I know this is not a cellphone. It looks complicated, doesn’t it? If you are under the age of 20, you probably have no idea what this is and what it is used for. Now that I really look at it, if I were viewing at it for the first time too I might think it resembled some sort of torture device. This is a 35 mm camera which used to be the only way you could get a professional looking picture. Your cellphone contains a digital camera that is just as good as this archaic piece of metal and let you take great pictures. Thanks heavens because these old things were super heavy and bulky to carry around every where.
This object is a 35 mm camera and will only cause you pain if you try to actually use it to take a picture. Do you have any idea what it takes to get an actual picture out of one of these contraptions? Whether you had a camera like this one or a portable camera, 20 years ago it was quite the process to actually get pictures out of this thing. Crazy!
When my first son was born my parents lived on the other side of the country from where I was so it was hard to keep them up to date on his growth and progress. I have always felt bad about that because I wanted my parents to know my kids and be able to watch them grow. Today, we have cell phones that that allow us to share pictures immediately, FaceTime and Skype for real time video chatting with anyone on the planet we want to be in contact with. This technology would have been nice 25 years ago.
How did we do it? What was the process to produce a picture that could be shared with others? Believe me, it was no walk in the park because it could take up to two weeks to just get the picture on paper – no electronic sharing the way we do now. This is what we had to do:
- Buy a roll of film from the local camera supply or grocery store
- Remove the film from the packaging
- Open up the back of the camera and place the cartridge inside the camera
- Before closing the back, thread the film into the camera and advance it so that when you shut the back of the camera, the film didn’t come loose
- Shut the back of the camera
- Turn on the camera and start taking pictures
- Once the camera was loaded with a roll of film we had to use it up before opening up the camera to remove the film or it would ruin every picture. It was a crap shoot, basically. This took a while to do and heaven forbid you take a bad picture because you had to pay for each one! That’s right. It was important to always get the perfect picture because you didn’t know how the picture was going to turn out until you had the film developed.
- Rewind the film in the camera
- Open up the back of the camera and take the film out
- Either take the film to your local film developer or mail it to a company that would process the film for you into actual pictures. If you drop your pictures off at a store, it took about a week before you got them back. If you had to mail them, it could be two weeks or more.
- When you got the pictures back you chose the ones you wanted to send to family, wrote on the back of each picture the names, dates and other details so that family members knew the history of the picture.
- Mail them off.
Can you believe all the work it was to get an actual picture taken? It is amazing we did all that but it certainly makes me grateful for one thing. My cell phone.