How Much is My Vintage Polaroid Camera Worth?


one of the questions I get emailed to me
on a regular basis is how much is my vintage camera worth people find
Polaroid cameras all over the place and if the attics and basements and flea
markets and often people find these things and I thinking oh man Polaroid
cameras are so popular these days I bet this old camera is worth tons well
while I would prefer that people would pick up old cameras to shoot with a lot
of people are just interested in selling unfortunately most pilloried cameras are
not actually worth that much money there are some specific models that are and
we’ll get into that shortly but most of them are just worth you know tens of
dollars rather than hundreds of dollars now in this video we’re only going to
talk about polaroid cameras but could act did try to make their own instant
film camera line you could still find those cameras out there those cameras
are totally worthless Polaroid sued the pants off of Kodak years ago and Kodak
was actually forced to stop selling in their camera line and stop making film
so no film has been made for those cameras in a really long time also Fuji
Instax makes cameras and those are a lot newer so you’re not really going to find
those a whole lot and there really aren’t any super valuable rare old Fuji
Instax cameras now some of you may have heard that Polaroid stopped making film
years ago and that’s technically true back in 2008 Polaroid shut down all
instant film production basically rendering millions of cameras useless a
group called The Impossible Project actually bought an old Polaroid film
factory before it was decommissioned and they started making their own Polaroid
film soon after they’ve been working on their formulas and new making new types
of film ever since and then 2017 they recently rebranded from The Impossible
Project to Polaroid originals Polaroid originals makes their own cameras they
make new types of film and they also make films for all kinds of old Polaroid
cameras there’s really only one kind of camera that’s worth any kind of money at
all and that is the folding SLR series of Polaroid cameras these were
originally designed by Edwin land himself and they were made with no
compromises whatsoever they were super expensive back in the 70s when they were
first kind of making their debut and they still are expensive today because
they’re just excellent photographic instruments
and they’re just way better to use than any other kind of Polaroid camera out
there there are also beautiful cameras they started out with just the sx-70
there’s model one this is a model two and there’s all different kinds of
bodies this one’s made out of plastic the nicest ones are made out of metal
then they add it on over the years the sonar piece to the front of the sx-70
this is sx-70 sonar all these cameras are SLRs which means you actually look
through the lens to see your image and compose and they also fold flat it’s you
like this little pancake shape and this is my personal favorite camera that’s
one of the most valuable out there and it still cost a fortune to buy this is
the SS SLR 680 camera it uses 600 film instead of sx-70 film and these cameras
are all worth a lot of money they’re worth a lot to photographers who still
use them to this day there really is no replacement camera out there that does
the does its job as good as the folding SLR series unfortunately the vast
majority of cameras out there are not folding SLR type cameras most polaroid
cameras that were sold millions and millions of them are all what’s called
box type cameras and they’re just basically that they’re just cheap
plastic boxes they did the job well they did the job cheaply but they’re not
really worth much because there’s a lot of them and there’s not really anything
that makes them special you’ll see things like this is polaroid close-up
one-step perfectly confident camera not really
worth much if you find one might be able get a few bucks for it off ebay puller
at impulse AF this is camera I grew up with I love
it it’s not really worth that much it’s a little nicer than some other cameras
and there’s just all kinds of box types every shape and size
all box type cameras are range finders which means that you’re not actually
looking through the lens you’re shooting with and it’s a much cheaper design it’s
so one thing to keep in mind when you’re you know looking at an old Polaroid
camera is that the camera itself doesn’t have a battery in it so most likely when
you pick up the camera this is gonna seem like it’s not doing anything that
it might not work Polaroid cameras are actually powered by
their film cartridge so you need a fresh film cartridge to tell whether or not a
camera works or not so a lot of times when people are selling on eBay the
buyer doesn’t really know whether or not that camera works you you know the
person might say that tested it but you know if you’re selling a twenty dollar
camera it’s not really realistic to buy a 20 dollar pack a film to test it out
so a lot of times you have to be careful about that and that’s also one of the
reasons why outside of more exotic valuable cameras box side cameras just
don’t really go for a lot because there’s some risk involved for the buyer
you might get a dud it might work for a few shots then die
these cameras are all getting old there were someone from our decades old so you
just never know now among box type cameras there are
some that are more of collectors items rather than photographic instruments
that you might be able to get a little bit more for for example the iconic
white rainbow stripe camera this is something that looks great on a shelf
and people might pay more for it I mean really when it comes down to it things
are only worth as much as people are willing to pay for them and someone
might be willing to pay a lot for this camera as far as actually shooting with
this camera goes it’s okay so far we’ve only really talked about modern Polaroid
camera types 600 sx-70 spectra these are all cameras that there were millions of
they were made for the past few decades and they’re probably what you’re gonna
run into most but polar I did make cameras before these cameras that were
called peel apart cameras this is an example of one this is the polaroid at
3:40 this is the peel apart camera unfortunately these cameras had
batteries that had to be replaced so up until recently you could actually buy
film still for these cameras and they made great images but they took these
cameras took them to TLC to actually prepare and get shooting so many of them
really weren’t worth that much money at the time anyways and now that there’s no
film really for home pull original Polaroid originals doesn’t make any film
Fuji Instax used to or not Fuji Instax Fuji film used to but they’ve stopped
making it and some companies have started up to try to make their own
kinds of film and they haven’t been successful so for all intents and
purposes these cameras are kind of totally
worthless now some of you were watching us like all right Dan so you’re telling
me that these cameras are essentially worthless but then how come I turn
around I look at Polaroid originals and they’re selling you know box type
cameras for hundreds of dollars that doesn’t make any sense well it sort of
does The Impossible Project now Polaroid originals refurbished as the cameras and
guarantees that they’re going to work for at least a year now people are
willing to pay for that peace of mind because if you buy a used camera off of
a flea market directly from someone an eBay you really don’t know if the camera
is gonna work or not I mean you can test it when you get it and return it or try
to fight about but you’re kind of and uncertain waters now for cheap cameras
like box types I usually just buy a bunch of them for
cheap off eBay and if one dies it’s no big deal
but when it comes to you know the more expensive type cameras I’ve actually
bought up directly from Polaroid originals because I just want to know
that if I’m investing a few hundred dollars into a really nice camera that
it’s kind of stay and work for a long time so if you have a folding SLR you
might have a shot at making a little bit of money with the camera you found but
most likely it’s just gonna be worth a few bucks and it’s up to you whether or
not you want to sell it the best way of figuring out how much anything is worth
it’s just looking up on eBay seeing how much it’s going for recently and that’ll
give you a pretty good idea what people are willing to pay for that item this
video might be completely outdated and a few months when people start buying up
one kind of camera like crazy so you can always find out what the most recent
information is just by you know doing some quick searches on Google and eBay

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