17 Signs That You Were Alive Before Digital Photography

17 Signs That You Were Alive Before Digital Photography

How do us elders separate ourselves from those who only know what it means to upload? Here are 17 tools and toys you’ll immediately recognize if you still remember the heyday of Kodak. Bring on the nostalgia.

1. You loaded your own sheet film

Toyo_4X5_Sheet_Film_Holders-9316

2. You know what this is

bulk_film_loader

3. You own one of these

changing-bag

4. You know what the Photoshop icon is based on

dodge

5. Your film was so slow, you needed one of these

2429_linhof_cable_release_340mm_t_lock_linhofstudio_a1679

6. Flash isn’t something you install on your computer

flashcubes

7. You thought this bokeh was cool

Donut_bokeh

8. You know what this is

splitprism

9. You used one of these

1200mm

10. Or these

f4250frontview

11. And a whole bunch of this

polaroid-print-coater

 

12. You were suckered into buying one of these

kodak-disc

13. “110” isn’t just a number to you

pocketfilm-110

14. You displayed photos with these

carousel

15. Or these

light-table

16. Using this

loupe

17. These don’t remind you of Michael Jackson

glove-nylon-lite

 

SHAMON! Aren’t you glad we have digital?

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There are 145 comments for this article
  1. Tim at 2:13 pm

    you want to make your digital stuff better? Go out and shoot a 10-pack of 4×5. Slows you right down, and rebuilds compositional skills.

  2. James Aronovsky at 2:18 pm

    Yikes, I have everything listed here in a box that my wife tells me should be thrown out (except the 110 and disc – those were definitely dead-ends). That Polaroid gunk was used to “fix” the black and white prints that were part of a positive/negative package. Boy, they sure stank! I still have dozens of them left because we only used the Polaroid prints for a quick check on lighting and composition (a very slow form of “chimping”)

  3. Roger Botting at 2:29 pm

    ‘roid stabilizing gunk’ is stuff you carefully spread over Polaroid black and white prints to keep them from fading to sepia. It smelled of ammonium thiosulfate and varnish.
    It came in little plastic vials with each pack of film. A couple of quick swipes was enough. Of course the cap would come off and the spreader would come out and make a mess everywhere. Unless you were smart and put them in the plastic bag that Polaroid supplied for storing the waste peal off parts.

  4. Bill Vahrenkamp at 3:35 pm

    #7 are the circles of confusion.
    I still have Polaroid print coaters along with my dodging tool, changing bag, 4×5 and 8×10 film holders, processing tank and my Microsight grain focuser. Oh yes and my 000 spot brush and Spot Tone.

  5. Tom Parkes at 3:47 pm

    Yup, I owned most of those, still do in fact. I remember using a bulk film loader being a bit like flushing a toilet on a submarine, you were very careful to turn the right knob at the correct time. I could add 18. from my own cupboard of relics, A Forscher Polaroid back for a Nikon F5.

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  7. Colin Povey at 6:50 pm

    #7 out of focus ‘spots-probably reflections off water, with a mirror lens.
    #8 is a Nikon focusing screen-either a Type K or S. Hard to tell.
    Have used most of these-some of them a LOT, especially #2 and #4.

  8. Brad Mangin at 12:20 am

    I love this Allen! I actually used one of those Canon 1200mm 5.6 monsters- many times to shoot Barry Bonds on chrome!

    I also shot Dwight Clark’s “catch” against the Cowboys from the upper deck at Candlestick Park in section 36 with a 110 camera in January of 1982!

  9. Chris darrow at 12:20 am

    I still prefer the look and the attitude of film. Digital is too digital. I am a digital person now, as we all have to be. I do love Photoshop, and you can scan and all. I have a large Epson printer, etc. But I miss the smell and the lure of the darkroom.

  10. Pentaximus & Me at 3:16 am

    I am 95% analogue but one day will migrate fully to digital — when the very last of Fujichrome Velvia rolls off the production line. Until then, film remains the gold standard in imaging, and none of the items in this list is “yesteryear”: my loupé is around 10 times bigger than the tiny one shown here but the Linhof locking cable release is a standard issue for anything with a mirror and shutter bigger than 35mm.

  11. Trond Kjetil Holst at 3:28 am

    I’m so happy that I still use film and can develop my own negatives. I do scan the negatives, of course. Digital cameras are in no way close to what analog can achieve. Do a bit more slow photography, and learn to compose a picture.
    Someone once said: “With digital I am always looking at my last picture, with analog I am always looking for the next!”

  12. Anonymous at 3:30 am

    This page popped up while I was coincidentally vetting and masking large format transparencies on my LED lightbox! Well, not a great lot is nostalic here, except the blue flash cubes, 110 cartridges and slide projector — not something I’ve seen around these parts for many moons. And so, back to the lightbox to prepare for a scan and the next print more than a metre wide. The creation of analogue art goes on. :-)

  13. Pentaximus & Me at 3:30 am

    This page popped up while I was coincidentally vetting and masking large format transparencies on my LED lightbox! Well, not a great lot is nostalic here, except the blue flash cubes, 110 cartridges and slide projector — not something I’ve seen around these parts for many moons. And so, back to the lightbox to prepare for a scan and the next print more than a metre wide. The creation of analogue art goes on. :-)

  14. Thijs Vermeer at 4:24 am

    Started photography using film in the 90s.

    “SHAMON! Aren’t you glad we have digital?”

    I was, until I rediscovered film by scanning it.
    :D

  15. Pedrow at 4:30 am

    What’s #4. AFAIK the photoshop icon is capital ‘P’ small ‘s’. Fond memories of scrabbling around the darkroom floor trying to feel for something I’d dropped – usually the reel of unprocessed film….

  16. TOM at 4:47 am

    I still own most of this stuff… sitting unused, and probably crying, in a basement box, rusting and leaking oils ….

    Saddest part is, I loved using it more then any digital I’ve owned yet… Sadly people don’t like waiting three months anymore after a shoot, untill I’ve had time to develop and print the lot… Hasty HAsty, please upload to my facebook BEFORE the shoot, can you ?

  17. Jesper Nielsen at 4:49 am

    Sheer nostalgia. Oh, the Kodak disc camera. My dad won it in a competition once and I tricked him into giving it to me. I don’t have my dad anymore but I still have the camera…

  18. belfox at 4:54 am

    I know all of them but never got to use #9 (not my turf, and too expensive) or#12.

    And I never ever thought cramming the flawed 110 format onto a disc was going to make it any better or more attractive. Wonder who got paid at Kodak for wasting all that research money…

  19. Ejner Kristensen at 5:25 am

    If I dare enter the darkest places in my attic I’ll still find most of the gadgets or similar ones, including a Durst M601 Enlarger

  20. Jukka Watanen at 5:28 am

    Two items that I use weekly, are missing: IXMOO Metal leica reloadable cassette for 35mm film and Tom Abrahamsson rapidwinder for leica. Also Kindermann/Nikor 35mm metal developing reels are quite “hip” today…

  21. Steve Mepsted at 6:06 am

    Number 7 I venture are the doughnut rings produced by the use of a mirror lens, such as the Sigma 600mm I used to own. Correct? I am still slightly confused as to the Adobe Photoshop logo question though.,,,?

  22. Craig Knapp at 6:11 am

    Been shooting since 8th grade in 1976, by the time I was out of High School I was developing E-6 Slides, C-41 negatives, and printing using Cibachrome (when Ilford WAS Ilford) for making prints from slides and Kodak chemicals for printing from color negatives (even used the Kodak Ektacolor process..who here remembers that?) in a darkroom I built and equipped myself, from money I earned working on a buddies farm, a grocery store, and the local newspaper (as a photographer).

    Besides shooting with a Nikon D700 and D300 DSLR, I STILL shoot and develop B&W film up to 4×5, making prints up to 16×20 in my traditional “wet darkroom”.

    I have recently re-leaned that the technical IQ we were chasing in the 1970’s through better lenses, is easily beaten by shooting larger film. Everything else is just a matter of convenience/compromise to make it easier to shoot sports, or low light, etc.

    I shoot B&W film with a Kodak Retina IIIc (for the fun of it, still have the 3 Schneider lenses for it), Nikon F and F2. Besides the Omega 45D (4×5) I use, I really am amazed at the shots I get with my Franka Rolfix 6x9cm “folder” from about 1951, which I only paid $50 about 4 years ago. I believe the photos I take with it rival what I get with my Bronica ETR-S system.

  23. raphael lombardo at 8:24 am

    F….. I have used them all (except for the Canon 1200mm), and still have many of those at home or still using them!
    This means I’m are getting old! Well, I am glad I have learned the old fashion way, this make me appreciate what we have now.
    I would love to keep shooting film but, as I no longer have the time to develop and print by myself, I had to succeeded to digital after a lab in Italy printed a 6×7 neg shot on a 4×5 Toyo without removing the clear paper that protects the film!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ciao to all :D

  24. Don Cox at 8:41 am

    Number 7, the bokeh from a mirror lens, is not film only – mirror lenses are still being made and sold for digital cameras.

    Likewise the big long lens – these are in daily use with digital cameras by wildlife photographers.

    Otherwise a fun collection.

  25. Don Cox at 8:47 am

    As for the cable release – the Sony RX1 has a cable release socket. Very useful, and I wish more digital cameras had them. At best you get a remote control, which needs batteries.

    Anyone doing macro work needs a way to fire the shutter without touching the camera.

  26. Jim the Traveling Salesman at 8:52 am

    I’m so old, I charged money for taking photos using B-50s. Those are flash bulbs about the size and shape of a 100w. incandescent bulb, but filled with foil. I am also one of the fre you’ll meet who has actually fired “Flash Powder,” although it was just for fun in a parking lot.

    My first “real” camera was a brand new format called .35mm in 1964. I shot “movies” in my job as a private investigator using a Bolex H-16 Rex. 16mm with a three lens turret and you wound up a spring so you could shoot 3 or 4 minutes before having to rewind.

    BTW: I didn’t really know Photoshop had a logo, I thought it was just a computer tool to put funny looking outlines around people who mysteriously appeared in photos with shadows going strange directions.

  27. David Robinson at 8:53 am

    17 out of 17. And yeah, these memories do create a different perspective on photography in general and digital in particular. Most of all they taught a lot of patience, something sadly lacking with many younger photographers.

  28. Michael Biggs at 9:17 am

    You missed a big one on the list. Dektol stains on your fingernails. But now I can’t figure out where I found the time for processing film and paper in my “wet” darkroom, which was half the fun in photography. Maybe that’s when I was younger and could stay up until 4 AM on weekends and actually function the next day.

  29. Gerald Chernicoff at 11:38 am

    boy you sure brought back memories…who could forget the smell and stickiness of polaroid fixer wipes. 4 x 5 film plates always fun..now where did I put that dark slide ?

  30. Bob at 11:48 am

    Well, I never actually USED the Canon 1200, or the Nikon bulk film back, but I know what they are. Everything else is a yes, except that I only sold the stupid disk cameras, and was never stupid enough to buy one!

  31. Steve Vallis at 12:25 pm

    We still process film (b&w c41 e6) print in darkrooms using colour & b&w paper.
    A lot of our clients ask us to make negatives from their digital files because they prefer analogue prints.

  32. Andrew H at 12:26 pm

    Probably about 45 years ago a colleague and I had an assignment to photograph a live theatre show on 5 x 4 inch Ektachrome sheet film using an MPP view camera and flashbulbs. We knew the points in the show where the performers were still enough to allow a sharp image at the 1/25 second exposure necessary to utilise all the light from the flashbulbs. The bulbs themselves were Philips PF100s. These were each the size of a domestic lightbulb and were filled with a very fine metal foil in an atmosphere of pure oxygen. The heat from the combustion of the foil was so intense the glass envelope would crack, but would be held together by an outer coating of a plastic lacquer. The latter was either clear, for use with tungsten film or blue for use with daylight film. Used bulbs had to be unscrewed using a cloth to avoid burning one’s fingers. Each bulb had a little blue dot on the inside of the glass. If the dot had turned pink it was an indication that the bulb was cracked and must not be used. We were firing four of these bulbs simultaneously in a huge reflector. Well, in the darkness of the theatre we must have loaded a bulb with a pink spot. We waited until the appropriate moment in the show and fired the shutter. The resulting explosion was very, very loud. I remember all heads, audience and actors alike, turning to the balcony to look at us. It remains the most embarrassing moment of my life, and I still cringe at the thought of it.

  33. Richard at 12:55 pm

    Do you remember dipping a finger into the developer, and tasting it judiciously to determine by how much to lengthen the development?

  34. Howard Yune at 1:26 pm

    Item 12 = There but for the grace of God go I.

    The Kodak Disc camera looked cool … the first time I saw it at Epcot Center. It passed. ;-)

  35. Karl Marderian at 1:51 pm

    I have used and know what 16 of them are, the bokeh one is what out of focus look likes? The long lens, do they not use them now. I hope you all that is a Nikon K screen, I had the P, the spilt is @ 45 degs ( P was for Apollo ). The days of TRI-X that you developed in 3:1 Acufine for an ASA of 800.

  36. Lou DiGesare at 2:08 pm

    Most as this stuff was created well after I was involved got photography (1952) .. the 4×5 holders and the Crown & Speed graphics we around… and Kodak Verichrome was the common film of the day… (not yet sensitive to red} those we the days… And now the D4 or what ever Cannon or digital wonder you are using… :)

  37. Vangelis@Parris at 2:36 pm

    1. Never had the chance to use one. I remember though the studio photographers to use it
    2. 35mm film bulk loader
    3. Unnecessary. We could load the film into the developing tank’s reel under some blankets
    4. It could adjust the exposure to certain points of the frame entering it between the projector and photo paper. Sometimes our hands or fingers could do the job
    5. Declasser, a mechanical remote control for steady shots.
    6. Flash cubes, four shoots. Then you had to throw it away.
    7. Yes, it seems like a shoot without the lens mounted on
    8. Focusing screen, interchangeable in many cameras, to meet your preferences according to the subject
    9. Unfortunately, no! Only up to 300mm
    10. Interchangeable camera backs for many meters or film to shoot.
    11. Can not understand what it is
    12. Film disk. Only 8X10.5mm frame dimensions
    13. Miniature film cassette, 13X17mm frame
    14. Carousel slide projector. Excellent projection results, no video projector can match.
    15. For sketching your photos on thin semi-transparent paper. Today you can do it by attaching a thin sheet of paper on your computer screen
    16. Crystal clear magnifying lens
    17. Treat your optics with gentle care

  38. Eastman K at 3:56 pm

    I was brought up in the digital age and used digital as my introduction into photography. I tried film in college after getting tired of all the camera, software, and computer updating and realized that I like the look of film much more than the look of electronic imaging which I find aesthetically lacking (and especially in its workflow processes.) I also like the physical act of using film and holding something tangible in my hands.

    I wasn’t quite alive before digital (at least not old enough) but I now know what those items are used for. Film is really miraculous stuff and I’m always amazed by it. Digital has become hum-drum and it’s just not for me. I’m now using 4×5 sheet film. Hey, I may even try some wet collodion (I like Sally Mann’s work a lot and it’s also very smart contextually.)

  39. Jerry Frost at 4:02 pm

    In the mid- 40s I was using a 4 x 5 Speed Graphic. You synched the flash using a flashlight bulb. If you could “see” the entire bulb when the shutter was tripped – focal plane and later compur shutter – the flash was in synch. And I can still feel the wonderful ‘body’ of sheet film. but I was glad a six-sheet Graphamatic (help me with the name) film holder came out.

  40. Jiggsy at 4:36 pm

    In 1999, while living in NJ garden apartment,
    where the parking lot dumpsters were relatively
    clean, I happened upon a grocery bag containing
    (8) working bulk loaders!

    That’s all, I got nothing else…

  41. Carsten Petersen at 5:57 pm

    Came through Copenhagen airport last week. The security officer pulled my Leica M7 out of the bag showing it off to his colleagues proclaiming that here was something that they had never seen before, something called a film camera.
    He himself preferred digital as he could shoot 800 pictures without reloading. When I mentioned the likelihood of 800 mostly useless frames he had to agree.
    Long live film.

  42. Rick Pappas at 7:33 pm

    I began shooting and processing film in 1959 and while I have fond memories of using many of these items from those times, I must say that I don’t miss them at all. The images from my modern digital cameras using state of the art processing software provides me with more output options and at better quality than I was ever able to produce with analog. For those who think that film is still the “Gold Standard”, I say: “You’re doing it wrong”.

  43. Murray Leslie at 10:19 pm

    The ‘roid stabilizing gunk is fixative, used on the old peel-apart black-and-white Polaroid packs. If I remember correctly, you got 8 pictures for about $10…very expensive back in the 70’s

  44. jean bernier at 11:55 pm

    Where is the polycontrast filter set ? speaking of filters, I’ve got drawers filled with “contrast”
    filters for the camera, in many sizes, can’t resolve to throw the lot to the garbage. I still have most of my darkroom packed in boxes in the basement, most interesting pieces being a beseler 4×5 color enlarger, it’s color analyser, it’s 3 schneider componon lenses, expensive grain magnifier, gazeous burst timer (no transistors…lamps !) , densitometer , a fujitsu paper processor, and the list goes on. In a sudden, I removed every darkroom equipment from my insurance plan about a year after I got my first digital camera…that did not hurt my wallet. Why? asked my insurance broker….told the girl all of this equipment is suddenly of zero value. That was in 2002. I’m too lazy (and dishearthened) too sell everything on e-bay. Maybe one day I’ll teach this forgotten art in my old age.

  45. Mike at 1:35 am

    @Rick,

    In what way does digital offer better “quality”? Resolution? Perhaps, though 4×5 an 8×10 would argue otherwise. Dynamic range? Nope; Portra 400 has yu there. Colour? Velvia for landscapes and Portra for people and everything else, Tri-X for immeasurably better B&W than digital.

    No, what digital offers is one thing: convenience. We’ve traded quality for simplicity.

  46. Jon Porter at 4:02 am

    Fun memories! But “bokeh” is a digital era term; it was never used (or known) during film days. We only cared about what was IN focus.

  47. Andrew Barta at 8:27 am

    For those who haven’t yet worked out #4:
    The author correctly stated “icon”, not “logo” as many incorrectly assumed.
    It is a dodging tool – an easily recognised ICON in the Photoshop toolbox.

  48. AT at 9:26 am

    A while ago, my daughter (who was born digital) asked me to install “photoshopsomething” on her computer. I said no, not now. I created a small B&W photo development lab in the garage and I had her play with that for the summer. No need to say, she got to understand the Photoshop stuff with more ease then any of her friends.

  49. Clay Taylor at 10:17 am

    # 4 – a dodging tool for lightening up shadow areas in your b&w prints.

    The bookeh shown in # 7 comes from shooting with a catadioptric (mirror) telephoto lens. The donut-shaped primary mirror created bokeh bubbles. I used to love shootig water and icicles and sparkly subjects just to get the effect. At age 16 I bought my first one from the Spiratone Store in NYC (the legendary Spiratone 500mm f/8 that was actually made by Sigma before we ever heard of Sigma as a brand) and got to meet Norman Rothschild at the same time- he walked in the store, saw me with the lens, and said “you’re gonna love that lens, kid!” He was right!!!

  50. Richard Finkelstein at 2:11 pm

    Id add to the list those Polonium-based anti-static brushes. I knew when I was dated when that Russian spy defecting to England was killed about 10 years ago and they said the death by Polonium poising had to be at the hands of other Russian agents because normal citizens can’t get the Polonium. BUT those who recognize the other things on the list DO know where to get the Polonium!

  51. Avi Lewis at 3:02 pm

    What!?
    No Argus C3!?
    No Exactas!?
    No print dryers!?
    Nothing from Spiratone!?*
    No pre-set lenses!?
    No developing tanks!?
    No incident light meters!?
    No film hangers!?
    No darkroom-chemical-stained shirts!?

    Not a very comprehensive quiz!

    (Confession: I, too, missed the Polaroid coater!)

    * (Unless the mirror lens used for the donut bokeh was from them.)

  52. Renaud at 3:23 pm

    I had some of these, and I had forgotten #11, I believe it was with my first Polaroïd, a big black and white camera…

  53. Dan at 6:19 pm

    I teach photography (mostly digital, but a few students use film – I once had someone use a Rolleiflex TLR – in the past three years). I once had a student (who may have been joking) ask me “oh, is THAT what originally came in marijuana cans” upon seeing his first 35mm film canister with the original contents still in it.

  54. David K.K. Hansen at 9:31 pm

    I just 28 this week, born in 1985 if you were wondering.

    I can relate to most things on this list. The only things I cannot relate to are the following:

    #4: I know what this is for, but I haven’t seen it in Photoshop simply because I don’t have Photoshop installed on my computer. Dodge and burn? Use your hands, bro.
    #6: I may have come late to the party… I know there are these one time flashes for Polaroid cameras, but I thought that was retarded. Is this the same thing, concept wise?
    #9: Does 400mm f/2.8 on a Canon 1V count? That was quite the bitch to edit, a lot of sports frames shot on film…. what a head ache…. thank goodness for film! (on a side note, what the fuck was I doing shooting 10FPS on film in the year 2009??, Well, as long as the client paid, who am I to complain?) Which brings us to…
    #10: Never used this. But the Canon 1V for sports must come close. Dear lord, I only did this once, trying to edit sports photography shot on film… I’m glad I only had to do that once in my lifetime. If you’re a sadomasochist, just shot a sports gig on film!
    #12: What is this?!?
    #13,1 #14: I know what this is, but seriously… if you had the choice back then, would you really want to use this?

    I had a bittersweet laugh at #11. How many other “under-30″ knows what this is for?
    I do. And I know what it’s for, I’ve used it a lot. Oh dear Polaroid, why is fate so cruel to you? Type 55, if you were a woman I would band your brain out whenever I had the chance. But you’re only just a film, so I would smear this gunk on you and take you for what you were; a dispensable whore film… when I was done with you, I’d cheat on you with Type 57. She was much more demanding about the coating I’d smear her with…

  55. christopherB at 1:04 am

    I started my photography career in 1963! You guys walked me down memory lane listening to you talk. If you were good you could get an extra 4-5 exposures on your own 35mm reloads. Use nylon stocking to soften a portrait and the dodging tool. So many extra film wipes when shooting Poloroids for tests. Color Poloroid was awesome in 8×10. Burn your hands on a 35mm hand mounting machine. I was telling the wife about Dectol stains and the smell of a 16×20 mounting press. Nikon FTN with the split Fresnel ground glass and the big back for shooting aerial work, I really enjoyed those days! Anyone still have a soft touch release?

  56. John Gruffydd at 10:53 am

    I think the only things I didn’t use were the Nikon with the long roll holders (had an Olympus OM system) and the disc camera. Oh the joy of loading my own cassettes, using a changing bag, using the “dodger”……..!

    Seems so long ago now! I started in 1950 when roll film was still supreme and 100 ASA was incredibly fast with grain to match!

  57. Fred Murre at 5:54 pm

    I’ve been shooting a bit more film recently than not. Something about the permanence; I still have fairly stable negatives.

    I remember the newspaper I worked for throwing away a few of those big Nikon F5 bodied Kodak DCS620s because the batteries were then unobtainable and they were ‘obsolete’.

    That gave me a permanent chill to my then ardour for digital.

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  59. Tristan Brand at 9:52 pm

    My Dad passed on a lot of his gear to me in the 80s. I’m very fond of the Zeiss medium format he gave me… but the oddest items I got were burned out flash bulbs. I mean, they were spent but he still had them in storage… just in case we ever developed the tech to use them again.

  60. TerryB at 7:02 am

    Of course, this can only be a snapshot of the myriad items photographers used when film reigned supreme and many of which would even surprise older film enthusiasts. The published items don’t go far back in time.

    But I would have included a hand-held rangefinder or even a roll film and just one of the many folding cameras that use it. And how about a chemist’s scale for weighing out dry photographic chemicals to make up one’s own developers?

    I’m sure if we had the time the list would get quite long and it would be fascinating seeing what people came up with.

  61. Lynn Ivory at 1:19 pm

    photographed Liberache ( No, I can’t spell) with a 45 speed graphic — Loved the darkroom, and had all my children help in the darkroom !!! RB67 (Mamiya) is my favorite camera — used from 1972 – 2005, when we went digital. Love digital, as we can do so many things not possible before. on photoshop since 1988 – photoshop 1 !!! Copy and restoration is SO MUCH BETTER in photoshop !!!!

  62. Foster Morrison at 1:21 pm

    I remember when Kodak was an industrial giant and Ansco and Agfa were bit players. Integrated circuits and other electronics have ushered in a new age of technology, but the art of imagery and the methods of science are still the basics. It has been a great historical experience to live through the transition. I remember with great fondness my Post Versalog slide rule and my Leica M2 with Leicavit rapid winder, though my Dell PC and Sony DSLR represent enormous advances.

  63. Peter Nord at 3:12 pm

    Remember the scene in Crocodile Dundee where he pulled the BIG knife on the mugger? I teach old geezer photography at the local U. I ask them to bring their cameras on the first day. Such little things, some tiny cell phones. Then I pull out my old Speed Graphic and say, “Now this is a camera.” They love it.

  64. Chuck Kennedy, at 6:25 pm

    I remember all of those items that shown above and …ever item was exactly need it order for to do a picture…and at as a time…I really need to have another Kodak Carosul projector…
    I am trying to go through the hundreds of “slides” it would sure be a good thing to have right now…I thought I had had already included :one: projector to retain just one, but for some two moves, I can’t find it . Thanks for the article.

  65. Bluemachine at 12:10 am

    I know what every single one of these items are and have used most of them. Maybe the faceless dude behind me in the black hoodie and scythe is closer than he appears.

  66. Ken Kiollodge at 1:03 am

    I remember, by name, all the important illustrated items as I grew up with analog with which I contributed significantly to our household security. I’m still getting some off my efforts and shipped a freezer full of 35 and 120 B&W film to Minnesota (my birth-state) after 30 years in Fairbanks – after traveling extensively there- and am waiting for an inspiration for a significant project to use it on. I have all the chemicals besides and now some adequate scanners.

    Many adequate and some quite talented commercial shooters have faded away, possibly to be saluted well after they’re gone for their stellar work on film, but never able to compensate for the easily predicted outcome of the digital change, mainly that (1 anyone with a digital camera can produce really “neat” images (and if you don’t believe them), they’ll be glad to spend a half hour scrolling thru their masterpieces on their smart phone and 2) many of the buyers of commercial photography are no more competent or discriminating than the photographers with the the several thousand “cover” images on their smart phone.

    It’s going to take some time to shake-out (as my dad used to say – separate the wheat from the chaff) and I’m glad I was in the right spot, at the right time and didn’t screw things up too often and came out the other end of the turmoil, well, basically, ok.

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  68. Mal Dolmatz at 7:53 pm

    Today is my 92nd. I still have a 100′ roll of black and white in the freezer, a twin lens (Altiflex) purchased from a buddy with my pay off money from the navy in ’45, a Bolsey B2 bought used in 1951, etc., etc. Except for no chemicals and out of date prrint paper, everything else is still here, along with over a dozen film cameras including the Olympus Pen FT and if I could find it somewhere a Stecky.

  69. Chris Summers at 8:01 am

    I like most of these but think #9 should have been a bit more obscure telephoto lens or maybe the Vivitar Series 1 that was probably the first decent 3rd party lens zoom lens that also shot macro.

    Other things they could have included: Spot Tone and some brushes, one of those huge 220 reels for processing film, a Speedgraphic or a Yashica G twin lens reflex camera, a stack of Wratten filters and the a 40 Magenta filter for fluorescent lighting correction, the old Hawk remote for triggering your strobes (it was made from garage door opener parts as I recall), a big Honeywell Strobonar flash with the really BIG wet cell battery pack.

    And perhaps some inspirational books (paper books of course and not e-books), “The Zone System”, the Time Life photography series, any book by Ansel Adams, Eisenstaedt or Karsh and just to date myself, Weegee’s “Naked City” or “Murder Is My Business”!

  70. Donald MacLeay at 10:17 am

    We forget that photography’s progress is a continuous one. When I learned photography in the 60’s the school darkroom was transitioning from a large ferrochrome(sp?) plates, Pako print dryer drum for single and double weight paper, and contact printers with their rows of light bulb switches. We also measured some chemicals because not everything was premixed. Spare time was used hunting light leaks.

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  73. John Laughlin at 5:06 am

    Too easy. My serious photo work is done on analog gear, including a Nikon F4s body, but without the MF-24 250 exposure back. I do have a D200, but use that for stuff that I don’t waste film on.

  74. herson at 8:34 am

    We used a lot of #11s on Polaroid Landfilm Type 55 way back 20+ years ago. Can still remember how it smells :-)

    I felt so lucky to have started photography with film. Ahh.. those were the days.

  75. Misko Kranjec at 8:24 am

    Besides the few items from the above list I still keep all of my film cameras, some 12 of them, but not a single roll of film – going digital in 1999 it would be expired long ago.
    Among those cameras is my first one, Kodak Brownie 127 from 1954 – how many of you remember it?

  76. jrapdx at 4:48 am

    In a long-ago world, I used most of those kinds of equipment–evokes wistful memories of the darkroom days. (Hell I spend most of 4 decades “in the dark”, using that stuff.)

    Many other beloved goodies could be appended to the list. Owned quite a few enlarging easels, film and print dryers, ferrotyping plates, exotic safelights and darkroom timers among others.

    The 110 saga has quite a rich history, especially given its short time in the limelight. I loved (still own) the Pentax 110. A remarkable camera, especially when Kodak spooled Kodachrome in 110. Amazing quality. BTW, I can do your Carousel projector one better: the tiny Pocket Carousel for 1X1″ mounted 110 transparencies was a jewel. Still own it and it works like new.

    Might add, the spirit of 110 remains alive today! Yes! The image sensor in (Micro) FourThirds cams measures ~13x17mm, almost exactly the same dimensions as the image area of a 110 negative/transparency. How about that. Great ideas never die.

  77. Laura at 9:42 am

    I recognize the items displayed, but did use all of them. I finally gave someone my developing tank & reels last year. And I learned real fast about organizing supplies in the dark before shutting the door. The first time I dropped the film that I had just cut off the 35 mm roll onto the floor. Of course, I was dumb enough to bend over & try to feel for it on the floor. I wacked my head on the ledge as I rose up. That hurt and I was so mad that I opened the door cussing and ruining the film. lol. yes those were the days.

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  79. Larz Neilson at 9:40 pm

    I have a ton of Polaroid b&w prints from 40-50 yrs ago. Most were properly coated and are still in exceptional conditiion. Of course, you can’t fix focusing & movement problems in old pix. The cameras were nothing great. In reality, they were film marketing devices.

  80. Anonymous at 7:21 pm

    You know, I was kinda thinking along the same lines as Gene Lounger but unfortune-etly THINGS kinda run like a Ted Decker “House” book. Things in the basement just always seem to dredge themselves up “eventually”. Rather unfortunate, but maybe once the silly basement gets ‘cleaned’ the “upper deck” can function on a more rational and informative/logical approach. Dunno if that is actually how things work – But it does seem like you at least have to eventually “face” the facts (C.S. Lewis “Till we have faces”). ;)

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