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Wow! This lifetime collection of 402 antique cameras could sell for $24,000

vintage camera auction
Complete camera collection (Image credit: Moden Decorative)

A collection of 402 vintage film cameras from the 19th and 20th Centuries are expected to sell for between £15,000 - £20,000 (approximately $18,200 - $24,300 / AU$26,500 - AU$35,500) at auction. This piece of photographic history includes cameras by brands still going strong today, such as Nikon and Canon, as well as companies that no longer exist, like Exakta. 

The auction is being held by Modern Decorative, an art and antique eCommerce startup that sources and sells art from France and Spain to interior designers and individuals. During the collector's career traveling the world, he acquired the 402 cameras included in the collection, many of which are still in exceptional condition. 

• Read more: Is film better than digital photography in 2022? We asked an expert (opens in new tab)

A selection of cameras included in the collection (Image credit: Modern Decorative)

With each camera comes a different story, different memories captured and different mechanisms used to carefully construct it. The collector has requested that this impressive assembly is to be sold in a group, as it has taken him an immense amount of time and care to accumulate it. 

The lot includes cameras such as the Kodak Box Brownie (famously Vivian Maier’s first camera), a Univerex Mercury dating back to 1938, and 35mm favorites the Canon AE-1 (opens in new tab), Olympus OM-1 and Pentax ME Super. 

We now have cameras such as the Nikon Z9 (opens in new tab), which can shoot 120 frames per second, and the Canon EOS R3 (opens in new tab), which has eye control focus, yet the sale of film and film cameras seems to be on the increase, even though the cost of film and development is also on the rise. 

(Image credit: Modern Decorative)

You don’t need to be a photography enthusiast to recognize the history this collection holds, though; without these early cameras, we wouldn’t be where we are today with camera technology. Together they create a timeline that goes back to when commercial photography first became a thing, and show how these devices have changed over time. 

Modern Decorative has now started to accept offers on the collection, which can be made in pounds sterling, euro and US dollars. While the collection will be sold as a whole, it is accepting offers on individual cameras that will be passed on to the successful purchaser of the collection. For a full list of cameras included in the sale and to see an extensive gallery, head to the Modern Decorative website (opens in new tab).

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Best film cameras (opens in new tab)
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Best film for 35mm cameras, roll film and sheet film (opens in new tab)

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Hannah Rooke
Hannah Rooke

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.