I've not had much luck searching for vintage cameras in my local charity shops. This prompted me to check out the nearby Sunday car boot sales to see if I can get lucky with a great camera find. Lucky there are a few close to home and they're quite large events too.
I’ve heard stories of people wandering into thrift shops and picking up Vivitar UWS and other suitably rare cameras for next to nothing. I’ve never been able to replicate that luck myself although I have now started to attend the odd car boot sale in the hopes something might turn up.
Probably the biggest closest to home for me is the Nottingham Racecourse car boot sale on a Sunday. It attracts hundreds of stalls and over 2000 visitors so it’s best to get there early before someone else spots a bargain.
There’s free parking and a small 50p entrance fee for buyers or £8 if you’d prefer to set up your own stall and sell your old stuff.
Unfortunately on this particular day I didn’t buy anything but I did stumble across these vintage finds:
Canon Sureshot 35MM Compact
Kodak Retinette IA
Keystone instant camera Model 801
Vivitar v3000s SLR
Kodak Instamatic 130
As the cameras didn’t particularly interest me I didn’t get any prices but car boot sales are normally quite cheap and of course you can barter the price down. It’s probably worth mentioning too that on previous visits I’ve seen quite a lot of old Zenit SLRs.
I haven’t been put off by not finding a suitable purchase yet and will still attend when I can. I do wonder though with sites like eBay if the best stuff is sold on there in the hopes of making the bigger bucks! Still it’s always worth a visit and if you ever attend on a Sunday there’s a chance you’ll see me searching through the boxes and crates looking for that discarded Diana and unloved Holga.