Saving analog cameras with Japan Camera Hunter

Saving analog cameras with Japan Camera Hunter

Yesterday september 22nd was a big day for the Save Analog Cameras project. After months of collecting questionnaire data from film photographers, they held a special event, where they finally revealed the conclusions of their study. Most of us saw the presentation as a live stream online, but I was lucky enough to be there at the live audience. 

Save Analog Cameras -project was initiated by Juho Leppänen from cameraventures.com and during the past months, they have been gathering a huge amount of data via an online survey. Over 7500 people participated all over the world. The results are now published online at www.cameraventures.com/results. I highly recommend that you check it out if you are interested in film photography or old cameras. If you prefer to hear the results from a video clip (embedded below), you can find the entire event as a live stream recording, as presented by Juho himself.

Japan Camera Hunter & One Year with Film Only

Bellamy Hunt came all the way from Japan to celebrate this special event. You might know him better by the name of Japan Camera Hunter. I was completely stoked to meet him in person. Such a cool, friendly and polite guy. After Juho’s speech, you can hear his talk on the state of analog photography — very interesting stuff! He also revealed that he’s working on a new compact film camera design to provide the following generation with a simple-to-use film camera.

To my delighted surprise, Vincent Moschetti from One Year with Film Only -YouTube channel was also present. I’ve been really digging his videos and was pleasantly surprised to notice that he was also part of the festivities. His videos are always cheerful and happy, which I really appreciate. Such a positive attitude and super friendly guy! I strongly encourage everyone to check out his videos and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

The gist of it

Juho’s and Bellamy’s keynotes covered a huge amount of interesting topics and I’ll surely white more about them on future blog posts. On this first part I mainly want to give you the overall image what was covered. First of all, my hat goes off to Juho who managed to pull a significant study like this off. For most of us, film is just fun and games. That’s why it is admirable that there are people who are genuinely dedicated to the medium. Film isn’t to be taken granted. Mapping out the community enables us to make plans for the future of film photography.

There’s increasing interest towards film photography, but the problem is starting to be finding film cameras that work. Some of them are in the hands of collectors or just collecting dust in your mom’s cupboard. Camera Venture’s plan is to rescue a butt load of film cameras, repair them and put them back to circulation. Some cameras cannot be repaired though. I can’t see any 90’s plastic compact cameras working at all in ten years and they are not as mendable as mechanical cameras from earlier centuries. In a way Bellamy and Camera Ventures are on the same mission; to provide cameras for future film shooters. On the study it came about that a big part of new film shooters are actually very young and didn’t have film cameras in their childhood. I’m 35 and I still remember pre-digital photography days as it was yesterday. But surprisingly many new film shooters are completely new to the medium — not just returning to film like me and many of my age group. One big question that the study is figuring out is where to buy film cameras.

Vincent, Bellamy and Juho answering some viewer questions.

I thought it would be appropriate to attend the event equipped with an actual analog camera. I packed my Olympus OM-1 with me. I decided to take only one lens, which was of course my 50mm f1.8. I had few rolls of film with me and nothing else. I took few photos of the presentations and few more afterwards too. I shot these on Kodak T-max 400. Here’s one shot of Vincent, Bellamy and Juho answering some questions picked from social media.

Juho & JCH

Another shot of Juho and Bellamy while they are discussing the future of analog photography on live stream. Juho is holding his father’s old Nikon that he got from him at the age of 7. Bellamy is wearing his Ferrania t-shirt, which would be more obvious if I would have scanned the negatives the right side facing up.

Bellamy giving his talk and revealing his plans about a new premium compact camera that he’s working on.

After the presentations we had some time to hang around and talk about cameras and stuff. I couldn’t resist of taking few more shots of our after-party, which included a feast of a meal and of course some camera talk.

JCH arriving to a table full of hot wings.

Vincent, JCH and Jussi from Kameratori.fi.

Did someone say camera porn? Here’s Bellamy’s personal camera, couple of other Leicas and a Hasselblad x-pan.

This is a historical shot in a way. I’ve always been into Leicas, but to be honest, I have never even seen one live. You could say I like the idea of a Leica. They are pretty rare cameras that you just don’t see very often on peoples necks. My long wait was finally over after entering a room full of Leicas — and not just any Leicas. Who would have thought that my first Leica experience would be with Bellamy’s personal camera. In addition to that I tried out one or two other Leicas and it certainly didn’t help my terrible case of G.A.S, which I’m sure you know means gear acquisition syndrome.

One more G.A.S inducing Leica collage.

Juho, Vincent and the gang prepping for the show. I think I did a heck of job focusing this image by the way.

Vincent and Bellamy. I kinda just remembered how hard it is to focus on low light.

Vincent and Juho working.

Like I mentioned, there were a huge amount of really interesting topics covered during the evening and I’ll surely get back with another post about of the things we discussed. The event was held in Tampere, which is about 2h train ride away from my house. By the time I got back, it was already really late. I woke up this morning and remembered that actually shot the entire roll of film last evening. I started to develop the negs before I even had my morning coffee. Considering that I slept about three hours and I was still completely stoked about last night’s experience, I think the negs turned out pretty nicely. Take care everyone!

Pekka

Graphic designer and a 35mm film photography enthusiast. I enjoy straight photography on natural/available light and in-camera techniques. I'm inspired by early and mid-1900's classic photojournalism, street photography and documentary photography. Currently shooting mainly with Leica M6, and Olympus OM-4.

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