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New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-23-2022

Question about buying cameras

I feel like this will help a lot of beginners like me who are trying to looking to buy an SLR

If I find a camera that has a working shutter, winder, etc. and everything was clean BUT it was not film tested, is it a good idea to buy it? I know that if it’s not tested chances are the seller tested it and it did not work, but assuming that it is a mechanical camera and everything seems to be working, how could it not work when shooting film.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Posts: 87
Topics: 1
Kudos: 13
Solutions: 6
Registered: ‎12-07-2021

Re: Question about buying cameras

Hi, ukhanjemb,


Welcome to our Forums! We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us here. Buying an SLR is an investment, so you're wise to want to mitigate any risks in doing so. Buying an SLR that hasn't been film tested can be risky. Even if the shutter and winder work, there are a lot of parts that could not work. I'll take about a few of the most common issues below.


When you take a photo on a film camera, there is a mirrored prism inside that essentially projects the image onto the film in order to create the photo. That mirror flips back and forth with the button is pushed. If that mirror does not move, it will not create an image. If you take the lens off the camera, you will see the prism. If you hit the button to take a photo and it moves, in theory you should be good. 


Another possible issue with used cameras is that there could be what we call light leaks. If the back does not properly shut, it could let light into the back of the camera and expose your film. There really is not a way to check this, as you would need film to make sure that isn't happening.


If the camera has any digital aperture settings, make sure those work. Turn the camera on, and then move the camera around, preferably looking over different amounts of light. If you're outside and it's sunny, look at a shade tree and then towards something in the sun. The f-stop number should move on the display. If the display is shown inside of the viewfinder, you will need to look there to make sure it's working. 


I wish you the best of luck making your SLR purchase. Please feel free to reach out with any other questions you may have!



Meghan|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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New Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎11-05-2022

Re: Question about buying cameras

Buying this kind of camera will be nothing short of stupidity. I will not recommend you buy this camera which is not tested. 

Business Minded
Valued Expert
Posts: 8,622
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Question about buying cameras

I would do a check first on the availbility of film and place to develop it.  


I have purchased a number of 35mm film cameras off a popular auction site simply becuase it came with lenses that were worth 10 to 50 times more than I paid for the auction. 


I once got a Nikon Rangfinder with a F bayonette for $40.  It came with a  Nikon 50mm f/2.8 and 20mm f/1.4 lens set. Both lenses were in excellent condition and I still use them years later. 


However, most consumer level 35mm film cameras went out of production around 2006 or so. So there will be no more parts or fixing if broken. 


Regarding the seller, chances are also they know nothing about it and picked up to somewhere and are trying resell it. 


If you really want  to get in to a good new camera, I would sugggest looking at mirrorless. Both Nikon and Canon have discontinued or will shortly production of all DSLR cameras.  


Which is good for me as I may be able to get some used lenses at a great price. 

I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own. Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query.