A collection of old cameras from different eras reflect the old school approach to image making. Using a sensitive material – film, each exposure was a labor of love, requiring a slower and perhaps more thoughtful approach than the digital era can lull our senses into pursuing. These cameras generally inspired a pride of ownership too, due to the integrity of the materials used in their construction. My first ‘real’ camera was an Olympus OM1N and I loved its construction, its fine range of optics and its compact (for its day) handling!
Cameras such as these continue to be very usable today, with many films still manufactured and some available from specialist suppliers. Running a film through an old box brownie is great fun too and these cameras can be picked up for next to nothing.
Anyone who has developed and printed their first picture in a darkroom will remember the thrill of seeing that first image reveal itself slowly in a tray under the dimmed red/orange safe light. The smell of the chemicals, the half light and the hushed atmosphere remain special to me and doubtless to many others schooled in the traditional photographic ways.
Contemporary digital cameras and image manipulation software have revolutionized photography in recent years making it easier for some and speeding up the image making process for others. Despite this, the old silver halide techniques will continue to provide for many the true photographic experience.