The exciting hobby of collecting
Collecting vintage movie equipment is a neglected area amongst those
interested in movies, photographica and memorabilia. It appears that amongst
the millions of movie fans few are interested in the equipment with which in
former days the magic of the screen was created.
Taking one's own films in pre-war days was a costly affair usually reserved for the rich and privileged. Yet, there were enough people who did it on a shoestring, even going so far as to build their own projectors, which cost in those days sometimes a year's salary.
All this once coveted equipment can now be had for moderate prices. Demand is increasing and so are prices, especially for wooden cameras. But prices are still lower than similar vintage photo cameras. Not so long ago one could pick up old movie equipment at flea-markets, but that time seems passed now.
Collectors are a breed apart. Their hobby makes life enjoyable. They meet people who they otherwise would never have come into contact with. Do not know what boredom is. They need all their time to study, tinker with new acquisitions, or project old movies.
Not everyone has collector's blood. Those who have may be envied. They have something that keeps them alive, strengthening the roots with the past that comes dearer and dearer as the years pass by. Their interest activates them to study and keep alive their manual skills. In short it is an excellent way to keep one young in heart and mind even at an older age.
Collectors may be divided in three main classes. Those who collect:
During a matinee they would laugh their heads off or identify with heroes in their fearless battles. In the years of depression the products of the dream factories lifted the crowds out of their miseries, leaving behind a fond memory. Such nostalgia becomes the soil for the urge to collect the films that brought joy.
I limit myself to collecting vintage movie equipment in spite of my being fond seeing old movies. I belong to the collectors who are attracted by the sheer workmanship hardly to be found in mass produced apparatus nowadays, and to the hunt for scarce pieces of equipment.
In this collector's domain there are again many divisions:
Concentrating on special themes has the advantage of keeping the collection within limits.
At this stage I should like to introduce myself as a Dutch collector of cinematographica.
I should like to get in touch with fellow-collectors to buy or sell collectable equipment, or exchange information and (xeroxes of) documentation. I am especially anxious to obtain more information on film-sizes used in the more than 100 years of cinema history.
You are invited to read also my article: One Hundred years of Film Sizes
Equipment in practically all sizes: 4.75, 8, 9.5, 16, 17.5, 22, 28 and 35mm. Films only in the rares gauges. See my 'wanted' list
I have also a list of movie apparatus, films, photographica and many books I have to clear for lack of space.
Please for a list, specifying your interests, and film-size.
I am receiving many messages from readers from all over the world who have something for sale, are looking for an item, or who search for information on an apparatus they have. Please bear in mind that my time is limited and that I am living in the Netherlands. I have tried to answer most questions beforehand on adjoining pages and lists. Do not send a message to me for info already given on this site.
Click for a list of addresses of dealers who supply lamps, parts, and manuals.
If you have any apparatus for sale please furnish me with all particulars as well its condition and asking price. Do not offer common apparatus for sale. Bear in mind that the cost of forwarding it to the Netherlands may be higher than the value of the item itself.Click for my "Want" list of items I am looking for. Before sending your query have a look at my 'Frequently Asked Questions' page and at my list of more than twelve hundred vintage cameras and projectors.
You can reach me by (click)
Frequently Asked Questions
Recommended literature and related links (click)
If you cannot find answer to your questions have a look at other sites listed on this page.
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In the mood for quite a different subject? Try my: Man and the Unknown
Created 1st April 1996. Latest revision: 15 May 2000