December 30, 2013

Hollywood Camera

Music | Into You by The Cinematic Orchestra

Between running errands today, I knew I'd be driving by Hollywood Camera, my most favorite camera shop in the city. Ed, the proprietor has been there for decades and knows his cameras. He only deals with analogue photography equipment and has photographic history in and all around the counters of the shop. He sells and processes film, all kinds of film cameras, darkroom equipment and items you might not find anywhere else.

I've been visiting his shop starting about a year after I moved to Portland. Since then, I stop in at least once a month to see what he has. Often, he pulls out something special to show me. I was asking him about a Rollei 35 that I had recently seen. Ed says for me to wait a second... He goes to his back room and pulls out a pristine Rollei 35S. The creme de-la creme of that model. He goes on to tell me about the superior optics of the Sonnar lens that is on that body, pulls out some prints that he had recently shot with that camera and suggests that I have not seen anything sharper or with that superior colour rendition. I agree...

As I initially walked in, 2 younger gents where in talking with Ed about a very nice looking Rolleiflex. He know immediately that even though the camera looked pristine, and was described as hardly used, he knew to be extra careful with it. His knowledge of cameras is amazingly vast and he also knew a hardly used camera might not work hardly used. He goes on and tells the kids that the lubricants of the camera, maybe over 40 years may have dried up and instead of doing its job, would create brittlenss and possibly break some internal parts. Ed's mannerism and hand gestures shows how serious he is about this matter and the kids listen with sincerity.

Later, a gorgeous young woman comes in, looking for a Polaroid Land Camera. As if he knew she was going to come, he has one waiting on the counter. We both learn she is an avid film shooter, of Polaroid, 35mm and 120 film. When she left, I say to Ed, "You get the best customers working in this shop!" He goes onto say that he loves how the younger generation has taken to film and the analogue ways.

If you are ever in town and are looking for some film gear, I highly recommend seeing Ed at Hollywood Camera. If not to buy, just to stop in and see all of the various cameras he has on display. It is quite a journey!

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