Somebody's Trash is Someone Else's Treasure: Analogue Cameras Retrieved from the Dumpster


Listening to Garbage’s album “Not Your Kind of People” and thinking about the meaning of their name (garbage is trash, but the band sounds great) I got myself remembering how many times someone threw away a camera (or any analogue device) believing it was trash at the same time that, for us, it’s a treasure! Definitely, they are not our kind of people!

Countless times I got surprised by how some people neglect our analogue treasures. Simple devices that once were largely used and caused great joy are now treated as trash and waste. If by one side this is sad, since most people don’t care about them, by the other, this can be a great opportunity to put your hands on little analogue treasures from the past, that on the right hands will get the treatment they deserve and go back to their glory from the past!

I have myself some stories of this kind.

Because it’s a sin to let cameras gather dust in some dark and sad place, it’s worth to remember the stories of some of them, that got out of someone’s negligence into the hands of someone who likes to use old cameras full of stories to tell!

Smena 8: five reais (roughly 2.50 dolars) and its lens had to be exchanged because of careless handling

I found this one at an antiques fair in São José dos Campos – SP. The seller couldn’t imagine that was a Soviet camera and that there were many people who still look for them. The lens was exchanged with another Smena, but it was very stylish, all made in black bakelite. A true archaeological discovery!

Agfa Clack: found in an old shoebox in an irregular dumpster

Definitely, it must have been thrown away by a heartless grandson who treated it worse than trash, leaving it in a dirty and abandoned place. Actually who found it was my cousin. He called me telling that he had a very old and rusty analogue camera and he had no idea if it would work. He gave it to me and I found out it worked perfectly. I had many films shot with it. Gorgeous.

Belomo Vilia: it came through mail in a huge package of cameras bought on the eBay without knowing their conservation

This came straight from the USSR through mail, it took aaaages to arrive and I did find out that the photometer wasn’t working. Getting something like that fixed is complicated, but at least it worked well on manual mode, plus the name is in Cyrillic, the smell of grease, and its Soviet aura conquers everyone. At least it wasn’t thrown away when the photometer stopped working. Today it can still be shooting and making someone happy.

Do you have some rescue story to tell too?

written by dux_x on 2012-06-01 #lifestyle #russian #agfa #vilia #belomo #smena #trash #cameras #antiques #rescue #clack #agfa-clack #smena-8 #past #belomo-vilia #treasure #colection #recovered


  1. danidolls
    danidolls ·

    Wow that Minnie Mouse camera is very cute! :D But yeah I can't believe people would just throw away analogue cameras. Good for you to discover them! They now live with a happy and loving owner :D

  2. pearlsphere-kameraliebe
    pearlsphere-kameraliebe ·

    Truly, I can't believe how cruel people can be towards these babies. We need a volunteer group for "Prevention of Cruelty Towards Cameras". :D

  3. iamtheju
    iamtheju ·

    I bought some cameras from Russia once and they came with a strange colouring book all in Russian. As much of a treat as the cameras.
    I can't even imagine how many great cameras have been thrown away throughout the years!

  4. segata
    segata ·

    Theres a rather sad thing in the UK now where once something is submitted to the dumps or should I say recycleing centres as they call them these days (half of it still ends up in landfill) it cannot be reclaimed and I dred to think how many cool things get trashed because of this, there is some hope though as people are increasingly using charity shops, second hand shops and freecycle to off load their unwanted goods.

More Interesting Articles