The Vancouver Camera Show and Swap meet 2015

Linda at the SwapMeet

Linda at our table

Camera Swap find

A good find at the Swap meet

Camera Swap Meet

Check out this Leica

Vancouver Swap meet 2

Lets assemble this 4X5 camera 

Ziggy Rhode

The Swap Meet organizer, Ziggy Rhode selling a Hasselblad

Vancouver Swap Meet 1

Wow, a nice twin lens at the Vancouver swap.


The Western Canada Photographic Historic Association hosts Vancouver, British Columbia’s, original camera show and swap meet each year. This long-running show has now reached its 39th year, and makes the claim of being the largest in Canada with I believe approximately 120 tables, and I have no doubt well over 1,000 people walked through the doors this year.

I can’t remember exactly when we (my wife and I) had our first table there, maybe some time late 1990s. Since then each year we join an always-interesting diversity of photographers in a large, photographic equipment packed hall in Burnaby, BC, who are eager to exchange information and ideas, and, of course, are looking for great deals on all kinds of camera equipment.

Each year we make the three and a half hour drive from Kamloops the day before and lodge overnight and eagerly join other vendors the next day at 7:30AM to setup. The early morning scene is so much fun as we interact with others busily arranging equipment on tables before the show even begins. When I arrived I was happy to see people I have known for years. Better put, I was happy to see people I have known for only one day a year for about 20 years.

For me it is always a rush to organize my table quickly so I am ready for the swap meet’s early bird shoppers who pay a premium to begin shopping at 9am. That group of shoppers isn’t so much into browsing as they are searching for specific pieces, and they will walk quickly by a vendor’s table unless they spy that item.

At the 10am regular admission I always am glad to get a chance to sit for a moment (only a moment) after the hour of non-stop showing, demonstrating, explaining, and, of course, bargaining with savvy photographers.

Spending a day surrounded by a huge selection of cameras and other photography equipment is exhilarating, and getting a chance to talk with other photographers about their different interests is invigorating. Even after all these years I always learn something.

As I have mentioned before when I have written about this exciting event, one will find photographers of every age, from experienced elders to young people accompanied by patient parents. This congregation includes all kinds of lifestyles, interests, and photographic specialties. There are those that are dedicated to film, historic cameras, and processes of the past, walking alongside others that carry the latest and brightest in modern technology.

Other than actually pointing a camera at some inspiring subject, a gathering like the Vancouver Swap is a superb way to meet and exchange information with other photographers, and look at and check out the many kinds of photographic equipment that would not be so easily available anywhere else.

I had a great time with the photographers I met this year and the depending on who joined me at my table, the conversations always changed. My day of selling was a success, as it was for most of the dealers I talked to at the end of the day. And I even had some time to purchase another lens for myself, which is always nice.

I always look forward to any comments. Thank you, John



Vancouver Canada, Camera Show and Swap Meet

At the swap meet  Swap meet deals  Dave at swap  Another good deal  Photo equipemtn for sale  Check a camera

The clock on the stove signaled 7am and I heard the sound of my friend, Peter getting out of his truck in front of the house. I had my car ready as it was idling on the cold morning, and we jumped in and left for the hour-long drive to meet up with two more photographer friends, Dave and Pat at Dave’s place.

A bit over three hours later we had stopped for coffee in Merritt, driven across the scenic, mountainous and snow lined Coquihalla summit, driven through rain as we passed Hope, crossed the Fraser river into the warm coastal city of Burnaby and were parking across the street from the Cameron Recreation Center that was hosting one of my favorite events each year, The Vancouver Camera Show & Swap meet.

I will say the four of us were pretty excited. We had talked about the trip for weeks and had just driven for three hours talking about photography the whole way and now were walking into a large hall filled with photography equipment, all for sale.

Put on by the Western Canada Photographic Historic Association, and organized by Siggi and Brigitte Rohde, this long-running show has now reached its 38th show and makes the claim of being the largest in Canada with, I think, about 120 tables. And when I talked to the fellow at the door later that day, he thought well over 1,000 people had walked through the doors.

Yes, we were excited as we gazed at the crush of people. Hmm, maybe it was a congregation and we were entering some chapel filled with the faithful. Anyway, as soon as we walked in, Peter yelled, “see ya later” and headed off disappearing into the crowd and Pat and I started looking in earnest for a 60mm macro lens that he could mount on his new camera. I noticed Dave in deep discussion with a couple of photographers he had just met at a table packed with Canon gear.

The event was, as usual, well attended with all types of photographers from all walks of life. Photography, after all, is enjoyed and practiced by men and women of all ages and all cultures and I can safely say every demographic was there.

I have been attending The Vancouver Canada Camera Show and Swap for over twenty years and that was evident with all the familiar faces and constant catching up with people I only knew from this occasion each year. I even stopped to talk and congratulate the organizer, Siggi Rohde on another successful show. He mentioned how some people had wondered as far back as 1992 when the first one was held if a camera swap meet could be successful.

Well, the proof this year was in all the smiling photographers cradling gear in their arms as they wandered to the next table to purchase that one more “must have” item. I have always found the secret is to buy a camera bag in which to put stuff. And what about my friends, Dave, Pat and Peter? Dave decided against the lens he had checked out, but grabbed a neat photography vest, Pat found the 60mm macro lens he wanted, and Peter ended up with a Fuji 6×9 film camera. Oh, and although I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, I did find a great deal on a manual Yongnuo flash that will fit in perfectly in my off-camera flash kit and just for fun, bought an almost new camera bag with “Nikon” boldly sewn on the top. However, Pat talked me out of it on the drive home.

Now another Vancouver Camera Swap meet has come and gone and I am left with memories of how much I enjoyed myself. Truth be known, I could go without a cent in my pocket and still have a great time, but who wants to do that? I really enjoy all comments. Thanks, John My website is at