The Gamble You Take Buying Old Cameras

I fell deeply back in love with film. As a result I stopped using digital cameras for a while and concentrated on shooting with film and even taught myself to develop black and white film. Naturally with any passionate hobby, by default you collect things that are associated with it. And so, my film camera collection began to grow. It still continues to grow actually. That’s the “problem” with film cameras, you ca find some super cheap. Except for a few makes and models, such as Hasselblad, Leica, Rolleiflex…to name a few.

Being someone who likes to shoot both film and digital, as mentioned in ‘Just Quietly on The Leica Mini’ I had been on a quest to find a perfect 35mm point and shoot camera to part up with my digital camera. I have a Lomo LC-A, but it is zone focusing and guessing the distance in what will be in focus isn’t one of my strong suits and I’m certainly not going to be whipping out a tape measure each time I take a photo! My secret hack has been just leaving the thing on infinity focus. And I do love my wee Lomo, it’s tiny, light weight and the photos turn out in really nice colours and contrast with the odd light leak.


I’m getting tired though, tired of coming back with a lot of either badly underexposed photos to extremely over exposed photos.
I had high hopes for my fifteen dollar Ricoh YF-2ON Date, it’s been described as ‘cheap and cheerful’ on one review and from what I saw took some reasonably good sharp photos. But the fact that the one I brought has a dodgy battery door that requires to be taped up with some electrical tape should of been a pretty clear indication in getting myself a crappy piece of plastic. Since it was manufactured in Japan, I assumed it would be up there with the other cameras that are made from there; Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and hello Fujifilm!
Finally when I picked up the photos from the lab, I was disappointed straight away…
They weren’t able to cut it because most of the frames were so over exposed and the images I did manage to salvage after scanning them, turned out all flat and faded colour. I was too embarrassed to even post the photos, but I have decided so as a small lesson to show that luck isn’t always on your side when you buy an old camera. If you’re going to buy an old camera, definitely stick to places that specialises in refurbishing and testing old cameras and come with a 12month guarantee when you purchase it. Otherwise stick to buying SLR cameras, these ones are usually in a locked cabinet at vintage stores and since they don’t require to be powered with any batteries, you have a higher chance that the camera is in good working condition. Do check it inside though for any fungus in the lens and for any rotted away seal around the film door.
And now, prepared to be…not so wow’ed by the below photos: 


See you next time when I post my first roll of Kodak Colour Plus 200: An Unexpected Surprise.