Are you a film photographer still looking to tick a dream vintage camera or lens off your wishlist? Or are you a vintage photography gear collector with an insatiable curiosity for what’s still out there? Maybe you’re a photographer with a taste for weird and wonderful photography contraptions? If you answered yes t any of these, you’re in for a treat in the latest videos by Paris-based photographer and filmmaker Mathieu Stern.
Mathieu was invited to visit the Camera Rescue center in Tampere, Finland where its big boss, Juho Leppanen, introduced him to some of the coolest items in their collection. They have the largest collection of vintage cameras and lenses that you can still get your hands on in Europe. So, if you’ve got a trip planned around that side of the world, you may want to pay attention to the video so you know what you can find should you decide to make a trip there!
It’s easy to see why photographers and vintage gear fans like Mathieu will have hours of fun exploring this paradise, like kids in a chocolate factory. Juho and his team are very accommodating to anyone who would like to know more about vintage gear and buy or donate/sell a camera or lens. If you’re just learning about this project, the mission of Camera Rescue, as Juho mentioned, is to rescue a whopping 100,000 cameras by 2020. From the looks of it, they’re getting very close to this impressive goal!
Part of the Camera Rescue is the Kamerastore showroom, which showcases around 6,000 items. They have some an impressive selection of Hasselblad, Leica, Pentax, Canon, Nikon, and Mamiya cameras and lenses checked, refurbished, and ready to wow visitors. Of course, some “granny pocket cameras” won’t go missing. They even have a corner for some cine stuff! Name it and they most likely have it. “I think I can spend a whole day here just checking out lenses,” Mathieu said, then proceeded to show us some of the items that especially captured his interest. Yep, Mathieu, you and us both!
In case you’re looking for a nice keepsake to grab from this amazing place, you can grab a functioning camera from 50 Euros to 20,000 Euros. There’s one for every budget!
It’s amazing that there are global initiatives like Camera Rescue which seek to preserve the history of photography through the cameras made. As Juho mentioned, many of these old cameras were just lying in an attic or basement, forgotten for decades. But by rescuing these cameras, these beauties can find new homes and have a second chance at life.
Don’t forget to visit Mathieu Stern’s YouTube channel for more of his fun photography videos!
Screenshot image from the video