Because of its uniqueness and scope, the Bièvres International Photofair is rightly nicknamed as the Mecca of Photography.
This international fair is the largest in France as well as among the largest in Europe, making it the world capital for “iconomécanophiles” (crazy people collecting cameras). Every first weekend of June, and for 2 days, it annually attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. More than two hectares of fairground is allotted for over 300 traders to present their products/services usually European, Japanese, and American. Whether you are a photographer, a graphic designer, an illustrator, a writer, a collector, a secondhand dealer, an antique-hunter or simply a photo-fan, you will most likely find what you are looking for here. You can bargain and trade for all sorts of rare pieces of equipment, collection objects, vintage cameras, lenses, and accessories, vintage pictures, even old books.
Even though I’ve seen people paying stacks of 500 euros for vintage cameras, no matter what your budget is, you can still find a hidden treasure. I even found a brand new LC-A for 20 euros! It is an amazing time to walk from stand to stand talking and listening to passionate conversations and touching amazing cameras such as a gun-shaped analogue camera (sold for not less than 15,000 euros though!). I spent one full afternoon sneaking around, and got dizzy with all these analogue stands, it is like being in a supermarket specializing in things that you like. But I also felt frustrated by the lack of time as the day went by so fast I couldn’t really bargain for all the cameras that l saw. It has been a couple of weeks now and I still dream about the fair at night..
To those who are passionate about all things analog, no matter where you come from, I highly recommend this annual event! Also, if anyone knows about any other big analogue fair in Europe or elsewhere, I would be very happy to be informed!