Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bag of Surprises

Last weekend I stopped by the Ann Arbor Recycle Reuse thrift store to see what I might find in the way of cameras, etc.  I found a few photographic books that I decided to pickup, and I was looking through a jumble of things in one corner towards the back, when I spied one of those Kodak Film cooler bags.  It was ratty-looing with mildew on it, but I looked inside, anyway.  Much to my surprise there were two decent Polaroid pack film cameras and a bunch of accessories.  The cashier was somebody new, and I offered $5, as the bag was unpriced.  He looked inside, and thought that "some of the small parts were probably worth more than the cameras" and came back with $7.50.  Sold.  I was going to offer $10, but Adrienne (who obviously is a shrewder person than I) thought that was too high to start with.  So, I saved at least $2.50.

Once I got the bag home, I immediately started looking through it.  It has sat around in someone's basement for a long time, I think.  However, the two cameras, a Polaroid 450 and a 340 were in pretty good shape.  There was a cardboard box of exactly the right size inserted into the bag for rigidity, and tucked between the box and the bag were a bunch of papers, including  a few old b&w Polaroids, some more recent-looking b&w prints, instructions for the Polaroid cameras and accessories, as well as the manual and papers for a Canon Canonet-28. A Polaroid self-timer, close-up kit, UV filter, M3 bulbs, 2 flashbulb holders, a screwdriver, and a Kalimar telephoto lens for the Polaroid completed the kit.  Oh, and there were 4 of the small tubes that hold the coater strips for the old b&w prints.

All of the items work, and I think I will keep at least the Polaroid 340.  It has a real rangefinder (as does the 450) and takes a single battery.  The close-up kit and self-timer are also keepers.  The 450 has a nicer Zeiss Rangefinder, but I'll need to check out the battery situation before I decide to keep it.  Polaroid made a plethora of models of the folding land cameras, and some are obviously better than others. The 340 lacks a tripod mount, but that is not a deal-breaker.
I was very interested in the photographs.  The Polaroids look they are from the mid to late 1980s, and the photos of the bartender and the waitress look like they are newer, perhaps 1990 or so. I wonder where they were taken?
 It's fun finding bags like this.  I cleaned everything up before I photographed it.  I have seen the Kodak cooler before, but this is a first time owning one. In the first photo, you can see a young man in one of those Papasan chairs and the Kodak bag is behind his shoulder.
The last two photos are at a different location, and are printed from 35 mm negatives. Perhaps from the Canonet 28?

A nice little find, and worth every penny!

No comments: