What Is Your Reflex Worth?

Value is always in the eye of the beholder, so the value of your Reflex depends on what buyers want.

User Cameras: $100 – $200

User Reflex with everready case.

A good, user Reflex should be fully-functioning with:

  • clean, bright lenses
  • a clear ground glass and bright image
  • intact finder lenses
  • reasonably accurate shutter speeds
  • working film wind
  • freely moving focusing knob

Assuming the camera is in good working condition, overall cosmetics will play a part in value. Peeling or missing leather is going to drive the value down. So will rust and other cosmetic defects to the metal.

Collector Cameras: $150 – $400

Collectors are usually interested in attractive, well-kept, functioning cameras. It’s possible that a collector will buy a camera with a jammed shutter, but that takes away from some of the fun (and value) of collecting.

Within the spectrum of Ansco Automatic Reflexes, there are two major types: with or without flash sync. Reflexes without flash sync are among the first version made; those with flash sync are either retrofits or the second version.

Serial numbers

The definitive way to find out what model Reflex you have is the serial number. Turn the camera over, crank the focus all the way out and you should see a stamped number.

There are three major varieties of serial number: those starting with zero (0), one (1) or two (2). Cameras that start with 0 or 1 are the first version. Cameras that start with 2 are the second version.

Less-common serial numbers are prefixed with an S (S 0001415) or 2- (2-0002176). The S prefix may have been meant to show the camera had been retrofitted with a flash sync. It’s harder to know what the 2- prefix means because the serial numbers span a large range. It’s possible that they were first version cameras still on hand when Ansco switched to making the second version.

Two or three rivet tripod sockets

The first group of Reflexes (serial numbers starting with 0) produced have a smaller tripod socket secured with two rivets. Starting with the 1 series serial numbers, the Reflex has a beefed up three rivet tripod socket.

Black knobs

A small number of Reflexes had a black-paint focus knob insert. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern but they are far rarer.


Original packaging for the Reflex.

The Reflex was sold in a red, flocked box. Inside the box, at the bottom, should be a cardboard cutout that the camera fits into. A box with the camera will add significant value.

A printed manual also came with the camera. It doesn’t show up on auction sites very often, so including one may increase the value.

The everready case is far more common. Everready cases were popular accessories in general when the Reflex was sold, so there are plenty available.

The last major item is the accessory kit. It included a lens hood, filters, instructions and lens wipes in a leather case. They tend to be more scarce and sell for $25 – $50 each.

There was at least one popular, aftermarket shutter sync (Heiland). At least one camera with that sync showed up on eBay. It’s hard to say whether the sync added any value to the camera.

Prototypes: Unknown

To date, three prototypes have surfaced. Only one has appeared on an auction site; it was listed for almost $1000. The value of prototypes is largely unknown.