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Thread: Where do I find old view cameras?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Where do I find old view cameras?

    A long, long time ago, before the web, there was the Shutterbug classifieds, and there were always ads for odd random 8x10 cameras.

    I'm looking for an 8x10 to fool around with, I'm reasonably skilled and could repair an old wooden camera, but, hard to find they are.

    Where do I find all that old stuff now? It seems like everything now is new and shiny and $$$.

  2. #2
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    San Francisco, CA, Flagstaff AZ

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    They come up regularly here on the LFPF Classified. You can also post a WTB ad if you want. Craigslist is another source depending on where you live.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Montgomery, Il. USA

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    I picked up an 810 at an estate sale. Nothing left but this lonely, forlorn camera.
    estate sales are real hit of miss, but sometimes!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Seattle area, WA

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    I've never seen a cheap view camera at an Estate Sale around here and I go to them a lot. I have found 35mm Rangefinders and Medium Format cameras though. Antique shops have view cameras once in a while but almost invariable want too much for them. Just watch E-Bay or the Forums here. KEH's As-Is section can be ok if you want a bargain and are willing to watch it reiligously.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    Yes, clearly I'm going to be trolling ebay. Well, thanks for the help!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    I bought most of my 8x10 film holders from those Shutterbug advertisements. IIRC plastics were 2 for $30 and woods were 3 for $35
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    Try not to forget that a dollar is worth about 33 cents now compared to when you were cruising Shutterbug. And going


  9. #9
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Where do I find old view cameras?

    As far as old ones go, I've bought two 8x10 centurys on craigslist; both about 2 hours drive away for me. I've bought 2 old-to-me B&J 8x10's on this forum. I've bought 2 monorails locally; one on craigslist I bought for the lens, one I bought because I asked the photographer. I've bought two speed graphics on here, and one on Ebay.

    You can't be in a hurry to obtain this stuff. As far as craigslist goes, it comes up once in a while and in the antiques category instead of the photography category, and sometimes the sellers don't know what they've got and you can buy it and put it to use. Sometimes they over price it and you've got to let them sit on it for a while and tire of lowball bites and no-shows. Sometimes, you get accessories with the old camera that are as valuable as the camera, sometimes it's missing a couple parts. Sometimes, it's what you want and you buy it so you don't have to drive back again (and spend $ on gas) if it doesn't sell to someone else. If you bite, but don't buy something, you are still a forgettable nobody to the seller. I think many of the people who sell on craigslist are people who buy at estate sales and lawn sales. I have to work and don't have time for estate sales, and I don't like to get up so early on Saturday morning to scope out the lawn sales.

    I also let the local sellers know that if they come across lenses for these cameras or other lenses mounted on square boards to give me a call and I leave them a card.

    People have given me darkroom stuff and 35/120 cameras outright because they know it's apt to get reused. I took along a box of garage sale consumer antique cameras and accessories to a transaction. The seller was thrilled to see this, having a similar affliction, and traded me some really nice and valuable rollei accessories to accompany a TLR he sold me.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Let me tell you a little story.....

    In 1989 I was living in Cincinnati Ohio, selling software and making a ton of money in a very specialized market.

    I used to follow Shutterbug for the Classifieds. One of the companies that used to have 5-6 full pages of camera equipment in the classifieds was Columbus Camera Group. Then I realized I was living about 60 miles south of Columbus. I decided to drive up there and look at the goods.

    I arrived at this incredible old church and walked in. The church was filled with long tables. On, and under, the tables were large cardboard boxes filled with camera gear. You just wandered through the church, pulled out boxes and hunted through them for an indescribable trove of gear.

    I ended up buying a Kowa Six and a Zeiss Ikoflex which ushered me into medium format. A couple of years later, and after a number of drives to Columbus, I bought a Graflex 4X5, which took me into large format.

    Well, when I saw your post, I was intrigued and wondered about Columbus Camera Group. Well, by their web site they are obviously still in the old church. But, their gear is all on eBay now. I can't begin to tell you how many 8X10 cameras they have listed in their eBay store.... mega...

    So then I thought about MidWest Photo... pretty much the same story. I thought about Badger Graphics. Have their own web site. Then there's KEH... again same web site.

    Well, while I'd love to wander through that old church again, I now live in Oregon... just too far to drive for a fantasy trip.

    The reality... the largest bulk of 8X10 you will probably see will be on eBay, and if your bucking the tide and don't want to buy on eBay, then at least you can research prices and see what a large number of shoppers are paying for the stuff you're looking for.


    BTW... a look at the CCG website (see the stained glass):

    And thank you for inspiring me to look at Columbus Camera Group's web site... they're now on my favorites list. And, if you ever get near Columbus Ohio... don't pass up the opportunity to stroll through the old church, a very spiritual experience for any photographically inclined being.

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