OLD FILM CAMERAS: What you could do with them

By SnapSquad - July 20, 2020

You have an old film camera that’s been in a closed cabinet for aeons now. You are still holding on to it, somehow (assuming you are not just a hoarder) perhaps for sentimental reasons: you were a member of your school photo club and you always travelled everywhere with it. It’s your dad’s camera and his pictures still fill the family albums. Whatever the reason is for that camera to still be in your possession, you’d like to do something with it other than just placing it back into a box till your next big clean-up. Still, unsettled? We have put a few ideas together for you which we hope will help you in your decision. Just to be clear, the last place for a camera to end up in the rubbish bin!


I trust you are creative enough to find a visually satisfying way to display your vintage camera in your home. Sometimes though, any one of us could do with a little looking around for different “options”. There is, of course, the obvious shelf option, closely followed by the study desk. If you only own one camera, you could also choose to hang it, casually, from the corner of a poster?

If you happen to be so lucky as to own a few vintage cameras, you can definitely indulge in being more creative with you style, playing with materials and volumes with all sorts of shelf combinations: rustic, industrial, minimalist… horizontal, vertical… up on the wall, on the floor… across a large board displayed together with lenses… individually housed inside pigeons holes… Let’s not forget how awesome a camera looks on its tripod; I am getting carried away here, visualising a 19th-century plate camera! Sigh.                                           

Who knows, once you start displaying, your family and friends may just want to surprise you with more vintage cameras as gifts?

Camera for Sale

Displaying your old camera as part of your home decor is not your taste and you are not sentimentally attached to “things”; you’d rather sell it to buy a digital camera or simply collect a bit of cash.                                                                 

The first step for you to take is to find out the actual value of your camera. Can you expect to sell it for 50 US$ or a few whooping hundreds for a rare vintage? A few online camera trading sites such as https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/ (also the US) can put you on the right trail, and of course, you can check out auction sites such as eBay and KEH https://www.keh.com/     

Lots of people are still wary of online trading and rather deal person to person. For those, you could drop an ad. at the local photo club or shop or place one in a magazine or your local paper. Interested buyers would then be able to make an appointment to meet you and look at the equipment. To trade your camera, you could check out the internet and join photo forums and clubs. You’ll be surprised to find out how many people are looking for film cameras!

Cameras for Schools

And what if you donated your camera equipment to a school or a charity? Not only will schools that offer photography as part of their art program welcome your donation for their students but some charities who organise photo tutorials will also be thrilled to have your gear. Photography may have turned digital but students still learn to develop films and see first hand how an older camera worked. Some non-profit organisations even collect cameras to be sent all over the world. They are easy to find on Google. Who knows, you may even end up with a tax deduction?

Film Camera Renaissance

If you are a photographer, even an occasional one, chances are extremely high that you will regret selling or parting from your camera. Here is the obvious happy ending for both yourself and your vintage gear: use it! You are worried about finding films? Fear not, they are still available online. There is even an actual renaissance of film photography lead by Kodak that’s bringing back black-and-white films; there is also the Ektachrome film coming back on the market. You may not want to use a film every time you’re out to take pictures but you may find it most enjoyable during holidays, for home fun projects or while travelling? You could even refresh your memory or learn from scratch how to develop your own prints with online tutorials? Digital photography is easy and we take our computer for granted when we want to edit our shots, yet, it will feel exciting to actually see the picture your took reveal itself slowly on paper as you are holding it.

Whatever fate you decide for your film camera, displaying it in your living room or your office; donating it if luck would have it to a little kid who may one day turn out to be a Magnum star photographer; selling it or going back to using it (which you could combine with displaying it), your vintage equipment is still precious and deserves love and respect, yours or a photography lover out there. a vast range 

Be sure to check out our amazing photographers on our marketplace!

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