Couple Discovers a Trove of 2,000 Vintage Cameras in Abandoned Storage Unit

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

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When a Massachusetts couple was asked to clear out a storage unit, they never could have guessed what they'd find inside. Kristen, a young mother of two who works part-time at a tanning salon, was asked a favor by her boss in December. Aside from the tanning salon, he also owns a storage unit rental company and needed to clear out a unit left behind by a renter. Kristen and her boyfriend Fridrik agreed to clean it out on the condition that they could keep what they found. They'd been told by Kristen's boss that some cameras were inside, but nothing prepared them for what they saw when they opened up the unit.

Inside the unit was a veritable museum of photography. It was filled with approximately 2,000 vintage cameras and lenses. For Kristen, who studied film photography in high school and loved it, the discovery has been overwhelming but illuminating. Not only has her apartment been overtaken with camera equipment, but she's also invested a lot of time in organizing the collection and learning about the cameras.

“The vast majority of the collection is Miranda and Minolta,” she shared. “There’s also a good amount of FEDs, Voigtlander, Zorkis, Zenits, Fujicas, Yashicas, Pentaxs, Prakticas, Mamiya Sekors, Exaktas, Olympus’s, Exas, Petris, Konicas, and some TLRs and other brands I can’t think of at the moment.”

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

Kristen and Fridrik are still in the process of cataloging the entire collection. This includes camera bodies and lenses as well as cases, flashes, mounts, tripods, filters, and adaptors. There are even price guides, magazines, books, and pamphlets that the anonymous collector kept alongside his equipment.

While balancing work and family, Kristen is still finding time to run a store on eBay where she's selling pieces from the collection. So far, her biggest sale has been $2,300 for a Minolta MD 135mm 1:2 lens. Other big-ticket items have included “a Minolta CLE in a bag with two M-Rokkor lenses, and a Leica lens.” As she lives paycheck to paycheck, these sales have been a huge help in supporting her family.

But Kristen and Fridrik won't be giving everything away. They've each selected equipment that they'll be keeping. However, with so much photography gear in the unit, there is plenty left on sale for anyone who loves vintage cameras and film photography. While she estimates that it will take years to sell off this “photography museum,” she's happy knowing that these pieces of history have made their way out of a dusty storage unit and will go into the hands of photography lovers.

A Massachusetts couple was asked to clean out a storage unit. In exchange, they could keep what they found.

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

It turned out, the unit belonged to a photography lover, and there were 2,000 pieces of vintage camera equipment inside.

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

The couple's apartment has been transformed into a makeshift photography shop.

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

They're slowly cataloging all the cameras, lenses, and accessories.

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

The collection is particularly rich in Mirandas and Minoltas.

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

After selecting pieces to keep themselves, they are selling the rest on eBay.

Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit Vintage Cameras Found in Storage Unit

KCF Vintage: eBay
h/t: [PetaPixel]

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by KCF Vintage.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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