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OLD CAMERA EQUIPMENT
by Phil Ball


Q. I recently inherited my father’s extensive collection of photo equipment which includes three fine SLR cameras with good lenses plus lots more. The problem is that they date back to the days of film usage and we are now in the digital age. Film is not dead but is hard to find in variety and film and processing are not free like digital. Is this stuff worth anything to anyone?

A. Older equipment is treasured as heirlooms by some and as working cameras for a few photographers but the problem is finding that person. There just aren’t that many people out there looking for film cameras as shown by the popular conversion to digital cameras. So don’t be surprised if your equipment is worth less than you might hope for but there are buyers.

You can get more information about values and make a quick, easy sale from some reputable online firms such as Adorama and KEH. The cleaner the equipment you have, the better the price but be honest in your evaluation of quality because while cosmetic scratches matter to a buyer, lens scratches are critical damage and lessen the value of the lens. If this preliminary estimate is agreed upon, you ship your equipment to the buyer who checks the equipment over then sends a check.

On the other hand, maybe you are that person. You can take a trip down memory lane, following your father’s footsteps and use this equipment yourself. There are still discussions amongst photographers about whether film or digital photos are best with no clear cut decision in sight. After all, once the film is processed, you can scan it into your computer and then it can be handled just like any other digital image including enhancement in Photoshop or similar software. So the difference is entirely in the camera. The film cameras you mentioned are likely smaller and maybe even lighter than today’s equivalent dSLRs and so you can carry a lighter equipment bag which makes for a happier photographer at the end of day. Try it; you might like it.

Published: Courier 5/6/12 - Page 4C