Tag Archives: cameras

Cheap Plastic Cameras & Camera Guide Update

dscf2187100707We’re updated our camera buying guide information page, just a bit, to cover cheap plastic cameras.

So what exactly is a cheap plastic camera?  Well, the camera pictured at the left is a good example.  It’s cheap both in cost and detail and is made almost entirely of plastic.  These cameras were made in Japan in the 1950’s and 60’s and later in Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China (in chronological order).  Some of the earliest cheap plastic cameras, the Diana series, for example, are quite collectible and have some good collector value, while newer ones are less desirable.  Still, there are a good number of photography enthusiasts that take cheap plastic cameras as a challenge and actually use them for photography.

In the 1970’s through today, many cheap plastic cameras were used as promotional items for advertising products and services and even as a part of magazine scams.  Many businesses and companies would offer a “Free Camera” to anyone ordering a product or showing up for a demo….and they weren’t giving away Voigtlanders.  Some of the cheap plastic cameras you find today in estate came from magazine and other scams where you could order a free camera.  When the camera would arrive it would be missing an integral part – such as the flash or lens – and there would be an order form with the camera so that you could order the part for a price so that you could use your camera.

This is one reason why many of the cheap plastic cameras that you find are in such good condition, they weren’t functional as they were received.  These cameras were never meant to take good photographs and certainly were not intended for photographer use.  Sure, some of them look really neat and high tech (for their time period anyway) and they use catchy names and text like (in the photo above) Quickshot X3000 – which likely has a shutter speed that is slower than most any Kodak.  Notice too, that the camera pictured has a “new optical lens” as opposed to a used one, apparently.

We’ve update the Black Market Antiques camera guide to include an addendum concerning cheap plastic cameras, which basically states that they are not guaranteed like the rest of the cameras.  If you are into photography and want the challenge and rewards of taking photos with a camera that cost 3 1/2 cents to produce, we wish you well….but, if you are buying a cheap plastic camera to use as your only camera to capture priceless moments in time on film, well, we urge you to save up your money and buy a camera that isn’t described as a “cheap plastic camera.”

New Inventory: Vintage and Antique Camera Collection

Just a heads up to all the photography enthusiasts and camera collectors, we’ve just gotten in a decent sized collection of more than 100 vintage and antique cameras.  Haven’t gotten through all of them yet, but thus far most are mediocre, as expected.  But there are sure to be some nice ones and hopefully some great old collectibles in there somewhere.

We’ll be adding the cameras to our inventory gradually over the next week or so.  The best way to see the new stuff is to visit our Newly Listed Products page.  We get a lot of shoppers looking for cameras and accessories (there’s a pile of accessories too, and some film and flashbulbs, etc.), so be sure to check back daily for the next week.  Lots of camera stuff goes quick!

Camera Buying Guide Added

We’ve added a new page to our blog, a camera buying guide.  This guide should help to answer many questions concerning cameras for sale on the site, how they are listed, described and what to expect when purchasing an antique or vintage camera.

This guide also covers how a camera is added to Black Market Antique’s online inventory and what we do and don’t do when listing cameras.  It also deals with the questions concerning camera functionality and whether or not a particular camera is guaranteed to work.