11-Point Health Check for Vintage Cameras

By Paul McKay

Every secondhand film camera goes through an 11-Point Health Check with our technical partners Kamerastore before being listed on our site. This gives you real visibility and confidence in the true condition of the camera you are buying.

Before that happens an unique code is generated and attached (by a small sticker) to each specific camera - regardless of the type of film camera. This allows us to track the camera through the entire check system, storing and selling process, and with customers after purchase.

When the camera has its code and sticker it begins the system. The following elements are checked in order:

  1. Overall appearance (dents, tape, glue, DIY repairs, unoriginal parts)
  2. Viewfinder and focusing screen visual check
  3. Shutter and mirror visual check
  4. Mirror focusing alignment test
  5. Light seals - visual and tactile check, repaired if needed
  6. Shutter speed testing (on machine) - overall exposure time for each setting
  7. The curtain travel is tested, checking that it moves evenly which requires very precise measurements of the timing on the two curtains
  8. Light meter testing - this requires special lenses with calibrated apertures and a machine with a very precisely calibrated light
  9. Flash functions
  10. Self-timer function
  11. Winding and rewinding function

If any issues are identified that require work, the camera goes into the repair workshop (typically 2-8 hours per camera) before going through the Health Check once more.

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