Vintage Photography Finds: Car Boot Sale


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
Olympus XA3
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.

written by veato on 2011-07-25 #lifestyle #shopping #sunday #car-boot-sale #nottingham #bargains #racecourse #veato #colwick #finds


  1. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Too bad we don't have such a thing in Italy! :-(

  2. wilfbiffherb
    wilfbiffherb ·

    got a polaroid land 1000 for £7 and an agfa isolette for £2.50 at my local

  3. welland
    welland ·

    Great article, I was thinking of going to one soon in Brighton, Bargains are there to be had from people that don't realise what they have got. My father in law has a great camera collection, some that are in the British Museum, he still hasn't a clue what they are worth and would prob take silly money for them.

    It makes you think there has to be others out there, just keep to the good makes and lenses and you can't go wrong!

  4. chucknoz
    chucknoz ·

    HAHAHA - awesome. I went to Colwick 2 weeks ago and picked up a mint condition Zenit12 for £5, managed to haggle the seller down from £7 (just as some sport to see if he would budge). It is in better condition than my Zenit E which was bought from Ebay for 4 times the price. The guy admitted he didn't really know if it was any good or even worth selling, so I played it cool and handed the cash then skipped around the racecourse chuckling at my bargain. Top tips about the car boots, but don't tell everyone, or we will lose our bargain finds :)

  5. sammy_a
    sammy_a ·

    i got a massive box of photographic equipment including filters, reaaaaaaally long cable release, bits and bobs for a miranda slr and best of all a lubitel 166B all for under £20.. at first it was the box i liked but after find what was inside i was over the moon!

  6. kiteflyin
    kiteflyin ·

    Just last week I went to a charity shop to find a Mamiya RB67 just sitting there. Unfortunately they wanted $120 for it, and weren't going to budge on the price. From what I could see it was super clean, and whoever had it before took nice care of it. After I got home and did a quick search of it... I cursed my lack of money.

    But at a local flea market I've found a Polaroid land 100 and a Kodak brownie starmite for the total price of $6.

  7. renenob
    renenob ·

    I would have gotten the XA3!

  8. veato
    veato ·

    I thought about it but it didn't look in very good condition. I went to another car boot sale (30th July) and picked up an Olympus Trip 35 for £5!

  9. keroro79
    keroro79 ·

    I got a Kadak Brownie 127 for £2, a Kodak ColorSnap for £3, and Im not sure why, but a Chinon Super 8 for £5 lol. I know Im never going to use the Brownie or Chinon, but Ive got a film in the ColorSnap, and shall be using it once Ive done with my first la Sardina film. I had to stop going to boot sales in the end, because I was like a man possessed :D

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