‘Image’ conscious: Pre-loved vintage camera and photography aficionado Nazirul Asyraf uses Carousell to ‘click’ with like-minded hobbyists.
AS he was talking to me, Mohd Nazirul Asyraf Mohd Kasim’s phone kept beeping. A message from his online trading platform popped up, showing a potential buyer was interested in a vintage camera he has put on display.
“There’s a lot of demand for vintage film cameras that are still working,” he said, while responding to the sender’s request.
The 30-year-old IT analyst has turned his love for photography and cameras into an online venture since 2013, after buying his first film camera, a Canon AE-1 Program.
“It all started with sharing photos taken with vintage cameras among friends over social media.
Maybe the quality of the photos generated interest among hobbyists who wanted something different in photography,” says Nazirul, who took up photography as a hobby in 2009 with a Canon dSLR.
His friends started asking him about vintage cameras and where they could buy one.
“Since these cameras are no longer on sale now, they are collector’s items. The Internet seems the best solution to get them,” he says.
That was when Nazirul started to sell vintage cameras and lenses online.
Before the venture, he was already trading pre-loved dSLRs online, but now demand has increased, especially for good 35mm cameras such as the Canon AE-1 program, Nikon F3 and Minolta SRT.
“These cameras still have their followers, even though many have embraced digital photography. People who have been using advanced dSLR cameras buy vintage cameras.”
A hobbyist who takes pictures using dSLR cameras, Nazirul says the film cameras have that “umph” factor that modern dSLR and mirrorless cameras do not possess.
Also, the outcome is exquisite, and unique with different makes and models.
“That’s why more people are owning film cameras for the results they produce.”
The discipline that one learns from using the film camera is another factor.
As vintage cameras use film, one cannot be “shutter-happy”, as in the case of
“So photographers will carefully compose the photo before pressing the shutter.
It creates a better photographer.
“But technology-wise, vintage cameras lose out to modern dSLRs.”
SOURCING FROM JAPAN
Photographers are not the only buyers who seek Nazirul’s merchandise.
“I do get many enquiries from hobbyists and collectors too,” he says.
While some may purchase the cameras for their value, others buy them for the parts.
Most of his buyers are from the Klang Valley, but there are some from other states as well. Demand is high from Sarawak too.
Nazirul sources the vintage cameras from Japan to keep up with the demand here.
“Most of the cameras from Japan are in mint condition. The Japanese really take good care of their cameras,” he says.
Being a former student in the Land of the Rising Sun and having friends there make it easy to get the cameras.
However, Nazirul still travels to Japan to stock up for his online shop.
HIS PREFERRED ONLINE PLATFORM
Nazirul prefers to use Carousell, a consumer-to-consumer mobile and online marketplace for buying and selling new and used goods, due to its massive community and outreach.
“I like the buyer-seller chatting option available on Carousell. When selling digital goods, this is important as the buyers usually ask a lot of questions about the product,” he says.
“Selling a camera is not like selling clothes. Having the right knowledge is vital.
“Understanding the cameras’ functions, ability and defects are key to selling them. I will highlight the defects in the description.”
As interest in vintage camera increases, Nazirul is sourcing for more models.
He plans to display vintage cameras at KLFILMCAMERA, a special platform for Canon film cameras linked to Carousell.