The Photographers Curse

L1040653.jpgThere are a few things about photography or being a photographer that can annoy and some consider a curse.

One such thing that annoys me is the comment “your photos are great, you must have a really good/expensive camera”!  As all photographers know that it’s not the camera but the skill of the photographer to take an excellent shot.

Another such curse I read about is that most photographers at some time or other visit friends or family and miraculously from the back of a cupboard, or a deep drawer comes an old, long forgotten camera.

Now I can understand why some might be offended or annoyed by this but I find it endearing, kind and thoughtful.

I have already mentioned that Richard’s dad gave me his photographic development kit and his enlarger at Christmas but I have not shared the little gem that was handed to me by his mum.

Richard’s mum opened the aforementioned drawer and pulled out a Boots Focus C35 FF.  The name doesn’t trip off the tongue and it probably wasn’t a massively famous camera but it exists and I now own one.

It must have been her pride and joy and it is flawless.  It’s like new and comes complete with its original strap and case.

You may not know but Boots is a pharmaceutical company here in the UK and as well as developing films they also used to sell cameras, films and accessories through the ’80s and ’90s.  This was the golden age when shops could put their name to consumer goods that made them accessible to all.  I remember owning an electric blue Boots Walkman.

The Focus is a very light plastic camera which takes two AA batteries to allow the automatic winding mechanism work and the built-in flash.

There is also a switch on the front to select the speed of the film (from ISO 100 – 400).

I have changed the batteries (it contained the original ones) and the motor is still working so it seems to be in full working order.

By comparison, the Focus is slightly thicker than the Olympus Trip but much lighter.  The Trip doesn’t need batteries for the light meter due to its solar cella round the lens and is mainly metal and glass construction as it was built in the ’60s.  The Focus is a true child of the ’80s.

It does have a 4.5 35mm Ricoh lens built in so I should be able to get some interesting bokeh/focus with it.

I am currently trying to use some film up so I can start to learn how to develop it with the equipment Richards dad gave me.  The Focus is another perfect little camera to take with me (especially as it is so light and compact).

I have ordered some cheap 35mm black and white film from Analogue Wonderland and will put one of the rolls into this little camera and share them once I have developed them.

I wonder how many other cameras are stuck in the dark recesses of cupboards or drawers?  I find it fascinating that every family used to own a camera which was used when they had special occasions or travels.  Now, of course, we all have cameras built into our phones and take them everywhere.

I wonder how often my mother in law used this camera and whether she had trepidation for the shots she took like I do now.

All I can say is I don’t mind this particular curse and thank you for the camera Val, I look forward to sharing my first developed roll from this little gem.



  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love reading stories about people receiving cameras within their families. I think that’s such a lovely thing 😊 I always remember my parents buying their cameras from Argos….I’m not sure they ever bought one from Boots? But I do remember Boots selling them and the Walkmans. I recently asked my Dad if they had any film cameras stored away but he said they were thrown away or re-sold at various boot fairs years ago. He said all their film cameras had always been cheap and cheerful because they could never afford an expensive camera. As a family we were always content enough with those holiday snaps that their cameras took. I look forward to seeing the photos you take 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a valid point and.possibly one that’s lost on camera manufacturers now as they feel smartphones do the everyday cheap cameras job.

      I did have a really nice (or so I thought) bridge camera which I bought in Dixon’s when I was a teenager. I am sure it was designed by Porsche (!) but the name of the maker eludes me.

      I’m looking forward to trying out the Focus. Fingers crossed it still works.

      Liked by 1 person

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