Finding bargains at flea markets is great. You’ll undoubtedly come across folks who get huge bargains at flea markets if you surf Reddit. Of course, a lot of people just want to get rid of the clutter they have amassed and have no idea what they are selling. It’s definitely worth looking at old cameras. Not only are they often beautiful, but they may also be enjoyable. We’ve spent years visiting flea markets and investigating a variety of old cameras. Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the journey and things to remember.
USE THE CAMERA AND CONSIDER THESE QUESTIONS FOR YOURSELF.
Try holding and operating the camera first. Use it as you usually would, but treat it gently. Squeeze, feel, and test the film advance if it has one before picking it up. Open it up and look into each compartment. Anyone who is completely transparent will let you to do that. Here are some questions to consider:
What’s up with the take-up spool? Does it seem flimsy?
How does the viewfinder look? Is it spotless?
How is the area for loading films? Can you picture it as it might seem on film?
Is a battery necessary? Are you certain? Are you absolutely certain? Interesting fact: Many Polaroid cameras need a battery.
Is the battery compartment functional and in excellent shape? Or was it rusted as a result of a battery that was kept inside for a long time?
If you are able to, remove the lens. How does the inside look?
How’s the shutter doing?
Does it function with different shutter speeds?
The aperture is operational.
What does the light meter say? How simple is it to repair if it isn’t working? How much does the repair cost?
THE AUTOFOCUS CAMERA PROBLEM
In general, there may be a ton of issues with focusing cameras. Early autofocus cameras had malfunctioning shutters, needed batteries, and weren’t weatherproof. That implies that they finally gave out and ended up in a trash can. This issue affects mechanical cameras less commonly. Manual focus requires a little more effort, but the results are superior.
We often choose cameras with mechanical shutters in particular. This indicates that the shutter is battery-free and operates mechanically. Getting a mechanical camera that just requires a battery to operate the light meter is the sweet spot.
Of course, not all autofocus cameras operate in this manner. But in general, it’s the best guideline to follow.
ARE YOU ABLE TO GET IT REPAIRED?
Many vendors at flea markets will inform you that you may purchase the camera from them and have it fixed later. This isn’t the case all the time. You won’t be able to get a replacement film advance for your QL17 from Canon. Therefore, you must have it 3D printed instead, or else a repairman will need to purchase a replacement and charge you for it.
In general, avoid purchasing a camera or lens that requires maintenance.
CONSIDER HOW YOU WOULD USE THE OLD CAMERA.
There’s a good chance you have a digital camera at home. But what would you do with your old camera? It will need film to be loaded, but would you use it frequently? Why should I purchase it? Consider how you would use the old camera and if you would really utilize it as opposed to simply having gear lust. Nothing is more annoying than an antique camera that is just sitting on a shelf.
OLD-STYLE DIGITAL CAMERA ARE Frequently NOT WORTH IT
Really, most of the time, older digital cameras are not worth the money. I’ve seen camera booths where people were selling Olympus E1 DSLRs with broken body caps, missing battery covers, and other issues. I would then be asked to pay more than $100. Frankly, unless it’s a Leica, antique digital isn’t worth the money. In any case, most businesses wouldn’t maintain such cameras.