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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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6pc Kowa Super 66 6x6 SLR Camera with Accessories
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
6pc Kowa Super 66 6x6 SLR Camera with Accessories
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $300- $850
$30016 Bids
Leica Camera
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Leica Camera
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$14010 Bids
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Vintage Graflex Super D Camera
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Graflex Super D Camera
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $150- $500
$1703 Bids
(5) KODAK VEST POCKET CAMERA , ONE WITH COMPACT
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(5) KODAK VEST POCKET CAMERA , ONE WITH COMPACT
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $80
$401 Bid
Large Lot of Vintage Film Cameras and Lenses
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Large Lot of Vintage Film Cameras and Lenses
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $75- $100
$301 Bid
Summarex 1.5/8.5 cm Lens with Viewfinder, c. 1951
Mar 23, 10:00 AM CET
Summarex 1.5/8.5 cm Lens with Viewfinder, c. 1951
by Auction Team Breker
Est: €1,500- €2,100
€9001 Bid
Vintage Kodak No 1 Diomatic Camera Vigalint Six-16
Mar 05, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Kodak No 1 Diomatic Camera Vigalint Six-16
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Vintage Kodak No. 1 Kodamatic Camera
Feb 29, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Kodak No. 1 Kodamatic Camera
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
ANTHONY & SCOVILL STEREO SOLOGRAPH CAMERA
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
ANTHONY & SCOVILL STEREO SOLOGRAPH CAMERA
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
(13) VINTAGE CAMERA LENS
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(13) VINTAGE CAMERA LENS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1001 Bid
(3) VINTAGE WOOD BOX & VIEW CAMERAS
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(3) VINTAGE WOOD BOX & VIEW CAMERAS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$601 Bid
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8pc Vintage Beaulieu 5008 S Camera with Accessories
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
8pc Vintage Beaulieu 5008 S Camera with Accessories
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $100- $300
$201 Bid
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Ihagee Dresden Exakta II 35mm SLR Camera
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Ihagee Dresden Exakta II 35mm SLR Camera
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
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2pc Vintage Argus C3 50MM Rangefinder Camera + Flash
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
2pc Vintage Argus C3 50MM Rangefinder Camera + Flash
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $30- $100
$101 Bid
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Vintage Argus C3 50mm Rangefinder Camera plus Case
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Argus C3 50mm Rangefinder Camera plus Case
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $100
$101 Bid
(3pc) Vintage Philco Radio, Argus Camera, Emdeko
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(3pc) Vintage Philco Radio, Argus Camera, Emdeko
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
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Vintage Polaroid Spectra System Auto Focus Instant Camera
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Polaroid Spectra System Auto Focus Instant Camera
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$51 Bid
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Vintage Polaroid Spectra System Auto Focus Instant Camera
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Polaroid Spectra System Auto Focus Instant Camera
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$51 Bid
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Vintage Traid Fotron III Camera With Case
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Traid Fotron III Camera With Case
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$51 Bid
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4pc Vintage Polaroid, Canon and Fuji Cameras
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
4pc Vintage Polaroid, Canon and Fuji Cameras
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$51 Bid
(14) VINTAGE BOXED KODAK CAMERAS & ACCESSORIES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(14) VINTAGE BOXED KODAK CAMERAS & ACCESSORIES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$600 Bids
(4) VINTAGE FOLDING CAMERAS KODAK 1 & 2, ANSCO 1
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(4) VINTAGE FOLDING CAMERAS KODAK 1 & 2, ANSCO 1
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $100
$400 Bids
(5) VINTAGE FOLDING CAMERAS, KODAK, ANSCO
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(5) VINTAGE FOLDING CAMERAS, KODAK, ANSCO
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $80
$400 Bids
(13) VINTAGE FOLDING BELLOWS CAMERAS MOSTLY KODAK
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(13) VINTAGE FOLDING BELLOWS CAMERAS MOSTLY KODAK
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Vintage Cameras


Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Auction Team Breker

Auction Team Breker

Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers

Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers