Hyderabad: Whereas passing via the magnificent roads of Hyderabad’s previous metropolis, one would possibly discover quaint vintage shops settled within the corners, providing a peek into the previous. From resplendent gramophones to passe typewriters, virtually the whole lot of historic significance is saved in these retailers.
Nonetheless, with the rising expertise, these shops, have did not garner curiosity from passers-by previously few a long time and are on the point of closing down.
Located within the dingy lanes of bustling Hussaini Alam, ‘Ahmed Digicam Ghar’ gives a glimpse into the wealthy historical past and evolution of cameras with a group of practically 4000 cameras, starting from cameras of the bygone period to the newest cameras of the 21st century.
65-year-old Ahmed Ali Khan, a images fanatic, began his love affair with cameras on the younger age of 16. He appears again on the golden instances when he used to purchase disposable cameras at a mere Rs 25 per piece. Though a proficient photographer, Khan makes it recognized that he by no means professionally pursued the artwork and would solely seize his associates and neighbourhood weddings as a pastime.
Whereas tinkering with certainly one of his favorite Minolta cameras, Ahmed Ali Khan reminisces, “Since childhood, I’ve at all times been surrounded by cameras as my grandfather, Mahtab Ali Khan, was already within the vintage enterprise, and my father had adopted swimsuit. I used to be 16 once I began toying with the concept of accumulating cameras. The mechanisms of a digital camera and images used to fascinate me loads.”
He formally started accumulating cameras 50 years in the past, from varied locations worldwide, particularly Hyderabad’s Previous Metropolis, Mumbai’s Crawford Market, Chennai’s Moore Market, and flea markets within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UK.
“I used to journey to Bombay (Mumbai) and Madras (Chennai) each 15 days, hoping to search out vintage cameras. In Hyderabad, I’ve discovered a treasure trove of vintage cameras by attending the J Moosa auctions and visiting the markets close to Charminar,” he recalled fondly.
“Arey bhai! Aaj ke bacho ko kya malum, woh zamane mein Hyderabad kitna badha khazana tha,” (At this time’s era isn’t acquainted with the treasure trove that Hyderabad was).
At Ahmed Digicam Ghar, one can discover all kinds of working cameras, various from Leica, Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, and Yashica to the earliest and most up-to-date editions of Olympus, Fujifilm, Nikon, Canon, and Sony. Till just lately, he used to promote his cameras ranging between a mere Rs. 500 to a whopping Rs. 1-2 Lakhs.
“Mera assortment dekhne log dur dur se aate the. (Individuals used to return from faraway locations to see my assortment),” taking pleasure in his assortment, Khan boasts, “I’ve many cameras and lenses, that are over 120 years previous, together with Raja Lala Deen Dayal’s Linhof Grasp Technika Digicam, which was gifted to me by his granddaughter-in-law. I even have movement image cameras from the Fifties and 60s.”
Unable to retailer the huge quantity of cameras and lenses in a single location, Khan has unfold out his assortment in seven warehouses across the metropolis. Nonetheless, lately he finds it fairly onerous to handle the overwhelming quantity as his buyer base has been decreased to a only a few.
Referring to the smartphone period because the period of “tabahi”, Khan holds a grudge towards the rising expertise and owes it to the loss in his enterprise. “Nobody desires to purchase tattered cameras when you’ve got a 100-megapixel cellphone at your disposal,” mentioned Ahmed Ali Khan with a wistful snort.
Apparently, Khan’s assortment has gained the eye of varied Tollywood filmmakers. Round 30-35 cameras from Khan’s assortment had been utilized in Savitri Ganesan’s biopic Mahanati (2018). Actor Dulquer Salman, enjoying the position of Gemini Ganesan within the film, used Khan’s Ross of London wood digital camera to take Savitri’s first portfolio photos.
Together with Mahanati (2018), Khan’s cameras will also be seen in NTR Kathanayakudu (2019), Oh! Child (2019), Jersey (2019), and KGF: Chapter 2 (2022).
Aside from his penchant for cameras, Ahmed Ali Khan can also be an avid collector of varied different antiques. Ask him about it and he has varied tales to relate about his radios, LP data, typewriters, gramophones, written scriptures, jewelry, crockery, and furnishings, which is dated to the twentieth century.
Will he be opening his assortment for public show? Khan says he enjoys holding it personal.