Vintage Camera Hut - Interview for Reclaim Magazine

5 minutes with Marius Constantin, owner at Vintage Camera Hut 

Q. Please briefly tell us how, when and why the Vintage Camera Hut started up. 

I started to buy film cameras few years ago for myself, as a passion and I tried to repair or restore them as much as I could. My collection became quite big very fast and this how Vintage Camera Hut started in April 2018, when I realised that most of these amazing cameras will end up at some point in the bin or on a shelf, collecting dust instead of creating lifetime memories. 

Q. Where does your knowledge of cameras come from? 

I'm a photographer myself, so it was easy to understand the way they're working, but then every camera it's different so I had to spend time playing and shooting with them to understand them very well.

Q. Why is it important to you to keep film alive? 

I think people don't put too much value anymore on printed photos. We all have thousands of photos in our phones and I think it will be very difficult to pass them to the new generations as our grandparents did. We'll probably have so give our nephews our Cloud Password.

Q. Reclaim is focussed on reclaiming old items. What would otherwise have happened to these old cameras of you hadn't rescued them?

As I said before, they would probably end up in a bin or on a shelf as a decoration.

Q. What sort of places do you source your old cameras from please? 

I started buying them online and I still buy them online, but now because I'm in Brick Lane market I also have people asking if I want to buy some film cameras as they will never use them again.

Q. What sort of makes do you stock? 

It doesn't really matter. I buy every camera that I think it can be restored to a point when it can create memories again.

Q. What's the oldest or most rare camera you've had? 

The most rare at the moment is a Corfield 66 which is a camera made in England. There were less than 300 made. The oldest it's a Kodak folding camera from 1938 and still working perfectly.

Q. What do you love about giving them a second chance? 

These cameras were amazing, they created thousands of memories. Real photos, printed that will stay in the family for generations. They're old but they can still do it much better than any digital camera.

Q. You're at Backyard market every weekend - who is your customer base or what sort of customers do you tend to have? 

My customers are young people, aged 18 to 28 years old. Most of them are passionate about photography and they want to start a new chapter in their adventure. They realised that film photography is very cool also and it's the only way their photos will last for generations.

Interview by Amy Bratley, Contributing Editor @Reclaim magazine