A Kazakh Warehouse Houses Hundreds of Vintage Soviet Cameras

Jan 14, 2020 by CharismaticMannequin

Credit: DIYPhotography


Any fan of vintage hardware is pleased to find an old lens or old body, and relive the history of photography. But how about a warehouse full of old kit? That’s exactly what Andrey Khludeyev’s friend Chingiz discovered in Kazakhstan. 

Here’s the story, courtesy of DIYPhotography:

“Andrey is a film photographer from Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan. His friend Chingiz often finds old cameras in flea markets and then resells them to film and vintage camera fans. One day, Chingiz gave Andrey a Smena 8M, a Soviet camera still commonly found today.”

“When Andrey asked Chingiz how he found an unopened Smena 8, he revealed that there seems to be a warehouse full of them somewhere in Kazakhstan. Chingiz had connected with a flea market seller who sold him this brand new Smena 8M. When he bought the camera, the seller told him that he had more than just one. It turned out that he was not talking about tens or dozens, but hundreds of unopened Smena 8M cameras in mint condition.”

It turns out the seller based in Taldykorgan has access to a warehouse filled with vintage cameras, and Chingiz bought 100 cameras from the seller, reselling them quickly. Even more impressive is the condition these cameras came in; brand new, packed and stored perfectly. 

With the Soviet era having ended in the 90’s, it stands to reason there’s countless pieces of equipment floating around like this, and vintage photographers well know the joy of discovering such treasures. It’s why so many people shop for deals and rare finds in thrift shops and such.

Do you shoot on vintage equipment? Share your photos, experiences and rare finds with us in the comments below!

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