Antiquarian Photographic Dealer

Many thanks to all those who offered condolences on my recent accident - injured myself in a stupid fall while painting the shop. I was renovating as part of an expansion (50% bigger!) and skidded on wet floor paint - see the blog for details of my misery and stupidity. Things have slowed down for a bit but we're back, bigger than ever and with tons of new stock ovef the coming months.

 

Lots of new stock for the collector and enthusiast. 

Want to 'get into' film photography again? Or start collecting old cameras? Perhaps you want an old Kodak folder as an ornament? We sell all things photographic from brass and mahogany through to late 20th Century film cameras. Want a box camera or folder that you can actually use? We do that. A 1970's-'80's heavy metal SLR to revist the past or as a student film camera? A medium format kit? A wooden bellows camera or even a real magic lantern? Yup! We even stock a few good microscopes and binoculars, usually antiques. Just about anything with a lens. Check the stock and blog pages for details of new stock and projects - we're undergoing a 50% floor expansion and refit at present and a couple of very large collections have just been bought in.

 

Andrew has always been one to go against the flow. He's been selling online for nearly fifteen years but just as everyone else is closing their doors and going to online selling, he's opened a bricks and mortar store! Why buck the trend? Because he's old school. He hates buying cameras blind online from people who think that 'mint' means that it's working, more or less. ("Shutter jammed but otherwise Mint" - I've seen that listing!). Plus he likes dealing with people directly, face to face. It's his idea of a social life! This was supposed to be a retirement business after running a commercial studio got too much, physically, but suddenly film is fashionable again and it's been busier than I thought reasonable - people in their twenties and thirties are rediscovering what film has to offer.

So wouldn't you prefer to buy from someone who loves the gear as much as you do, wants you to handle the camera or lens, to check it yourself, discuss its merits and limitations, throws in a free test film, gives you return privileges, buys you a coffee...?  Try doing that on ebay or even Gumtree. Of course you may pay a little more for all that service but risk free buying DOES cost a little more. And in the long run, it can save you a great deal more. Usually, I don't sell good stuff cheaply but sometimes, a real bargain is to get something you really want at a fair price with a peace of mind guarantee. 

Of course, this is the new filmenium so the business is a blend of personal and online trading. Rare, obscure and high value items will go on the shelf for a couple of weeks while the regulars get a look and then into the online listing, available worldwide. If Southern Victoria is a bit far for you, hey, this is Australia. We're used to dealing at a distance. A couple of hundred kilometres or twenty thousand - what's the difference? We've sold cameras to customers from Andover to Windhoek. Postage is about five times what it used to be but the procedure is the same wherever you are.

For full details of our trading policies, check the relevant page (Buying and Selling). 

The Emporium (an old word for department store) is based in the Tyabb Packing House Antique Centre, about 50km south of Melbourne centre. It's close to Hastings and in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula - wine, food, beaches, scenery and all of that. Good fast roads all the way from Melbourne. It's a fair way for some people but there are advantages. Make a day trip of it, do lunch. If you have a partner who finds photogeekery intensly boring, abandon them among the furniture, bric-a-brac or extensive bookstore.

Enter the main building, turn left and across the main room you'll see the hanging sign of the giant wooden camera. Open from Thursday to Sunday (closed Mon.to Wed.) from 10am to a bit before 5pm (or on dull, quiet and boring days, 11ish to a bit after 4pm - I'm the owner; I can bugger off early if I want! But call me, I won't be far away).

 



 

 

Stock is basically whatever I can get related to film and optical.

We buy and attempt to stock, if available -

Cameras - Wooden cameras with brass lenses, unusual box cameras, old reflex types, folders, stereo cameras, TLR's, metal SLR's, rangefinders, 35mm and 120 viewfinders, good medium format SLR. Lomographic plastic toy cameras, Polaroids. We have good 110 cameras, 126 Instamatic, Rapid, compact plastic 35mm and late auto-focus SLR but we don't go out of way to buy them unless they are a bit special. They tend to show up anyway. We even have a few good digital compact and SLR cameras at silly prices - they showed up in bulk buys or as trade-ins. Vintage cameras are divided into either 'usable' or 'display/collectible'. 

Digital - I don't go out of my way but I usually have a decent digital SLR or two, a range of lenses to suit digital cameras and quite a few older digital compacts. A 3-4 year old digital SLR has lots of life left in in it, costs around a third of a new model and is usually almost as good - the high ISO performance may be not quite as good and it may have a lower pixel count but unless you shoot lots of low light  photos or want massive image files, that's no real handicap and a huge saving. I also sell a few 'hard holiday' digitals - ones that take AA batteries so you don't need a charger and which are cheap enough (under $100) to lose by theft or accident without ruining your day. And they all take better pix than a fone! Many are 'superzooms' with very long lenses.

German stuff and the like - always trying to stock Leica, Rolleiflex, Zeiss, Contax, Hasselblad and good quality Japanese copies. But value is VERY dependent on model and condition. 

Custom cameras - a range of refurbished cameras such as Olympus Trips and Spotmatics with colour leathers. Some purely decorative old cameras too - pretty paperweights I call them and they makke nice collectible ornaments.

Lenses - A range to suit most manual mounts ranging from cheap off brand to some really rare treasures. Lots of top quality 50mm fast lenses with adapters to match them to modern digitals like Sony, Fuji and Olympus mounts. They make great fast portrait lenses.

Slide - projectors, viewers, screens, projector stands, round and straight slide holders/cartridges of most types, storage boxes. New bulbs are better sourced off ebay (that's where we get them!) although we do have a box full of them so it's worth asking. Bring in your old one to check the number, wattage voltage and fitting. There are many, many different types.

Movie -  Standard 8 and Super 8, projectors, editors and splicers. Occasional Pathé 9.5mm gear, 16mm cameras and projectors. Lots of video cameras, ideal for digital transfers. Working 8mm projectors are rare as they have rubber drive belts that perish and disintegrate. They are uneconomical to repair unless I get them free! (The cost of new belts, fitted, is close to the acceptable sale price).

Binoculars & Telescopes - old military brass, opera glasses through to relatively modern.

Microscopes - old brass through to more modern users for the collector and amateur scientist, ecologist, philatelist and rock hound.

Accessories - Filters, hoods, caps, cases, bags, flash bulbs, meters, straps, weird bits - whatever you need. I don't throw things away so I may have what you need, somewhere! Rummage through the bins.

Magic lanterns - when I get them, the more brass the better! Plus lantern slides and parts.

Other antiques and curios - Photo related toys and ornaments, packaging and sdvertising materials, old photographs (especially Daguerrotypes, Ambrotypes and other early forms). Repro promotion posters.

Books - Photographic monographs and decent 'how to' guides, camera specific guides and materials, instruction manuals and promotional leaflets, antiquarian photo books and guides. The library and reading room is now open. Buy some good ideas!

Rummage bins - Bins of odd bits for the keen dumpster diver - all cheap. Tinkerer's specials - dead cameras and fungussed lenses if you want to decorate, try out your fixit skills or just like taking stuff apart. $10-20. Once upon a time, every camera store had big bins of bits, dead gear, parts cameras and the like. I'm preserving the tradition.

Other - Coming soon, a range of decor items based on antique camera gear - planned are camera lamps, framed 100yo Kodak poster adverts and other. Watch this space.

We Buy - all of the above. Fair prices offered but we only buy what we can refurbish and/or resell at a profit of course. Prices offered depend on condition and demand. Poor condition, grubby and busted old stuff may be welcome because it may be rare or needed for for parts or rebirthing.

Future projects and services - Photo restoration, slide copying, photo art gallery, portrait photo-booth - all in preparation now. The reading room is now open - ideas for sale - tons of old and not so old magazines cheap.

 

 

 

Ring the bells that still can ring,

 Forget your perfect offering,

There is a crack, a crack in everything.

That's how the light gets in. 

                               "Anthem" - Leonard Cohen

 

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius