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Cameras have been around for over a century, allowing us to capture memorable moments and share them with the world. Although there are new and improved cameras coming out every year, we shouldn’t underestimate older cameras.
If you have an old camera lying around and you’re wondering if you should throw it away or not, it might be better to hold onto it. Many people don’t know this, but old cameras are becoming increasingly popular, and while some models are inexpensive, other specific models may be worth a lot of money.
Of course, you need to know how to determine the value of your camera, and you need to know where to sell it, which we’ll explain throughout this article.
Old cameras can be worthless but also pretty valuable, with prices reaching over $8,000. Some extremely rare models can be worth millions of dollars. The value of your old camera will depend on the model, film format, brand, condition, and overall popularity.
However, placing an average value on old cameras is impossible, as each needs price evaluation due to many factors determining the final price.
There’s a bigger chance that your old camera is not worth much, but on rare occasions, you might have a true showstopper for whom someone’s willing to pay a high price. Below is a chart showcasing the actual costs of certain old cameras sold throughout the years.
|Old Camera||Film Format||Sold Price|
|Polaroid SLR 680||Instant||$500|
|Polaroid Amigo 620||Instant||$34|
|Canon WP-1||35 millimeters||$130|
|Leica M6||35 millimeters||$5,500|
|Mamiya Rz67||120 (medium)||$2,000|
|Olympus OM-1||35 millimeters||$400|
|Rolleiflex 2.8 FX TLR||120 (medium)||$3,325|
|Kodak Retina Reflex S||35 millimeters||$170|
|Leica MP||35 millimeters||$5,900|
|Leica M3 SS||35 millimeters||$2,600|
|Nikon S2 Rangefinder||35 millimeters||$640|
Some of these cameras are highly valuable. At the same time, some are worth just a couple of bucks. Again, it’s likely that your old camera is not worth much if it was mass-produced or if its condition is bad due to many years of improper storing. Still, it won’t hurt to try and find the value of your old camera, as it could potentially have a good resale value.
The most expensive camera ever sold was actually sold recently, on June 11th, 2022, at the Leitz Photographica Auction House. It was a vintage Leica model from the early 1900s, and it reached an astonishing price of $15.1 million, which was way above the first given estimate of $3.2 million.
To determine the final price of old cameras and learn what makes them valuable, you must consider factors such as
We’ll briefly explain all of these parameters below.
Some brands with a long history are way more popular than others. Some old camera brands with the highest demand are:
Brands like Leica and Rolleiflex have been among the collectors’ favorites, so they will have value even when they’re not in the best condition.
The model of the camera is another crucial factor in determining if a camera is worth money or not. Mass-produced models with higher outreach have less value than rarer models, so you should verify which model you have.
The condition of your old camera is among the essential elements in finding the true value of your piece. Typically, the better the condition, the higher the price, as people want preserved well-maintained cameras.
You also need to determine the film format your camera makes. If your camera takes either 33-millimeter films or 120 films, it likely has some value. Basically, people are looking for cameras with usable film formats today, as there are several film formats have been discontinued:
Features like aperture and shutter speed will also play an important role in determining if a camera has value. Typically, heavier, metal frames and parts may suggest that a camera is more expensive than a plastic, cheap option.
Sometimes, old cameras are sold with lenses, while others may be sold as a standalone camera body. Although camera bodies can have value, lenses also commonly have a high price.
As in every other industry, old cameras depend on rarity and demand to determine their value. Unique, rare cameras will cost more than plastic, mass-produced cameras. Of course, it doesn’t mean common cameras are invaluable, as some brands such as Polaroid can be worth decent money even though they’re not too rare.
It’s best to start by doing simple research and finding more details about your camera to learn about its true value. You can search for the history behind the model, finding facts and valuable information. It’s also helpful to check out reviews of the camera’s reputation.
Once you finish the online research, you should carefully inspect the condition of the camera. When you know everything you need to finalize the price, you can visit helpful websites like CollectiBlend and eBay that will allow you to compare prices.
You could also take the camera to a local camera store to have it evaluated. The people working there should be able to provide you with more insight about the old camera model you own.
There are various online websites where you can sell your old cameras and other camera equipment. Some of the most popular ones are:
Even if you have a valuable camera, it can be hard to sell it if you don’t know what to do. That’s why it’s good to know at least some selling tips to help you sell your camera faster.
Not all old cameras are worth money, but some can be worth your time. There’s a market for rare models, while even more mainstream camera models can have value if they’re coming from a popular brand. Carefully research everything about your old camera to figure out if it’s worth any money.
Featured Image Credit: Jen Theodore, Unsplash
Visnja is a creative, adaptable content writer that covers various topics such as DIY, pets, home improvement, travel, gardening, and more. As a young mom and a college student, she didn’t have enough time to balance her personal and work life, so after multiple years of working a regular 9 to 5 job, she decided to pursue her passion and make a living out of it. She has been writing for a couple of years now, helping people to find valuable and interesting information online.
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