Camera Rescue, the Finnish camera repair agency, has unveiled a crowdfunder for a series of basic camera repair videos.
The Camera Rescue Basic Course, which is seeking funding on Indiegogo, aims to raise just under $17,000 (£13,000) to produce a series of between 12 and 15 video courses to help people spot common issues with popular film cameras. It will also offer a series of easy fixes which can be done at home.
The project launched on Thursday (16 January) and at time of writing had raised more than $2,000 in a few hours. The funding window is 10 days.
The videos are part of Camera Rescue’s broader aim to repair at least 100,000 cameras by the end of 2020. As of January 20202, they have repaired, are repairing or have diagnosed more than 72,000.
“A few years ago there was 100 million film cameras in Europe alone unused, but the amount is diminishing by the day as 99% of the people do not care for analogue photography and are typically unaware that there is a modern demand for these vintage items,” Camera Rescue’s founder Juho Leppanen says.
“In addition to cameras being tossed into garbage, from the ones that can be found in Europe around 80% are not working properly. Most of them can still be revived with proper care, or at least used for parts. You might be the only person in your town that is looking to preserve film cameras and to rescue your towns cameras for the use of the community in the future, the cameras need to find their way to you.”
The main goal is that you will not buy a faulty camera again – JUHO LEPPANEN
“When I started using and buying film cameras over a decade ago, the percentage of film cameras with problems was less than 10% (at least in Finland). The change to 80% being out of factory standards is drastic. If we want film photography to sustain itself in the following decades – we need to have 2-5 million working cameras in Europe alone. The number of working cameras is important because creating such a wealth of camera variety we have available now, will never be economically possible by making new cameras.
“The main goal is that you will not buy a faulty camera again, without knowing it is faulty. This is important because knowing if a camera is working will enable you know exactly what you should or should not pay for it.”
The course is likely to include a rundown on the merits of various camera types before looking at common issues that may affect popular cameras, and then a list of minor repair jobs that can be done at home, such as replacing decayed seals, cleaning battery compartments and replacing leather panels.
Leppanen said the funding has come about partly because Camera Rescue’s plan for an app which people could use to find and repair cameras had failed despite years of work.
“It’s already past the two year mark from what was supposed to be the beta release date. We have run out of both patience and funds on this and have decided we probably have reached the point where it’s time to move on and label it as a fail and a valuable learning experience,” he said.