One of many World’s Largest Digital camera Collections is Going to Public sale


Australia is at a loss with the latest closure of Michaels Digital camera Video Digital. It was made world-famous for its dedication to the photographic group and extraordinary digital camera museum.

Michaels was greater than only a digital camera retailer, providing an array of providers, together with effective artwork printing, movie creating and printing, photographic tuition, gear leases, digital camera repairs, and skilled recommendation on Australia’s largest vary of photographic and cinematography gear.

It additionally offered entry to see one of many largest personal digital camera collections on the planet, as proven in a Snap Comfortable episode.

106 Years of Serving Photographers

Upon asserting the shop closure, Peter Michael, the Managing Director of the Elizabeth Road enterprise, shared the next assertion by way of Meta:

“After 106 years of serving the Melbourne group from the nook of Elizabeth & Lonsdale Streets, initially as a pawn dealer and gunsmith, then a pharmacy, adopted by for the final 46 years, as Australia’s largest single-site specialist digital camera retailer, Michaels are closing their doorways.

On behalf of 5 generations of the Michael household who’ve traded from this nook since 1916, and all our workforce members, we sincerely thank all our prospects on your loyal help through the years.”

He then stated on twenty fifth June at 9 am, Michaels would give away their remaining inventory, together with filters, instances, books, inkjet paper, batteries, adaptors, used cameras, lenses, projectors, and way more, as proven within the native 9 Information protection.

Photograph courtesy Peter Michael
Photograph courtesy Peter Michael
Photograph courtesy Peter Michael
Photograph courtesy Peter Michael

“The individuals of Melbourne supported us from day one. That was greater than 100 years in the past. Making a gift of the steadiness of our inventory was a token of our appreciation by giving again to the group.”

An Interview with Peter Michael

Following on from the giveaway occasion, PetaPixel spoke with Michael to study extra about what was subsequent for the household and digital camera museum, plus hear about some insights from a legacy profession within the imaging business:

Leigh Diprose: Michaels was an establishment for Australian photographers and filmmakers, regionally and nationally. Are you able to share recommendation about generational success and longevity for imaging retailers, significantly household companies, contemplating the 100-plus-year-old retail enterprise has been working since 1916?

Peter Michael: “I feel the bottom line is easy – to hear and study out of your predecessors while contributing new concepts and methods your self.”

Photograph courtesy Peter Michael.

You’re well-known for having presumably the biggest personal digital camera assortment on the planet, with over 10,000 items. Are you able to share some perception into why you have been initially going to donate the gathering and what resulted from the conversations with the Melbourne Museum or the State Library?

“Ideally, our assortment, which was a really world-class assortment, would have stayed intact within the care of both of these establishments. Nonetheless, in dialogue with each, it was clear that neither had limitless bodily or monetary assets. As well as, though our assortment was vital, there have been only a few items that have been of Australian origin, which is their key focus.”

Will you maintain any items again for sentimental causes inside your well-known digital camera assortment, or is every part going to Leski Auctions?

“I’m maintaining an Olympus Pen-F cutaway. As a baby visiting the Melbourne museum with a faculty tour, I observed an Olympus Pen-F cutaway and was mystified by it. It additionally occurs that that is the one piece in our assortment which has a five-star score – this implies that it’s the rarest piece and nearly by no means comes up on the market.”

Because the public sale is in depth, what do you assume will fetch the best value? Do you’ve an estimate on the overall assortment, and what uncommon gadgets ought to individuals keep watch over?

Lot 112 of The Michael Household Digital camera Museum Public sale – Estimate: AUD60,000 – AUD80,000 (~$41,400-$55,300)

“An especially uncommon Chinese language Crimson Flag 20 with a whole set of lenses – 50/1.4, 35/1.4, and 90/2. That is prone to appeal to essentially the most consideration because of its rarity and historical past. The public sale will likely be in 4 components over the following two years and has many uncommon and fascinating gadgets.”

Is any of your loved ones carrying on within the photographic business to hold on the legacy?

“Our son David is carrying on our Digital camera Rent enterprise as Michaels Digital camera Rent. Many photographers and videographers relied on this service. He has taken all our rent gear, added extra, and has a devoted rent retailer conveniently positioned in Chapel Road in St Kilda.

Our daughter Carly is obsessed with serving to individuals retain their photographic household histories. She began a brand new firm known as PhotoGenie. We hear so many tales about individuals racing by way of burning homes to rescue picture albums as they’re valuable. Carly digitizes, brilliantly organizes, and gives sturdy backup options for the picture albums, shoe bins of pictures, motion pictures, and movies that households have amassed over time. Apparently, she discovered that persons are already shedding photos they thought have been safely saved in ‘the cloud.’ She has a ‘bag’ of instruments and methods that she has developed to maintain these secure.”

LOT 42. LEITZ: Leica I Mannequin B [#6074] with Compur dial set shutter [#348156]; with sq. base accent shoe with Elmar f3.5 50mm lens. Whole manufacturing was 638 models. Estimate: AUD12,000 – AUD15,000 (~$8,300-$10,400)
LOT 48. LEITZ: Leica “Luxus” Gold Plated Duplicate [#23355], purple lizard pores and skin physique cowl, fitted with Elmar f3.5 50mm lens and matching lens cap, with matching Leica leather-based ERC. Estimate: AUD1,500 – AUD2,000 (~$1,000-$1,400)
LOT 74. LEITZ: Leica 250 Reporter (GG) 35mm Rangefinder digital camera [#150164 series], 1943, with Summar f2 50mm lens [#335133], with each movie magazines and shutter velocity to 1000. Estimate: AUD12,000 – AUD18,000 (~$8,300-$12,400)
LOT 229. Canon Mannequin J-II digital camera [#8569] engraved Canon Seiki-Kogaku on prime plate, 1945-46, with Serenar 50mm f3.5 lens [#8050] and metallic cap. Manufacturing started on the finish of 1945, largely using Mannequin S components. The digital camera appears an identical to the Mannequin S apart from the smaller rewind knob and curved finish on the viewfinder housing. This digital camera grew to become fashionable with occupation troops nevertheless fewer than 525 have been produced. Estimate: AUD5,000 – AUD7,500 (~$3,400-$5,200)

Out of your time within the business, what’s one buyer interplay or story that stands out?

“By way of all our generations, we by no means wavered about our dedication to supply actual customer support. We have now numerous tales the place we’ve been instructed that we have been profitable.”

As a pacesetter within the business for therefore a few years, are you able to elaborate on the way forward for cameras and e-commerce within the subsequent ten years?

“An awesome query. I’ve little doubt that quickly advancing applied sciences will proceed to propel the event of cameras and e-commerce.”

Lastly, what recommendation would you give somebody who needs to work within the imaging business?

“Arduous work, dedication, listening to prospects and uncovering alternatives.”


Half One in every of The Michael Household Digital camera Museum will start on 6 pm AEST on Tuesday, ninth August 2022, by way of Leski Auctions or Invaluable. The remaining Three Components of the public sale will happen over the next two years.

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