How much should i spend on an old film camera?(First camera)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by DesertFilth, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. DesertFilth

    DesertFilth TPF Noob!

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    I hate using the word vintage but I want to achieve the older look of each photo I know they're obviously new cameras that can do the same thing.But I really want a film camera and I know there's ways to develop your film still.I was looking into buying a canon ae-1 watch accessories should I buy.Or are there any model cameras that are somewhat similar in that time period.


     
  2. spiralout462

    spiralout462 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I love my AE1! Thanks to a generous forum member I only have the cost of film and developing in mine.

    For lenses I use ....... 50f1.8, 28f2.8 and 200f3.5. It's wonderful!
     
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  3. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I suggest keh.com, especially if it's your first film camera and you want to be sure it works well. They have decent prices, and one thing to know is that even their "Bargain" rated equipment is usually in very very good shape. And if something isn't right, they have great customer service.

    I pulled up some Canon manual-focus (mostly AE-1) body-only: Canon | KEH Camera

    There's a wide range, you can see, depending on the condition of the camera. "Like New" rated cameras are going for over $100, but other "Excellent" rated bodies are going for less. It seems you can get a 50mm for less than $100 in the FD mount: Canon | KEH Camera
     
  4. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can get old film cameras for free or for just a couple dollars now. They are very cheap if you can find one, they are getting harder to find.
    ebay has several, also look at Goodwill stores.
     
  5. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is totally overstating things. Can you get a Brownie or an Instamatic, or a cheap Vivitar point-and-shoot? Probably. But a Canon AE-1 in working condition with a fungus-free lens? No, you're not going to get one of those for "just a couple of dollars." The OP is not in the market for a 50-year-old Bakelite camera.

    In fact, I'd say film camera prices are going up lately because of a higher demand as more people are trying film for the first time or going back to film. A K1000 body used to go for about $25, but now they're fetching 2 or 3 times that much for a kit in good condition.

    Of course, now I have to highly recommend the Pentax K1000 or Spotmatic. Basic camera, workhorse construction, great lenses, and generally, you're going to get better value for your money when buying Pentax as opposed to the big names of Canon or Nikon. Even for old film cameras, those two brands still carry a price premium for brand recognition.
     
  6. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    OP, you might also want to check out an Olympus OM-2 or a Minolta SRT. Both excellent cameras with great, sharp lenses.
     
  7. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends on how much of a chance someone wants to take on what they are buying. Someone who has an idea of what to look out for will do better with private sales. Someone new to film cameras might want to feel more secure with an established business that has an easy return policy. In the end, the prices for gear of comparable quality end up being not all that different between an auction site and something like KEH.

    You'll also note that none of those cameras were selling for free or just a few dollars.
     
  9. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They were all just a few dollars...and that was an advertised site, not an estate sale. Also ask your friends if they have any old film cameras they are no longer using. Friends and family will be the source for free equipment, not a sale site. LOL
     
  10. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Even $35 is not "just a few dollars." And will the camera work? Because people never lie on Craigslist :icon_rolleyes:
     
  11. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The recommendation of KEH is a good one. Also, you don't list your location in your profile. If you live anywhere near an old fashion Brick and Mortar photography store go there and check them out. They will usually have a good supply of film gear at decent prices, they will have been checked out and put in working order if it was economical to do so and you can actually get your hands on what you are looking to buy.
     
  12. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I've often seen old SLRs with a lens going for less than the lens alone sells for.
    Most recently at a charity shop where I was very tempted to get it even though I already had a copy of the lens - nothing visibly wrong with it which made it harder still to leave behind :).

    If you're local to me (Essex, UK) I've got several PK mount SLRs I'd be quite willing to sell for £10, I can probably find you a choice of older zooms to use with them for similar prices too.
     

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