Mystery Film from Soviet Era Camera Developed in Paris

The camera’s new owner had no idea what the images could be.

Photographer and camera expert, Mathieu Stern, has been collecting cameras, taking photos, and even teaching photography and Photoshop in Paris for years. So when he came across a Soviet era camera at a French flea market in the summer of 2019 he hoped one day to be able to use the camera. But, when he opened up the back of his new-old Lubitel-2 camera (“Lubitel” means “amateur” in Russian) many months later he found a roll of undeveloped film still inside the camera.

Via: Mathieu Stern/ YouTube

The Lubitel-2 camera was in production between 1954 and 1977 and so Stern knew that the mystery film could contain photos of anything in that time frame and even into the more recent past. When he took the film to be developed he hoped there wouldn’t be any racy photos on the roll. He also hoped that the film was still good as old film can deteriorate with time.

Part of the way into the processing 6 images were plainly visible, though the colors were badly disfigured compared to how they should have looked.

Via: Mathieu Stern/ YouTube

What they found on the film was a piece of one family’s history, though who the family is remains unknown. Stern hopes that by sharing the story of this film he can get word back to them and give them the photos. Based on products found in the background of some of the photos Stern surmised that the photos were taken sometime in the mid-1980s in France. There are 3 kids in these photos and Stern estimates they would be between the ages of 40 and 45 today.

Via: Mathieu Stern/ YouTube

See all the photos that were on the film in the video below.