How to Find High-Quality Used Photo Equipment
Photo by Antonio Scant on Unsplash

Sure, your cell phone can take some pretty amazing pictures. But perhaps there’s just something about the feel of a real camera in your hands. You love controlling the aperture, aspect, and every other aspect of taking a photo. Maybe you enjoy the process of developing pictures yourself. Or you might just appreciate the cool industrial look of a good old camera. You have your reasons for wanting to find old and/or used photography equipment. Whatever that reason may be, you have several options where you can try and locate the pieces you want. The following are a few avenues you could take:

Online Classifieds Sites

Given the large nationwide and worldwide audience that online sites have, sellers, know they can get a lot of eyes on items they’re listing. And then, consequently, a greater chance of selling those items for the price they want. 

As such, there’s a pretty good selection of used photography equipment available for sale on eBay, Craigslist, etc. Such sites also make it easy for you to browse through general photography categories or search directly for specific pieces. Before you buy a camera from someone, be sure to ask them how worn the shutter on the DSLR is, if the camera has ever had any technical issues, and if they ever got it professionally serviced. 

Photography Studios

Photography studio
Image by Carlos Alcazar from Pixabay

If there’s a certain kind of camera or other equipment you’re looking for, see if you can get the inside track with a professional. While a photographer might not have the exact pieces you want right there, they could know others who might. Just by reaching out, you can form helpful connections who could help keep an eye out for you. 

And who knows? You might also be able to get some useful photography insights and photography insights.

Pawn Shops

Since it’s not absolutely necessary for survival but still potentially valuable, old photography equipment is a common sight in consignment and pawn shops. By browsing in person this way, you get to have the excitement and pleasure of the hunt, with the potential of finding a rare jewel in the rough. 

You could also try this same approach at thrift stores. However, donated equipment isn’t likely to be in as good a condition as something that a shop has invested some of its own money in.

Estate Sales

Old cameras
Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

Over the years, some people can curate quite the used photo equipment collection. Upon their death, unless a loved one has a similar interest or sentimental attachment, that collection can be made available to the public via an estate sale or yard sale. You have an opportunity here to find some rarities. And, if part of someone’s personal cache, you can safely assume that the pieces in it have been well-loved and cared for. 

Research the Seller Online

Especially when it comes to online selling options, in which you aren’t able to touch a camera and see for yourself its actual condition, you can make a more educated decision to buy when you better know a seller’s reputation. You can look the person up using an online people search by name to try and verify their identity. If everything lines up as expected, you can feel more confident that you’re not about to be scammed.

Before you make a purchase, you can also ask the seller a question about the equipment that someone with a certain level of expertise should know. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the equipment is bad, if the seller’s reply is unsatisfactory, you may feel less confident in the quality of the merchandise, they have to sell. 

Whether you’re out to build up your antique camera collection or just looking for that one great piece, one or all of these approaches are bound to yield positive results. Happy hunting!

Featured Photo by Antonio Scant on Unsplash