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Man Buys 60-Yr-Old Camera At Flea Market & The Film Will Send You Back In Time

Left image shows a camera found at a flea market. Right image shows three children captured on the film that was left in the camera.

In the summer of 2019, a trip to a flea market in France became a manhunt for a family that visited the area in the mid-1980s. Mathieu Stern bought an old camera. The Lubitel-2 is a Soviet Russian camera for the novice photographer. Two million units were made between 1954 and 1977. When Mathieu decided to use the flea market camera, he found an exposed film roll still inside. That is where his adventure began.

The 120 film could potentially hold 12 images. It took a master photo lab to develop the old film roll, and they managed to salvage some of the photos. Nation Photo in Paris developed the film but only recovered five images. Mathieu set about unraveling the mystery of his flea market camera. His ultimate goal is to find the family depicted in the pictures, but he needs to scrutinize the photos for clues.

Image shows two young girls and a young boy dressed in costumes from around the mid 1980s.
Image from YouTube.

Mathieu’s first job was determining the location of the images. Using clues from two images, he knew the pictures were from Paris, France. Next, he needed to figure out how old the photos were. Using additional clues within the pictures, he could put the year as around 1986. The children in the images are now in their 40s or 50s.

Image shows two children sitting in a cafe eating from film found in a flea market camera.

Image from YouTube.

The family may have been residents of Paris or tourists from anywhere in the world. Given that realization, it won’t be easy to find this family without the power of social media. Mathieu Stern’s Instagram page has additional exciting photography projects. At the time of this writing, he has not found the family. If you would like to help Mathieu find this family, share this on social media to give it a broader reach.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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