When it comes to weird lenses, the first name that springs to many minds is YouTuber Mathieu Stern. So, who better to go visit the weird lens paradise at Camera Rescue? So, that’s exactly what Mathieu did. He hopped on a flight to Tampere, Finland, to check out their huge collection of kit. Fortunately, he shot a video so the rest of us could see some of the cool lenses he got to play with and tell us more about the Camera Rescue project.
Camera Rescue claims to have the largest collection of vintage lenses and cameras in Europe. Their plan is to rescue and restore camera equipment that has been lost, forgotten, abandoned and left to ruin. Their most immediate goal is to rescue 100,000 cameras by 2020. So far, that figure is up to 57,863 since 2010, so they still have a little way to go.
But these rescued cameras aren’t just restored and left on a shelf. No, they’re being resold to help more people get into photography, and particularly film photography. At the moment, their showroom currently houses around 6,000 of the items they’ve restored over the past near-decade. A further 7,000 are up for sale, and there are around another 2,000 awaiting repair.
We featured Camera Rescue earlier this year when they were interviewed by Jordan Lockhard from Cameraville, but Mathieu’s video offers more insight into their processes and introduces us to some very unusual lenses and cameras.
It seems the folks at Camera Rescue also let Mathieu loose on the streets of Tampere with a few of their more unusual lenses, which should be coming in future videos. I’m sure a few of us will be keeping an eye out for those.
If you could have anything, what old or weird lens or camera would you want?