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Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:44 PM

Times are tough for lovers of vintage cameras. One was just pulled from a plane.

Did you hear about the airline passenger who wound up face down and spread-eagle on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport this month? He’d been pointed out to law enforcement by a woman sitting near him on the plane who thought he had a bomb.

When I heard about him, I thought: There, but for the grace of God, go I.

It turned out the guy didn’t have a bomb. He had a camera. A vintage camera, to be exact. I wish I could be exacter, but when I contacted the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, it couldn’t tell me what kind of vintage camera.

“It was probably something like a Rolleiflex,” David Silver told me. He’s the president of the International Photographic Historical Organization.


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Reply Times are tough for lovers of vintage cameras. One was just pulled from a plane. (Original post)
Zorro Oct 17 OP
Walleye Oct 17 #1
3Hotdogs Oct 18 #2
Gruenemann Oct 18 #3
usonian Oct 18 #4

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 08:50 PM

1. I'm betting Graflex, black boxes with a hood. Single lens reflex, huge mirrors

I had a couple of them when I was a little girl, my father was a photographer. Could definitely look like a bomb to somebody who didn’t know what it was

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 12:42 AM

2. It is probable that people under 35 never came across such cameras.

There is a camera store in Madison, N.J. --- yes, one still exists. And they have a Hasselblad film camera for sale.

Damn, I want it but what would I do with it?

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 18, 2021, 11:58 AM

4. Why not Hasselblad?

Short: astounding results, if you are in the proverbial right place at the right time, of course. (I am.)

I have been using a Nikon Coolpix P510 with insane zoom for many years, and still do. You can't beat single lens compact system cameras for zoom capabilities. Having that in a DSLR or mirrorless digital camera will cost a fortune. These are under $1000 total. It's getting old but still works great. Wanting an extreme wide-angle, I looked at a new digital camera.

I had a choice of repairing my old Hasselblad body, after some 50 years, or getting a new digital camera.

Looking at new digital cameras, my problems were these: They require (you guessed it) firmware downloads/upgrades, just like computers. They ARE computers. Not only does all this computer logic cost a lot, but using one would also require a newer, more powerful and expensive computer to support the newer, more powerful and expensive digital processing software.

And things are insanely complex. The Hasselblad had one mechanical part that gave way. Since I want to actually print photos instead of filling up disk space, film is great. The large format has vast resolution and gradation. Roughly 100 megapixels worth, or more. When you have film developed, digital scanning is available at the same time. Film is finite and makes you think before taking a shot. It has since I started taking photos in 1970 or so.

For a more detailed discussion, visit Ken Rockwell's site.


That said, I'd get a film camera simpler than Hasselblad. One was used by astronauts on the moon, so it's rugged as heck, but 50 years is a lot. I used David Odess for repairs. Have any used gear checked out. Most sellers really pass used gear along as-is without testing, just visual inspection. For a detailed discussion of the resolution and print size you can get with film, search for "Film Resolution: The Pixel Count of Film". Ken Rockwell's article should pop to the top.


And, for quick mostly wide-angle photos, phone cameras are great. All camera bags are black and it's sometimes hard to find one when a great sunset or rainbow announces itself. Phones are usually easier to find in a hurry.

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