By Christina VanGinkel
In all my cleaning, organizing, and sorting I have been doing around my house the last couple of months, I was surprised at how many cameras I turned up, four to be exact, all thirty-five millimeters, with the oldest one being at least two decades old. None is old enough to be considered a collector item, though my husband tried to tell me the one must be as it was our first camera when we were married!
What to do with the cameras was my dilemma. We had a perfectly good digital camera, and are currently shopping for a second one along with a new camcorder because we are interested in having a camera with a bigger optical zoom. Our twelve year old already has a very nice thirty-five millimeter of his own, that he wants to trade me for on our older digital when we purchase a new one.
All appeared to be in working order as they were each stored in their perspective cases, and batteries had been taken out of them before they were put away. While I barely remember putting them into the back of the closets where I found each of them, it seems my husband or myself had taken great care with them when we did store them. Neither of us is a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but we both have been avid photo takers through the years and always enjoyed each camera we owned until we traded it for something newer with more options.
We still had no idea what to do with them, but felt they were worthy of more than the dumpster. I first called our two oldest children and inquired of them if they would have an interest in ay of them. Both responded that they each had a newer digital, which I knew, and that they did not think they would use them. Film had to be developed, and you had to wait to see whether a picture turned out or not, so, not for them.
Our youngest son had one, and even he showed no interest in obtaining a second one. With summer in and school out, I did not know if I would reach anyone there, but tried it. The girl who answered did not know and said if I called back in the fall, one of the teachers may have a use for them, but as they had digital ones in most classrooms, she did not really think so.
My next try was the library, and surprise, they said they would take the newer one. As it came in a nice case, instruction booklet included, plus several extra lenses, they agreed that they were sure they could find some use for it. Later, a friend said I could probably have sold them on Ebay, but I was just glad to see them go, and one to be put to use. The other three I ended up donating to our local Goodwill, so overall, it was much better than tossing them in the trash. When I think of how far cameras have evolved in the last twenty years, I can hardly wait to see what they will be doing in the next twenty!