Many of our clients are members of the boomer generation who are in the process of helping their parents downsize. Whether their parents are deceased or have moved into seniors’ residences, the adult children are charged with figuring out what to do with oodles of excess belongings. They are often stymied when they come across collections, like cameras, that have experienced tremendous loss of value due to changes in technology. Photography has been around since the 19th century.
In all but the last two decades the medium for recording and preserving images had been film. Digital and smart phone cameras have rendered film dependent models obsolete. For the shutterbug of yesteryear, these relics from the non-digital era still hold value, be it sentimental. Consequently, photo equipment is one of the most popular categories we come across in the “Inheritance Zone” in many homes.
Older digital models, video cameras, Polaroids, darkroom equipment, film, lenses, cases and light meters are what comprise a holding pen for the inevitable trip to recycling. Our sympathies go out to those who made significant investments and time and money in what were state of the art products in their time. It still does not negate the need to find alternatives other than keeping for the sake of keeping.
Let’s begin with the obvious. You should have no problems saying goodbye to the disposable units or even you very first Brownie that dispensed little black and white fuzzy photos with the scalloped borders. More bothersome are the myriad 33 mm models with detachable lenses and other high-end equipment. The Internet may be your best route for sourcing collectors or resources for charitable donation. You will have to do some research, accessing the auction sites as well as classifieds to determine the current value. Some brands retain their value better than others. If selling is not the preferred option you can always recycle, including the batteries. Keep in mind; today’s cameras make everyone look like a pro with one click.