View Full Version : Personal Collection Guidelines...

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04-12-2012, 09:19 PM
I'm curious as to whether others have "guidelines" as to what goes into your collection?

Do you buy one camera a month? Year? Or when you come across them?

Do you only buy cameras you can restore? Or do you buy things only in mint condition?

Or do you require that it be useable?

Do you keep multiples, or multiple models of a certain camera?

How do you balance the financial end of things? Never pay more than "x" amount, or "x" amount per month? Do you build a budget for collecting?

04-12-2012, 09:42 PM
I don't buy anything I can't use, and only if I don't already have an equivalent. I've never understood why anyone would have 8 SLR systems...

04-12-2012, 09:48 PM
I think there are "bottom feeder" and "top feeder" collectors.
I'm a bottom feeder. I look for good models in fair but repairable condition. Sometimes in poor condition just for parts. I fix 'em and use 'em. I have as many as a dozen of certain favorite models (mostly vintage TLRs). I avoid overspending. If I see something good at a low to moderate price I might try to pick it up.

Many, perhaps most, collectors are the opposite, looking for items in excellent condition for display. They will pay high prices. They often don't use 'em at all; especially if they are in mint condition. They might fondle it occasionally.

04-13-2012, 04:52 AM
I don't collect anything except perhaps books, I don't want any ornaments, if I don't use equipment regularly I don't keep it.

04-13-2012, 09:50 AM
I was getting to be a bit of a gear whore - if it was a good deal, I'd buy it, and find a use for it later. Lately though, I've been trimming down and realizing that I had way too much stuff that I wasn't using. Some of that was because it was bought as a project, and then the project got put on hold for one reason or another. I'm now just collecting books and antique images - it's amazing how many Cartes-de-Visite you can fit in a 3" binder!

04-13-2012, 09:53 AM
I don't buy anything I can't use, and only if I don't already have an equivalent. I've never understood why anyone would have 8 SLR systems...

me too

04-13-2012, 10:04 AM
99% of the time I only buy what I plan to use, however recently on the bay appeared a very low cost broken camera that I purchased as a parts camera for my operating camera, should she need some parts. I guess that parts camera is really a "collector camera" for now but one day it will be Frankenstein'd (we are only talking a few bucks too).

04-13-2012, 10:50 AM
I only buy what is useable or can be repaired. I take some chances sometimes on low priced items and hope they are those two conditions. I'm not a stickler for perfect quality, and use what I have be it scratched or dented, as long as I can get good images out of it. Whatever I can fix I try too.

Cameras that I don't use, or cameras that are unrepairable are let out to my students to use. Some borrow them for the entire seasonal schedule and do get beat up or lost. The broken cameras are used for showing the internal mechanics and functions of the camera and get passed around for students to explore and prod to help them understand things such as the path of light, shutters and speeds, focusing screens, lens apertures, film take up etc.

Richard Sintchak (rich815)
04-13-2012, 10:56 AM
I buy cameras that work, and that I want to hold (I love older workmanship, quality and craftsmanship), and/or that have lenses I want to try.

04-14-2012, 03:49 PM
I only buy cameras if I can justify a need for having them, that why I only have 3. Lenses I also purchase for a certain need, generally a wide, normal, telephoto, and macro.

04-14-2012, 04:19 PM
I try not to buy too many, as I can only use one at a time. I like quality coupled with interesting designs, but it must be usable. Sometimes I put one roll of film through it, to assess it and then sell it on.

Mike Wilde
04-16-2012, 10:24 AM
I definitely am the bottom feeder.
I have a glass display bookshelf, suited to hold about 50-60 cameras.
It usually holds 25-40.

I buy at estate auctions and garage sales, and rarely pay more than $20 for an old consumer grade RF, or SLR 35mm.
I also have a reasonable number of old cameras gifted to me.

I fix them up, shoot a roll at a minimum, and then display them as a pool of workable display cameras.

I do try to sell then off annually at a swap meet, or give them to people interested in getting into or back into film.

04-16-2012, 11:50 AM
....or give them to people interested in getting into or back into film.

I'm interested in getting into, or back into film. I'm very interested... :whistling: :D

Mike Wilde
04-16-2012, 02:13 PM
PM me in 6 weeks or so and I will get a lsit together of what did not sell at the swap meet. Then we can talk the cost of packing and mailing the things of interest to you. They are usually quite basic cameras. I get kind of turned off of full blown system cameras when I want to pcik up something new to me and try to breath a fresh eye into my picture taking with them.

04-16-2012, 02:38 PM
I get kind of turned off of full blown system cameras when I want to pcik up something new to me and try to breath a fresh eye into my picture taking with them.

I'm having more fun with Polaroids, Brownies, and Certo Phots than I am with anything else. I haven't touched either of my SLR systems in what seems like months now...

04-19-2012, 12:12 AM
I don't collect cameras either. People give me cameras on occasion or I stumble across something, but there's no serious collecting going on. Most of the gifted cameras are pretty useless and will end up being given away or sold. One of these days.

Peter Gomena

04-26-2012, 05:02 PM
I only buy cameras that work and are generally $25 or less to buy unless I really want it badly enough.

The only non-working cameras I acquire are ones that are given to me on occasion.

Wade D
04-26-2012, 11:59 PM
My modest collection consists of cameras I have used in the past. Most still work and I can't seem to part with them. I don't buy cameras just to have one on the shelf. Some of the old users are taken out to shoot with from time to time for the sake of nostalgia.

04-27-2012, 08:47 AM
For me a camera must be a working camera, able to earn it's keep, I buy cameras as and when I can afford one or one catch's my eye, and I like either German or English (Ensign) cameras, cosmetic condition doesn't matter that much but they must be good usable pieces of equipment.

paul ewins
04-27-2012, 08:37 PM
I am definitely a collector and decided long a go that whatever I collect (and I don't just collect cameras) should have a fairly tightly defined criteria. Within this criteria it is usually my aim to collect everything available, or as much as is economically feasible. If I know that something will just sit on the shelf then I am just as happy with a non-working example. If I have a choice at the time of purchase then I might spend a little more to get a better looking example of something, but if I already own it then I won't "upgrade" to nicer one. If it comes in multiple colours then I will buy all colours but generally draw the line at "collector's editions".
To give you an idea, I collect Pentax 6x7 bodies, lenses and accessories (and generally speaking draw the line at 500mm), Pentax MX and all accessories, the rest of the Pentax M and K series bodies (but not lenses) and Schneider Symmar lenses (but not the newer APO and APO-L lenses). The Pentax M and K bodies have been my bottom feeder moment with a lot of them being sub $20 bodies from KEH's as-is section and if I had to pay the usual price of a working body I probably wouldn't have bothered.