Five Cameras For Fifteen Bucks

A while back, I mentioned on my twitter a very successful outing to a lovely thrift shop in town that netted five cameras for fifteen bucks (numbers 18,19,20,21 and 22 of my collection). I promised that more information would follow, and that promise actually acted as part impetus for the creation of this blog. Well, I’m finally following through. Now, some of these cameras may not seem all that interesting to anyone else- but I’ve kind of always held that the camera is only a small portion of the equation.

From left to right:


Polaroid 104 Land Camera, off-brand panoramic 35mm point and shoot #1, off-brand panoramic 35mm point and shoot #2, Lenticular 3D 35mm Camera, Polaroid Square Shooter.

Polaroid 104 Land Camera: This is by far the most fascinating out of the bunch. I had been contemplating buying a Polaroid Land Camera for a while, with many end uses in mind- including but not limited to using it as originally intended (using 665, 667, and 669 films, all now discontinued and extremely expensive), modifying to use 35mm or 120mm film, or merely stowing away until the whole Polaroid scarcity blows over and supplies get better. It seems to be completely functional and folds right back into its own little case. I am absolutely tickled at the thought of actually using this camera.


Off-Brand Panoramic 35mm Point-and-Shoots #1 & 2: I’ve always been fascinated with the weird trends in society- the different movements that people have experienced in which the act of taking a photograph has become more readily available or taken on a different incarnation. The 35mm point-and-shoot Panoramic is one of those weird incarnations that kind of caught on for a little while and was pretty fun to play around with, but ultimately died the same death as every other 35mm P&S was bound to face. That doesn’t make them any less fasincating for me, however. I’ve got a roll of (expired, randomly found whilst moving) 35 color in one of them, so we’ll see how this little $1 experiment turns out.

Lenticular 3D Camera: This is one of those lucky funds that I spotted online and put in my “Wishlist” bookmark folder and never would have fathomed seeing in a thrift shop. A lenticular image is the same sort of thing you’d see if you looked through a Viewmaster (another toy I thoroughly love and collect), where two or more images are placed on top of each other to create the perception of 3D. I haven’t been able to find any images online of photos taken with a Lenticular camera and I expect this is because they don’t really translate in pixel format. The prints must be processed through any of a few specific plants in the us that put the images created from the three lenses on the exposures together, so this little experiment will have to wait for a little disposable income. Or, I suppose I could just shoot a roll of 35 as is and process to see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.

Polaroid Square Shooter: This camera actually came with three exposures left from the last film pack inserted. Not only does it function perfectly (the film was so expired that no images turned out), but it also is a perfect match to a box of flash cubes that I bought for a buck at Goodwill about a year ago. I had no idea what I might use them for, but had a feeling that they would get used as all other camera accessories that I buy do. It uses type 88 polacolor film, or a compatible black and white version, also still available but very expensive.


With all of this talk of Polaroid and film photography, I imagine it’s pretty obvious that I am a supporter of the Impossible Project and believe every word of Edwin Land’s famous words:

Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.

Also, a very important note of credit to the owner of the camera I use to take most of my digital photographs: Matt is gracious enough to allow me pretty much unlimited access to his Canon Rebel EOS (forgive my lack of knowledge as to the exact specifications of model/etc.; I do not even begin to dabble in digital) for random photo-of-the-day opportunities, documentation purposes, and goodness knows what else I need it for when my trusty but inadequate Sony point and shoot digital just isn’t up to snuff. So, thank you, Matt for letting me use your very awesome digital camera and never asking for anything in return.


3 responses to “Five Cameras For Fifteen Bucks

  1. those are some really cool cameras !

  2. Exactly! Not just for playing; with a little time and money, they’ll all be used ust as they would have originally. It’s very exciting.

  3. i have a similar camera…… much is the value of this cameras????

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