Hello from Minnesota, long intro!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the APUG Community' started by andys93integra, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    Hello all. In June of 2010 this happened.

    My great Uncle was a photographer in Hollywood from the late
    50's to the early 80's. He was more of a production photographer, like
    documenting the making of a film. Some films include Some Like it Hot,
    The Ten Commandments, The Great Escape, and many others.

    Last summer (2010) my mom was going through a box of his cameras that
    she received after his death in 1985. At the time i had a little point
    and shoot Canon and really didnt know anything about cameras. Inside
    were Two Rolleiflexes, three Nikon F's, a Fujica 35 Auto-M, and a Argus
    slide projector. There was also a Pentax Spotmatic, which was not my
    great Uncle's, but rather my Grandpa's.

    So i pulled everything out and i kinda knew how to work the Nikon
    cameras, because they are rather simple. I had never seen or even heard
    of a "TLR," or even "Rolleiflex," before then. At first i thought the
    glass was broken on the Rollei's because of the leaf shutter, for some
    reason it looked broken, since id never seen one and didn't know a thing
    about it.

    So on to the internet to do some research and find out i did. In a
    matter of a week i went from not even know where the shutter button was
    on the Rollei's, to knowing almost everything about them. I found out
    that one of them is a 1959 Tele-Rolleiflex 135mm F/4 Carl Zeiss Sonnar,
    with a pretty low serial number for its batch. The second one is a 1962
    2.8E3 80mm Xenotar, again with a pretty low serial number for its batch.
    I mean the serial for the Tele starts at 2,300,000 and mine is around 2,300,020-030. So i don't know if that means anything, but i find it pretty
    cool that they are pretty low.

    So i got some film, which was $10 for two rolls! Loaded a roll into each
    camera and starting snapping away. Firstly i was amazed at the picture
    quality, being that these cameras are right around 50 years old. Another
    reason i was because my Uncle died in 1985 so that could have been the
    last time they were used. Fast forward 25 years later and sitting in a
    box all that time could be bad for cameras, but i guess
    not. They could use some TLC, but they are fully functional.

    I also found out how much they could be worth in good condition and i
    was surprised, though i have no intention of selling them. I am going to
    use them for what they were made for... if i can continue to afford the
    film for them and developing, etc. I currently have about 8 rolls of 120 to use up.

    So i just wanted to share my story about my two cameras. Now i have 11 film cameras to my one digital (Nikon D5000).

    I have pictures of the cameras and many of my other cameras on my Flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andys93integra/

    and my Zenfolio:

    http://andysphotos.zenfolio.com/

    Thanks for looking,
    Andrew Olson
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2011
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I am pleased that old gear drew you in. Some people are so caught up in the advertising hype of 'new' they can't see value in things of the past.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Welcome to APUG. I have a Rolleiflex myself, a great camera.

    Jeff
     
  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    Welcome Home, Andrew !
     
  5. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Welcome to APUG. It sounds as if you have some great cameras. Have fun!
     
  6. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    Benvenuto.
    Great story. I hope film still will be around for, at least, o couple of centuries
     
  7. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome! I love stories of cameras being passed down!! And those old cameras work great after decades of use (or sometimes, lack of use!!) Processing your own film is a considerable cost savings, so I hope you'll keep at it.
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG, there's quite a few of us Minnesota members here.

    That's quite a collection. Knowing the history of those Rolleis and the Nikons make them quite special.
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    I am pleased that the gear found its way to you. Have fun with it. And Welcome to APUG.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Welcome to APUG.

    You have a lot of film friends in Minnesota, me included. The story you told is great, and you have some fabulous cameras.
    If you want to insure that those Rolleiflexes continue to serve you well, you should probably have them serviced.

    - Thomas
     
  11. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Welcome from another APUGger in Minnesota, St Paul to be exact.

    I LOVE my Rolleiflex too, so I understand how you feel. If you are in the Twin Cities, a few of us have gotten together in the past and really ought to schedule something again, so you can join us if you wish. Also, there is a group here for folks in Minnesota. Just go to the groups tab at the top and you can find it there.

    Paul
     
  12. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    What would have really been cool is if i had all his other cameras that he had.
    I have two of his four Rollei's, he had another Tele-Rollei and a 3.5/75mm
    Rollei (not sure of exact model name). His estate papers only show the serial
    number for the taking lens not the actual cameras, so im not sure if one could
    determine the model by the lens number. He also had a lot of Nikons (i have
    three of his), a Hasselblad and many many accessories and lenses for all, which were given to the rest of the family. There are not many people left in the family so
    who knows what has happened to most of his equipment.

    My mom also told me that when he died his sister received most of his stuff, i
    think mostly pictures, scripts, etc. Which she donated to the University of
    Texas in Austin. So this year i might have to get down there to see his stuff!

    Andy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
  13. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    A lovely story..welcome to APUGland!
     
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  15. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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    Welcome to the mob! BTW what was your Great Uncle's name and is there any of his work online for viewing? Keep having fun with the old stuff!
    cheers,
    sam
     
  16. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Welcome to APUG and to film cameras. Have fun. Learn to develop your own film. It is a real cost savings and so much fun! So glad that at least some of your Great Uncle's wonderful cameras found their way to someone who will use and appreciate them!
    -Lori
     
  17. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Andrew - hello and welcome to APUG from western Massachusetts. Great story! :D
     
  18. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    Im not sure if there is anything online, i doubt it, i have searched for some stuff but nothing at all.
    My Uncle's name is John Joseph Harris or just Jack Harris.

    I also have some old slides of his, some from the movies he did, like the Magnificent Seven, Irma La Duce, and some others. I also have about a dozen rolls of 8mm film, i looked at them briefly and all of them are of dolphins (he worked on the movie called The Day of the Dolphin) except one. The last one is what i assume to be his own footage, which is a few minutes on the set of the Great Escape. So i don't know if that might be worth something. Id like to watch it, that would be fun, but i don't have a projector.

    Andy
     
  19. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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    G'day Andy - Wow! I envy you and your cine archive! Hope that after you view them (if you can find a projector 16mm or 8mm - which should not be too hard - ebay, craig's list, word of mouth etc. etc.) you can make a copy for posterity and perhaps put the footage into an archive (such as UCLA, Smithsonian etc. etc. - there are others too) Here in Australia the Archive will preserve the original footage and reward the donor with a DVD copy. Happy viewing oh and thanks for posting your uncle's name.....Good luck & cheers! sam
     
  20. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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    Hey Andy - Seen this?? Jack Harris

    This collection includes photographs and papers from one of Hollywood's greatest "still men," photographers who document the making of films. Films Harris photographed include The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, and The Apartment. A preliminary inventory is available.

    http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/collections/film/holdings/
    cheers,
    sam
     
  21. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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  22. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    Yes i have seen that, but other than that i haven't found anything. I talked to the Curator of the Ransom Center and he told me about The Harris Collection and that it was being used for an journal article by a student from out east, Andrew Scahill. I even emailed Andrew a few times but have received no response. It was a valid email address since it didn't come back right away, i don't know, maybe he does not check it or reply to anybody.

    Andy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2011
  23. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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  24. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    I just sent an email to that address, the other one i sent to before was a @gmail account, maybe he will respond to this one.

    Andy
     
  25. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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    Good luck to you..!!
    cheers,
    sam
     
  26. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    I have received no reply thus far, so im assuming im not going to receive any sort of reply.

    Andy