With the rise of digital photography, those who prefer to shoot film have found themselves at a loss of resources for equipment and repairs. There was the infamous Olden shop, for example, which is talked about on photo forums as the former “place to go” for film needs, not to mention other stores such as Camera Barn and Camera Traders—all of which have now been now overrun by a myriad of identical digital photo outlets. While all of these were located around Herald Square, which was once known one of the best photo retail zones, there are still a few spots that can take care of your film essentials. Here are the best places to buy vintage cameras in NYC.
A favorite haunt of some of NY’s most infamous shooters, Fotocare has been selling cameras in NYC since 1968. Located at 41 West 22nd Street, this photographic institution boasts one of the most diverse collections of used and vintage gear for sale. It’s even rumored that there is a top secret collection of rare vintage items hidden deep inside Fotocare that only the most loyal customers have access to! For those of you looking for something special this is definitely the place to go. You can also check out their online store for a quick look at what’s available.
6) KM Camera
KM Camera is located at 368 Broadway in Tribeca and although its 5,000 square foot showroom boasts mostly digital equipment, there is a much smaller stock of used 35 mm cameras and darkroom equipment. But don’t let its website fool you, they carry much more vintage equipment than what is posted online.
This store is located on the second floor of a building at 24 W 30th St, and although they will repair any camera regardless if it was made in 1990 or 2010, if you search online there are a ton of mixed reviews concerning their repairs. Nevertheless, they do have a vast a collection of used cameras and lenses and in this day and age beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Everyone knows B&H on 9th Ave. and despite their reputation, which differs depending on who you talk, they’re much too prominent in the photo industry to ignore. Although they stock mostly DSLRs and video cameras, they also have a much smaller selection of used vintage cameras. Will you find a hidden gem here? Probably not. However, if you know what you want and you’re looking for something basic B&H should have you covered.
Adorama, located at 42 West 18th Street, is a huge camera emporium with a two floors of equipment. However, their used pricing tends to be a bit random so it’s very possible to find a good deal (we suggest looking up Ebay prices on equipment beforehand). Also, a lot of their vintage stuff isn’t on display, so don’t be shy and be sure to ask to sort through their hidden gear.
Willoughby’s was established in 1898 and is recognized as New York’s oldest camera emporium. With a large collection of 35 mm cameras, they also offer service and repairs, film developing and digital imaging. The store is located at 298 5th Avenue.
1) Flea Markets and Thrift Shops
These days, this could very well be your best option if your looking for something out of the ordinary. Although there’s a high chance of walking out empty-handed, if you’re really in the market for something special you’ll take the time to look. We’ve gotten wind of camera vendors who have been spotted at the Brooklyn Flea and the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, but we’ve also heard there’s no telling when they’ll show up. As for thrift shops, we recommend checking out just about any shop you happen to stumble upon.