This week's Camera Collection is proof that analogue love could run in your family's blood. Community member @japsix from Sevastopol shows us her father's massive medley of Russian cameras that her mom won't even allow to be kept in the house because there's just so many!
Hi, Dasha a.k.a. japsix! Tell us about your father’s camera collection. How did he start collecting film gear?
My dad Alexandr Altabaev bought his first camera, when he was 12 years old. He sold an aquarium and bought a brand new SMENA-6. He still remembers the price: 13,5 rubles. Then he used many other cameras, among them: Kiev-4, Agat-18 and Zenit C. Most of my childhood photos were shot with this Zenit.
However, my dad began collecting cameras only about 3 years ago and now the collection counts around 60 cameras (not counting lenses, exposure meters and other camera accessories). The collection started from Zenit 122. Of course, these are mostly Russian cameras, but there are also such beauties as a tiny ZEISS IKONA 520/18 and Olympus OM1. My dad usually visits Sevastopol flea market (he knows all the camera sellers there) but pretty often the most valuable findings await you in the most unexpected places in the hands of a random person, who knows nothing about film photography.
My mom doesn’t allow us to keep all the cameras at home (there’s just not enough space for all of them in our apartment) so a larger part of the collection is stored in my dad’s garage. So when I came up with the idea to make a story about the collection for Lomography, my dad had no choice, but to gather all the cameras in one place – so we had 2 huge bags and 3 large boxes all densely packed with cameras. Then we loaded all these treasures to my dad’s charming Honda (which is 38 years old) and went to the center of the city to make some shots.
Can you itemize every camera, accessory, and film in the collection?
There are such cameras as: FED 1, FED 2, FED 3, FED 4, FED 5, FED 35, FED Micron, FED Micron 2, FED 50, Zorki 1, Zorki 4, Zorki 10, MIR, Zenith C, Zenith 3M, Zenith ET, Zenith TTL, Zenith 122, Chaika 1, Etud, Kiev 3A, Kiev 4, Kiev 10, Smena 1, Smena 2, Smena 6, Smena 8M, Smena symbol, Smena 35 and many more. (Read about the more interesting pieces on japsix’s LomoHome blog!)
Does your dad like to use the cameras or admire them from the shelf?
My dad doesn’t simply buy cameras; he repairs them, so every small detail in them works perfectly fine. He doesn’t use all the cameras, but he shoots with the FED-1, Olympus OM1 and Zenit 122 pretty often.
Will he ever part with his collection?
Oh no! This is our family treasure!
Is the collection complete or is there still that “Holy Grail” piece your dad is looking for?
Of course there are cameras that he wants for the collection. For example, right now, he is looking for an old model of Horizon to shoot some nice summer panorama pictures.
Number of cameras? Around 60
Number of accessories? Well, hard to tell, but not less than 30
Number of films? Not much, comparing to the number of cameras
Number of years collecting? Around 3 years
Biggest buy/most expensive items? Zeiss Ikon Ercona (around $80) and Olympus OM1 (around $90)
Sweetest steal/cheapest scored items? A very rare FED-1, manufactured around 1949-50 which my dad bought it for $2.50!
Most prized possessions/favourites from the collection? FED-1, Zeiss Ikona 520/18, Olympus OM1
Amount of money spent? Oh, no idea!!!
Thanks for showing us your dad’s Camera Collection, japsix!
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