Top 3 places to find Vintage cameras in Bucharest, Romania

If you have a chance to spend some time in Bucharest, you’ll get to see there’s a lot more than the hustle and bustle of bars and restaurants in the city center. After spending a few weeks in the city, I’ve come up with a listing of the top places to find vintage cameras in Bucharest.  This list is updated as of January 2018. Have a place that’s not listed? Let me know below.

  1. Foto Hobby in the Old Town
Sighting of the rare Canon 50mm f/0.95 lens in Bucharest

Walking through the busy Old Town, you might not notice this photography shop that has a little secret inside. From the exterior it appears to be your basic camera shop, carrying Nikon and Canon logos and so forth. But once you enter the store, you have to turn the corner in order to see the large collection of vintage cameras the owner, Stephan, has managed to pull together. I spent an afternoon here geeking out, and saw the infamous Canon EF 50mm f/0.95 lens in excellent condition! Could not resist the opportunity to hold this little guy for a second.

Hours: 10:30AM-7:00PM (M-F), 10:30AM-6:00PM (Sat)

Address: Strada Covaci 7, București, Romania

2. Market at the Stock Exchange Palace

Stock Exchange Palace in Bucharest

Another little gem I did not see the first time around in the Old Town, there are a number of second hand and arts and crafts stand located inside the Bucharest’s old Stock Exchange Building. You’ll have a chance to find some local handmade goods as well as dig through old vinyls, antiques and vintage cameras. If you run into Gabriel’s stand, he has many cameras on display along with war memorabilia. Strike up a conversation with him and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear about the collection of hats worn by military from various countries and their history.

Digging through vinyls at the Stock Exchange Palace
CNYTHNK Sputnik Stereo 120 Film Camera

Address:Palatul Camerei de Comerț, Strada Doamnei 11, București 030167, Romania


3. Targul Vitan Flea Market (Vitan Auto)

Exterior of Targul Vitan Flea Market

If you are feeling brave enough to venture outside of the city center to one of Bucharest’s biggest flea markets, then this is the place for you. The Targul Vitan flea market is located inside the same space as Auto Vitan, so don’t let the name fool you. Entrance as of January 2018 was 3.9LEI and allows you to check out both areas. At the market you’ll find all sorts of parts for automobiles, second hand goods of all types, war memorabilia, goods for China and vintage cameras.

Trying on vintage war clothing at Targul Vitan

A vendor in Targul Vitan selling clothing

Be prepared in comfortable walking shoes and get ready to strike a deal with the locals!

Hours: Sunday, 8am – 2pm

Address: Splaiul Unirii 450, București 040043, Romania
Website: Targul Autovit

Notes: Follow the signs for Targul Autovit, the flea market is located inside. It’s an open air market, so it will not be open if the weather is bad.

A serendipitous adventure for vintage cameras in the Czech Republic

It was my second time to Brno, I had spent an afternoon in Brno the previous month and thought I had seen everything I needed to in town. I decided to make a second trip on an offer from a friend, Jiří, who graciously offered to take me around his favorite spots in town.  During the first evening, we ended up heading to one of his jobs at an upscale Hookah bar. This is where he introduced me to  Eliška, a budding local photographer that just graduated university. She took one look at my camera and we instantly started geeking out, the rest of the night was over photography and unusual and cool things to check out when in Brno. She said if I am interested in vintage cameras, I need to check out the Café Flexaret just outside of the city center.

CafeFlexaret in Brno, Czech Republic – A vintage camera themed cafe for camera and coffee lovers alike.

Cafe Flexaret
Kopečná 2/21
Brno, Czech Republic 602 00
Highlights info row image
+420 530 341 628

I arrived at the cafe the next day, unsure what to expect. The cafe has a vintage diner feel with large display cases full of old cameras and and Flexaret branded TLRs (Twin Lens Reflex) . I had never heard of Flexaret before, but Eliška later explained that this is a Czech camera brand that was made in the former Czechoslovakia, which peaked my interested. Being a camera themed coffee shop, we spent the afternoon flipping through an encyclopedia of vintage cameras, day dreaming about what kind we would collect if we had infinite money (and storage space). One thing led to another and told me there’s another shop that I must check out that sells some old TLR’s that I might be interested in.

Antikfoto – Brno, Czech Republic

Kounicova 31, Brno 602 00
Tel .: +420 541 213 129
Open: Mon-Fri 9.00-12.00, 13.00-17.00

Entering Antikfoto, you are instantly greeted by large glass shelves filled with old film and digital cameras, barrels of camera covers and a workbench where the owner works on camera repairs. It was like a little museum with the carefully laid out displays, loads of photography memorabilia including vintage pins from photography conferences and camera brands. I spent the afternoon looking through the display cases and knew I could not leave without making some sort of a purchase here. A day well spent, Eliška and I both ended up walking out with cameras from Eastern Europe. 

Flexaret IIa TLR
Flexaret IIa TLR

A very nice shop to check out if your journey takes you out to Brno, Czech Republic. There are not the lightest souvenirs to bring home, but there’s a satisfaction in finding these little gems while you are backpacking across Europe.