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Avid photographer turns focus to camera collection's next owner

Area resident agreed to take more than 30 pieces in all, some dating back well over half a century, off the hands of a friend back in March

A snapshot of history recently landed in Andrej Baca’s lap.

In March, the Sandycove Acres resident agreed to take an extensive collection — more than 30 pieces in all — of cameras, lenses and flashes off the hands of a friend, whose husband had built it up before he died three years ago. 

Baca runs a camera club at the retirement community. So while he appreciates and admires the legacy these cameras left before the dawn of the digital photography era, his role here is that of steward, to ensure this equipment finds a good, permanent home — whether that’s in a business display, man cave or museum. 

“I cannot imagine how many people, hearts and occasions were captured and shared,” Baca said. “(I’m) not a collector, but am fascinated in the quality, ruggedness, durability and weight of old things. Handmade, not cloned or stamped out by the (thousands).”

These temporarily inherited cameras, which span nearly half a century of history, include Fujifilm, Nikon L135, Kodak Brownie, Konica, Polaroid Land Camera, Olympus and Minolta Pocket Autopak models. 

Most were donated by people in Sandycove.

“The display started out with a few cameras, and in a few years grew as digital became the camera to own,” Baca said. “Once tablets and phones came into acceptance by the general population, standalone entry level cameras faded out. (With) larger image sensors and interchangeable lenses, pro digital cameras outperform the very small image sensors with many millions of pixels found in phones and tablets. So now what to do with years of evolution, thousands of dollars in cameras and lenses, that many think should be trashed?”

Anyone interested in obtaining some of this equipment can contact Baca at [email protected].

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Chris Simon

About the Author: Chris Simon

Chris Simon is an award-winning journalist who has written for publications throughout Simcoe County and York Region. He is the current Editor of BradfordToday and InnisfilToday and has about two decades of experience in the sector
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