How old is too old for a camera or is there such a thing?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Shutterpug, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    So I know that like most things in life cameras have a shelf life. They break down after so many clicks and pops and whirls and various things but how old is too old for a camera? Let's just pretend for a minute that I have one of the original cameras with the hood that you put over your head and the gunpowder flash. Is that too old to be taken seriously as photography or is there a time limit? Also I don't have one of those cameras. Wish I did though. 'Twould be cool.


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you can afford it, and if you have some way to develop the film, then go for it!

    I suggest the 4x5 size format for ease of finding film and developing, but people still do use them. In fact, you can purchase one new, if you are interested. Go visit a camera store, and they can provide the details and get you started.
     
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  3. greybeard

    greybeard Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If it has no light leaks, the lens has no huge scratches or cloudy fungus, and the in lens shutter and aperture are working properly, it should be good to go no matter how old it is. Assuming it takes film that is available like 4x5.
     
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  4. runnah

    runnah Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If it takes film...
     
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    One of my cameras was made in 1909. It still works.

    Using gunpowder for a flash is, today, a really really really bad idea.


    If it takes film that is still available.
     
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  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Umm, you can still buy cameras that you have to put a cover over your head to use -> Large Format Cameras | B&H Photo Video
    As long as the parts are in working order, the lens is clear, and you can still get/make film/plates for it ... there ain't no such thing as too old.
    I have some cameras about 70+ years old that are still usable.
     
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  7. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    What's a good place to find used cameras for those of us who are...um..."financially challenged" at the moment? Any one ever find any goodies at flea markets and yard sales?
     
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  8. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Would be cool!
     
  9. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    shopgoodwill.com - Welcome

    Joe
     
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  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Goodwill store, Salvation Army store ... Flea Markets are just commercial rip-offs.
    You might get lucky at a yard sale (if the people do not have Internet, or don't know how to search), but most people have watched too many episodes of Antiques Roadshow.
     
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  11. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    Well I live in smalltown Mississippi and as far as I know there's not a whole lot of interest in photography around here. Most of peoples interest here lies in scraping by day to day and fishing and hunting so maybe I'll get lucky.
     
  12. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    4x5 gear can be stupendously cheap. Yes, some stuff like Sinar and Linhof can run $4 digits just for the body & rail. But do your homework and watch ebay. Bide your time and your ship will come in. Names like Toyo, Calumet and Cambo can be had literally dirt cheap.

    But keep in mind you are buying, usually, just the camera body. You'll need to add things like lenses, lens boards, film holders, a groundglass (if the camera doesn't come with one), a focus magnifier, your much-coveted focus hood, a sturdy tripod, cable releases, etc.

    But honestly, you'll get more people coming up to you when you're out shooting with a 4x5 field camera than anything else. And if you plan on field work, make sure to get a 'field' camera....not a 'rail' camera that's more meant for studio work.
     
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