If you love film photography and vintage camera and lenses, this might be a place you’ll want to visit once we start traveling again. David Chan is a Hong Kong photographer who collects vintage camera gear. He has spent the past 60 years collecting vintage gear, and he owns a little shop where you’ll find tons of iconic cameras.
South China Morning Post made a video about David and his impressive camera and lens collection. David describes them all as “works of art.” His collection contains plenty of vintage lenses, and this photographer points out that they have a “flavor” that modern lenses don’t. Sure, modern lenses are sharper but don’t have the distinct look that vintage lenses do. On the shelves of his store, there are many radioactive lenses that aren’t produced any longer.
Of course, David’s shop is filled with interesting vintage cameras as well. In his collection, you’ll find a Leica from the 1930s with a removable rangefinder and a retractable lens. He also owns a Nikon F, “Japan’s national treasure” as he calls it. A Nikon F saved photographer Don McCullin’s life in Cambodia when it stopped a bullet, and it was a go-to camera during the Vietnam war.
In his store, David Chan sells some of the gear. However, he considers himself more of a “guardian of vintage photographic gear.” He says that he doesn’t run the store as a business, he sees it more as a place for his customers and friends to drop by, get together, and chat. He enjoys guiding and teaching people about vintage cameras and answering any questions that they may have, and he aims to help future generations see the beauty of camera craftsmanship.
I think that David’s collection is not only impressive but also extremely precious and historically valuable. If you happen to know any similar store like this in your country or anywhere else, feel free to recommend it. If it’s in Europe, I’ll gladly try to visit it once the corona-madness is over.
[Hong Kong camera guardian David Chan spent 60 years collecting vintage gear via SLR Lounge]