What are the odds of someone buying a fascinating old camera that still has an unfinished roll inside? I have read a lot of stories about film photography enthusiasts finding a surprising and very welcome addition loaded in their camera purchases, and I’m happy to report that there are a handful of found film stories from the community as well. Join me as I revisit some of our fellow lomographers’ and film photographers’ lucky stories of finding old and often rare films in their camera purchases after the jump!
I’ve bought and spotted film cameras in garage sales and surplus shops these past years, but I am yet to get one that still has a roll of old/curious-looking/rare film inside. Some of our fellow film photographers, camera collectors, and very own lomographers, however, have been pretty lucky to have bought and adopted cameras that are still loaded with films, though, and I’m sure their stories are among those we all like to read about every now and then.
Lomographers bbijlhout and dollymixture tell about learning that their vintage camera finds held old rolls inside, which they sent off for developing just in case the photos can still be salvaged (read about them here and here). Then, there are stories about finding just the old, unprocessed films long forgotten in attics and basements, like lomographer ajagee24701 tells in his story. Lomographer sandergroen even took a gamble at claiming six rolls of found film that someone from France was giving away. Getting anything out of these rolls can be a hit-or-miss thing, actually, considering that majority of these old rolls had to endure heat, humidity, and degradation of chemicals. So, whenever something does turn up out of the rolls, it’s like opening a time capsule suspended in emulsion. Quite fascinating stories they make, don’t you think?
Because of the potentially fascinating stories that found films hold, it’s not surprising to find many film photography enthusiasts and camera collectors on the lookout for these prized rolls. There’s a the story of a photographer who hunts for vintage cameras with undeveloped films inside, and a handful of Flickr groups (here, here, and here) where people share and discuss their old film finds.
So, while I haven’t come across these analogue treasures of my own yet, I’ll make myself content with reading these amazing found film stories. Maybe you also happen to have one — why don’t you tell us about them here!