120 Cameras: The Collection and Catalog of John Kratz

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July 20, 2011
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120 Cameras: The Collection and Catalog of John Kratz

John Kratz has an impressive and well-photographed collection of 120 film cameras. His photographs of the collection are artwork in themselves, not to mention the construction of the cameras, giving a little snapshot (yes!) of photography history.

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

He finds the members of his collection by scouring ebay. The #1 question he is asked by visitors and enthusiasts is "Do you use them?" The short answer is "no," but he says "some people consider that a crime, but hey, someone used them." He's not ruling it out entirely, but points out that he's not too keen on the idea of using them just for the sake of it, which would require re-spooling and cutting down film to fit the obsolete bodies that are sure to "produce unremarkable results" and is quite happy shooting with his digital SLR.

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

So why does he collect them? He thinks "each one stands out in its own way. Some may have been marvels of engineering. Some are just fun or silly, good for a laugh. Most of them, I think, are beautiful to look at - wonderful achievements in design... I don't use (most of) these old cameras, but that doesn't mean they aren't loved. I love them!"

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Design, JohnKratz, cameras

Browse the whole gallery of John's cameras at his flickr gallery.

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our design blog:

The iPhone Leica i9: An Amazing Camera Hybrid
A Teeny Tiny Camera with Some Big Specs: The Mame Cam
The Lomography Diana World Tour and custom Diana Exhibit

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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