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  • Who buys used cameras?

    Where to sell used camera gear?

    If you are wondering where to sell your used camera gear, we have an easy answer: us. We are constantly looking for good used equipment. A core part of our business is buying and selling used gear, and we purchase camera equipment every day. Our customers find we can provide them with a good value, and a safe and secure transaction. Sure, you can get a little more for your camera gear by piecing it out individually and selling it yourself, but it can be a lot of work, and unfortunately there are a lot of people who are less than honest on the internet.  We are interested in purchasing all of your equipment--from the very special to what others might consider mundane. This is good for you, because you can get rid of your equipment quickly and easily, and all at once. Plus, we are a trusted, established business with a great BBB (Better Business Bureau) track record. At any one time we carry hundreds of pieces of used gear, and literally sell hundreds of used items every month all over the world, which is a testimonial to the trust and value our customers place in doing business with us. More than used camera equipment, we carry a huge inventory of new camera gear. If you are looking to upgrade, we can give you a better deal for your used camera equipment if you are looking to trade with us.

    So, you have used camera gear you are looking to sell or trade, what next? We have found that the best place to start is to make a list of your used camera gear, and send it over to us via e-mail to For more detailed instructions, please visit our dedicated page on our website here. You can also submit a list of up to five items via an online form on the same page, too. Once we have your list, we can mull it over and provide you with a ballpark estimate of what we can offer you for purchase or trade. When you see the estimate, and find that it is good, from there we just need to get your equipment in our hands. Then we simply confirm the cosmetic and mechanical condition of every piece and provide you with a final offer. Once you accept the offer, we cut you a check, or issue you store credit immediately. We want you to feel comfortable and good about your decision and the whole process, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (802) 244-0883 x203 to speak with a dedicated specialist.

    Are you looking to buy used cameras, lenses, or accessories? Please visit our dedicated website at The inventory is constantly changing there, so please bookmark the website and comeback frequently!

  • The "Akeley" 35mm Motion Picture Camera: No. 158

    Carl Akeley (1864-1926) was a taxidermist, sculptor, explorer and inventor. This man of many talents is known for several firsts. He revolutionized the art of taxidermy by utilizing clay molds instead of stuffing with hay. Akeley also invented the cement spray gun as well as a powerful searchlight that was used by the United States Army during the first World War.

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

    Carl Akeley had a deep passion for the natural world and the animals that inhabit it.  He traveled to Africa on several occasions to collect specimens for the American Museum of Natural History. In 1909, Akeley joined President Theodore Roosevelt on a trip to Africa, which was documented in the Cherry Kearton feature “With Roosevelt in Africa” (1910).

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

    We learned of Carl Akeley through a recent purchase. Carl’s contribution to the Motion Picture industry was the “Akeley” 35mm Motion Picture camera. This hand-crank camera looks nothing like the other cameras of its day. The “Akeley” was developed as a field camera and became the standard for many naturalists in the 1920’s through the 1940’s. The camera was most notably used for Robert Flaherty's “Nanook of the North' (1922). The cameras bizarre design gave it unique capabilities. The body featured a built-in tripod head allowing for smooth pan-tilt motions (unfortunately our camera does not have this intact). The shutter mechanism was the camera's real “claim-to-fame”. The rotary design of the body gave room for the shutter to travel all the way around its circumference.

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

    Why is that so unique? Well, as a result, the shutter angle was 230 degrees. Standard “box style” motion picture cameras had a 180 degree shutter, or less. The design of the standard motion picture camera shutter is illustrated below. A small, half circle disc rotated in front of the film plane, exposing the film plane for half the rotation.

    Standard 180 Degree Shutter Angle Standard 180 Degree Shutter Angle

    So in terms of shutter speeds, the math is pretty simple. A camera shooting 30 frames per second (30 revolutions per second) has an equivalent shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. The result of having 50 degrees more shutter is having longer shutter speeds (in this case 1/20th of a second) and gaining almost 1/3rd more light than standard cameras. This was important to Akeley because the majority of his filming was during the dusk and dawn hours when lighting was not ideal.

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

    While Akeley’s design was pure genius, it never gained enough credibility throughout the industry to revolutionize the motion camera market. It was not until the 1970’s that the industry would see a camera with a 220 degree shutter (still not as wide as the Akeley).

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera Interior of Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera with Film Cassette
    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera Shutter and film advance mechanism of the Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

    This sort of technology makes me truly appreciate the advancements we have in digital cameras today. Take a DSLR for instance. Many DSLR’s have the capability of recording high definition video at the push of a button, like the highly popular Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, or the Nikon D7000. How do you adjust the “shutter angle” or shutter speed on one of them? Simply turn a dial… bingo… done. How did you change it on an Akeley? Well first, you need to completely disassemble the camera. Remove the rotating shutter disc. Custom cut a new disc. Reinstall and calibrate, then pray that you got the right angle you need.

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

    The “Akeley” is a remarkable piece of motion picture engineering, and about as rare as they come. World famous photographer Paul Strand once said of the camera, "It's really a piece of craftsmanship different from anything our friend George Eastman makes." Paul Strand purchased an Akeley in the early 1920's and photographed its inner workings.

    "Akeley Motion Picture Camera" by Paul Strand, 1922 "Akeley Motion Picture Camera" by Paul Strand, 1922

    The above photograph is currently part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection and was donated to them in 1987 by The Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell. The MET description of this photograph includes the following text:

    Strand had purchased the movie camera only days before he photographed it. His delight in the finely tooled instrument with which he planned to earn his living is evident in the series of photographs he made. This one shows the film-movement mechanism inside the clamshell case. That the camera is depicted upside-down is not irrelevant; the picture works only this way.

    It is believed that only 450 of these cameras were ever made, and somehow No. 158 has found its way to Green Mountain Camera. This camera has now been sold, but if you are interested in any of our used camera inventory, please check out our used camera store website here:

    To see the Akeley in action and actual footage captured by the camera, please visit the Wild Film History website.

    All of the above color photographs of the Akeley motion picture camera are of the one we have in our collection. Here are some additional photographs of the same camera:

    Akeley 35mm Motion Picture CameraAkeley 35mm Motion Picture CameraAkeley 35mm Motion Picture CameraAkeley 35mm Motion Picture CameraAkeley 35mm Motion Picture CameraAkeley 35mm Motion Picture Camera

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