be acquired very inexpensively(especially relative to newer or more modern equipment) has allowed me to amass a consideable number of them.
  12. I am 30 and my current point and shoot is a Pentax 6x7. Out of all the medium format cameras I have cycled through this one is the most fun to use. I also enjoy using my Dad's Nikkormat FT. I had a Nikon S2 for a while, and it was a work of art. Someday I might get another one.
  13. i use classic cameras cause they are simple, need no batteries, and make nice pictures. i also wear ran ban aviator shades introduced in 1937 and target shoot with colt 45 mod 1911.
  14. Well I'm not of the "here and now" as for your targeted group. I guess at 50 you better have grown up. But I want to make the point that even then (age 24-37) I was interested in vintage cameras. I collected my first classics in the 1980s. I always was intrigued with history and loved looking at old B&W photos.
    Another interest was the US Civil War and while looking at a Brady print. I realized that even by
    Today's standards, this was a great print. So how much had changed in 100 years? Improved emulsions, improved optic formulas, and electronic aids. Not really too much! I decided I would discipline myelf to doing straight photography. It's still a philosophy that guides me. You don't need the latest gadget that cost $$$ to make great pictures. My first camera was 2nd-hand Yashica SLR much of the same vintage your Minolta is: It was about 7 years old but still had some value. I paid for it over six months. I was about 21 or 22 yrs. Shortly therafter my interest for old cameras began in earnest. I bought a "back-up" camera an older RF Lynx 5000€ and a year later wanting to break into MF, a used Yashica D. My Dad gave me an Argus 40 that he bought at a yard sale for 1$ and I aquired a Kodak Pocket 1A from some neighbor boys who looked up to me.. (I think their parents were very upset when they realized that their kids gave away grandad's camera). I also traded with another younger neighbor some prints of his (vintage 60s TR4) car for his grandfather's Weston 715 meter. This was about 1984 or so. I then did some odd jobs across a month when I was un-employed for a friend of my fathers in trade for his Baby Speed Graphic (spring-back) I'm was not yet 30 yrs old. My point is Ok, I'm not generarion X, but my love of old cameras started when I was your age. As I said in a recent post. This isn't about re-living or recapturing what I couldn't attain in my youth or other
    pyschological fullfillment. It'a real love/fascination of mechanical poetry.
  15. I'm a lot older than your age group but I did get interested at age 12 or 13 when I thought it would be neat to have an old box camera to shoot with. Then I found Shutterbug Ads, a magazine for buy/sell old camera eq. Then the cameras started coming in from the usual yard sale sources. Sell a few of these so I could buy one of those and that is how it went. Never found that "perfect" camera and still have that "but I need this kind of camera with that lens just in case this sort of photo op ever does come along".
    Years ago, on, there was a guy who was asking about older eq. and, when someone mentioned how they didn't need batteries, the guy said "That's impossible. How do they work?". Loved that. Was laughing most of the day.
    About Chris Tobar, he is the younger brother I never had. He doesn't post enough. His posts "freshen" the "old air" in my mind. Almost like having a mentor or something.
  16. This is an excellent thread, kudos to Chris for staring it!

    I've just turned 29 this year...and I still remember fondly the stuff from my childhood, some of which has been mentioned here, e.g the Smurfs, TMNT, He-Man, GI Joe, etc etc. Haha. Growing up, my dad bought a slew of 35mm film cameras, almost all of them the P&S variety, and even an APS camera when that came out. We even had one of the first digital cameras in the 90's if I'm not mistaken, a really odd-shaped Kodak with a tiny LCD. He had only one film SLR which he used to take photos of me when I was about 3-4 years old, and that one I's a Yashica FX3. But I disgress...

    Well, how did it all start for me? Hmm, lets see. Up until last year, I didn't have any urge at all to venture into photography as a hobby. But then, all out of the blue, I splurged on my first DSLR, a Nikon D40. While it was nice, and I can say that camera was what awakened my interest in the field, I never really did like it that much, I think. I can't say why...perhaps I felt it was soulless. Anyway, in January of this year, while trolling a local photography forum, I found a thread regarding the Yashica Electro 35 GSN. I read it and I was hooked. Before that, I had no idea what a rangefinder was..but then I just had to have one. About a month later, after a lot of time scouring eBay, I got one. Even though it's not fully mechanical, there's just something about shooting in film that just thrills and takes a hold of me. It fascinates me endlessly that these cameras, made before I was even born, could take pictures that are so good. They look beautiful too, perhaps I just love old things...and the mechanisms, man...perhaps Chuck Foreman said it best, "mechanical poetry"...I love that.

    And that's how it all started for me.Of course, I get weird looks from my mates when I pull out one of my cameras, they're all rocking the latest DSLR's which costs 100x than what I'm using. For me, regressing from digital to film doesn't feel weird at fells more like coming home =)

    Living in Malaysia, it's virtually impossible to buy these stuff from yard/estate sales, which are quite common in the States & Europe, I take it. Most have to be bought from the bay. Nonetheless, now, I have a really small collection of classic & not so classic film cameras, about 6 in all, some RF's, a TLR, most of them SLRs...and yup, one of them is my dad's old FX-3, the camera that saw me ever since I was a kid. =)
  17. I'm 31 and I love TLR's. Why? simply because they have a great feel and are still using film. I they ever would make a Digital TLR I would never buy it. All the modern camera's all look the same, you can't tell what is which brand but with an old camera you can in most cases see the brand in a split second.
  18. I am now 46 years of age, and got the Photography bug in 2003. In the late 1980's I made do with my Holiday 35mm Kodak S Series. Before that I did 126 film for some forgotten make of Camera, I got from Boots the Chemists. Anyway I feel now like a child in a sweet shop, I like collecting 1970's mechanical SLR's : Nikkormat FT2, Olympus OM1, Spotmatic 2 and Pentax KM etc. For me the past is a magical place, and affording once costly Cameras, is my Adult version of conspicuous brand loyalty
  19. I'm 35. My dad had a Minolta 7s when I was growing up. My first personal camera was a Maxxum 7000i, which my parents bought for me because I was in the school newspaper at the time and an avid reader of Modern and then Popular Photography, so I was convinced you needed an expensive AF camera, which in hindsight was very foolish. We moved while I was in high school and I didn't join the paper again, and throughout college and first few years after I used the camera very little, except on a few trips.
    Then at some point I decided to get back into photography, and I started reading back when it was Phil's pre-Arsdigita project. Then I discovered eBay. The main draw for me at the time was to build a larger system with more lenses for a small investment, so after looking into Nikons which were still kind of pricey at the time, I settled on the lower cost Minolta MC/MD system. Once I had collected a few, I knew I loved the solid build quality of older cameras and officially became a curmudgeon. I bought a box of lenses as a lot on eBay, which included a minolta-Exakta adapter, so I've since collected some CZJ and Steinheil Exakta lenses. I later discovered Kodak Retinas, Minolta Autocord, and recently Zeiss folders. I don't want to collect old stuff that doesn't work to put on the shelf, but I like all of these cameras because I can use them and they are just fun to shoot with.
  20. WOW! Lots of great replies. Thanks, everyone! It was great to hear from everyone, but I was especially glad to read comments from other people around my age. It's interesting how we have similar experiences.
    I really wasn't sure how this topic would go. I didn't want to alienate anyone. But sometimes I feel like young people (young adults) are kind of the silent and ignored majority and we sort of get lost in the cracks. We grew up with film, but also grew up surrounded by modern electronics. Most of our friends use digital cameras, but we are drawn to classic cameras and film. Everyone makes a big deal about teenagers using plastic lomography cameras, and how they are so glad that younger generations are using film. Well, what about us? We're here too! We're using the real deal...classic manual cameras that were made long before we were even born. And yet we're drawn to them, and we love traditional film photography. Sometimes I feel kind of frustrated on this forum, when older people talk philosophically about classic cameras, and how they are "dinosaurs" for using vintage cameras. It's like some of them think they're the only ones left, and they're reminiscing about something that's in the past. But it's not just in the past! We're here. There are a LOT of young people who like using classic cameras and film. Don't ignore us.

    For example, I'm on several groups on Flickr. One of them is called "I Shoot Film." It's all about people who like to use film, and a lot of people there use classic cameras. Most of them are around my age, in their 20's and 30's. A lot of them develop their own film...even color film. The group has over 27,000 members. It's probably just as active as some of the forums.
    So just remember us too, that's all I'm saying. It's not just teenagers running around with plastic lomography cameras. Or older people who use classic cameras out of nostalgia. We grew up with film too, and some of us are coming back to film when we got more seriously interested in photography. Or maybe some of us never stopped using it. But we're here too.
    I still feel like I have so much to learn. The next thing I want to learn is how to tone black and white prints :)
  21. Are there a lot of people out there with Lomo cameras? I confess I've never seen one except a fisheye camera I owned briefly. (The lack of any sort of exposure control beyond choosing the ISO annoyed me and I sold it on Ebay.)
  22. There are really a lot of people using Lomo cameras, and i believe we should thank them for being the ones that keep the film industry alive.
  23. Yann, I think this thread has shown that there are a LOT of people using film, besides the lomography users. I mean, every single one of us who just posted on this topic uses film. We are ALL keeping film alive. And I don't even own one single lomography camera. I really don't even want one. I just use the real deal, classic cameras. But I think that with the 40 or so rolls of film that I've shot so far, I'm also doing my small part to keep the film industry alive.
    In fact, that was kind of my whole point to starting this topic. That it is NOT just teenagers with plastic lomography cameras, or older people who were raised with classic cameras. There are a lot of young people using film...with classic cameras. We're doing our part too. And we enjoy it. But sometimes we get overlooked.
    Why do some people think the lomography users are the only young people using film? Didn't we just kinda sink that myth with this thread? I hope so. I've never touched a lomography camera in my life. But I'm always out there shooting with my Argus C3 or Yashica A, or Minolta SRT-101. I'm using completely manual cameras, made long before I was born. And I did it before it was "cool."
  24. You're right, we're here shooting films without that Lomo stuff. But that's not enough to keep the film industry alive. The Lomo's latest invention is a TLR like, I don't know where you are Chris, but here in Taiwan it's a hit, when Lomo sold their cheap so called Fisheye, it was such a hit that you couldn't find it in shops, I know some students in Photo schools use Holga for I saw some exhibitions. I really believe that without Lomo the film industry would be in serious trouble. But I live in a small Island, and I can only see things from where I am.
  25. I'm 35, and a filmmaker (i.e. motion pictures.) I was never really interested in still photography until I ran across a photo on the internet about four years ago.
    It was a simple black & white shot of a dock on a lake. Pretty typical stuff. But even on the internet, this photo had a mezmerizing level of detail. It seemed like you could walk right into the photo.
    I dug deeper, and found that it had been taken with a TLR. I didn't know what that was, I had to google it! I also learned it was taken on medium format 120 film. More googling! I had heard of medium format, I had heard of 120, I didn't know what they were or that they were different aspects of the same thing...
    Anyway, once I puzzled through that photo, I have fallen in love with classic cameras and film photography. I do have a DSLR, but love shooting with my Yashica TLR, classic Pentax SLRs (including my dad's old Spotmatic F), and oddities like MF folders and a Meridian 4x5 field camera. I just recently put a darkroom into my basement, so the passion has been taken to a whole new level.
    So, back to the OP's question of why? First because of the pictures. Classic cameras/lenses capture amazing photographs with a texture, colour and detail that is different from modern equipment. Secondly because of the gear -- there are so many fascinating variations of camera from the past, and they all feel different and inspire you to work in a different way. I love that exploration.
  26. Chris, I'm not in my 20's or 30's. But, here's another old song. "It's Howdy Doody time!" While I have newer film cameras. I've been buying ones before I was born. Including those that use obsolete film. 130-124 and 116. Also, glass plate. I guess we all like to see what it was like before we were born.
  27. hey David, you sound a lot like me! I actually didn't even know what 120 film was! I had probably heard of it, and I knew there have been many different formats and kinds of film over the years. But I personally was only familiar with 110 and 35mm (and vaguely familiar with 126 catridges from when I was a little kid). I started working with 120 film after I learned how to develop prints, and my mom wanted me to develop pictures from some old B&W negatives she had. It turned out that they fit perfectly on my 6x6 negative carrier. I really liked working with those bigger negatives and I was really amazed at how sharp they were.
    So that was what got me interested in 120 film. So I started asking questions here about what would be some good 120 cameras that I could try. This was about a year ago...actually, I think it was exactly 1 year ago. I've been interested in vintage cameras for the last 2 or 3 years, and by then I already had a few 35mm cameras. But now I wanted to try 120. So I looked on eBay and in camera shops. I had never even seen a TLR before. In fact, the first time I saw them in a used camera shop, I thought they were old movie cameras! I had never seen such a big, boxy camera before, so I thought it was some kind of old 8mm or 16mm movie camera. I never thought it would be a camera for still photos. I ended up getting a Yashica A on eBay. After I shot a roll of film with it, I was so amazed at how detailed and incredibly sharp the pictures were that I got hooked on 120 film. I still use 35mm, but lately I've been using a lot more medium format. I ended up buying a couple more TLR's, and even a couple of folding Zeiss Ikon Nettar cameras.
    This is all new to me. Until very recently, I had never even heard of things like "medium format" before.
    And Jack, you're is partly just a curiosity about things from a different time period and to see what it was like before we were born. My dad thinks my fascination with old vacuum tube radios is funny. He says that for me it's a novelty, but he grew up with them and he hated them! LOL

    I have a collection of old vacuum tube radios now. I remember the first time I bought one. I think it was the little bakelite Westinghouse radio I have, from about the 1940's. I bought it on eBay when I was around 21 or 22. (I think it was the first thing I bought on eBay, although the site had already been around for a while.) When I got it in the mail, my dad looked at it and saw me playing around with it...and he asked "are you sure that's what you want? What are you going to do with that old thing?" He was so surprised that I had bought an old tube radio!
  28. I'm 35, and remember my pictures being taken by a Seagull TLR when I was around 5. I didn't start collecting classic cameras until this millennium, though. The oldest cameras I own are probably a Pentacon F and a couple of Praktica FX's. Just recently I started to buy TLRs, but haven't decided if I'll get a Seagull yet. I did visit the Seagull factory store in Shanghai a few years ago.
  29. People talk about medium format as if it's so much beyond 35. Which it is. But, for us who grew up in the 50's and 60's. It was the format, 120 and 620, that the average person used. And, Chris, my oldest tube radio is an Atwater Kent model 33 "coffin"style .From 1927. It only has one tube so far. It takes a 01-A? It's a big tube that cost $20-40.00 apiece. And, I need about 4-5 more.
  30. I've also just turned 29, but have been using vintage/film cameras for about a decade.. I started with a Walzflex TLR (cost me something like $50), but got some experience shooting a Bronica SQ-A and a bunch of $$$ 16mm gear in film school. I keep purchasing more cameras, and now have a very clean and useable Busch Pressman D, a Bronica EC (focal plane with some big Nikkors), and my main box, a Rollei 2.8D. There are about 15 more cameras which never get used.. maybe this summer I'll make it a point to shoot everything at least once.
    I think it's definitely the contrast between the plastic-throw-away 80s and 90s experience which draws many of us towards an older and more concrete way of doing things. The first 120 neg I saw blew my mind and I had to make more and more.. It's really a post-modern backlash against all the consumer garbage that's thrown at us. I wore a bowler hat for no reason in the early 2000s. I still wear old wingtips and bellbottoms if I can find/make them. They all go great with a vintage camera.
  31. I am only 14 and I love vintage cameras. My favorite film is Kodachrome. Many people have asked how I have gotten into film. Believe it or not, there is no photographer in my family taht has gotten me into film. It all started when my great grandmother was moving and I came across the slide projector. Since 10 years old, I have been shooting Elite Chrome with an AE-1. I have moved on up to manually setting my exposure and having full control....I enjoy many vintage things. Not only photographic things. I listen to all my music on Vinyl, I write with a fountain pen, my room is filled with tons of vintage and antique uniques. I also love sending people real mail..I like email for things that I need to be intstant or are really short...I don't know...It's just me. It's almost like I have been reborn again. An old mind in a new body. Classic cameras arn't for only for older crowds!
  32. I'm a '90s kid; I'm in my early 20s now.
    Started around 15 years ago on film, got serious about photography12 years ago this month. Back then, digital was just starting to break into the consumer market; schools were starting to buy digital cameras (which were one megapixel or less back then). I started by using my parents' AE-1, which I used for a few years before getting a newer camera. Since then, I've used various cameras and lenses, including digital. Back when I first got serious in 1997, I swore that digital would never replace film for the majority of photographers. Looking back, I think it was more that I didn't want digital to replace film. But film will always have a place in my work. I will always use film, even as I get more into digital.
    Val J. Albert
  33. Patrick Mont wrote:
    I am only 14 and I love vintage cameras. My favorite film is Kodachrome. Many people have asked how I have gotten into film. Believe it or not, there is no photographer in my family taht has gotten me into film. It all started when my great grandmother was moving and I came across the slide projector. Since 10 years old, I have been shooting Elite Chrome with an AE-1. I have moved on up to manually setting my exposure and having full control....I enjoy many vintage things.​
    Wow...doesn't that pretty much say it all? A 14 year old kid who likes to shoot with classic cameras...and with Kodachrome, no less! The ironic thing is that one time I was in a camera shop and I was asking about Kodachrome. There was another customer there, an older guy (I'm guessing in his early 60's). He overheard me talking to the clerk, and he was asking what Kodachrome was! He hadn't even heard of it! I had to tell him what Kodachrome was, and even told him "You know, like the Paul Simon song!" I felt really weird doing that. Later on, even the clerk thought that was kind of strange that someone my age would know more about film (and especially Kodachrome) than the other guy.
    Thanks a lot for commenting, Patrick. I originally started this topic to hear from people around my age...but it was definitely interesting to hear what you had to say! :)
    and Val, I think your experiences were a little different than mine. I don't think I ever even saw a digital camera until maybe around 1999 or 2000 at the very earliest. But yeah, keep shooting film and have fun!
    Jeremy, I think you're right too. It is kind of a rebellion against all the plastic junk that was thrown at us when we were kids in the 80's and 90's (especially the 90's...gawd, that's when they started making disposable cameras!). We want something more, something more substantial. Something different.
    This is off the topic, but here's a funny little story that involves one of those plasticky point and shoot cameras of the 90's. I graduated from high school in 1996. I remember when we were walking out to the field, and people were taking pictures of us walking out. You know, friends and family taking pictures of us graduating. Well, there was an old lady who was taking pictures with the camera turned backward! Not upside down, but I mean actually backwards, with the lens facing toward her! I don't even know how she couldn't have noticed that. We stood there for a few minutes, laughing. (Hey, we were 17 or 18 years old at the time. As a kid, you live for things like this). We kept walking, but one of my friends finally went back and told her.

    I can just imagine when they got the film developed and saw those pictures. Probably have the roll was super close ups of her face.
  34. FWIW, I'll turn 39 in a couple of months and the three cameras I use the most are, in order:
    1. Mamiya RB67 Pro S ("The Beast", made when I was 3 or 4 years old)
    2. Yashica D (made when my mother was a pre-teen)
    3. Yashica Electro-35 GSN (made when I was 3)
    4. Nikon F-100 (OK, not vintage)
    I love all of these, and they each have their uses.
  35. Very nice collection there, Tom! I'm jealous! :)
  36. I might be getting up there, but I had a step daughter that was born in the early '80's and my daughter was born in '89. I know all about those damned Smurfs... and worse, Barney that stupid $%^*(%#@% dinosaur!!! I know tv got better technically with time, but the subject (fecal) matter? There's a reason I don't watch tv anymore. Ewwwww.
  37. I know all about those damned Smurfs... and worse, Barney that stupid $%^*(%#@% dinosaur!!! I know tv got better technically with time, but the subject (fecal) matter? There's a reason I don't watch tv anymore. Ewwwww.​
  38. LOL...hey, Rob I watched the Smurfs for a while when I was really maybe around 7 years old. I was never really that much into them.
    hey, here's something...does anyone remember the tv show "Fraggle Rock"? I only vaguely remember it, but I do know I watched it every day when I was little, before and after school.
    And yeah, Patrick most of this stuff is probably a mystery to you! Look up "Zack the Lego maniac" on Google and YouTube to see what toy commercials were like when I was a kid. We were talking about that earlier.
    Zack, Zack...he's a Lego maniac!
    (I found a couple videos of the commercials on YouTube, but I can't seem to go on it right now for some reason. YouTube is acting really screwy).

    TMNT is the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" which was a cartoon in the late 1980's and early 1990's. They made a few movies of it, but I really only liked the first one. "Turtle Power" and "Heroes in a Half-Shell" was their slogan. I also had the action figures...I had a couple of the turtles, and one of my friends had Shredder :)
    and Barney...UGH...thank God I missed out on that one! I think by the time Barney came out, I was already in middle school. Stupid annoying purple dinosaur! "I love you, you love me..." Give me a break.
    What I really miss though is the "Animaniacs" cartoon show that used to come on in the afternoons in the 90's. I think it came on Channel 5 and maybe it was on Fox 11 later. Does anyone else remember the Animaniacs? It was actually a whole bunch of different mini-cartoons. It was great. Especially the "Goodfeathers" which was obviously a parody of the Goodfellas, and it was a cartoon about Mafia pigeons.
    Oh yeah, and we can't forget the Tiny Toons. And "Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers." :)
    okay, one more...Duck Tales! That was my favorite cartoon ever when I was a kid.
    Here's a link to the theme song. The video quality is horrible, but still good enough to watch:
    Duck Tales...woo hoo!
    Okay, I know we're getting waaaay off the topic now...but that was fun! :)
  39. Chris, when you were young you watched the Smurfs, etc. I watched Captain Kangaroo, Howdy Doody, and cartoons like Beanie and Cecil, Quick Draw Mcgraw, and Augie Doggy and Augie Daddy!
  40. hey Jack, I've actually seen Quick Draw McGraw! I used to watch the "Cartoon Network" on USA (is that channel even still around anymore). They showed all kinds of cartoons, new ones and old ones. So sometimes I saw old cartoons like Quick Draw McGraw, Speed Racer. Oh, and of course Yogi Bear! Yogi was awesome.
  41. I'm not sure "classic" cameras belong to any generation. A lot of the "classic" stuff is very good, the wise of any generation will figure that out.
    Ah yes, well since we are on the subject: Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Bambi and Peter there! (I think I'm older than all you whipper snappers.)
  42. I used a classic camera (Nikon FM2n) because it was my dads and he used to lend it to me, then I got it as a gift, and nothing beats free for getting into a hobby! I had it repaired and used it quite a bit till I moved on to better things. I considered buying a more modern 35mm automated SLR but decided against it since I wanted to save money and found the FM2n perfectly fine for my needs. I ultimately sold it because I got so frusterated by photo labs in Jamaica (where I am from) screwing up my film.
    I played around with black and white for a while and enjoyed it, but chemicals were expensive and often in short supply. I ultimately sold the camera and moved on to digital, a move I regret sometimes.
  43. I just wanted to say this has been one of the funnest and most interesting topics I've started here (it's right up there with my infamous "OMG" Kodachrome post in the "Film and Processing" forum).
    If anyone else wants to comment, please feel free to do so and keep things going. But otherwise, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded here. I went back and read through all the was great to hear from everyone.
    And oh yeah, I just can't's the Zack the Lego Maniac commercial:
    Yeah, the commercial might look kind of lame now. But come on, admit remember it! And it is catchy. I'm pretty sure this probably got me to buy a few more Lego sets when I was a kid.
    Zack, Zack...he's the Lego maniac!
    Okay, I'm going out to shoot some more photos with my Minolta :)
  44. I guess I'm older than I thought. I'm getting into my second childhood already. Damn, I miss Gumby...
  45. Im 44 and classica cameras just Rock! I have several oldies, 3 Rolleiflex's, 1956,1939,1932. Speed Graphic and several old 35s that belonged to my dad, he is the one that kept me in film. oh by the way... Lincoln Logs anyone?
  46. I have also just got into 127. So much fun! :)
  47. I don't think I had any Lincoln Logs, Josh. Although you never know...I think I pretty much had every toy when I was a kid. But hey, nothing beats Legos! Well, except Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Did anyone else get addicted to playing "Sonic the Hedgehog" ? :)
    Patrick, what kind of cameras are you using that take 127 film? And where do your get your film? Is 127 roll film about the same size as 120? I have an old Brownie box camera (Brownie 2A, Model B) and it's supposed to take 116 film. But if you put spacers on the ends of the spool, it works fine with 120. I also have an Argus Argoflex TLR that takes 620 film. I didn't feel like re-spooling 120 myself, so I ordered a roll of it from B&H Photo Supply. It cost $9! I like some of these old cameras that take oddball film sizes...except that the film is sometimes expensive!
  48. I'm 29. I use manual and mechanical cameras. I love my Rolleiflexes, Leicas and the Linhof. I just love the handling, I started early and I love the feeling of having don my image. For me the image is done in the camera, not as an afterthought "what Photosop filter can I apply?". I like the feel of metal and the manual focus.
    Digital gives me no satisfaction, it is only convenient.
    Unfortunately, I find so few people that think like me and are of my age. And, even more depressing, is the number of more or less serious photographers and amateurs who sold off fine medium format gear or Nikon gear just to "go digital", like it was something which makes you more hip.
  49. "serious photographers and amateurs who sold off fine medium format gear or Nikon gear just to "go digital", like it was something which makes you more hip."
    The pros got rid of their MF cameras, because buying a digital back for a Hasselblad, etc was far more costly than buying a DSLR.Even though the results from a DSLR wasn't a good as from a 35.It took several years for the DSLRs to catch up to 35.
  50. Regarding the old cartoons: my favorite is doubtless Rocky and Bullwinkle. When I was Patrick's age, I used to come home from school, grab some snacks, and watch reruns of the Bullwinkle Show or Rocky and His Friends.
    Boris, Natasha, Captain Peachfuzz, Fractured Fairy Tales, etc. Loved the dialogue. I'm an incorrigible punster (so don't incorrige me), and usually cracked up at a turn of phrase I hadn't caught before.
    Regarding blankity-blank Barney. I still recall kids singing the version of the original Barney song that they all preferred.
    /with a double-barreled shotgun, Barney on the floor,
    no more Purple Dinosaur/
  51. Any of these young'uns remember the original Gilligan's Island? It got me behind more homework than I can remember.
  52. I'm in my mid-30s and had a bit of a different path to classic cameras. In the mid-90s, I became interested in super8 filmmaking, which of course depends on using cameras built in the 1960s and 1970s. About six or seven years ago, I realized that I was more interested in making still images and started working with B&W film and eventually Kodachrome and E6 films. Here's my progression from around 1996 to today:
    1. Minolta super8 camera
    2. Mom's Minolta SRT SLR
    3. Elmo 1012-XLS super8 sound camera and Beaulieu 4008 super8 camera (the most beautiful piece of machinery ever made!)
    4. Some messing around with Diana plastic cameras.... this didn't help my interest in still photography, it actually slowed it. Good thing I got rid of them all.
    5. Lomo LC-A Kompact, which made some beautiful images with Kodachrome film
    6. Nikon FM2n (with B&W and Kodachrome film)
    7. Nikon F4s (E6 and Kodachrome films)
    Next camera? Maybe an F6, a Pentax 67, a Mamiya 7ii? Who knows?
  53. Hi,
    my 2 cents. I just turned 30, and I love the old cameras. Started with a Nikon D50 2 years ago, then got a RB67 8 months later, then found that that strange contraption that I had inherited from my grandfather is a Voigtlander Bessa RF 6x9 Folder in very very good condition. Score. I use that more than anything, really. Then, I got a good deal on a Linhof Technika. Recently in Hong Kong, I got a Graflex XL with the 80mm 2.8 Zeiss lens on it. That thing is pretty cool too. I recently got a Bessa R4A, which is my first 35mm camera. Also, my bathroom now smells of sulphur from the HC-110.... It's good to see this thread and know that I'm not the only one going backwards in time...
    There's an element of chance combined with the skill of knowing the camera (the Bessa RF's rangefinder is a little off (does anyone know the exact vintage of those?), so you have to shoot a few and develop them before you figure out how to focus it accurately, avoid double exposures, etc.)
    However: if it hadn't been for a friend who shoots digital talking me into the Nikon D50, I would not be where I am now with these old cameras -- I likely wouldn't be into cameras at all. I also did a shoot of my Capoeira group, and we rented studio lights, softboxes, and pocketwizards. The DSLR is tailor-made for that application as the RAW files were photoshopped afterwards for ad brochures, etc. Checking exposure (and making sure the action was stopped mid-flip or whatever) instantly was key, as was taking 2000+ images in one day and turning them over to the art director as we were packing up.
    So, I owe my interest in photography as a whole to the DSLR, and I learned how to shoot manual by metering/chimping with the DSLR and then capturing with the RB67. I now have a spotmeter, but without that D50 it would have taken me SO MUCH longer to learn this stuff. Sitting there and practicing with Ansel Adams' The Negative and seeing the results in real-time was great. It gave me a starting point to not be afraid of film, if that doesn't sound too strange.
    One thing that I've noticed: the D50 can take a nice, clean sharp picture very quickly and easily. So, if I ever need that (auction listings, the cat does something ridiculous, etc), it's right there. If I had to do that with film, it wouldn't be as easy. scanning or printing takes forever comparatively, as you all know. So, what I'm trying to say is that having the digital allows me to dedicate the mechanical/film cameras for the artistic stuff. I haven't taken the digital outside of my apartment for a year almost, but it's good to know it's there. But hey, with the march to obsoleteness in the digital world, now the D50 is a "classic camera" too, so I guess it fits.
    Anyhow it's great to see all these people my age. I think we all thought we were the only one. Anybody else live in New York?
  54. I'm 27 years old in Salamanca New York and I proudly shoot classic cameras. I shoot primarily my Canon EF, a 35mm SLR camera (production run from 1973 and 1978) opperating on Canons FD mount seconded by my M-42 mount Chinon CS.
    What it was that really hooked me was the fact it was classic cameras I used back when I was in photography classes. In the early ninties I learned on cameras from the seventies and eighties. After a hiatous from the late ninties to 2005 I decided to take photography back up and wile looking for a new camera I opted to go with something I knew as opposed to getting some newfangled digital and went straight for the Canon I still use to this day. There where no fancy buttons or dudads on it (ok I take that back it does have some dudads on it but...nothing fancy)
    It was not untill I began to build a lens collection that I found a new kicker, the price tag. A Canon FD 400 2.8L runs around two to three grand wile the EF 400mm 2.8L runs around seven grand. With 23 lenses at my disposal (not including filters and additional accessories) I've come along to a point where I have the lens I need to get the job I want accomplished with out paying a million or more.
    Since taking it back up I have aquired and shot with my:
    Canon EF
    Canon TLb
    Canon AE-1
    Minolta XG-1
    Minolta XG-7
    Minolta XG-M
    Pentax H2
    Olympus OM-1
    Chinion CS
    Nikon FM
    Yashica T3D
    Kodak Signet 40
    Leica IIIF
    Argus C3
    Poleroid One step
    Poleroid One step

    and plan to shoot in the future my:
    Ansco, Buster Brown
    Ziess - Ikon, Box Tengor-54/2
    All without ever having owned a digital SLR. The grips on the newer SLR's are awkward and uncomfortable to me, and there has been a couple of times my digital PnS has been in my pocket and I did not even realize it, not to mention how awful it is to hold. I still like the feel of the classics. It looks like a brick and feels like a brick, I know I have my camera.
  55. soo many wonderful stories here, i have been overwhelmed reading them all! and WHERE IS patrick dempsey? he's a good efriend of mine actually.
    at any rate, i think this is an interesting topic. increasingly i see younger and younger people turned onto pre-1980's cameras. it's funny because the early 80's seem to be the general cut-off date of classic cameras. i think there have certainly been modern classics like the voigtlander bessa series and the nikon fm2t but the mass production of mechanical non-electronics-dependant cameras seemed to have mostly dropped off by the early 80's and yet instead of younger kids getting turned onto pentax p3's, they are still buying spotmatics! i think this is a testament to how unique this equipment is and that this trend we are all a part of is not simple nostalgia or connected to our age and what we grew up with.
    for me, in many ways, i have a love affair with technology that came before me. maybe it's because i feel disallusioned and untrusting of computers but grew up being weened on them and this is my way of rebelling or breathing a fresh breath.
  56. A large portion of the alure it as I see it also is that JDMC sticker they put on them actually ment something back then. Those old cameras are work horses. Unlike todays cameras they have the capability to function for decades to come despite what ever happens to it where as the modern equivalent gets wet or dropped it's going out for service.
  57. WOW....I never imagined people would still be posting on this topic! I just decided to check my posts and I saw some new comments. Thanks, guys!
    And yeah, I'm wondering about Patrick Dempsey too. I thought for sure he would have replied to this. In fact, it's been a long time since I've seen him on I hoped everythng is okay, or that he hasn't bailed. I hate to say it, but some of the other forums can get kinda nasty. That's why I mainly stay here.

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