I started a second hand love affair with an broken and old ugly duckling and a desire to turn it into a metaphorical swan. It wasn’t going to be easy with a camera older than me but I was determined it would be worth it in the end.
I began a second hand love affair with an old camera but it wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, it was more like a movie where the stereotypical unattractive girl is turned into a prom queen by the end of the film and everyone falls in love.
The ugly duckling in question is an Olympus Trip 35. Now in good condition, it’s a nice looking camera but this one was once old, tired and dirty. With a dull exterior, faulty aperture blades and broken light seals it wasn’t going to win awards or admirers. I’d always wanted a Trip though and after finding this one cheaply at a car boot sale, I was determined to restore her to her former glory.
Firstly, the camera had to work so with a few guides downloaded and some tools at hand I fixed the aperture blades and cleaned the lens. Next came a general all over clean before re-skinning the body in a striking green lizard skin design.
It’s worth mentioning that Trips turn up quite regularily at car boot sales and nearly all are sold as working. It’s quick to check the aperture blades are working correctly though and as it’s a common fault you can be sure to use this knowledge to knock down the price.
With the job complete, I immediately fell in love with my now restored camera. Every function, including the all important exposure, was now working and it now had the looks to match the performance of that excellent lens.
In truth, I haven’t used the Trip enough since restoring it but even so I couldn’t possibly part with it. I’m even planning further improvements including some paint in places and fine tuning the focus. No longer is this a generic, unloved, faulty Trip but an individual one that will always be mine.
Thrift stores are treasure troves for vintage-lovers. Do you have something from a thrift store that remains close to your heart? Share your ‘Secondhand Love Affair’ stories with us by submitting an article and check out our requested posts for this month for more Piggies!