In a word (or two) I resolved to become a camera collector. Not a collector of any particular make or genre, not a collector for investment purposes, but a collector of what was once mine.
I have owned cameras for nearly sixty years since my father gave me one when I was five. Unfortunately, the mists of time have obscured my memory of just what that camera and its immediate successors were – and those mists don’t lift until my twelfth year, when I won a school photo competition. The camera I used for that first heady success has stuck in my mind.
It was a used Ilford Craftsman, a pseudo twin lens reflex where the upper lens was actually a “brilliant” viewfinder. It had just two f stops, f9 and f18, and two speeds – 1/25th and 1/75th of a second. It took nice clear 6 by 6 cm pictures as long as you worked within its limitations.
After several foiled attempts to get one on eBay, where one example sold for roughly ten times what it cost new, I managed to find a fairly decent specimen. Opening the package when it arrived from England took me back 50 years almost instantly! It is in working order and I’m sure I shall run a film through it soon. (The picture below is courtesy of Adrian Gotts in the UK as I wrote this piece before my specimen arrived.)