Lightbox - Traditional film photography blog & listings

Traditional film photography
blog & listings

Where to buy film cameras

Where to buy film cameras

These are the camera sales companies I’ve bought from a few times and trust very much. I judge them by the quality of their descriptions, customer service, quality of their website, and, price (I don’t mean cheap, I mean not overpricing!)

  • West Yorkshire Cameras (Leeds): A wonderful and diverse online collection of cameras and lenses. I’ve bought many things from them, always in excellent condition and a very good price. 
  • The Real Camera Company (Liverpool & Manchester): Recently opened in Liverpool, The Real Camera Co. have been in Manchester for some time. The lads in Liverpool are lovely people and they have a nice little collection. 
  • Aperture, nr Tottenham Court Rd, London: Totally dedicated to buying, selling, and fixing film cameras. More recently have split the shop into two locations, one being a dedicated Leica store close by. Also has a smaller shop near the British Museum, with a cafe, camera museum, and selling mainly Hasselblad kit. 
  • Ffordes (Scotland): An extensive collection of used (and new) kit. If you’re struggling to find anything specific, you probably haven’t browsed Ffordes’s website yet. .
  • London Camera Exchange, (UK-wide): A fairly large network of city-based camera resellers with a great secondhand section (on their website). A good deal can normally be had if you keep an eye out here. 
  • Ian B Foto (Hertfordshire): Ian B Foto may be the best kept secret if you’re after Bronica, Mamiya, or Fujifilm film camera gear. Ian specialises in the manufacturers and kit he knows intimately. So much so he has a downloads section of manuals and leaflets that put the renowned Butkus website to shame (for Bronica, Mamiya, and Fujifilm of course). 

London

All of the below are easy to get to over a couple of hours. Very useful if you’re in the city hunting for a particular item.

  • The Classic Camera, nr British Museum, London: Mainly Leica but sell other brands too. Some decent priced bodies that look well chosen. I previously bought a Leica M4-2 and lens from these guys. Service was great, so was the Leica! 
  • Mr Cad, nr Victoria Station, London: Worth the visit if only to speak to Alex, Mr Cad, himself. A wonderfully knowledgeable owner with an amazing collection. 
  • Grays of Westminster, Pimlico, London: Well established and refined reseller of all things Nikon. Some stunning items, sometimes at an equally stunning price! 
  • Red Dot Cameras, Clerkenwell nr Barbican station, London: I recently bought a very reasonably priced lens from Red Dot. I can’t say service was particularly warm though. Visit clued up about what you want, help doesn’t seem too forthcoming. 
  • JK Cameras (London): Exclusively Leica by the looks of it, and not much of it, but seems to pride themselves on quality. 
  • Peter Loy (London): An afternoon can be spent just browsing the collection of stock on this website. Lots of rarities. Seems to be mail/tel order only. 
  • Park Cameras (London & Burgess Hill): Park Cameras have a decent collection of secondhand film camera kit. You may find a few decent film bodies or lenses. 
  • Camera World, nr Oxford Rd, London: A small collection, but worth a look. Friendly helpful staff as well. 
  • Vintage Camera Hut (London): A camera stall in London and (currently) an Etsy shop with some decent kit: 
  • Teamwork, nr Tottenham Court Rd, London: mainly high spec large and medium format kit. A shop mainly catering for pro photographers. Nice staff. 
  • Camera City, nr British Museum, London: A shop I chanced across, but has a really impressive collection of mainly 35mm film cameras. Priced high though. 
  • Sendean Cameras, Clerkenwell, London: A short walk from Farringdon station. Sendean has a very tidy collection of used film cameras, some hard to find examples. They also have what looks like a very active repair team busying away in the shop. Cameras priced very high. 

Rest of the UK

  • Latent Image (Shrewsbury): Quality over quantity. A nice average-sized selection of 35mm, medium and large format cameras. Careful, lots of items are marked as ‘out of stock’ when browsing, which can throw you off a bit (especially when you wanted that thing!) 
  • Harrison Cameras (Sheffield): Another regular camera store selling new gear but with a decent used section online. Some good film bargains crop up from time to time. 
  • Leica Store Manchester (Central Manchester): Catering for Leica cameras only, of course. The store has a tidy collection of very good quality secondhand M cameras and lenses. 
  • Dale Photographic (Leeds): A limited list of film kit but some decent stuff on occasions.
  • Soperfect Images (Plymouth): A film camera shop based in Plymouth dealing in anything from 35mm to large format. 
  • Campkins Photography (Cambridge): A long-standing camera shop in the heart of Cambridge. They sell both new cameras and have a decent used film camera section (I bought a Leica M6 from them several years ago and it was a great deal!) 
  • Camera House (Staffordshire): An interesting camera seller that deals in prop hire as well as selling camera gear. Not the biggest or best collection, but a few gems can be found. 
  • Camley Photographic (Hove): A good collection of some decent kit. They sell a lot on Ebay too. 
  • Mifsuds (Devon): I bought a medium format camera from Mifsuds which unfortunately died (electronics). The problem should’ve been spotted before sending, but they were gracious in how they dealt with the issue. A good range of products. 
  • Carmarthen Cameras (Wales): I’ve bought stuff from Camarthen Cameras via Ebay, but not their website. Always had great service. 
  • Filtr (North Yorkshire): Dan and Jack have started an online camera sales business catering for beginners and 35mm cameras at the less expensive end of the price range. The site looks great and they’re super eager to help newcomers experience the wonders of film photography. 
  • 305C: A successful Instagram presence and a reseller who prides themselves on their knowledge and high quality items. Stuff sells quick so move quick if you want to buy from them. 
  • Skears Photographic (Northampton): Usually has a small but nice collection of film gear.
  • Camtech Photographic (Cambridge): Seem to have a decent used film collection of used gear with condition stated, but no specific images to view. 
  • The Camera House (West Yorkshire): An old looking website with a lot of lists of used kit. Some choice stuff by the looks of things. 
  • Commercial Cameras (Shropshire): High spec professional camera sellers with a small but tidy used section on their website (Leicas, Mamiya, Hasselblad, large format, etc.) 
  • The Vintage & Classic Camera Co. (Hayling Island, nr Portsmouth): A large collection of 35mm, medium format, and large format cameras and lenses. 
  • Croydon Photo Centre (Croydon): Mainly vintage Leica resellers.
  • Worldwide Camera Exchange (nr London): Around for a long time. A mix of film and digital. Fairly big collection but leave sold items online giving the impression some great gear is available, but isn’t! 

UK caution advised

  • Film Camera Store (Unknown location): Going by Trustpilot reviews, this is a reseller to approach cautiously. They also operate on Depop. 
  • Rocky Cameras (Dorset): I’ve never ordered from Rocky. I’ve had emails from disgruntled customers of their’s asking to remove the listing, and the online reviews imply malpractice on Rocky’s behalf. However, found on the website is a statement of the owner’s health issues which are affecting them and their business. The decision is yours whether to use Rocky or not. 
  • Peter Walnes (Cornwall): Something of a one-man band who’s been trading for a long time. However, be warned! Whilst buyers seem to be happy with his services, Peter seems to be increasingly damaging his own reputation concerning commission sales – 
  • Nicholas Cameras (Camden, London): A wide range of film camera kit but if Google reviews is anything to go by, it may be best you stay away from this place. 
  • MW Classic Cameras (London): Caters for classics such as Leica and similar. There’s some very cheap regular film bodies and lens, as well as some more obscure items. I had variable service from MW Classic, mostly not good. It appears I’m not the only one if you read Google reviews, too. Consider purchasing from MW with caution. 
  • Student Photo Store (Plymouth): Mainly darkroom kit sellers, but did sell a solid collection of the 35mm (Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc) and medium format standard bodies. Unfortunately, what used to be a good place for a good deal, now seems to be all but out of business. Reports suggest that orders aren’t being fulfilled and attempts at contacting them are fruitless. 

Gone but not forgotten

  • Vintage Analogue Classic Cameras (Online): Online Leica and Hasselblad reseller that offered a well curated set of vintage classic models. Sold some great stuff at reasonable prices. I received a Hasselblad from them and the condition exceeded all expectations! Unfortunately, they appear to no longer be operating. 

Stores abroad who are worth checking out

  • Kamerastore (Finland) I’m always a bit confused by how many different sites these guys have, but Kamerastore are very active in the film camera world for repairs and sales. The main one linked here has an extensive range of kit, well described. I’ve bought Pentax 6×7 extension tubes from them and they arrived pretty fast, for a reasonable delivery price. 
  • Leica Classic (Austria) Fancy and neat and tidy Leica for a pretty penny? Some rarities as well as good solid versions of all the classics – for the price of a kidney or two. 

Looking for a specific camera model?

A new service has been launched online for the UK market. You can use their search to find an item across all of the list below, at Used Lens.

I would love it if anyone has any others to share.

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