Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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Over the years, I've progressively inherited 4 different cameras from my father, the last one is a DSLR, so the three others are pretty much unused now.

I can't bring myself to throw them away, but I'm not sure that there's anything more useful to be done with them.

Any ideas?

For the curious, in order they are:

  • Miranda MS-1N
  • Chinon CE-4
  • Pentax MZ-6

And the DSLR is a Pentax *ist DS

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whatever you do, please don't throw them away. Give them away (or sell them), if you don't want them. Even if they're broken, though, someone could find them useful (for parts, or as collectables, or something). If it were me, I'd either give/sell them, or just use them! There's still (to me) something neat about shooting film -- getting a tangible thing back as your master image. Even if you only shoot them every now and then, it's still an option. – lindes Dec 9 '10 at 12:15
up vote 18 down vote accepted

Attempt to Summarise (wiki)

The options seem to be:

1 Keep them for posterity

See John Cavan's answer.
Personally, this is my favourite, because objects we think of as junk to be thrown away are really part of history. I put this into practice often. (My wife does not see things from quite such an historical perspective, however ;)

2 Give them to people who will use them

See John Cavan's answer.
This is probably the most constructive and generous idea so far. It's definitely the one to follow if you haven't got the space to keep them for posterity, you don't need to sell them for cash and you don't have a project to use them in.

3 Sell them on eBay

See asalamon74's answer.
This is a variant of 2, but with a little bonus for you. :)

4 Salvage what you can from them for other projects

Evan Krall's answer provides an example. I'm sure there must be other projects like this, but I can't come up with them. This wouldn't be my choice, because I am a complete klutz, and totally incapable of projects like this! ;)

5 Keep using them

As @lindes suggests, get some film and keep on using them. Enjoy the deep colours, high resolution and all-round analogue awesomeness of the chemical camera!

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I think you forgot an option: Keep using them! :) (Or is that part of the "Posterity" answer?) – lindes Dec 9 '10 at 12:13
@lindes, you should put that in an answer. :) – AJ Finch Dec 9 '10 at 13:26
@AJ: It was late, I was tired, and now it's already been done. I'm happy to answer already-answered questions when I feel there's something significant to add, or if I think a wholly different approach warrants mention... But when an already great answer just has room for improvement, I think the community benefits more from a comment on that answer. – lindes Dec 9 '10 at 19:20

Well, if you can't part with them and you won't shoot film (you can share lenses between the *istD and the MZ-6, film isn't dead yet), then I guess you either box 'em up, put them on a shelf, or display them somewhere. However, one consideration for parting with them is there are often volunteer groups teaching poorer kids about photography that are grateful for any gear they can get, I've donated cameras and other equipment to such in the past.

Anyways, hopefully you're using the *istD, it still takes fine pictures.

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Thanks, I admit I wasn't thinking of parting with the MZ-6 quite yet. Yes, I was aware of being able to share the lenses, though apparently there is something complicated (for me) about sensor size altering the effective f-number (or something like that). I am definitely using the *istDS, alternately with my trusty point-and-shoot. – Benjol Dec 8 '10 at 13:08
+1 to the donation idea. Or if there's a Freecycle group in your area (, there's surely a poor college kid or starving artist who would appreciate your generosity. – mattdm Dec 8 '10 at 13:51

Hack one of them together with a slave flash, some ground glass, and a film positive, and project subversive messages onto popular tourist photography subjects.

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That is one cool idea :) – Benjol Dec 9 '10 at 5:57
Oh my goodness, that's fantastic! I've actually been thinking about doing some projection-based art, but rigging up a camera with an optically-slaved flash to do it... This I had not thought of. Wow. I will totally have to play with this concept. – lindes Dec 10 '10 at 16:35

Sell the cameras on your favorite auction site. These cameras may be useful for somebody else.

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I took a quick look at what these things are going for. It's not very much -- to me, it wouldn't be worth the time and hassle. – mattdm Dec 8 '10 at 15:11
@mattdm: valid point. Still, to the buyer, it might very well be a welcome thing. @Benjol: If you want to get rid of them, but the hassle is too much, then see @John Cavan's answer. (And if you don't want to get rid of them, then obviously this isn't your choice.) – lindes Dec 9 '10 at 12:11

If you can find film for them, (35 mm or whatever) shoot your photos, take the film to WalMart and have it processed and converted to digital, then selectively do whatever you desire with the results. You can get the digitals on disk, put them on computer and work with them there.

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Create a personal museum. I've done this. Whoever is visiting will receive a tour of Antique flash paper through electronic strobes with Every flashbulb in the middle.

Many films and film holders glass plate to sheet To 116 and 828. I have every type Accept my jewel I sold on eBay, LeErerours daguerreotype camera. It was Priceless but I let it go for 6K.

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