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Vintage Cameras

After George Eastman invented Kodak film and the Kodak camera in the 1880s, amateur photography became widely popular and cameras became numerous and varied. Today, collectors typically acquire vintage cameras for their unique designs rather than the quality of photos. Art Deco style, colorful plastics, advertising, brand name, and other factors attract collectors to vintage cameras.

Vintage cameras were made in several types, including box, accordion, single lens, double lens, 35mm lens, and instant cameras. Collectors of antique cameras search for the early wooden-box cameras used by professional photographers. Other collectors prefer the variety of personal cameras manufactured for the public. Vintage 35mm cameras are especially collectible and some of the most valuable cameras are 35mm. Collectors may also have interest in vintage instant cameras, especially the original Polaroid Land Camera from 1948.

Movie cameras are also sought after by some collectors. The home movie camera was first produced in the '20s and color movie film was introduced in the '30s. Bolex, Kodak, and Bell and Howell are popular movie camera brands. Smaller and lighter 8mm camera formats made home movies very popular in the '50s and '60s.

Quick Facts

  • In 2012, a Leica 0 Prototype 1, the original 35 mm camera, sold at auction for $2,786,400, the highest price ever paid for a vintage camera
  • The Kodak Brownie box camera, introduced in 1900, made photography easy and affordable for everyone. All models of Brownie cameras were mass produced in large quantities, so today, most of these cameras can be purchased for under $100
  • In 1991, Kodak introduced the first digital camera available to the public, the DCS 100. It required a heavy, tethered monitor and control unit and cost over $30,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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Leica Camera Lenses and Accessories Group Lot
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Leica Camera Lenses and Accessories Group Lot
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $1,000
$4257 Bids
Mamiyaflex Professional Film Camera in Case, Japan
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Mamiyaflex Professional Film Camera in Case, Japan
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $250
$505 Bids
Vintage Speed Graphic Graflex Camera & Book
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Speed Graphic Graflex Camera & Book
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$604 Bids
Vintage Nikon Camera w/ NIKKOR-S Auto Lens
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Nikon Camera w/ NIKKOR-S Auto Lens
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$553 Bids
Exakta VX1000 35mm SLR Vintage Camera & Lens LOT
Oct 12, 12:00 PM EDT
Exakta VX1000 35mm SLR Vintage Camera & Lens LOT
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$403 Bids
Vintage Canon A-1 Film Camera, Lenses
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Canon A-1 Film Camera, Lenses
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$353 Bids
Assorted Vintage Cameras, Kodak
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Assorted Vintage Cameras, Kodak
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
3pc. Vintage Eastman Kodak Folding Cameras
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
3pc. Vintage Eastman Kodak Folding Cameras
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
4pc.. Vintage Folding Cameras
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
4pc.. Vintage Folding Cameras
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
3pc. Vintage Kodak Folding Cameras
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
3pc. Vintage Kodak Folding Cameras
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Analogue SLR Leica camera, "R4" from the R-series, black chrome plated, wit
Oct 08, 1:00 PM CEST
Analogue SLR Leica camera, "R4" from the R-series, black chrome plated, wit
by Auktionshaus am See
Est: €0- €0
€902 Bids
4pc. Vintage Nikon Lens Series E Camera
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
4pc. Vintage Nikon Lens Series E Camera
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
Assorted Vintage Cameras, Canon
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
Assorted Vintage Cameras, Canon
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
CAMERA AND CASE VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
CAMERA AND CASE VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
BOX CAMERA LOT VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
BOX CAMERA LOT VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
CAMERA VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
CAMERA VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
BOX CAMERA LOT VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
BOX CAMERA LOT VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
CAMERA AND CASE VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
CAMERA AND CASE VINTAGE ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Group of Vintage Cameras
Oct 15, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of Vintage Cameras
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
Vintage Argus C3 Match-Matic Camera With Case
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Argus C3 Match-Matic Camera With Case
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Vintage Fotron 3 Camera w Case
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Fotron 3 Camera w Case
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Group of Vintage Cameras
Oct 15, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of Vintage Cameras
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
Vintage 4pc. Kodak Film Camera Set
Oct 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage 4pc. Kodak Film Camera Set
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Group of vintage cameras
Oct 15, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of vintage cameras
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Vintage Cameras


Monarch Auction and Estate Services

Monarch Auction and Estate Services

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Abell Auction

Abell Auction

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers