Monday, June 8, 2015

Displaying My Cameras.

This weekend we decided to finally put a plan into action.  I've been collecting cameras for about 25 or so years.  I have picked them up from family, yard sales, and trade.  I don't go out and look for them, but I keep my eyes and ears open.  I've amassed a varied collection that represents over 100 years of recording light.

Cameras have been evolving for about 170 years...give or take.  Put simply, a camera is a box that keeps light out and only allows in a little bit at a specified moment and focuses that light on a surface that records it.  It used to be metal or glass plates which were then treated with lots of fun chemicals and then an image could be seen and made permanent.  Then came film.  Now we have digital.  During that time these boxes of dark have gone through SO many changes.  How do we figure out how to vary the amount of time the shutter is open?  How do we compensate for different film sensitivities?  How do we take the thinking out of the photographer's hands so ANYONE can use this?  If you look at my cameras you can see the progression.

Here's the sore point, or the sore point until today.  I always have had a collection, but they have been stored in boxes and I only took them out once in a while.  I've been wanting to find a way to display them, but not have them simply be taking up shelf space that could be used for other things.  Thankfully most cameras come with a handy little tripod mount, which is a 1/4 in hole that takes a 1/4 in bolt.  Handy.

I built some shelves out of plain old pine, drilled a hole where the tripod mount was, counter sunk a larger hold where the bolt head would not protrude and then Cora stained them.  After that we put them together and mounted them on the wall.  They could have sat there without the bolt, but I like these cameras and I would be very upset if for some reason one fell down.  I'd be even more upset if one landed on my head, hence the bolt.  
Here are a few.  Above is an early Single Lens Reflex...well, late 1950s era.  SLRs have been around since the 1930s, but this is a very nice example.

The Minolta above was made sometime after 1982...clean lines here.

I picked up this Canon this weekend.  It is from the 1970s-80s.  The first SLR with a micro processor.
 I've been calling this Brownie Red.  It was made sometime around 1908.  Still in pretty good condition for being over 100 years old!
 Of course, a camera wall would not be complete with out a bunch of brownies, and here is another!
 The Pentax above started it all.  This was my graduation gift from my parents and I spent A LOT of time with it hung around my neck.
 Here are a few 1960s relics.
 Here is what they looked like before they went on the wall.  I have a Polaroid Land Camera there from 1964ish, too.  Some were simply put on an L bracket and put on the wall as is, while others, due to the position of the tripod mount or how heavy they were required a shelf...and some just looked better with a black background.
 I have to thank my wonderful wife for her help with this endeavor.  She is, as ever, a wonderful sounding board for my dumb ideas and she has some good ones of her own.  Also, I didn't have to stain them, she did!  And she did an awesome job of it, making considerable less mess than I would have.