I keep running into people who see my old Leica IIIf over my shoulder and marvel that they still make film. And that it is readily available. I assure them it is.
I have a standard response to their “I have a great old camera that I never use.” I tell them to just put one roll of Tri-x in it, shoot a frame once a week or so. And that after several months, the roll will be done and there will be 36 memories to relive captured on film.
You will have forgotten what you shot. You will know there’s something good waiting for you after the roll’s developed, and the camera will not be wasting away. You can always shoot more, but certainly, shooting just one roll a year is still a treat.
You’ll probably need a new battery for the camera. Many of those with electronic shutters won’t work without them. Run out, get some new cells, power it up, and load the film. It’ll all come back. The feel of those old metal-bodied durable beasts will remind you why you loved them so much. The heft in your hand will say quality, unlike what you see in many of today’s cameras. The viewfinder will be big and bright.
It’s a treat. And the folks I’ve mentioned it to say, “I think I’ll do that.” I hope they do. Bring some new life to those wonderful cameras of days of
old, er, not that long ago.
How about you? Have a sweet old camera that isn’t getting used? How about getting it out and loading it up, just one roll of film. You’ll be creating a time capsule.
If you know you’re never going to shoot it again, donate the camera to a local photography school or art center. I have one called the Lyons Photography Art Center in Colorado where you can send them. Address is PO BOX 69, Lyons, CO 80540. I use them to teach kids to shoot black and white film, to slow down and carefully compose images. I give them the camera loaded and ready to shoot. No excuses for lack of equipment.
If you do end up shooting some film, post the links here and let’s have a look!