Recently, Martijn van Oers bought a second-hand camera, an original Zeiss Ikon 520/2. To his surprise, the camera contained an old roll of film that had ‘EXPOSE’ written on it.
The antique folding medium-format camera was bought from a second-hand store
The Zeiss Ikon 520/2 camera from the side angle
Curious with the film roll, he searched about the camera and found out that the camera was manufactured in 1929 and the film was produced in between 1940s and 1960s
His friend, Johan Holleman is an expert at developing photos from old film rolls throughout his life offered his service to develop the film for him.
Johan told him that the chances of recovering photos from the film roll was very slim because of its old nature
Nevertheless, Martijn had an opportunity to document Johan’s work to develop photos from the 70-year-old film roll
The developing process started with Johan soaking the film roll with developer, stop bath and fixer for a few minutes
The timing of the soaking process must be right and precise
After soaking it with fixer, Johan ran the film under water until there was no traces of fixer on the film
After that, Johan hang the film, added wetting agent and dried it with a hairdryer for faster results
They never really thought that the photos would be recovered when suddenly photos showed up on the negatives after the film was processed.
The negatives showed four images that had enough detail in them for Johan and Martijn to know when the camera was last used and assumed owner of the camera which was a man who holds the camera’s case in one of the images
The man probably brought the camera for his travel trip.
There were also two images of a lady posing for the photos
Upon discovering the images, they decided to upload them on their Facebook page.
Martijn’s friend, Wilco commented on those images, saying that the background of the photos looked like Biarritz, a city in the French Basque Country in southwestern France
The lady and the man probably strolled around Biarritz on a vacation
Wilco was very familiar with the city so he immediately recognised the photos as soon as he saw them on Martijn’s Facebook page.
He even sent a Google Streetview image of Biarritz to Martijn.
Martijn was quickly convinced that the photos were taken in Biarritz
Martijn felt amused and shocked at his small discovery. He felt like he had found a time capsule of a stranger.
However, he planned to give the photos to his rightful owner should the relatives of the man came forward to claim the images. The photos could mean a lot to the couple’s family members. Martijn really hoped he could return the photos to the mystery man’s family one day.
Photo credits: Instagram | @martin_vanners