Buying old cameras that contain undeveloped film

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Sometimes I come across old cameras in junk shops which contain exposed but undeveloped film. I once bought a Leica II which had an old film in it. When I processed it, I found it to be a series of images of Eva Braun playing in the Bavarian Alps. However, they weren’t very well composed so I threw them away. Have others come across cameras containing film they developed showing surprising images.
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    It creeps me out, like finding stuff left behind by a previous tenant/owner. Artifacts without milieu that don't really matter. Eva Braun???

    More interesting are old rolls that never got developed after going MIA. Found some recently that went back over 20 years. Suppose everyone has a few "Winogrand" rolls hiding out at home.
     
  3. donkee

    donkee Member

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    I found 3 old 120 rolls in the attic when I started the first part of my house refurb.

    One disintegrated when I tried to roll it on to a reel, one the markings on the backing paper showed up on the developed film, the third turned out perfect.

    I believe they are the previous owner's son in the boyscouts at the weather bureau.

    Kinda neat. Once I can print them I'll see about getting them to the son.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
  4. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Well, This guy has made a hobby of it.
     
  5. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I've had some of these "found film" experiences, though never with anything extremely interesting. A couple of old sheets of film turned out to have a nice Pacific Northwest landscape and a picture of the Clark County (Washington) courthouse, circa 1955.

    Folders in antique and junk shops seem often to have old rolls in them. The shops usually won't separate the camera from the film, however, and I can't justify too much buying of otherwise uninteresting cameras for the sake of the film. Someone who was into collecting low-end folders could do a lot of this stuff.

    -NT
     
  6. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    If it really was Eva Braun, I definitely would have kept it. I've bought my share of old camera by now and have come up with a couple of rolls inside them. They're still sitting in my dresser drawrer, waiting for me to send them to North Dakota. I actually think it's cool to find stuff like that. It's sort of like a message in a bottle.


    Kent in SD
     
  7. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Kent, I agree that \i'd have kept the photos of Eve Braun. A museum would all but always appreciated having them in a collection. Depending on the setting, it might also be possible to have traced the Leica to the owner at the time the photo was taken which might have been very interesting in itself. Imagine finding a Leica used by Hitler, Bormann, Goring, etc. or similar high level NAZI. The historic value might be immense. We have many images from the regime but I do not see many associated cameras belonging to the party elite that have been verified; even those made with the symbols of the regime and military tend not to be traced back to the users. I wonder if deep in the Leica archives there are such references. I'd imagine it could be possible that if Hitler had a Leica it may have been specially made for him and these would be a record or, others. Yes, I know Leica was not a NAZI active supporter and what it did for its Jewish employees but, it did have to live in the reality of the regime and do business.
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Tall tale? Pitched pix of Eva Braun(who knew?)because he didn't like the composition? Right.
     
  9. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Moopheus, thanks for that, wonderful. That is just the response hoped for from my joke post. I didn't really develop a film showing pictures of Eva Braun. However, whenever I do find a camera containing unprocessed film I would always develop it. It's like saving moments in time, otherwise lost forever.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Are some of you walking around with one leg longer than another? cliveh is pulling your leg! :smile:
     
  11. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Okay, so I got played like a fiddle. I bow and doft my hat to you.
     
  12. KarnyDoc

    KarnyDoc Member

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    Michael Raso, creator and host of the Film Photography Project (FPP), has himself bought old cameras containing forgotten film and processed it, and has shared those results on the FPP website and/or Facebook page.

    FPP is at www.filmphotographyproject.com

    Dieter
     
  13. OptiKen

    OptiKen Subscriber

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    I enjoy the mystery of old film in old cameras I find. Sometimes it will frustrate me to see a camera on ebay where the seller opens the back to show you that it still has film in it. duh.
    I made an album on my page called 'Ghosts in the Camera' where I've posted pictures developed from old rolls in old cameras. Fun stuff. (a little creepy too.)

    https://optiken.shutterfly.com/pictures/35
     
  14. Tamara

    Tamara Subscriber

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    When I purchased a Canon Photura from Goodwill on a lark for $5, imagine my chagrin to pop it open to install the battery and find film in there. (You can open just the battery compartment, but it's less fiddly to pop the whole bottom open, and with a digital counter and no juice, there was no indicator there was film inside.)

    Unfortunately, I was standing right under a bright light fixture and stood blinking stupidly at my find plenty long enough to make it not worth trying to salvage anything. :sad:
     
  15. Hatchetman

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    too creepy for me. I don't want to know what's on there.
     
  16. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I've always been fascinated by old photographs. What would be exciting for me, would to be able to reunite the images with the families.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  17. blockend

    blockend Member

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    I once bought a Brownie that had a roll of film inside. Once developed it contained an air show from the 1950s and motorcycle scrambling (early motocross). It makes you wonder why the camera stayed in the drawer for the next thirty years. The possibilities are endless.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    There are privacy issues here and probably legal ones, like putting pictures of other peoples children and long dead relatives on the internet, and making a book of them and selling them, I find the whole thing most distasteful .
     
  19. Tamara

    Tamara Subscriber

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    Heck, with my luck, I'd send the roll off only to find out that it had pictures of some awful criminal activity on it for which I'd somehow be accused. :errm:
     
  20. qpoiz

    qpoiz Member

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    I had a collection of exposed rolls from various cameras. When I found out you could crossprocess c41 with B&W chemistry, I gave them a go, but nothing came out (except with one I had exposed myself).

    I just save them to practice loading film into SS reels.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    A coworker gave me his wife's no longer used Pentax Super ME with lenses and filters. It had a almost finished roll of film in it. I sent it to Costco and some of the color was off and the photographs were from five years before. I gave him the negatives and the prints.