A UK Community LomoAmigo and a passionate analogue photographer, Julia, better known to the community as schlogoat, has been collecting cameras for 17 years. This loyal disciple of analogue does not only shoot on film but processes her own rolls as well. Read on to find out more about her and her camera collection.
Please tell us about yourself, what you do, and what you are passionate about.
I am passionate about photography and the outdoors and books, and am a terrible hoarder of things. I live in Cornwall, England, in a quite rural area. I love to photograph trees
How long have you been collecting film gear and how did it start?
I suppose since about 1997 when I got my first film SLR but later on I had a digital break for a few years (that didn’t work out too well) and then returned as Lomographer 2 years ago. I keep everything so I had my old cameras and even some old expired film! Since then the collecting has really begun. I love old cameras, cameras with a story, and original old-fashioned cases too.
Can you possibly itemize every camera, film roll, and accessory you own?
Yep, I can. I don’t have a mega collection like some Lomographers…but some day!
I have an old Canon AE-1 which is the SLR I’ve had the longest and am very sentimentally attached to. I’ve serviced it a couple times myself but it’s not in great shape, which is sad. I have a Canon 500N which I got so I could use the EOS lenses from my short-lived digital days, and has become my go-to SLR for reliable results. I have another Chinon CE-5 SLR which is a bit rough but I love the feel of the shutter action and the way it does multiple exposures. My favourite medium format is my Bronica, which I just love, and want more lenses for. It has such a great viewfinder.
Diana F+, Holga and Konstruktor
The Diana F+ was the camera that got me back into analogue and holds a special place in my heart. Its square format and portability for medium format (versus my Bronica) won me over and I have all its lenses and never stop enjoying experimenting with it. I got a Holga recently too which I’m just getting to know. There’s a Konstruktor which I loved building. I also loved building the Recesky TLR and the results are usually so interesting and pleasing, it really surprised me.I have two underwater cameras, one terrible cheap one that leaked, then I upgraded to a Vivitar Amphibia, which I will make use of when swimming weather arrives. I have a Lubitel 2 that doesn’t work very well though its pretty, a Horizon u500, whose mechanical action I love, an old Zenit E that was a great junk shop find and a Zorki 4 which I adore. It’s my first rangefinder but it’s special because it was my dad’s. He bought it new in the 70s and gave me it last year, it’s in great condition and is a complete pleasure to use. He never used colour film in it and I’m not going to either. Also my nan gave me a Kodak Coloursnap 35 which she’s owned since the 50s and is my oldest camera, with original case! I’ve just acquired a Zeiss Ikon Nettar from ebay which I can’t wait to get, I’m really interested in folding cameras.
As for accessories I have 7 SLR lenses, ALL the Diana extras- all the lenses, flash, splitzer and 35mm back. I have Cokin holders and filters, some screw on filters- polarisers and UV ones, extension tubes and teleconverters, and close-up filters, which I’ve just dug out to use. I have a couple flashes but don’t go in for flash photography much because I mostly like to shoot trees and skies and long exposures. A cable release and tripod are my most used accessories, as I shoot at night and the stars a lot, along with my Lowerpro camera rucksack which is in constant use. I forgot to photograph the accessories, sorry!
Oh and that doesn’t include all my developing and darkroom stuff. I develop my own black and white films and have a full darkroom set up with enlarger and everything but no room for it at the moment-I dream of a spare room for a darkroom.
I have a good film stash but not hundreds! There is a good range of slide, negative and black and white in both 120 and 35mm.I try to keep it topped up all the time.
Have you used every camera in your collection or do you just adore some of them from the camera shelf?
They’ve all been used! I don’t have any merely for decoration, not enough space for that but I wouldn’t rule it out-I wouldn’t ignore a non-working interesting camera if the opportunity arose, because I like to fix things too. The Konstruktor and the Coloursnap 35 has only had one roll put through it and the Lubitel 2 has had a few but I don’t think I’ll do any more- the focus is off which is disappointing, but I plan to seek out another. Oh actually the Vivitar Amphibia hasn’t yet been used but it has a film loaded and will be used soon. I have yet to use the converter for putting Diana lenses on the EOS but its also on my list of things to do.
Will you ever part with your collection?
No, I’m sure I won’t as a whole. But I might part with things I don’t love to make way for other things. I sold on a La Sardina, it just wasn’t really for me. I probably won’t really get a lot more SLRs, so I can focus on other types of cameras.
Do you think you’ll ever stop collecting? Why or why not?
I can’t imagine I will. Funds and space limit me a bit but I will always seek out bargains, and there are so many types of camera I haven’t tried or don’t own yet. It’s become such a passion, I don’t see it ending, and I always seem to gather a lot of things anyway.
Is there a camera you still don’t own and want to be part of your collection soon? What is this and why?
I just bought a Sprocket Rocket using piggy points from being LomoHome of the Day :D so I can tick that one off the list. Some of my other desires are a bit less easily attainable, such as a Hasselblad 500 c/m or X-pan. I’d also like a really nice TLR, maybe a Yashica Mat 124g. I love square format! I also fancy a Fuji GA645 for a different and more modern sort of rangefinder experience, and for fun I want a Spinner 360!
Fast Camera Collection Facts
Number of cameras? 17
Number of accessories? Countless bits and pieces.
Number of films? About 40
Number of months/years collecting? 17 or 2 depending how you look at it.
Biggest buy/most expensive items? Bronica
Sweetest steal/cheapest scored items?
The Zorki 4! I probably wouldn’t have sought one but I love it has personal history, it has such a satisfying heft, and has opened an interest in Russian cameras. I’ve had some great film bargains on ebay too.
Most prized possessions/favourite camera, film, and accessory from the collection?
Oh it’s hard to choose…but I think I love my Bronica the most. I’m really fond of Elitechrome and use it sparingly! Getting Aerochrome for Xmas last year was pretty fantastic too. I still have one roll in the freezer.
Favourite photo taken with your favourite gear?
I definitely don’t just have one favourite photo, and my favourites change…sometimes I go back and look at photos I haven’t seen in a while and appreciate them more than when I shot them.
Any last words?
Thanks Lomography for rekindling my photography passion and thank you to other lomographers for inspiring me always.