An Olympus XA in good condition sells for around AUD 500 on eBay.
A Rolleiflex 2.8 Fx TLR sells for upwards of $2,000.
A Leica M6? Over $5,000.
It’s true that the market for vintage film cameras is a very niche one, with many film types falling out of production and camera service centres rarely, if ever, taking in even new film camera models. But, avid collectors are still willing to pay top dollar for rare and reputable film camera models.
The trick to this investment plan is to make sure the camera is in good condition.
This is where film camera restoration comes in.
While many vintage film cameras were expertly made (Leicas especially knock even modern film cameras out of the park), they are still prone to dust, rust, fungus, and light leaks. They also typically have dozens of moving parts, which are notoriously difficult to maintain, clean, and replace.
Fortunately, if you want to do some DIY old camera restoration, there is plenty of material to walk you through the process. You can check our FAQ sections for information on light leaks, jammed film, and stuck shutters or our film camera repairs article for cleaning and maintenance tips.
However, keep in mind thatold camera repairand restorationis delicate work.
If you find the damage or wear and tear is beyond your skill set, or if you just don’t have the time, the good news is there are many camera repair shops perfectly capable of getting broken or rundown film cameras back in working order.
We at CameraFIX, for example, have offered vintage camera repairs in Sydney since before some vintage models were considered vintage.
From parts replacement to cleaning to delicate internal repairs, we’ll make sure you can sell your old film camera at a premium price.