Vintage Cameras and the Antique Mall of America

A little birdy recently told me about a large antique store near my home known as the Antique Mall of America that has an entire section dedicated to vintage cameras. Needless to say, I was intrigued and had to check it out. So, I grabbed my Sony a6000*, packed the wife and kids in the car and headed to the Antique Mall of America.

Turns out that the store had a bunch of small sections of vintage cameras, but there was still plenty to choose from. Now, I’m no camera historian, nor would I consider myself a film camera expert, so I’d be lying if I said I knew much about the various old cameras I came across while there, but as a lover and enthusiast of photography, I have a natural inclination to be a collector.

Many of the cameras were damaged, missing parts or overpriced but I did manage to come across a Canon AE-1 that was in great shape, and it was only $70. A quick internet search revealed that many working AE-1s sell for about $150 or so on average, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy it.

I later learned that the Canon AE-1 was originally released in 1976 and that it was one of the most popular cameras of its time. In fact, it put Canon on the map as a reputable camera manufacturer.

Even more interestingly, DigitalRev released a video dedicated to the AE-1shortly after I bought it and the photos they took looked awesome! They have that soft vintage look that I love.

Watch DigitalRev’s video on the AE-1 here.

At the time of this writing, I have yet to put any film in my AE-1 and take it for a test drive, but rest assured that I’ll be doing a video on it in the near future. Stay tuned!

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