Collecting Cameras — a Game of Passion


Collecting is a hobby that almost all of us here in the Community can plead guilty to. From travel photos, cameras, lenses, and other equipment, there's got to be something that sparks interest in you and leads you to collect. It's a pastime for some, a lifestyle for others, and a game for a few where passion plays a huge role.

Different people collect different things and in our little corner of the world, cameras and other photo gear are the preferred poison. Almost every photographer has a friend that has this urge to seek out and find the next best thing to add to their little (or slowly growing) collection. And who can blame them? The allure of vintage cameras, from the quirky to the downright beautiful, is a difficult thing to ignore. Something from across camera stores, public auctions, flea markets, and online ads just calls out to the willing victim that is called a collector.

Credits: ibkc

The Reasons Why We Collect

As with many things to collect, the reason behind collecting cameras differ from one person to another. One reason we can easily think of is history. Cameras with an impressive history or provenance are almost worth something to collectors. Being a camera to be the first in doing something also adds value to a camera and makes it quite an interesting piece. Another reason is brand patronage. Many people who start collecting sometimes begin their journey with their love for a brand. Seeing a company's worth through their innovation to the craft is probably enough reason for some people to start building a collection of their own.

“I can't imagine I will. It’s become such a passion and I don’t see it ending.” - Community Member @schlogoat when asked if she'll ever give up her collection

The feeling of connection is also something that is worth mentioning. For some people, owning cameras from different eras is like a ticket to a world where they feel greatly connected. Vintage cameras have that effect and they will continue to have value as long as there are people who cherish them. And let's admit it, owning a camera that feels substantial, an object that was carefully designed and made (and a beautiful piece at that) can make any photography enthusiast swoon. It's something to be proud of, no matter how big or small their collection has grown to be.

Credits: vicuna & shoujoai

The Chase, The Thrill

Ask any collector why they chose to do what they do and you'll probably get more than a hundred answers. It differs from one person to the other but one thing is for certain, a collector's prized possession is just a wind-up to their next catch. There's always a camera or photo gear that's on the list. Whether it's a grail piece or another variation of a model they've been searching for, the hunt is always on.

Collectors love the thrill of the chase. Knowing that somewhere out there is the missing piece to their collection is enough to drive them to keep looking. That's just how it works and to collectors, that's all the reason they need. It sparks joy for them and it's hard to argue with that reasoning because, at some point in our lives as photographers, we've felt the exact same thing.

Credits: buckshot

Passion is Fuel

If collecting was a flame, then passion is the fuel that keeps it going. It may sound romantic (and maybe it is) but it's how most collectors see it. They love what they do and seeing their shelves filled with cameras that continue to inspire them is a thing of beauty for them. It's not always about the money for people who are into this kind of lifestyle. Even if you're not a collector, we're sure that you've had that feeling about something you truly wish to pursue. Keeping memories in the form of photographs can be considered a form of collecting. You see value in those frames, in what they represent so you continue to take photographs.

It's never simple to explain things the way they are. There's no black and white (like in many other aspects) when it comes to collecting. You'll know it when you feel it.

How about you? Why do you collect cameras? Or perhaps you are seeking to expand your collection or want to begin collecting? Our camera line-up is a good place to start!

written by cheeo on 2020-02-25 #gear #culture #camera-collection #passion #lomography-cameras


  1. brine
    brine ·

    I love cameras as both a tool and a beautiful object!!! I have way more cameras than I need, but not all that I want!!!

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Oh you're right, collecting cameras is very addictive... I have over 50 cameras now, and even if I sometimes sell cameras I really don't use often, the collection is still growing!

  3. lizkoppert
    lizkoppert ·

    @brine, I'm like you: more cameras than I need, but not all that I want. On top of cameras being a tool and a beautiful object, some have a really interesting history to them too.

  4. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    @buckshot nice arrangement at the book cupboard 👍📚📷📹🎥

  5. trad69
    trad69 ·

    I just can't resist bargain cameras, and sometimes a carrying a certain camera with me suggests a project or shot, or I know which one I want to use for which shot. I must not have enough yet as I even build my own pinhole cameras.

  6. oukrid
    oukrid ·

    The last picture looks like my own bookcase ! 📸📚

  7. zorki
    zorki ·

    Collecting cameras can be very addictive, indeed! After some years of buying everything I find interesting, I realised, that I had to reduce my equipment. Now, after selling a part of my collection, I use my remaining cameras more frequently. Somehow that's more satisfying for me.

  8. leisuresuit
    leisuresuit ·

    I got the passion for collecting cameras at the age of 9, my very first was a 126 camera I got as a reward for selling gardening seeds door to door. I will never forget that first camera, now I own many.

  9. essgeephoto
    essgeephoto ·

    It doesn't have to be an expensive vintage camera - even a simple box camera can attract my eye. Then there is the challenge to use it and produce satisfying captures - just as was done when these cameras were new way back when.

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