How to Buy a Used Film Camera

Last week you saw the video guide for "How to buy a used digital camera" and for this week, it's part two of our tutorial with Fullerton Cameras. This video contains a lot of great information on the purchase of used SLR cameras, what to look out for, what to ask and much more.

As the trend for film photography shows no signs of slowing down, it's useful to have a guidance on purchasing the right SLR camera.

In the video, Mike from Fullerton cameras discusses how the sale of film have changed in the past few years and his recommendation for a great starter-camera. The camera shop recommends the Pentax K1000, Canon AE1, Minolta x7100, and so on, but is the model the only thing that matters?

What about the age of the camera — how much does that matter? Generally the film cameras from the 80s, 70s, and 60s are the most sought-after with the metal bodies and interchangeable lenses.

The perks of buying from a used-camera store versus eBay are plentiful. The cameras have generally gone through a series of inspections by the store and you're at less risk. Generally they are priced at a higher point, but a reliable camera is probably worth a few extra dollars. When a camera is over 30 years old, I think paying extra for quality is a sound investment.

Fullerton Cameras is based in Orange County, California and is a small family based camera store serving the community of north Orange County, and an asset to the students of Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton. Please support small family businesses when you can.

If you have a seasoned photographer friend or family member, take them. Going alone is intimidating and sometimes the camera won't get the check through that it deserves. 

Cover photo by Jack Owens via Unsplash.

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3 Comments

Using a digital Fuji as cover photo for a film camera article - you'd think this is some lifestyle blog, not a photo site ;)
Also, stick to fully mechanical cameras, as they tend to a) be cheaper, and b) be easier to fix/maintain when they'll invariably break. Electronic shutters are awesome, but 30+ year old electronic shutters... prob not.

Walid Azami's picture

Whoops! I'll take the blame on that, shouldn't be Fstoppers. I think the advice of Fullerton cameras is pretty good, but you have a point there too.

16mm Camera's picture

Nice post! I saw this video awhile back of these sort of pop up vintage camera sales that come up I thought was cool!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQyyVYtwE1Y&t=185s

I’m in NYC and didn’t have to look very far! Film has always been a standard I wanted to learn more about and got a Pentax 35mm for $20 and a few prime lenses for s total cost of $100.

First prints are in development now. Excitement of the wait is infectious.