Musing In The Museum

on November 11, 2018
The purpose of a museum is to allow you to muse. Of course you can muse in other places too - but eventually someone comes along banging on the door and asks you how much longer you're going to be in there...It is a serious obstacle to philosophy. A camera museum, however, should appeal to all of us. I have a little one in my studio made up of cameras I or my family owned. They are not all in running order, but then sometimes neither am I. At their best the cameras are a reminder of past glories. Much the same sort of thing is seen, in far greater form, in Melbourne at Michaels Camera shop on the corner of Elizabeth and Little Lonsdale Street. Now as a loyal Camera Electronic writer I am not going to suggest that you buy your lenses from Michaels, but as a dedicated photographic historian, I cannot fault their collection of cameras. To their great credit, they have turned a corner of the second floor to a showcased area that has a vast variety of cameras and photographic equipment. It is dangerously nostalgic for all the older film and plate enthusiasts, and can eat up several hours of tourist time. If the rest of the family is off buying clothes you can choose to either be dragged about sitting in shoe shops or disappear up the stairs in Michaels. Do not fixate upon all the great names...spend some time with the also-ran manufacturers. There are more of them than you can imagine. Again, do not get the idea that all the things you see are either super-rare or as common as gravel. It is a mixture of the two. You may be surprised which category your favourite brand fits into. If you can't make it to Melbourne, go into one of our shops here in Perth and have a look at some of the historic ones on the upper shelves. There are some rarities there, and more, if only you knew...