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domingo, 21 de fevereiro de 2010

Old Camera

My father appeared some days ago holding an old leather bag in his hand saying that was a camera he bought to my grandmother many years ago. He said she was returning the camera to we keep it, since it was forgotten in time inside a drawer.

I took the little bag, pulled the zipper with care and then I got impressed with what was inside. It was heavy, cold and imposing. “OLYMPUS-PEN” was written in it. I looked for a few seconds, but it didn’t said anything, what is normal, after all a camera doesn’t talk, even the old ones. Mr. Google said it was launched in 1961.

I noticed it had hole to look through and also some numbers around the lens that were used to adjust the focus depending of the distance of the subject of the photograph.

I really wanted to know if the camera would still work, so the first thing I did was open it up. Inside it I was expecting to find the place to put the photographic film and the answer to what was my greatest concern at that point: Where would I put the batteries and what kind of batteries a 1961 camera would use?

Now a little break.

Ha-ha-ha. Who understands a little about photos, or has age or enough memory is probably laughing a lot right now. Yeah, really a lot. Go ahead, go deep, take your time, laugh. Ha-ha-ha.

However, if are a member of the group of those who are not laughing, Ha!, hold it right there and follow me in my adventure (or something like that…).

Now let’s continue.

I opened the camera. It had an opened photographic film and if it was ok, it was know burned. Yeah, people who didn’t laugh about my concern with batteries, in the old times to take a picture you had to buy a magic little tub called “photographic film”. When it was exposed to the world, when the button to take a picture was pressed, the image was recorded. If you open up the camera before take all the pictures the photographic film could take, it would burn the film, losing all your precious photos.

What is weird to me about this old way to take pictures, is that you could not see the picture you just took, and also the small number of photographs you could take, depending of the photographic film. I did a little research and it seems that there were films that would take 12, 24 or 36 photographs.

Imagine you wanted to take pictures from the birthday of your llama. You would buy a photographic movie, put it in the camera, you’re your pictures and them send it to a specific place that could convert the photographic film in photos. This conversion needed time to be done, like a week some time ago, and 1 hour in the last days.

The old camera had inside it a film to 12 photos. I removed the film an there was nothing else, any space to place the batteries. Where would I put those????

Only them my memory worked to said to me “this is not electronic! It’s mechanic, it doesn’t need batteries!”. Yeah, al it needed was a mechanical arrangement to assure that the button pressed would exposed the photographic film to the world the right amount of time. Just this!

I feel myself really stupid. But maybe I was not the only one, right...?

Digital cameras are so integrated into our world, we just forget about how different things were one day. It’s not so much ago. It is weird to think how hard, expensive and slow it was. And how complicated it would be to turn it into digital, to put in facebook or something like that, so your friend could see where you were and what you did.

This camera is pretty, is interesting, it will probably last longer than the camera I use to take pictures today because it is much more well built, but this old camera is a object from the past. It doesn’t fit anymore to the world, do not have what we need today of an amateur camera. It’s just an especial object that’s undeniable from other time.

Now, I just need someone to give me a typewriter hahaha