It's exciting to shoot film, because no filter or plug-in in the world can replicate the magic of real film. It's magic! But when you photography with film, your camera is likely over 20 years old and if you want one of the great metal ones you're probably looking at something 30+ years old. With that type of age, we have a lot to inspect on a camera before we buy it. So how do you buy a used film camera?
In fact, this video answer a whole lot more than just how to buy a camera. I interviewed Chris from Fullerton Cameras and he spoke about buying the perfect used film camera for the holidays or your hobbies. See our conversation below:
HAVE THE SALE OF FILM CAMERAS CHANGED?
With the resurgence of film lately, the sale of SLR cameras are about 1% of where they were in the 1990s but they've gone up, even up to 5 or 6% every year for the past 3 or 4 years. It has actually come up quite a bit, and it's very trendy. A lot of people like them, a whole generation now that have never used film, that grew up with digital are learning about film.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND ONE GOOD STARTER CAMERA?
THE K1000 is your typical student camera. Everyone that has photographed with film probably used this camera. It's THE camera! However, there are other fantastic camera choices. There is Pentax K1000, Canon AE1, Minolta x7100, etc..
DOES CAMERA AGE MATTER?
It doesn't really matter, there are lots of film cameras that were autofocus cameras, that you could put a zoom lens on, there are nearly as popular. Everybody loves the 80s, the 70s, the 60s, that's what everybody likes, the old metal cameras that are all manual. That's what people like, they like being able to take the lenses off, put other lenses on, so that's very-very popular and I'll mention something on that if you are looking for these, and this will apply to digital too,
WHAT SHOULD WE CHECK ON THE CAMERA?
if you're looking at used ones and you can take the lenses off, always a good idea to open them up and looking at a lens, get your flashlight, take a flashlight with you and shine it through it and just take a glance in there, what you're looking for is to see if you see any like spiderweb or any haze anything like that, that's a lot of dust in that one I haven't cleaned it yet but it's a good way to tell if you see a bunch of haze, if you see look things that look like spider webs inside that's fungus and not a good idea so try to avoid something like that, you'll more likely to find it in film than in digital lenses just because they're new order but you can find it in both.
WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF BUYING A USED CAMERA IN A STORE?
Going to a store you'll probably pay a premium for it as opposed to Craigslist or Ebay but keep in mind that in general that they've probably been checked over. Everything's been verified that it works and most of the time they're probably getting a warranty of some sort with it as well, so that's usually worth some extra money. With a device that is probably 30 years old or more, you want a set of professional hands and eyes to check out your investment.
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.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST TWO LENSES EVERYONE SHOULD BUY?
For film cameras, most common are 50mm lens, that was pretty much the lens that came with all of the cameras back in the day. I'd say 50-millimeter.
The next most popular one would be either a wide-angle like a 28-millimeter or a telephoto lens which would either be a 35mm lens or a zoom lens like an 80-200.
ANY TIPS ON BUYING A USED CAMERA OR LENS ONLINE?
Interviewee: The problem of buying a lens online is that; you know usually someone even if they don't know anything about cameras, if they push the button it makes a noise, you've got half a shot that it's working a lens there's not really anything you can do unless you really know how to look at it, best thing to do is to have someone look at it, the last thing you want to do is do it wrong without any research and if that shutter closes while you're trying to do it you killed your shutter which is a very expensive repair.
WHAT ABOUT PROFESSIONAL CAMERA CLEANING?
Camera stores will go through the camera. They clean up the front and back of the lens make sure there's no problems, no scratches, finger marks and they'll clean inside of the camera. They make sure the mirror is okay. The average cost of cleaning a camera is $35 or 45 dollars, somewhere in that ballpark is an average cost for a basic cleaning. It is worth the piece of mind. Not everyone can do it. This might be a worthy investment to have your new camera professionally cleaned.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIGHT METERS?
With film cameras it's unique to each camera. For example the K1000 doesn't require a battery to work the camera. The only thing a battery does is operate the light meter, so the easiest way to check the light meter would just be to use the f-16 rule, so it means put your lens on f-16 and then whatever your film speed is or ISO and your shutter speed should be the same. You can just put your film speed to 125, set your shutter speed to 125. Go outside in the sun and take normal pictures. It should be pretty close but it's not exactly scientific. It'll give you an idea if your meter is accurate, if you've making all these changes in the meter nothing and never moves then it either needs a battery or it's dead.
WHAT CAN A NEW PHOTOGRAPHER EXPECT TO PAY FOR A CAMERA SET?
If you're looking to buy film, it's at $5 to 15-dollars, generally there's a lot of different types but some of that ballpark, for developing you're looking four or five dollars up to about ten dollars if you want pictures or scans you're probably closer to $20-30.
TAMROM VS. SIGMA?
Tamron and Sigma are probably the two biggest, Tamron's been pretty steady forever really and they still continue to be one of the best for the after market, Sigma is a company that in years past they were only interested in having a cheap consumer lens that was a very low cost and they weren't really concerned that much with high quality. Now when you get into Sigma's art line, they're phenomenal. The lens is really good and still have great price points compared to the equivalent Nikon or Canon top-of-the-line glass and in most cases every bit as good as it
HOW TO BUY A USED SLR CAMERA: HERE IS WHAT THE VIDEO CONTAINS
This video is a guide for anyone that wants to buy a used SLR camera and get a great deal on a reliable camera. We cover topics like:
1. The resurgence of film
2. All the basics you should look for when buying a used film camera
3. What are some great models for beginners
4. What are two great lenses for beginners
5. Does camera age matter?
6. How to check camera lens before you buy
7. Should you buy private sale or from the store?
8. Should I buy a used lens online?
9. Shutter cleaning
10. How to check light meters
11. Cost of shooting film photography?
12. What are the best types of film to buy?
13. Medium format and 120 Film
14. Tamron vs. Sigma lenses
15. Camera adaptors
16. and other favorite 35 mm cameras
If you're looking to buy a used digital camera, this is the video for you! Click here and see what Chris from Fullerton Cameras says about buying a used digital camera.
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