The great 35mm camera scam started in the 1970’s with the promotional “bait” cameras. Lucky for me then!
The great 35mm camera scam started in the 1970’s. The promotional “bait” cameras; “Get a real 35mm camera if you buy our product” or "come out and look at our property and we will give you a “real” 35mm camera. This “bait” went on well into the 1980’s. Lots and lots of cars, condos, waterbeds got sold and lots of these cameras were given away. For a time some people really believed there was no difference between a Nikon and Nikcon. Also believing by just possessing a “real” 35mm camera one could be a “real” photographer. I suspect these were the same types of people who were polled at Mall Of America; who believe, (By some 87% polled), they are as good as and do deeds as good as Mother Teresa.
The names of these cameras were slightly altered to sound like the “real” cameras. Later on when people were catching on, they made up some pretty crazy names. I think one was even named Madeoff with a flash. Time magazine made one of these cameras world renowned. They gave one away with every years paid subscription. Because my friends and family know of my lifelong obsession to photography and collecting of cameras; I ended up with quite a few of these “real” 35mm cameras. I have made some pretty good pinhole cameras out of these. some of these cameras will also make doubles. I will share a simple tip; While pushing down the rewind button on the bottom of the camera and cocking the shutter (eyeing the rewind spool, making sure it does not turn); this action cocks the shutter without advancing the film and by doing this you can shoot doubles.
I have to confess here; I have done lots of brutal things to these cameras just because there were so many at one time. I have glued them to art cars, I have ripped of the lenses to scratch, flip, jelly, and paint on them. I have hot glued, stuck nails pins and sharp sticks into them to try and make the shutter stick and then unstick for pinhole photography. They are pretty easy to use if you do not like to rip them up. Most are aperture priority (with the hieroglyphics sun-clouds), and have a fixed shutter speed of probably 50 or 60th of a second to sync with a flash. These were pretty much the first point and shoot cameras, and seem to take lots of abuse for mostly plastic components. Nearly all these cameras have a plastic lens so you can get some pretty cool vignetting, specular highlights, soft and mushy shots. I really like making these cameras useful again. these cameras are fun to work with.