Film Fridays: Requiem for all my broken 35mm cameras
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Film Fridays: Requiem for all my broken 35mm cameras

Another one of my film cameras has died, and now my drawer of working ones is looking bare, while my junked camera drawer is crammed full. Loss seems to be an inevitable part of the experience of collecting, using and appreciating old analog gems. So what can we learn from this?

For starters, it teaches us to accept the fact that most film cameras, especially those with plastic components, will eventually break beyond repair with frequent use. And so we must avoid paying sky-high prices for something that won't last (looking at you, Olympus mju-ii). But we can also prepare for inevitable loss: If you own a film camera you love (and the price has yet to inflate too much), snag a couple minty ones and set them aside for posterity. Even if you never use them, they will almost certainly appreciate in value. Likewise, hang on to broken models to harvest for parts.

But perhaps the most important lesson shooting with old analog relics teaches us is to enjoy our time with the cameras we love! Baby them if you must, but not to the point of leaving them at home or in your bag. With that said, what follows is a requiem of sorts for some of my favorite film cameras lost in the line of duty. Some of these served me well, while others didn't even make it through their first roll. But all of them brought me joy and / or taught me lessons. None were babied.

Above: My sad collection of busted film cameras. The XA (lower left) died this past weekend.