Vintage cameras are enjoying a new lease of life as fashion accessories. It’s the very antithesis is Mr Kravitz and his snake-skin edition and, dare I say, all the better for it.
A few days ago I spent a couple of hours at the Vintage Festival at Brooklands Museum, just outside London. I’ve been to a number of these events over the years and recently I’ve noticed a marked increase in cameras being used as part of the period accoutrements. Last year shopping baskets covered in a gingham cloth were all the rage. This year it’s vintage cameras. These dressing-up meetings present a good opportunity to dangle an old camera, not always quite in period, it must be said. But I give them all ten points for effort.
I was a bit more up to date, although I am tempted to get out the old trilby and Oxford bags (and perhaps a pair of Mr. Kravitz’s snakeskin shoes) to feel more part of the scene. It did occur to me on Sunday that I should have put a roll in my M3 or IIIa. The cameras would have been more in keeping and I could have got some more atmospheric shots.
I didn’t. Instead I had the Q2 round my neck and the CL with the “kit” 18-56mm Vario-Elmar in the bag. Not much vintage about them.
One of the highlight cameras wasn’t a real vintage device at all, although it looked the part. Graham Thomas had made his own faux plate camera which he was wearing around his neck like any old DSLR. It works, too, but with a touch of modern technology. Up front was a Sony QX10 camera and at the back, where the plate would have fitted, was a tablet computer to record the images.
Graham believes in home-made confections. He’d travelled to Brooklands in a 1930s customised Austin Seven which he’d built from scratch.
Among the other real photographers I met were Simon Burgess with his Hasselblad and John Frye with a well-worn M9 and Zeiss Biogon. There was also a gorgeous Nikon F2 and a whole collection of TLRs — those telephone-kiosk brown leather cases really look the part.
Now I’ve kindled my