This past weekend my son-in-law Joe and I went down to Portland for a Camera Show. We have a lot of fun at these things. I like looking at the cameras and seeking out little treasures to take home. There is always something to buy. And Joe and I really enjoy the people. Camera collectors are a great bunch and getting to know everyone is a real pleasure.

So last Friday morning we set off for Portland with great expectations. The plan was to go to the show Saturday morning, explore Portland in the afternoon and evening, and return on Sunday.

The show was on Saturday at the Jackson Armoury, where ever that was. Thanks to the internet and our GPS we were able to find it without trouble and we checked into the Ramada Inn Friday night near the Armory.

In the morning we got up early and walked the mile and a half to the Armory. We arrived there about 45 minutes early! First customers there. We checked in but the Show opened for early birds at 9:00 so we hung around outside and made a general nuisance of ourselves till the doors opened.

Once inside the first thing we noticed was that the room was huge and the tables were spread out to try and fill the space. It was not a big show. What we learned was that this was the first camera show in Portland in many years and they knew they would have to build a following over a few years.

We crossed the border at the Sumas crossing into Washington State. And this sign was there to welcome us!

So what do you do while you wait for the doors to open? You take pictures of each other.

Joe did the driving which was fine by me. I was able to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Hey Joe, the show is in there!

Walking to the Armory we saw lots of signs to point the way. which made the walk easy.

Being a military base there were toys for the adults!

Summer is not a great time for a camera show either. Most families are pretty busy with gardens, vacations, and kids. Talking with the organizers of the show, we learned that they had little choice of dates this year but they will make sure next year to be in the spring or fall.

But it was still a good show. The tables were great. The general quality of items offered for sale was very good. Really there was no “junk”. I bought an FL 50mm f/1.8 in great shape for $15.00 (iris is stuck but that is an easy fix I can do myself), four camera bodies for a buck each, a lovely Model IIF with a Serenar 100mm f/4 in great shape for $150.00 and a handful of instruction booklets for the Library for $2.00. And there were other bits and pieces as well. I got a stainless steel two reeler developing tank which I had been looking for.

I also found Canon closeup and wide angle lens attachments which I did not know existed. They screw into the 55mm filter ring. Who knew? I had never heard of them. On getting home and doing a little digging I found out they were for a movie camera. But they seem to work on any lens with a 55mm filter ring. I look forward to trying them out and seeing just what they do to image quality. I will report back right here with lots of photos.

And we won a door prize! That was nice. It was a certificate for $25.00 redeemable at any table and that came in really handy. I blew through my budget and the door prize with no trouble at all.

At one table I bought four camera bodies for a buck each!

There was lots to look at. The quality of the items was good and there was something for everyone.

There was lots of extra space. But as the word spreads, there will be a lot more people next year.

I wish I could have a table here but the border crossing is just too much trouble. I think I’ll ask if there is any way to do it but I have doubts: big doubts.

I love camera shows. For a collector they are the path to a fine collection. I arrive and do the hall once through quickly looking for the obvious “must haves” and the good deals before anyone else has a chance to snap them up. Then I relax and go through again twice or more times to really examine the tables in detail looking for little bits and pieces that I need. And I enjoy the socializing. I like to chat the guys up. You can learn so much.

We left about 2:00 pm and went on downtown to walk around and see some of the City. We had a really fine time. It involved a goodly amount of food and drink. Actually it was more of a “pub crawl” than a tour but then Joe and I are shameless hedonists. But we came away really liking the City of Portland.

Let’s see – where shall we eat tonight?

At the Irish Pub called “Kells” we found interior decorating to envy! (Kells is a town in Ireland.)

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Irish Nachos at Kells. What kind of chips does an Irishman use to make nachos? Potato chips!!!

Basil Pesto Pasta at Pastini. This was a great place to eat.

We ended the evening back at Kells listening to a modern rock version of Irish music.

If you like cameras, get out to a camera show! Especially one out of town. It can be a great experience and you can learn a lot. And it gives you a great excuse for eating and drinking and general merry making.

Not only that but the guys who put these shows on need your support. They work hard to make it a pleasant event and they take a certain amount of financial risk. It is heartbreaking if people don’t come out to support them.

Here in Vancouver we have a show coming up on the 6th of November at the Croatian Cultural Center. I’ll have a table at that one. If you are there come and say hello. Never mind that, come and buy something!

But I learned of a couple of other camera shows coming up. First is one on October 22nd in California. That is too far for me, at least this year, but some of you might be close enough to make it there. Check the flyer. I believe it is put on by the same people and if it is, it should be a good show.

The other is the Puget Sound Photographic Society Annual “Sale, Swap and Show” in Kent Washington on 8 April next year. I’ll be at that one for sure. I went to it this past spring and really had a good time! Joe was with me. He does not collect cameras but I think he is getting the bug for camera shows!