Cameras of The Pastby Tyler Woods on Sep. 10, 2012, under Life
I was at a resort in Scottsdale a few weeks ago and one of the best things about the resort was that in each room and in all the sitting areas were cameras of the past. I loved this because it brought back such memories. My father was a professional photographer in his Army days and he always had the latest greatest cameras. He made sure his children had cameras as well and it got me thinking…
Cameras have come a long way. In fact, the history of cameras is quite fascinating and books have been written about these memory catchers. My father had quit the collection and I recall some of his cameras. One was as a Minolta Autocord. It was a boxed camera with twin lens reflex (TLR) camera. He would wind his film and take it in and in three or four days we would be able to look at the pictures and put them in photo albums.
Imagine our surprise when he got his first Polaroid camera. This camera looked new age to us kids. It had folding bellows making it look like an accordion to me. It had a single flash that he would load each time. He kept it in a large black looking brief case. The greatest thing about this camera was that he could snap the picture, and he would pull it out of the slot and we would watch it develop right in front of us. When the newer Polaroid’s came out, he would buy a new one and replace the older one. He had pictures right at his fingertips.
One year he purchased a Polaroid for me. It was the Q-Light One Step Polaroid camera with external flash. Though it was cool, I could not afford the film as a kid and my allowance would not always allow me to purchase film. That never stopped me because I rather liked the Kodak Instamatic camera. I had a series of them. I recall how fascinating it was when the square four flashcube came out. It gave me four flashes at a time; however, after burning my finger on the hot cube one day, I was happy when the auto flash came out.
It thought as a kid it was cool when the pocket Instamatic came out and the camera was small and easy to handle. I would by film, take it out of my camera, take it to the local drug store and pick it up in a few days. It was a big deal the day they introduced one hour photo processing. Imagine being able to view your photos only an hour after you took the pictures. I could drop my film off at Thrifty, hang out and eat ice cream, and in an hour have my pictures. For me, it was a dream come true. It was almost like having a Polaroid camera without the expense.
Times have changed. Today I use my cell phone to get great pictures. I have a small Cannon digital camera and a Panasonic Lumix ZS20 with 12X focus. No, it isn’t the best, but I get great pictures and I do not have to wait days, one hour or even 60 seconds, I get to see the picture the moment I take it. I have to admit I love digital cameras. Some people still like film, and that is great, but me, I will stick to instant gratification when it comes time to taking pictures.
I still love to look at the classic cameras and feel them in my hand and recall all the cameras I had growing up as a child. What do you recall about cameras of the past?