Collecting old negatives from unknown photographers

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by darkosaric, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    I really enjoy to buy some old negatives on some flea market or on auctions, and then develop them in a darkroom... it is like time traveling. Also when I buy some old camera and as a bonus I get some old negative inside: it is great (one example from agfa isolette attached).

    Anyone else has this "hobby" :smile:?

    cheers,
     

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  2. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Although I have never been lucky enough to find undeveloped film in a camera. I do "collect" old negatives and 8mm film reels.
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Yes, I enjoy that too. Found film unprocesed in a camera is a special treat. Not that I really need another instamatic or 35mm point and shoot, but if that is the price of the film, well...

    Buying old prints of unknown families happens sometimes too. Oh, and slides. I have a series of a couple on driving vacations all over north america most years between 58 and 74. The guy was a pretty good shooter, and edittied what he put into the slide carousels. His kids cleared out most images of the individual family members, and then put dad's images up for estate auction. out of seven carousels I repacked them down to take the spaeces out and ended up with 3.75 full carousels after a bit of light editing of my own. They are most fascinating to look at.

    Also another series of slides for someone who rode horses competitively and went to florida to ride in the winter a few years in the mid 70's. I end up with them as part of a lot buying up some old maps. Estate auctions are a dangerous hobby that way.

    I ended up with about 50 slides of a guy who died of a heart attack. They were in a box that I really wanted for the old Norman pack and head 200B flash rig. That rig now is most relaible,a nd well worth the $15 she wanted. The images are a nice bonus. Him hanging out with his friends mid 70's and off to surveyors camp, so I suspect he studied enginering at one stage. The sides have his pals names on the mount. I have yet to google them up and put a thread of them together.
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I've been collecting 40s-60s mug shots for a dysfunctional family tree project.
     
  5. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Me too, i collect old negatives, just bought a bunch of kodachrome from the 50s.
     
  6. Dshambli

    Dshambli Member

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    The closest I've got is a roll of Verichrome I developed out of a Brownie Hawkeye (hard to tell what's on it, I may not have developed it right) and a glass negative I bought at an antique store.

    EDIT: That glass negative picture isn't a print, it's a picture I took with my phone in negative mode.
     
  7. Araakii

    Araakii Member

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    Man, I have always wanted to do this but don't know where to find them.
     
  8. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I'll share one with you guys that I like a lot.
    Film - 123 - 600.jpg
     
  9. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Flea markets, local camera shops, auctions - not only ebay, but other as well - for example here in Poland on allegro.pl you can find old negatives pretty often.
     
  10. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    It is great - funny and good :smile:
     
  11. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Yes, I always buy old negs when I see them. It's strange looking into the lives of people you don't know and trying to imagine who they were and what they were doing and a little disconcerting reflecting on the fact that many are probably long dead.
    Steve
     
  12. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Other than the inherited family negatives going back to the 1920's I don't have many negatives from other people.
    Years ago I cleaned out the studio of a photographer who was moving to a new location. Among the things left behind were many Cirkut negatives showing how San Diego looked in the 40's & 50's.
     
  13. mjfinalshot

    mjfinalshot Member

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    old negatives for sale

    Hi,<BR><BR>If anyone is interested, I have thousands of 1950's and 1960's original color and black and white&nbsp;2 1/4" x 2 1/4" negatives.&nbsp; Images taken by contributing photographer to Life Magazine.
     
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  15. CGW

    CGW Member

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  16. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Maybe next Vivian Maier :wink:? You should not break the collection - see if you can scan some and try to find out value of the whole collection - it could be higher than you think.
     
  17. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    ...I'd LOVE to, but I'm backlogged on my own stuff, so I find it hard to justify printing something else.
     
  18. DrTang

    DrTang Member

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    Stereo Slides... I collect old stereo slides. I have thousands..some in obvious sets..some just misc... some as salesman sets.


    I also collect old negs and prints when I come across them - have some cool glass plates as well as circuit prints and negs

    recently found a whole box of exposed but undeveloped 120 tri-x rolls at an estate sale

    gotta develop those one of these days

    also..I bought an old kodak folder once that had an exposed roll in it..I developed it and it showed some army guy on leave circa WW2
    that was kinda cool
     
  19. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    I find it quite interesting to rescue and take care of old negatives. In fact, I prefer negatives to photographs. That's what I call FoundFilm. I tend to favor the older glass negatives, I pretend to be an amateur curator :laugh:

    Of course I never miss to develop old rolls found in second hand cameras, and on top of that I enjoy trying to discover the places where they were taken (identifying people is beyond my capabilities as a PI :cool: )


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    These pictures are part of an undeveloped roll that came inside an old folder. It was made at Kodak's England factory around 1957 (although I'd say pictures are from late 60's or early 70's) and depicts St. James beach, in Barbados. I've never been physically there myself.

    This is also part of the roll:

    [​IMG]


    And this can be found on the internet:

    [​IMG]


    For those who didn't know, it is possible to date and place the manufacturing of old Kodak rolls:

    http://historicphotoarchive.com/f1/ekcode.html
     
  20. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    I swam off St Jamea beach in the early 1970's. I worked at the Leper colony across the road. They rang the bell when the patients were going to come out to swim off the beach. I expect the site of the Leper colony is a fancy hotel now.
     
  21. thomas331

    thomas331 Member

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    old life negatives

    what was your asking price.........??
     
  22. kiwivagabond

    kiwivagabond Member

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    I have a similar affliction with staring at the negatives and tintypes I am collecting and wondering about the life....knowing they are in the ground and well passed by now. In that reflection I see the wonder of photography now and historically..that the person and context could be captured just as it was and frozen............for the first time 100% true.

    I treat the images respectfully..........in thinking and use. They hugely influence my own photographic journey, style and approach.

    whats more, they are not digital crystal clear perfecto mundo images............and they still speak massively........if willing to hear and look.

    So Steve I can really relate to this, and its nice to know I am not the only one........
     
  23. kiwivagabond

    kiwivagabond Member

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    I am seriously interested............
     
  24. DrTang

    DrTang Member

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    I have 12 or 13 rolls of 120 film - exposed and as yet undeveloped - from the mid 60's sitting in kitchen right now

    Bought at an Estate Sale out of the garage/darkroom area - I developed one roll only to find some nice photographs of rooftop A/C units

    I guess the guy was either a salesperson or installer and he took..at least that one roll..of his handiwork

    I should probably get motivated to develop another roll just for the heck of it - maybe AC units were not all he shot
     
  25. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I once bought a folder at an antique shop solely to get the roll of film in it (they wouldn't sell it separately). Nothing of enormous interest on that one, just a couple of exterior shots of someone's house.

    But I once bought a box of IR sheet film that must have been from the late 40s (it said "Develop by June 1950"), and it turned out to have a couple of exposed sheets in it. (I *think* they were undeveloped, but of course I didn't see them until I'd put them through development myself and they didn't have anything like the images I'd tried to shoot.) They were pretty decent, apparently shot with a Speed Graphic or something similar (you can see the bed in one shot); one is the courthouse in Vancouver, WA, and the other is a semi-rural landscape from somewhere in the Portland/Vancouver area. The rest of the box appears not to have been used---I developed a few additional sheets just to check, but they were blank.

    -NT


    3066229095_a65ef75aaf_b.jpg 3067069686_a391f55684_b.jpg
     
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  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i was recently gifted hundreds ( maybe 1000? ) negatives and glass plates
    from someone who passed away, and giving them to me saved them from the circular file ( trash can )
    he did freelance work, and the negatives / plates are pretty beautiful