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Collecting Classic Cameras - A Fascinating Hobby

Updated on August 17, 2017
FrancesSpiegel profile image

Frances' has used most of the classic cameras in her collection, wherever rolls of film have been available.

Classic Cameras

Collecting Classic Cameras. Image by Frances Spiegel. All rights reserved.
Collecting Classic Cameras. Image by Frances Spiegel. All rights reserved.

This isn't actually my hobby - it's my husband's. Over the past fortyeight years he collected classic cameras. We've got around four hundred and they all work!

Now he is in a care home because of a brain tumour and I am trying to sort out the cameras and match them with their cases - a mammoth task! The cameras are on display in several cabinets and the cases are stuffed into boxes, drawers, cupboards - in fact I keep finding them just about everywhere!

Working my way through the collection is bringing back some wonderful memories.

Classic Cameras

Collecting Classic Cameras. Image by Frances Spiegel. All rights reserved.
Collecting Classic Cameras. Image by Frances Spiegel. All rights reserved.

The Eye of the Lens

My husband and I had the greatest fun when choosing cameras for our collection Sometimes we purchased them at car boot sales and other times we discovered them in charity shops.

Our first question was always "I wonder what sights this lens saw"? Or who previously owned the camera? Did it travel the world capturing rare and unusual sights or was it a 'stayathome' camera taking only pictures of the family?

We would never know, but that speculation was always exciting.

Almost All the Cameras Work

Whenever possible we would buy old roll film to run through the cameras.Surprisingly it has usually been very easy to find the right film as London has a number fo classic camera suppliers.

Part of the fun was figuring out how to open the camera and load the film. As with modern cameras, some are incredibly simple to use but many are remarkably complex and we often wondered how photographers in the past managed to take such good photos with these intriguing classic cameras.

Almost every single camera works and we often found ourselves in amusing situations. We'd go out on the streets, possibly at a Dickens festival or a Shakespeare pageant. Passersby would watch with interest and many would comment. On one occasion someone told us: "My grandfather had one of those".

Visitors to the house still marvel at our amazing collection. They frequently ask: "What else does he collect?" There are so many things that that would have to be the subject of another article. I always respond with: "As long as he doesn't collect women, I'll be O.K!

Classic Cameras

Collecting Classic Cameras. Image by Frances Spiegel. All rights reserved.
Collecting Classic Cameras. Image by Frances Spiegel. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Frances Spiegel


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