Vintage cameras: popular models and how to sell them
Ever cleaned out the attic and stumbled upon a vintage camera? Read up on the most popular camera models throughout the ages and the surprises that come with them!
Whether you're celebrating the seasonal holidays or jetting off in the summer for some sun, sea and sand, the one thing every occasion has are the moments where someone requests a photo – and a good camera is key to capturing those special memories. Though many of us now choose to capture snaps on our phones, vintage cameras are commonplace in attics, auctions, antiques shops and flea markets across the UK. And while some vintage cameras may only fetch £5-£50, there are a number of prized models which could be worth thousands…
Mia Foster, head of the camera department at Vintage Cash Cow, recalls that sometimes, when people decide to sell these vintage cameras, they contain original antique film. These film reels can give us a tantalising glimpse into how Brits used to spend their holidays, and enable us to connect vintage objects with the real people who owned and treasured them.
So, make that trip up to the attic (or visit your local antiques fair, auction or antiques shop!) to see if you can track down a vintage camera or some old film. And, if you do decide to sell your finds, read on for some tips on how to get the most bang for your buck.
The most popular vintage cameras
The Pony Premo No.2
Dating from 1898, this wooden plate camera, housed in a leather-covered box, has brass features and beautiful burgundy/red bellows - a feature now considered to be very rare. This camera was originally sold for $10, but is now worth up to $300 or £220! Have a look at the Victorian film found in one of these cameras when it was brought in to sell!
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The Eastman Kodak No.3-A Folding Pocket camera
This Kodak was released in the early 1900s and now sells for around £100; however, some of these models were created with the rare red bellows that can increase the price even more.
The Kodak Vanity Ensemble
The Vanity Ensemble is an example of the stylised, limited edition camera models produced in the 1920s and 30s. These new cameras were manufactured to be smaller and more lightweight so that they could be carried around more easily. This model also includes matching makeup in a large case with a built-in mirror. They can be worth up to £500!
The Coronet Midget
A small but mighty camera, the Coronet Midget is a tiny camera weighing only 55g, making it the perfect camera to fit in your pockets or handbags. This quirky 16mm camera is available in a variety of colours (black, lime green, olive green, brown, red, rose/orange and blue) and sells for around £300.
The Kodak Beau Brownie
A take on the traditional silhouette of the box brownie, Kodak’s Beau Brownie was released in 1930 in limited edition Art Deco inspired colours. It can sell for up to £500 depending on the colour. Take a look at the shots of Scotland and Rome caught on this Beau Brownie!
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The Olympus Trip 35
Produced in the 1950s, a time where camera companies were adapting their marketing and products heavily towards amateur photographers, this camera is a compact, fully manual point and shoot film camera. The Olympus Trip 35 can sell for around £60 today, however some refurbished ones can increase the price up to around £150.
The Leica Kits
From affordable and easy to use to high-end photography kits, Leica is a brand known by almost everyone. Some items of the kit, for example a 35mm F/1.4 ASPH lens, can sell for up to £10,000. This price tag is definitely worth an afternoon of digging around!
The Rolleiflex 2.8
The Rolleiflex 2.8 is a twin lens camera first produced in the 1960s. This sought-after camera sells for up to £1,500.
The Nikon FM3a
While there are many 35mm Nikon’s floating around, the FM3a, produced in the early 2000s, is considered one of the best 35mm film cameras made by Nikon and today can sell for up to £600.
How to sell vintage cameras
- Storing your camera in a safe place – more specifically in a dark, dry place – to get more money for your camera. Investing in a protective camera bag will also help to avoid any scratches or dents.
- Remove any batteries from your camera if it’s not going to be in use for a while, as storing them with batteries in for prolonged periods of time can lead to battery leaks which would break the internal light meter, or even the whole camera depending on how it was manufactured.
- Keep any old film that you find in a dark, dry place as well. Any exposure to bright light could over-expose the film and destroy the images.
- Broken and faulty cameras are still accepted by many camera departments, but you will receive more money for a working set.
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