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Garage Discoveries and Vintage Camera Finds

From antiques to collectibles, classic film cameras to compact instant cameras, and even equipment, which was new just a handful of few years ago. Garage discoveries and vintage camera finds encompass a wide range of equipment that has simply been abandoned or forgotten. These hidden treasures may lie dormant in dusty attics, cluttered garages, or long-forgotten storage spaces, waiting for someone to rediscover their history and potential value.

Join us as we explore the potential of garage discoveries and camera finds, rediscovering old camera equipment and hidden gems, which includes cameras and lenses from the last 10 years. This will guide you through the process of reclaiming the past, providing valuable insights if you've ever uncovered a treasure at a local car boot sale, second-hand shop, or in the back of your own garage.

Garage Discoveries and Vintage Camera Finds

What is a vintage vs an old or antique camera?

In the UK, an item is considered antique when it reaches 100 years or more. On the other hand, vintage typically refers to cameras that are around 30-40 years old or older, up until the point where they reach antique status. While antique cameras are relatively rare, they are still discovered, helping to maintain our fascination with ancient photographic devices.

Cameras and lenses of any age can fetch a premium depending on the brand, how popular the equipment is, and how difficult it is to replace. Vintage-inspired cameras like the Fujifilm X100 can be worth up to £599.00 due to rapidly becoming a digital classic with its beautiful styling and contemporary features.

Fuji X100 camera in pristine condition with box

Where do you find old camera equipment?

Old camera gear can be unearthed in various places, and often in the most unexpected locations. Estate sales and auctions are fertile grounds, with families sometimes unaware of the value of the equipment left behind. Antique stores and second-hand shops can also reveal hidden treasures, and don't overlook local camera clubs and photography enthusiasts, who may have old gear tucked away.

Finally, the proverbial garage or attic can yield surprising finds, with camera equipment often forgotten until someone decides to clean out the storage space.

Cameras such as the Panasonic FZ1000 was extremely popular when it launched back in 2014 and are often found neglected despite being worth as much as £389.00! Another great example is the Nikon D5500, which launched just a year later in 2015. This is a high performing crop sensor camera with limited numbers on the used market, which can fetch between £199.00 and 399.00 used, so it’s worth keeping your eye out for one.

Vintage camera in second hand junk shop

Does anyone collect old cameras?

Yes! Old cameras hold a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide, and thousands of transactions take place through camera stores, online platforms and auction houses. While data on the highest-selling models varies, iconic models like the Leica M3 and Hasselblad 500 series command incredible prices in the collector's market.

Popular older camera and lens brands include:

  • Canon
  • Nikon
  • Fujifilm
  • Leica
  • Minolta
  • Pentax
  • Yashica
  • Hasselblad
  • Konica
  • Voigtländer

Nikon F100 film camera

What are most expensive cameras of all time?

In June 2022, Oskar Barnak's Leica 0-Series No. 105 achieved a staggering price of more than $15 million. A glance at Leica's Photographic auction site also reveals a compelling story, as numerous lots have fetched prices exceeding £1 million, highlighting the remarkable value vintage cameras can command.

In light of this, it should come as no surprise that all five of the most expensive cameras sold at Barney’s auction house are all Leica cameras, and is perhaps one of the reasons why Leica cameras are worth the cost.

However, there are many collectables from virtually every brand, whether you’ve discovered an historic Hasselblad, rare Canon Ixus or vintage Nikon film camera, they could be worth big money. Most used cameras are worth far more modest sums, but it doesn’t hurt to dream!

Original Olympus OM-1 film camera in great condition

Are old 35mm film cameras worth anything?

Old 35mm film cameras can hold significant value, but their worth varies widely. It's essential to consider the volume of 35mm cameras produced during the film era. While mass-produced models from well-known brands may have more modest values, rare or unique film cameras can be highly sought after by collectors and photographers.

Vintage cameras from iconic manufacturers or those with historical significance tend to command higher prices. Additionally, the condition, functionality, and included accessories can influence their value. While more modern 35mm cameras may not reach astronomical prices, they can still be valuable to enthusiasts and collectors, making it worthwhile to explore their potential worth if you have discovered one in the shed.

Classic film cameras, which are more commonly found include:


Value from

Value to

Canon AE-1 Program



Olympus OM-1 film camera



Pentax MX



Nikon F100



Contax T2



Canon AE-1 automatic camera

Are older lenses worth anything?

If you’ve discovered a used lens it can potentially be worth something. For example the original Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 is a great performing lens with a metal mount compared to the plastic mount of the mark II, which fetches between £69.00 and £129.00 on the second-hand market.

The Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM is another good example. It’s still a great performing zoom lens despite being an older model, which could be worth as much as £669.00.

How do I find the value of my old camera gear?

If you’ve made a find, keep any paperwork, boxes and accessories as intact as possible and contact Park Cameras to discover what it’s worth. You can get a free quote to sell your camera online, or by visiting one of our shops, and our we’ll help evaluate your equipment.

Vintage scene with old Hasselblad camera

Where can you buy old film cameras and lenses?

Although we are fully immersed in the digital landscape, Park Cameras has a rich history stemming back from the film era. In support of this passion, we have offered used film cameras, film lenses and accessories for sale for over 50 years, which is the perfect place to begin your search!

Cameras underpin one of the most engaging hobbies, as well as potentially becoming more collectable as they age. So if you’re shopping, clearing out a storage space, or perusing a local car boot sale, it’s always worth keeping your eye out for old camera equipment. You never know what you’ll find and might be surprised at how valuable even a newer lens or camera body can be.

Browse our range of used cameras, used lenses and old film equipment to find a treasured item, or grab a free quote to sell your camera equipment if you’ve made a discovery elsewhere. You can use the money you make to offset against other gear, or simply get paid directly to your bank account without all of the hassle of selling on the private market.

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By Nick Dautlich on 11/02/2024

Trade in your old equipment

Fast and easy trade in service ensures your old gear is collected efficiently and you are paid quickly! It's very simple to trade in your unwanted photography gear. Just head over to our dedicated Sell or Part Exchange page, fill out the details, and we'll get back to you with an offer for your old gear. Take the cash, or put it towards the cost of your new gear. It's up to you! Find out more