Modern and vintage film cameras comprise a large percentage of the online sales
of cameras on marketplaces such as eBay, and with good reason; most households own
at least one camera. The growing popularity of digital photography is taking a bite
out of film sales, but there are still legions of photographers who don’t want to
go digital. Artists who use photography as their primary medium are often firmly
committed to film cameras, and many consumers prefer to continue to own a film camera
even if they purchase a digital one.
Film cameras come in many different formats:
Not all of these formats are equally valuable; it’s best to research each camera
model online before agreeing to sell it.
Camera Quest has pictures and detailed information about many vintage cameras, as
well as a timeline of camera history. Visit the site at http://www.cameraquest.com.
BoxCameras.com contains photos and information about box cameras from the late 1800s
through 1950s. Visit the website at
Canon has a camera museum on their website, with pictures and information about
many of their products. Visit the website at http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/.
Look for the following signs of use and damage:
Ask the owner when the camera was last cleaned and if it was ever serviced. If the
camera is valuable, it might be worth it to have a professional repair shop examine
it before selling.
If you don’t know all the specifications, check the manufacturer’s website; they
often have product catalogs online that list detailed specifications.
Store the camera in the case designed to protect the item, if provided by the owner.
If a case is not available, wrap the items carefully and store them away from children,
pets and environmental hazards. All camera components should be kept in a cool,
dry place or in a dry box. Cameras are sensitive devices that must be carefully
maintained during and after use. Cameras are not waterproof. Store them away from
fluctuations in temperature and humidity. If you are transporting a camera from
a cold to a warm environment, condensation might form on the lens. If water gets
into the camera, turn it off and remove the battery until the moisture evaporates.
Let the unit dry for 24-48 hours before turning it on again.
To maintain good image quality, be certain to protect the lens. When not in use,
make certain the lens cap is on. This not only protects the lens from the elements
but also from accidental knocks during storage and shipment. If the lens gets dirty,
you can use a blower brush or a soft cloth to remove the dust. Do not use facial
tissue or paper towels as these can scratch the lens. Wipe in circles across the
glass surface as this will reduce the risk of scratching the lens. If the camera
will not be in use for awhile, remove the battery to prevent battery leaks. The
battery should be taken out and recharged occasionally to prevent it from losing
its charge permanently.
Use the original packaging whenever possible to store or ship an item. If the original
box is missing or too damaged to use, wrap each item separately in bubble wrap and
cushion with packing peanuts inside a larger box. Put lens caps on lenses to protect
them during shipment.