The Project:

  • Shoot film for a year in 50 different cameras, at least one roll per camera
  • Use old cameras that I can buy, beg, borrow or steal (hopefully it does not come to theft)
  • Record my experience and some of the photos from each camera (good, bad or ugly)
  • Use 35mm film (no medium or large format film will be harmed by this project)
  • Learn something from each camera
  • Have fun


Let me be clear I am not and do not claim to be a photographer. I am, at best, a recovering snapshot hack. I wont pretend that I have the artistic eye or training that talented photographers have.  I am also, not a camera collector. Collector: implies some level of expertise and a theme or strategy for collecting. I lack both. I am more of a camera accumulator. I like old film cameras and find them fascinating.  So, when I see a working one cheap, I add it to my box of cameras.

My wife and daughter are both talented photographers. My job is to carry gear for them and handle travel arrangements. I started this project to 1) help me better appreciate and understand their work, 2) give me something to do (mess with old cameras) when waiting for them and 3) maybe learn something in the process.

If you are looking for expert camera reviews, there are much better ones on the web. I am indebted to many of them for helping me figure out how to use the cameras I find. If you are looking for tips on how to be a better photographer, you are definitely in the wrong place. Unless you learn best from how not to examples, then I’m sure I can help. If you want to watch someone fumble his way around some old cameras and produce photos of questionable value, you found it.

Don’t try this at home:

Some scientist or engineer is going to read this and point out that I am introducing too many variables.  If I hope to improve, I should limit the variables and focus on getting to know one camera. They are right, boring but right. I do not recommend this method if you hope to become a successful photographer. I wanted an excuse to play with old cameras and look like I’m doing something without the risk of actually accomplishing anything. Don’t try this yourself; I am an untrained hack with no photographic reputation to tarnish.