Where to Buy Used Film Gear
Buying used film gear can feel a little daunting but it’s really not too complicated, below I’ve listed 4 of my favorite places to go when I’ve got an itch for new-to-me equipment. Keep in mind that buying used (which is….all film gear) is a bit like thrifting, it takes a bit of patience and digging, but it’s so worth it.
1. KEH – I really love KEH. I tend to buy most of my equipment through them, and let me tell you why. KEH goes through a 10 pt quality check on each piece of used equipment they acquire, so before you purchase anything you can see what that quality rating is and make your decisions from there. Buying off of KEH is also great because it comes with a 180 day warranty, allowing you to ship it back (on them) and either have it repaired or get a full refund. Big fan. About 90% of my equipment is from KEH and I’ve never had a problem. Some have said that the gear on this site is a bit more pricey than you can get on Ebay, but I find that the peace of mind is worth any additional cost.
2. Film Photo Gear FB group – This can also be a really great place to buy and sell equipment. It is a private group so you have to request membership before you’re able to browse, it’s usually not an issue though, I requested to join the group and was admitted shortly after. If you’re looking for something specific to buy just type it into the search bar, and always keep an eye on the dates and comments to see if it’s already been sold before you contact the seller as some sellers forget to remove the posting after it’s sold. Also, before you buy anything it’s always a good idea to do just a quick search within the group on the seller. Most of the time if the seller has sold any faulty equipment they’ll be outed by others in the group and you can avoid the same experience. Just be careful, once you dip a toe into this group there’s no telling how much time you’ll be spending scrolling through all of the postings and drooling.
3. Ebay - How could I not include Ebay?? It’s a must. Some people have hang ups about this site (I might be one of them) but if you’re smart this is actually a really great and efficient way to snag used gear for a pretty damn good price. Check the seller reviews before purchasing and also keep an eye on the seller’s return policies, on Ebay the seller chooses what that is, so just be sure to read those carefully before you buy anything from them. I’ve known so many people who swear by Ebay, so give it a shot.
4. FB Marketplace – If you’re feeling really ambitious you can try your hand at Facebook Marketplace. This is the ultimate in digging, but it can produce some really great low budget finds. Most people on this site aren’t film shooters, so they’re usually just selling stuff they found in Grandpa’s Attic and looking to dump it. This can be a great source for cameras like TLRs or older rangefinders at a fraction of the cost anywhere else – so search it up!
Good Luck and happy hunting!