Sunday, November 04, 2012

32 Before 32: Learn to Use My Vintage Cameras

I bought this beautiful camera at Goodwill a few months ago and had been really anxious, yet intimidated, to try and use it.  It's a Kodak Retina I from the 30s or 40s.  When I bought it, I mostly wanted it for my collection because of the great condition it was in and for the lovely details and design.  I am not a camera expert by any means, especially when it comes to vintage cameras, but I know enough to tell if it would be usable or not.  When I saw that this one seemed to work and looked great, I went for it. 

I was happily surprised to find it takes 35 mm film and although it is completely manual, it only took an evening of studying the instruction booklet and taking notes to figure it out.  

One of the 32 things I want to do before I turn 32 is to learn to use the vintage cameras I've collected and finally shoot some photos with them.  So on my birthday, Alex and I headed over to the park and I brought my camera.  We grabbed coffee, bought bread to feed the ducks, and spent the afternoon using up the roll of expired black and white film I had loaded in the camera.  

It was not as hard to figure out as I thought it would be.  I did get confused with the depth of field on some shots, but I understand what I did wrong and am excited to use it again. 


  1. So cool! I have a collection of vintage cameras, and I'm totally afraid to actually use them. And a little afraid of shooting on film again and having to spend the money on developing prints that could potentially look like a big mess. But your photos look awesome! Maybe I should give some of my vintage camera a try :)

    1. Thanks should definitely try some of your vintage cameras out. I was also worried that the photos would just be completely blank or a total mess (and a waste of money), but I guess that was part of the excitement of waiting for the film to be developed. So, it was a good surprise that not all of them were a mess. Some, yes. All, no. :)

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