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Railfan Technology > Disposing of film camera equipment?

Date: 09/29/22 16:08
Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: hotrail

I have a film SLR and recently I was tasked with disposing of some cameras that belonged to a family member. Nothing extraordinary, just decent quality Nikon or similar equipment. I was curious, is there any use at all for old 35mm SLRs?  I saw a recent post here about the difficulty in finding film, and someone included a link to a camera store that had some for sale. The price was quite high. And I wouldn't even know where to get a roll developed and can't imagine what the cost would be.  It would be kind of fun to buy a roll of film and let my son shoot it, just to see what photography used to be.  

I assume at this point there is really nothing to do with these except (a) keep one as a souvenir of the old days or (b) just put them all in the trash.  There can't be any demand for them, given there has to be millions of them collecting dust in garages and basements. But that is fine, I was not concerned about getting any cash for them.  I just hate to see things go to waste.  And our camera equipment is often dear to us, as a central tool for one of our hobbies.  Moreover, our gear usually means something to us because we have to put a good chunk of our hard-earned dollars into it.  That makes it somewhat sad to just toss them in the bin. Before I toss them, I was curious whether there is any other use for them.

So, what is the alternative to the landfill?  

Also, would any older (say 80's to 90's vintage) Nikon lenses work with a film SLR?

Date: 09/29/22 16:42
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: refarkas

I use digital Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3200 cameras with older manual lenses. I have to set things manually, but those old lenses can often take a great photo yet.

Date: 09/29/22 16:48
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: TCnR

Agree there is a market for some Nikkor lenses. Don't know about Canon or other lenses, its a very unique market that works for specific combinations. No clue about the bodies.

I did not go this route but here's the basic story, scroll down to the text:


The guy has a huge website with all sorts of info, imho he's too optomistic and eager for people to spend money.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/22 16:58 by TCnR.

Date: 09/29/22 17:34
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: sf1010

The difficult film search was specifically for slide film.  Black and white and color negative film are both still relatively available and affordable.  And, they can be processed by hobbyists.

Yep, some people just like film.  Schools at all levels -- high school, community college, four year, and private art institutions -- still have darkrooms and film-oriented classes.  Try them.  I faced a similar quandary about a year and a half ago.  Unfortunately, that was during the lock-down and the local community college was not responding to either phone calls or emails.  I got a few bucks for a Nikon body and a couple of lenses, but mostly I was just glad they went to someone who would use them.  I even got a little money for a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic, but only because I had a roll film back for it so 120/220 roll film could be used.


Date: 09/29/22 23:33
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: jbwest

In my limited experience from dumping my own Nikon film equipment, top of the line Nikon equipment in good condition has some value, with lens more likely to have value than bodies.  You are unlikely to get much, but if there is a camera store close that sells used equipment it is worth a visit, just to avoid the trauma of having to toss perfectl good stuff into the trash can.  One probelm I ran into is the the Nikon cameras from around 2000 used a plastic material for the grip that over time deteriorates and becomes sticky to the touch, greatly reducing the value.  


Date: 09/30/22 08:12
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: RayH

There is still a market for used film camera equipment. I picked up a spare A-1 body a few years back, after mine suffered a shutter failure. Having a camera fail on a long trip is discouraged, so I always carry spares now.

There are web sites that sell used equipment and I had no problems with pricing. But I'm still looking for a replacement zoom lens (Canon 35-105mm). 

I've also seen some equipment at local estate sales here, but I'd raher buy thru a credible seller. Excepton was made for the Radio Shack Pro-50 scanner I picked up for $14 this month (and good thing, as my BC125AT charging cord wasn't working on my MRL trip this week).

Date: 09/30/22 14:15
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: NormSchultze

KEH and MPB will make an offer.  

Date: 10/02/22 11:23
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: tramfan

I would recommend KEH.com. I have sold my film cameras and DSLR cameras to them. If you take the trade-in value as credit, they up the amount.

Date: 10/02/22 19:59
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: trkinsptr

I have had good luck with MPB selling older lenses.

Date: 10/03/22 03:57
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: JUTower

There is definitely a market for these items; apps like Instagram have prompted many of the younger generation to pick up a film camera and take a photography class or two. (Not everything turns to S***)

Date: 01/02/23 18:49
Re: Disposing of film camera equipment?
Author: CimaScrambler

I donated my whole chemical darkroom and film camera collection to the local high school photography department.  They were very pleased to get it.

Kit Courter
Menefee, CA
LunarLight Photography

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