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David Chan: A man who spends 60 years of his life keeping antique cameras

South China Morning Post recently posted a 10-minute short film that tells the story of David Chan, who is dubbed the “Protector of the cameras”. He has spent 60 years of his life collecting both cameras and, for him, works of art. SCMP page writes: “Although Chan’s job is to buy and resell photographic equipment, he sees himself as a protector of ancient cameras, helping future generations to see their mechanical beauty. “

Mr. David Chan at his shop, photo: SCMP Films

Mr. Chan shared: “I’m not a good photographer, photography is an art. But I appreciate cameras because they are works of art. Hold them in your hand, press the shutter button and hear the shutter sound.” that made me happy. “

David Chan A man who spends 60 years of his life keeping antique cameras | Digital toys

According to Mr. Chan, although the new-generation cameras have many handy features, the new lenses have also been sharper, but they all lack the ‘mark’ of old-generation imaging equipment. Camera lenses used to contain radioactive material, but later on, due to environmental protection regulations, photographers had to remove this material. Lacking radioactive material, modern lenses lose the ability to reproduce details in dark areas, ‘special’ points that are difficult to describe that only ancient lenses can do. “Today’s cameras may be outdated in as little as a year or two, while old mechanical cameras are built to follow the user for life.”

He likes to collect second-hand cameras from European brands including Zeiss, Voigtländer, and Leica. Most of the cameras in his store are priced for sale, but some of the cameras he keeps to himself. “I don’t see my store as a place of business. This is a place where friends and customers can come to talk, a place where we can enjoy life … Seeing people. Standing outside the store looking at the product through the glass, I always invite them in to talk, answer the questions they have and share all my experiences. “

David Chan A man who spends 60 years of his life keeping antique cameras | Digital toys

Mr. Chan confides in his favorite camera, a Leica produced in the 30s of the last century: “This is a model from the early Leica era, with a viewfinder capable of just looking in front of the frame and a separate viewfinder for focusing. Detachable range-finder, lens The glasses can also be collapsible to make the camera more compact and fit in a jacket pocket. “

David Chan A man who spends 60 years of his life keeping antique cameras | Digital toys

And this is the Nikon F, used by many photographers to record the war in Vietnam. He said that there was a photographer using this camera on the battlefield, a bullet hit and hit the part of the camera’s viewfinder but it could still function, while saving the photographer’s life. . This can be considered a ‘national treasure’ in Japan.

David Chan A man who spends 60 years of his life keeping antique cameras | Digital toys

“I am 80 years old this year. My children are not interested in camera collection very much. It would be a waste to sell my entire collection, then the next generation will be gone.” Seeing their beauty. Now the store is operating properly and has no financial problems, I feel very happy to be here! “

The story of Mr. David Chan, who spent 60 years of his life collecting antique cameras

[ Æsir Tales ]
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