Emotional times after discovering an undeveloped film in my late Uncle’s Miranda FG-Z camera

During the COVID-19 lockdown, my uncle sadly passed away from a non-Covid related illness.

My family had the sad task of sorting through his things after he passed and found a Miranda FG-Z film camera amongst his possessions that they thought I may like to have since I’m into film photography.

After further research I discovered that the Miranda FG-Z camera was a rebranded Halina 160 which appeared to have been sold in Dixons during the 1980s and was made in Thailand.

It’s a standard plastic point and shoot 35mm camera with a built in flash and 33mm lens. You have ISO choices of 100, 200, 400 and 1000.

What I also noticed when I looked at the camera was that there was a film already in there with 18 shots taken.

I told my family and said I would remove the film from the camera and get it developed to see what photos my uncle had taken on it.

The film was a Vantage Pharmacy Colour Print ISO 100 35mm film with 24 exposures.

I decided not to use the remainder of the film up since I wanted it to be remembered for what my uncle had taken photos of.

I wasn’t even sure if there would be any photos that would come out on the film as it had clearly been inside the camera for some years.

I don’t think this film is made anymore but I could tell from looking at it that it most likely wasn’t film from the 1980s and looked more like it could have been produced in the late 1990s or early 2000’s perhaps.

I took the film to my local lab and was grateful to see that there were photos on the negatives when I got them back.

I eagerly scanned the negatives on my Epson V600 scanner to see what photos had been taken.

Initially there were several photos of some people I didn’t recognise that I think were my uncle’s friends at a gathering at one of their homes.

There was also this random photo of his television at the time where perhaps he was testing out the camera:

I then discovered the remainder of the film had been taken at another uncle’s 50th birthday meal/party which would have been around 2005. It was quite sad to see since this other uncle of mine (which was my uncle’s younger brother) had also passed away a couple of years ago due to cancer.

For some reason I didn’t attend the birthday meal or party so there were no photos of me. Here are some from the meal:

It was lovely to see some old photos of my family and also my Nan who sadly passed away a few years ago.

I had to really look at the last photo above as I saw my sister standing up at the back, my nan just in shot of the frame and sitting next to her was my brother.

At this point I started to get quite tearful but ploughed on through the scanning and the next one was of my uncle’s birthday cake with an old photo of him from the 1970s:

I then proceeded to scan the next negative and was completely and utterly shocked by what I discovered:

The person on the right in the striped top with the blonde hair is my brother.

The reason it was such a shock and extremely emotional for me was because he had tragically died in a car crash back in February 2006 when he was only 20 years old.

It appears this photo was taken of him the year prior to his death.

We thought we had all the photos we could ever have of him so this was such a lovely and wonderful surprise to find this undiscovered photo of him on my late uncle’s film camera.

I feel so grateful that first of all, my uncle had taken these photos, then my family gave the camera to me and that I decided to get the film developed instead of just throwing it away.

My family now have a new photo and memory to cherish of my brother which is lovely.

There were unfortunately no further photos of my brother and none of my late uncle who recently passed since he had been the one taking all the photos.

Instagram: natalie_smart_photography

11 thoughts on “Emotional times after discovering an undeveloped film in my late Uncle’s Miranda FG-Z camera

  1. Film is a bit like that, I was given a camera last year that had film in it, probably ten or fifteen years old, and there was an image of the late husband of the lady who gave me the camera. Whether of not you shoot that camera in the future, I am guessing you will not part with it. I am currently scanning my old negatives and slides, and some of my Dad’s going back many years. Lost memories and reflections of people no longer with us, it certainly holds up a mirror to the past, both good and bad. And is probably good for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had a similar experience when my uncle died last year. I think I wrote about it. I can’t remember now. But I found a canon point and shoot in his apartment and it had a roll of film in it. I was happy to find pictures of myself from the last time I had visited him years ago. This is what makes photography so important. The memories they convey and the importance that they carry makes them treasures in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My condolences to you and your family. Have you thought that your family members was sending you message from the other side. Finding the camera and the photos on the film, letting you know they are all together.

    Liked by 1 person

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