It’s amazing what you can do with a $0.01 film camera.

Ever since hearing Mr. Sato brag about the quality of disposable film cameras, our Japanese-language reporter Go Hattori has begun reading up on photography as a potential hobby.

He was particularly interested in a book called Dakamera Daihyakka, which explained that quality pictures could be taken even with retro cameras that are cheaper than candy. Inspired yet still a little apprehensive, he scoured Yahoo! Auctions and won a bid for an old camera…

▼ …for the price of one yen (US$0.01). What luck!

Although delivery of the camera costed 1,000 yen, the deal was so amazing that Go did a little caper in the office.

▼ Will this relic really work?

The camera was a Flash Fujica AF Date manufactured from 1977 to 1978, a little older than Go himself who was born in 1979. Cradling it with quivering hands, he felt as if he was holding his elder brother.

▼ “You and I are going to be best buddies.”

▼ Although the purchase didn’t include a manual,
a YouTube instructional video worked just as well.

▼ The Fujica handled smoothly with satisfying winds and clicks.

▼ “This feels miles better than my smartphone camera.”

This was an ancient camera with no auto focus, red eye correction, or any of the nifty functions that modern cameras have. Despite that, Go felt his inner photographer growing by the minute. He carefully inserted a roll of film in and snapped a few experimental shots…

▼ …of a random barcode…

▼ …and some out-of-focus wire.

Looking back, the budding photographer berated himself for wasting two out of the available 24 exposures, but failure is one of life’s best teachers.

▼ Selfies in the 70s would have been almost impossible to pull off.

▼ Some didn’t turn out great, but he had loads of fun snapping pictures nonetheless.

He soon realized that as there were a limited number of pictures he could take, and each shot he took suddenly became incredibly precious.

▼ Each snap was a wonderful memory…

▼ …even though they were random things like the plushie hanging above his desk.

▼ 24 exposures were gone in an instant.

Film negatives, developed photos, and photo data costed Go a whopping total of 2,376 yen, a far cry from free smartphone camera applications. Going with negatives and data only, then printing out the photos by himself would have saved him more money on hindsight.

▼ Camera focus proved to be the biggest hurdle for him.

▼ Some photos were short of amazing…

▼ …while some gave off a spooky vibe.

He enjoyed the entire process and even found himself chuckling at poorly framed photos. They weren’t National Geographic standards, but it didn’t matter at all. Of all the captures that he snapped, Go was particularly fond of two.

▼ A night shot of a local vegetable store…

▼ …and a cozy little lane.

It dawned upon Go that the appeal of film cameras lie not in the capturing of picture-perfect moments that digital photographers constantly seek, but in the journey instead. It was just so much fun walking around randomly snapping photos and enjoying the moment, then reliving those memories again when they got developed. What’s more, it was all done with a camera costing less than a candy bar.

And although some modern gadgets can replicate the qualities of film, they still can’t truly replace the unique charm of the old wind-and-snap camera. Go’s newfound hobby will take him on many adventures, and for that, he has the one yen Fujica camera to thank for.

Insert images: ©SoraNews24, Yahoo! Auctions
[ Read in Japanese ]