Few months ago we, the Cameraventures team, launched the project #saveanalogcameras, to see if the photographers are interested in the analog photography and to see the its future.
During the work on this project we interviewed about 250 russian-speaking photographers, who still are shooting on the film. All interviewed people are representatives of different ages and citizenships. Majority of them, obviously, are living in Russia, but also there are people from Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia and other countries.
In this article I will try to answer on the important question – where in Russia can you buy an analog camera? This is the only question for the person who want to take up in something new and to feel the classics of analog photography. A couple of years ago, when I’ve just only tried myself in the analog genre, I faced the same question, because I wanted to find new cameras, instead of my 35mm Zenit and medium-format Lubitel-166, my first analog cameras.
You can divide all shops into 2 big groups: Russian shops and foreign shops. I was lucky, because I right away bumped into this cool Finnish shop – kameratori.fi. But I want to take a look on other services and shops. When I asked my colleagues I found out that it isn’t hard to find and buy analog camera (the main criteria here is trustworthy). Also, when I analyzed the statistics of #saveanalogcameras, I understood, that people in Russia prefer to buy cameras in foreign shops. However, it is not a question of trustworthy, but the question is in the amount of the same shops here, in Russia. If we think thoroughly, there are not many shops that sell old analog gear. Usually people look for the cameras in the services like Avito or in special communities in social networks.
Of course, we have some special-oriented shops, like photosale.ru and kamepa.ru. Somebody just buy cameras from the collectors or antique shops; unfortunately, there are not many of them in Russia.
The statistic shows that people usually buy cameras on Avito and eBay. Obviously, there are a lot variants to choose, but still there is a question, how trustworthy they are? We are talking about old cameras, that were build on ages, but who knows their condition and how long they will work.
The majority of cameras are sold with the high price, but still you want to shoot like Vivian Maier on her Rolleiflex or just like Henri Cartie-Bresson on old Leica. And it is important that camera should serve a lot.
In the poll, people wrote that they appreciate trustworthy in cameras and fear to buy something that won’t serve for a long time or to buy camera in bad condition. It is just because it is hard to find the place where you can fix your Leica, rather then find place where you can have your digital camera fixed. That is why, everybody, who really cares about condition, choose shops like Kameratori, KEH, B&H, etc. As a rule, sellers check their cameras before they start selling it and usually they write about camera, about damage and etc. And at first sight you understand, should you buy this camera or not. There were some websites, that I didn’t find by myself, but some people did, likeau.ru, wonderfoto.ru, эмфото.рф, injapan.ru, kutuzov-photo.ru. This makes me think, that here, in Russia, analog photography has a future, because there are a lot of people who like film! There is no problem with finding the place, where to buy a camera.