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Public Reaction to Film Cameras

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by filmlover, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    Not so long ago, no-one gave you a second glance when using a film camera in the street. How different now! Practically every time I go out with my Rollei, people come up to me asking about my "strange" camera. Here are a few of the more hilarious reactions:

    In Southwark with my Mamiyaflex fitted with 180mm lenses on tripod, a passing youth looks strangely at my set up.

    Passing youth: "You from the telly?"
    Me:"No, it's a medium format film camera"
    Passing youth: "You need a digital kamrar mate, does everyfink for yer"
    Me: "Except actually composing the picture"
    Passing youth: "Wassat got ter do wiv it"

    In Richmond by the river, nice young American lady, seeing me taking pictures approaches me sporting an expensive looking Canon digi SLR.

    Nice young American lady: "Excuse me Sir, you look like you know what you're doing, my pictures come out too dark, can you tell me what's wrong?" (She proceeds to scroll through several pictures, and it's immediately apparent she's been shooting into the sun with no exposure compensation).
    Me: "When you shoot with the light source in front of you, you need to open up your aperture by one or two stops as the direct bright light causes underexposure"
    Nice young American lady: "What's an aperture?"

    In Dartmouth, with my Rolleiflex. Approached by a curious man:

    Curious Man: "Why's your camera got two lenses"?......Question takes me completely by surprise.
    Me: "One for film, one for digital".
    Curious Man: "Oh, I'll have to look out for one of those".

    The above leads me to believe digital is not doing much for the photographic brain! .....Wonder of other film photographers have encountered similar reactions.
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Nothing like that, but plenty of second glances and friendly conversations especially with my pinhole cameras.

    A few years ago an old boy asked why I was using my No.2 Box Brownie, and he seemed quite taken aback with my response "because it's fun!" The Brownie has a lot of older folk reminiscing as their parents or older relatives had them.

    It's good to make people smile. :)
  3. Xenol

    Xenol Well-Known Member

    Been asked how many megapixles my Praktica HTL-5 has a few times, and people curious about where the screen is :p
  4. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    A few years back, I was out with my Hasselblad and my Rollei. A chap passing in a car slowed and, to my amazement, stuck out his thumb and said "Someone who knows what a decent camera is. Keep it up, mate." then drove off.

    How cool was that?

  5. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Priceless :)
  6. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Oh ****. I now have a burning urge to get a TLR just so I can try that on someone!

  7. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I was approached on Cathedral Green, Exeter, by a bloke of more mature years (OK, he was probably slightly older than me), who enquired about the Zeiss Contessa I was exercising, and appeared surprised when I assured him that there were still a couple of places to get film developed within a few hundred yards.
  8. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Decades ago when using a Minolta SRT101, I bought the weirdly shaped Minolta 40-80 MC zoom, and I remember people asking me whether it auto-focussed - and I think this was years before auto-focussing was a reality other than for compacts. It became my most used lens, until they came up with a decent performing 35-70.

    Scroll down on this link:
    I hadn't realised that my lens was not a Minolta original concept.

    Sadly I sold my copy to fund a new purchase - probably to help pay for my Eos 600.
  9. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    That is indeed a weird looking lens - it looks as though it's been caught bonking a Hasselblad film back!

  10. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    My 4 x 5 always got stares, I suppose a guy with a black sheet over himself can't expect less.
  11. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    especially if he doesn't have a camera with him ;)
  12. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    When I shoot with me Zero 45, folk often look confused that there's no ground-glass screen on my 'view' camera... :confused:
  13. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The vast majority of people probably don't even notice a camera, let alone whether it is film or digital, given their ability to walk into other pedestrians or anything else come to that. The original post is anecdotal and little else.

    I did see somebody wandering round a local market toting a Rolleicord this morning, but I suspect it was little other than a fashion accessory of sorts, rather feeling he wouldn't really know how to use it.
  14. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath


  15. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member


  16. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    He had that "look at me" kind of apperance with the camera seeming to be an accessory to be flaunted, rather than something that was actually going to be used. He certainly didn't do anything with it whilst in my view.
  17. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    If he was a true TLR man, he probably caught a superb image of your perplexed expression but you didn't even see him touch the shutter release!

  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath


    Goon Show, Peter Sellers-type voice: "You naughty boy!"
  19. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Nice one!

    Did Nimbus even notice if the hood was erected or collapsed? Or the lens caps on or off?
  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Extremely, absolutely, very, massively, totally ...

    ... as is the posted pic.


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