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Found film in purchased camera
Old 09-18-2017   #1
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Found film in purchased camera

My wife just picked up an Olympus Infinity Stylus for the princely sum of £1, and I noticed it has a roll of color film in it. This has happened to me twice before and I ruined the film by opening the camera since I didn't know it had film in it. Has anyone ever developed film from a previous owner? It feels a bit funny doing so, but I've never tried my hand at C-41 - maybe this would be a good test. I'll at least finish the roll to make sure the camera's working properly. I have the feeling it's quite an old roll. The camera itself has been well used, all the lettering has been worn off - very stealth.

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Old 09-18-2017   #2
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Yes, we got someone holiday snaps from the mid 70s (at a guess) looked like mexico, and a lot of pics of tortoises!
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Old 09-18-2017   #3
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I've found film in two cameras I've purchased, had one roll developed, rather uninteresting. The second I am still debating

When you are not able to tell from any external indicators, always open the back the first time in a dark closet, etc.

I'm sure some gems have showed up from time to time
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Old 09-18-2017   #4
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Just developed a roll I found in a Futura S last year - along with other regular C41 films, to make the most out of the chemicals. Pushed by 1/2 stop. It's a Kodakcolor 100 VR, likely from early 80s, so fogged that I could barely see through it, but my scanner managed to capture something....

Elderly friends, a baby, A young couple. Distant flats. A Lincoln Continental Mark VI, probably brand new. Nebraska plate I assume. The photographer is probably an old gentleman, consider he'd been shooting the same (rather obscure) camera for 30 years. This very camera was and is still very well taken care of.
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Old 09-18-2017   #5
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I was given a free roll of in-date Portra 400 when I got an OM1 from Ebay which I thought was generous. But it ended up having half a roll of photos on it, which I only discovered after shooting the whole roll. Not complaining though, some of the double exposures were great. Here, the flower shots were already on the film:





But there were also some photos of a barbecue on there that didn't double quite so nicely...

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Old 09-18-2017   #6
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I recently ran a roll of 120 Kodacolor X in HC110 that was in a Rolleiflex I bought from an antique store. There was heavy fog but was able to get a couple of very boring images from a ceramics / crafts show in the late 60's of early 70's.
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Old 09-18-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbitrarium View Post
I was given a free roll of in-date Portra 400 when I got an OM1 from Ebay which I thought was generous. But it ended up having half a roll of photos on it, which I only discovered after shooting the whole roll. Not complaining though, some of the double exposures were great. Here, the flower shots were already on the film:

But there were also some photos of a barbecue on there that didn't double quite so nicely...
That is very cool
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Old 09-18-2017   #8
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I've done it sometimes there are some gems.

About 1962 found in a Kodak Starlite (?) about 4 years ago and developed in HC-110h (it was B&W):

50+ year old Verichrome by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 09-18-2017   #9
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I bought an old 1950's Perfex 55 several years back at an antique's store for $5.00. When I got home, I realized it had a roll of B&W film in it. I developed it and managed to get some faint images of an old farm and several people. Kind of cool.

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Old 09-18-2017   #10
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Our family friends gave us old media center which I use as my cameras and else center.
In one of the drawers it was the roll of film. I get it developed and printed, scanned.
It was their family pictures for one year. One of the portraits is in the family room now.

Olympus Infinity Stylus is from 1990 and younger. Chances what images will be OK are high.
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Old 09-18-2017   #11
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Bought a Minolta 16 from the auction site about five years ago, was listed as coming with two new rolls of film. Turns out both rolls were exposed, in like 1960. Processed them both and one roll was of a wedding, and the other from a trip to Rome. Contacted the seller in hopes that he could put me in contact with the original owner of the camera, but even after I explained to him that I had pictures that the original owner might want, he refused to help. Oh well.

It is kind of exciting, like looking back in history.

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Old 09-18-2017   #12
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That's a good sign, it shows that at least the previous owner was using it for photography.
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Old 09-18-2017   #13
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Some years ago I got a Canon ELPH Jr (APS film) through eBay, and found that it had a partially-exposed roll in it. I shot the rest of the roll and had it processed. The seller was evidently a school teacher, as the images were around the school offices and cafeteria. I cut the negs and sent the seller his part and the prints.
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Old 09-18-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukecoke View Post
That's a good sign, it shows that at least the previous owner was using it for photography.

You lost me there.
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Old 09-18-2017   #15
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Agfacolor CNS from an old Box
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Old 09-18-2017   #16
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I bought a 1937 Certo Super Sport Dolly 6x6 folder a couple of years ago, tuned out to have a roll of Kodak Verichrome Safety Film in it, which ceased production in 1953. I finished it off though my pictures were lousy - the film was about 50ISO when new and more like 1 at this age - but the two latent images were good, if a bit spotty. The lady who sold it to me said it was her grandfather's; there was a little girl in the pictures that could well have been her. Posted her the 8x8 prints and offered her the negs, but no reply. I think the shutter had jammed due to a piece of cable release breaking off; the strap of the case broke and I dropped it before I could even take my first picture, thankfully not hard, and it shot fine, must have dislodged it.
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Old 09-18-2017   #17
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Not film but a SD card in a camera...I deleted the images, there was no reason to post or keep them...
On another note...before opening a film camera, try the rewind knob for tension...if it doesn't turn easily there might be film in there...
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Old 09-18-2017   #18
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Twice...newlyweds and brand new baby shots on a digital camera. Sent SD card back to original owners and recieved many thanks. Second time Pentax 110 camera...young girls at a football game.

All in all pretty banal so far.
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Old 09-18-2017   #19
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I bought a Retina 118 at an antique store that had a 20 exp roll of PlusX in it. Roll was basically unused though first two frames were gone (probably people opening it or firing it in the store). I shot the rest of the roll and it recorded images but was badly fogged.

My mother inlaw gave my son an older Pentax P&S. It had film in it that he finished the roll of. Turned out it was Kodachrome 25. I processed it in HC110 and was able to get images from an old family car trip off it.

If you haven't seen it this site is kind of cool...

https://www.rescuedfilm.com/

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Old 09-18-2017   #20
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I used to always just take it out of the camera with enough leader left out so I could load it into a camera I'd be repairing so a film transport test could be made.

Then three years ago I ran across this roll of Vericolor II 400 that came in some P&S (I forgot which one), and decided to get it developed.

There were shots of boats tied up to a dock on some lake, and a gal playing a trombone, possibly at a high school contest. I did some conversions that came out passable (the film was over 40 years old).


Found Film: Corrections Composite by P F McFarland, on Flickr


Found Film: Trombone Practice by P F McFarland, on Flickr

The only other time I did this was a 12 exposure roll that came in an Olympus XA that had only been half used, and I shot the other half. https://flic.kr/s/aHskkzqjqD

There is some stuff that my Dad shot when I was either very young, or maybe even before I was born because I don't remember him using the camera I found it in. That will have to be developed by someone with experience in handling old films.

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Old 09-18-2017   #21
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I just picked up a Nikon F2 Photomic today for a steal at a thrift shop, and it has a roll of film in it. Every time I've gotten a camera with film in it, it has always been opened by curious folks at the stores, and then closed again. The rolls are always ruined up to the point that the film hadn't come out of the canister yet, and the part I shot was the only bit that turned out. We'll see about this roll, since it has only four shots exposed so far.

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Old 09-18-2017   #22
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I have processed found film in the past, it's interesting. About a year ago I purchased a box of camera gear that included a roll of exposed 620 Kodak Verichrome Pan film wrapped in paper with the label "pre-war Rolleicord". Today I finally took it into the lab to get developed, if there are any good shots I'll post them here.
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Old 09-18-2017   #23
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It has happened to me with three Lubitel cameras I bought (all different, one of them inscribed with Loomp).
I just love it. I give it my best guess/shot in developing them. It is worth it 100%.
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Old 09-19-2017   #24
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Hi,

A lot of cameras come with a dead battery and a part used film in them. I guess the battery dies and they think the camera is broken and abandon it and then, later on, it goes - just as it is - to a charity shop for me to find...

Or else they see the price of a new battery and abandon the camera.

I used to finish the films but don't bother these days as other people's photo's are boring and the film is usually not worth saving because of its uncertain age. OTOH, they are useful if you want to display, say, a FHKOO with the usual 3¼" of film in it.

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Old 09-19-2017   #25
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It has happened to me twice. Reading the posts above, I think I may be different from the average, because one time I contacted the previous owner (an Ebay seller) and told them about the film I found in the camera. I asked him what I should do with it. He asked me to send it back to him (and refunded me the postage).

The second time I found a film in a garage sale camera, I just threw it away. The owner was not find-able.

For me, and this is where I may differ from some, it's a privacy issue. What right have I got to develop someone else's film? If I forgot a roll of film with family photos in a camera I sold, I would prefer to either get it back or have it be destroyed, unviewed.
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Old 09-19-2017   #26
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"The real camera company" (Manchester, England), usually takes any film out of the cameras that they sell, BUT, they sometimes sell joblots of these films for the curious to dev and print.

Usually You can never know what stories a camera has to tell, but if you get an exposed film in one it's a bit like the very first film of your own that you took to the lab to have processed: Will it come out alright? Will the pics be good, bad or indifferent? You have the added thing of What will the story be?
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Old 09-19-2017   #27
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The thrift shops all say they remove film from donated cameras, but they leave film in all the time. I've seen many cameras that I have no interest in with film in them, and sometimes good batteries too.

I think there are two classes of sources of donated cameras here in Oregon:

1. Old folks die or downsize to move into assisted living, and their old cameras are donated. These seem to be the cameras that have good batteries and film, or sometimes dead batteries and film. Sometimes this includes dark room equipment too.
2. Normal folks bought a digital camera, or just use their phones, and don't need either old digital cameras or old film cameras, so they get donated.

There are undoubtedly other classes of people who donate cameras too. There are also some surprising people who rummage through the donated cameras too. (No, I'm not the surprising type.) This summer at 13-14-year-old girl was very curious about a Pentax ME Super, so I showed her how it worked, and she took it off to ask her mom to buy it for her. I hope the answer was "Yes."

Scott
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Old 09-20-2017   #28
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I love finding mystery rolls (in or outside a camera) and I always have them developed. My most spectacular find was a roll of C-22 color film in a Kodak Stirling II folder of mid fifties vintage. Sent it to a specialized lab and got back b&w prints.

A little bit of Google taught me the pictures were most likely made in the summer 1963 in Italy. Below I embedded the best of the lot:


Mystery roll - Kodak Sterling II
by Ronald Hogenboom, on Flickr

Considering these pictures were made almost 55 years ago, and seeing the age of the subjects, it is extremely unlikely any of them is still with us. It also raises the question why the camera and film lay untouched for 51 years!
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Old 09-20-2017   #29
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Well not found in a camera but a bar! We went on a vac. to visit my aunt who was living in Nassau at the time. We used to spend our afternoon at this beach that had a nice little bar. After about our third day their the bartender had gotten to know us and said someone had left a roll of film and had never came back for it. He said enjoy someone else's vac also, and gave it to me. When we got home and developed the film we found two girls in there 20's had been to a topless beach and had spent too much time in the sun. When I opened the envelope with the prints both my wife and myself said at the same time "Nooooo!" we felt sorry for them and could understand why they left that roll of film behind.
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Old 09-20-2017   #30
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[quote=nikon_sam;2756021]Not film but a SD card in a camera..../QUOTE]

I had this happen recently. It was a cheap, low capacity card with nothing interesting on it.

Even if you open a camera with film in it, you may be able to salvage some of the early shots on the roll. I know from past experience you can still get usable negatives even with pushed Tri-X that was inadvertently exposed.
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Old 09-20-2017   #31
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I don't mind the old films in cameras but I do wish they'd throw the ones with a gruesome battery oozing yuk into the bin. I've picked up no end of cameras in mint condition externally but goo inside thanks to those morons.

Just once, and never again, I bought one and ended with a self tapping screw in the battery and a crowbar to try and lever it out and it was a complete waste of time and a good to excellent camera.

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Old 09-20-2017   #32
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Some great work here:

http://westfordcomp.com/updated/found.htm
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Old 09-20-2017   #33
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Have inherited two old Pentax ME Super from my father. One with a film, 24 pictures taken. Inside the camera since the 1980s. Will develope it the next days, if there is any hope for pictures at all. Feels eerie...

Got a Super-8 camera (Paillard-Bolex) with a roll of film inside, too. Don't think that this will still be ok. The camera was opened before by some relatives...
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Forlorn hopes of pricless imaes in found films
Old 09-20-2017   #34
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Cool Forlorn hopes of pricless imaes in found films

Quote:
Originally Posted by john_s View Post
Is Gene still around? He was a regular poster on another photo sites (the one seemingly now in terminal decline) for years, but hasn't been heard of or from for some time.

His one-line responses in many posts were always a delight to read and ponder. A lateral thinker, with a fine sense of black humor.

Like the other posters in this thread and also, I suspect, the rest of us, I too have lived in the (so far unrealised) hope that films I've found in old cameras I've bought over many decades would hold priceless hidden images - my long-cherished fantasy of that 1920s folder found in a charity shop with a film of nude images of Mae West and suchlike, or candid shots of the gala swingers' ball in Atlantic City in 1910. To date, no such luck.

I still have a small box in my home darkroom with a dozen 'found' color negative films, but I'm by now leery of spending the cost of a C41 kit to soup them.

Sadly (for me) the 100+old films I've found in cameras over the years, have never produced any images I would define as "interesting". I've come to the conclusion that other people's snapshots are really of no interest to anyone. They did after all leave the film in the camera...

Last edited by ozmoose : 09-20-2017 at 20:29. Reason: My usual minor corrections and additions
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Easy to clean some of these
Old 09-20-2017   #35
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Easy to clean some of these

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
I do wish they'd throw the ones with a gruesome battery oozing yuk into the bin. I've picked up no end of cameras in mint condition externally but goo inside thanks to those morons.
David, most of these can easily be cleaned, sometimes, by a careful application of isoprophyl alcohol with a Q-tip. The key word is "careful" - at all costs avoid saturating the innards with alcohol as it may seep into the electronics and cause havoc when you eventually test it out with new batteries.

I salvaged a really beaut Nikon F65 bought for peanuts on Ebay with this technique. It also contained a roll of C41 but I've yet to process it - probably I won't, at my ripe old age my curiosity about other people's happy-crappy snaps has long vanished. The camera continues to work well, tho the lektrics are a bit wobbly and on occasion the camera has to be turned off and on again between shots, but it keeps on shooting and shooting.

I paid A$50 for this baby. Everyone I know insists that was way too much, but it came with a fplastic 28-80 Nikkor G zoom which I flogged off for A$5 less than the cost of the entire kit. So!

Give the alcohol and Q-tip treatment a try, you never know your luck. Not on the bellows on a folder, please. This from one who did, and knows.
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Old 09-21-2017   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoose View Post
David, most of these can easily be cleaned, sometimes, by a careful application of isoprophyl alcohol with a Q-tip. The key word is "careful" - at all costs avoid saturating the innards with alcohol as it may seep into the electronics and cause havoc when you eventually test it out with new batteries.

I salvaged a really beaut Nikon F65 bought for peanuts on Ebay with this technique. It also contained a roll of C41 but I've yet to process it - probably I won't, at my ripe old age my curiosity about other people's happy-crappy snaps has long vanished. The camera continues to work well, tho the lektrics are a bit wobbly and on occasion the camera has to be turned off and on again between shots, but it keeps on shooting and shooting.

I paid A$50 for this baby. Everyone I know insists that was way too much, but it came with a fplastic 28-80 Nikkor G zoom which I flogged off for A$5 less than the cost of the entire kit. So!

Give the alcohol and Q-tip treatment a try, you never know your luck. Not on the bellows on a folder, please. This from one who did, and knows.

Thanks, Ill give it a try on the next horror I find. Knowing how this world works that will be years away as I'll be looking for a dud and will never find one. ;-)

Regards, David
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Old 09-21-2017   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoose View Post
I still have a small box in my home darkroom with a dozen 'found' color negative films, but I'm by now leery of spending the cost of a C41 kit to soup them.
If you want to see the images without the cost of the C41 kit process the film in B&W chemicals. You will get images out of them if the film is still intact.

Shawn
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Old 09-21-2017   #38
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My thanks to you both, David and Shawn. It should have crossed my addled pickled brain to process those C41s as B&W films. I will do the lot when I next crank up the darkroom at home. It's a little too cold now with the seemingly endless winter we are having down here in Tasmania, 4C and howling a gale today. Definitely not weather to be out and about with a camera...
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Old 12-08-2017   #39
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I can add some to this thread. I bought an inexpensive Imperial Satellite 127 camera, which had an exposed roll of Kodak Verichrome Pan in it. I needed the spools anyway, for re-rolling 120 film onto. So even if the film turned out to be blank, I was gaining two additional spools. Turned out, the film was intact, if a little fogged. Probably shot in the early 60s. I was born in 1964, so these pics may have been shot before I was born!



This is a 1960 Chevrolet. Looks pretty new... And its interesting to see there are people besides my parents who kept film in the camera for many many months on end and get snow, summer sun, etc all on the same roll!



Don't know what's up with this airplane.... Mechanical issues?



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Old 12-08-2017   #40
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@CS9540 - would it be possible to identify the plane from the markings on the side? Might be a way to figure out who the photographer was, or who/where he was shooting.

The closest I've come to mystery pictures are:

- I once bought a new camera from a shop, only to discover a few photos in the in-camera memory. One was of a window covered with rain, another was a close up of a small potted cactus. EXIF data suggested that the photos were taken not too long before I bought it, so I suspect the camera may have been a return sold as new. Not cool. I found that I didnt like the camera anyway, so I took it back and exchanged it for a Fuji X100 black limited edition.

- my Dad has given me a couple of cameras as presents, and he sometimes takes test photos in the store before he buys them. The resulting images are always a bit funny to see.

- I dug up Dad's old Minolta SR-T and it still had a roll of film in it. For some god knows what the heck reason, I unspooled the film from the back. What on earth. It had been at least 30 years since that camera had been used, so who knows what images from our family's past might have been on there?

- I have a Fuji disc film that I found in a box a few years ago. The box had been sitting in a wardrobe since the early 80's, so again, I have no idea what will be on it when I eventually send it to Film Rescue.
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