Someone had the stupidity to satisfy my lust.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by David Lyga, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,816
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Someone who thought he was doing me a good deed told me about shopgoodwill.com. Listings after listings of cameras for (sometimes) peanuts. I bought a prepaid debit card and was, suddenly, a kid in a candy store with a $10 bill.

    Yes, there are hundreds and hundreds of cameras: some SRTs going for under $10 and some other fine makes priced likewise. I bid on about ten and won about five. Still waiting for the rest to arrive. Sort of happy with the first few.

    I got a Minolta SRT 100 for $14 (picked up in Berwyn, PA) and got a SRT 102 for $6. Why am I disclosing this cache of extreme happiness for others to compete with me? Because there always is a catch.

    The SRT 100 was, cosmetically, excellent and the shutter worked fine. Low 'mileage' camera but...good thing I know how to fix minor things because the shutter speed scale in the VF area is floating around. I have to take the top off and fix this. It's really a crapshoot because, although Goodwill is highly reputable, the people checking these things are not of the kind that have camera knowledge. Thus, they grade them like you would grade a pillowcase or a lamp. Inner knowledge does not attach to their well-meaning verbiage.

    And there is another catch. The postage is formidible. A typical camera with lens costs about $13 plus the cost of the camera and then you really don't know what you are getting. Compared to used camera shows or Craigslist.org, the 'deal' is about equal, no better. My initial euphorial is over and I might, or might not, continue at another time with Goodwill. It's pretty good if you are used to paying retail but, especially in this care, and without pejorative implications, caveat emptor.

    But...before I call it quits, are there any other web sites to explore? (Almost all the cameras offered on the shopgoodwill.com site are from the West Coast and I live in Philadelphia). - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2011
  2. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    .... as everyone types in the web address!
     
  3. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Somebody gave an S3 to Goodwill?!

    Surely, it is the end times.

    s-a
     
  4. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Starting bid was $9.99 too!
     
  5. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,108
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David,

    Did you post this to jack up the price on that S3 so that you didn't have to purchase it? :smile:

    - Thomas
     
  7. altim

    altim Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The quality varies widely from there, I picked up an MX once that had the lens mount separated from the body. Of course it was in "good" condition. I was able to return it on my own dime after some effort but buyer beware. These days the prices end up at (or greater than) ebay prices, there are enough buyers to push items to around market value.
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I recently scoped some Nikon bodies there and they went at least as high as epay.
     
  9. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have known about the Goodwill site for a couple of years and when I first found it I did the same as you and went nuts, but the bloom quickly left and I haven't been back in quite a while.
     
  10. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,889
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    .
    I was hooked on Goodwill last year.
    I got lots of photographic goodies at a great price !
    Unfortunately, many items are located on the west coast
    so I quickly got disgusted with the $20.00 shipping charge.

    Ron
    .
     
  11. altim

    altim Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've also noticed a lot of "5% handling charge" fees added onto the shipping for high dollar items, pretty annoying.
     
  12. fstop

    fstop Member

    Messages:
    752
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I gave up on goodwill
     
  13. gtyler5

    gtyler5 Subscriber

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Location:
    Evansville I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When I see something good on there (and I wonder how someone gave it away) it usually goes for more than the same thing on ebay.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Latte Land,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Good morning, VPWPhoto, David Lyga, Guitstik, et al;

    Regarding the Nikon Model S3 Rangefinder with the NIKKOR 1:1.4 5cm lens, you should not at all be wondering about the price. Guys, this is Latte Land, Not only is this the world headquarters and home of Starbucks, it is also home of The Microsoft Corporation and Bill Gates. When you consider that this is where a cup of coffee will start at $3.00 and a latte at $5.00, why would it be a surprise that a "vintage and rare" Nikon S3 also would cost a few dollars? As Bill Gates has shown, it is only money.
     
  16. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I gave up on Goodwill too. Prices often end up higher than eBay's and on stuff that is in worse condition as they don't know cameras at all. You also can't return anything, per their stated rules.

    It's better to visit local thrift stores where you can at least inspect items and not pay high shipping costs.
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,315
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Shopgoodwill used to be a bargain. Back when people didn't know about it. Now, the only things that sell for bargain prices there are the truly junky cameras that nobody wants anyway. Every once in a while you can snag a good price on an Olympus OM2 or the odd Nikon FE, and sometimes deals can be found on non-camera items (I chickened out and didn't bid high enough to get an amazing William Henry Jackson photo of Bridal Veil Falls - it ended up selling for almost $1100, but it would have listed at a dealers at about $9-10K). I've pretty much quit buying from them also, because there is no warranty, no return, and as previously noted, prices are now the same as if not more than ebay. While supporting a worthy charity is noble, if I'm going to end up buying a piece of junk, I'd much rather just write a check. And I agree, their shipping and handling fees are outrageous - the last thing I bought from them (don't remember exactly what it was, but the purchase price was under $20) cost less than the shipping charges!
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There must be something wrong with me, I don't lust after any photographic gear because after more than fifty years of photography if I don't have it by now I don't need it, but my lust to try to make good pictures with what I have is unabated .
     
  19. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,816
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    For the life of me I have no idea what you are talking about with an 'S3'. I don't even know what an 'S3' is unless it is a pre-Spotmatic 'S series' body. Where did I say 'S3'?

    Am I more nuts and more ignorant that even I thought? I am perplexed. - David Lyga.

    STOP PRESS: Oh now I know what you are talking about: an early Nikon RF that is currently in the $700s there. Many people who die leave estates in which the value is not known by those that remain behind. This was probably a wife who thought that it was simply another 'point and shoot' camera. There are those instances that come to fruition with charities like Goodwill gaining the bargain. Not unethical really. NO, I had nothing to do with this camera (that takes no better pictures than my $13 Minolta SRT by the way) and is less versitile. - David Lyga.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2011
  20. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,816
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The problem with you, benjiboy, is that you are too 'normal and well balanced', You have no right to be on this forum because of that 'disqualification'.

    But you are all too correct: the 'seeking' of that bargain gets into the blood when it clearly should not. Luckily, no matter how much I want a camera or lens, its appeal for me is reduced if not in the 'bargain' category. I wish I could be as rational as benjiboy's post but this is my private joy in life. There is something that is irresistable and captivating about having an instrument that is capable of 'capturing time'. And the whole 'era' unfolds in my hands: an era that I remember as more sane, predictible, and 'real'. That is also how I am with old classical music vinyl 33 rpm LPs. But, keep sanity flowing, benjiboy. - David Lyga
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As I keep writing on this forum David, I've been there and have the T shirt, I realized around thirty years ago that photography can't be solved by throwing money at it, and if you have the most and best gear in the World, you have nowhere to go,for example if I bought a Stradivarius violin, I would become a Stradivarius owner not, a violinist
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2011
  22. jscott

    jscott Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Location:
    PNW
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    SGW depends on free donations so it is the good (not much), the bad (a lot), and the ugly (mostly).

    My experience is the same as others. High shipping costs (even in WA) and you are never quite sure what will show up. I bought a 90 year old Zeiss Jena plate camera, and the shipper had plastered 2" shipping tape across the original leather case, ruining the finish. That's about who we are dealing with here... and there is no feedback or recourse.

    EBay is shopping paradise in comparison to SGW.
     
  23. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,816
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well said, benjiboy, and the truth is not sad. You lend perspective, needed perspective.

    Thankfully, I do not 'throw money' (little money to throw!!!) at cameras because I buy ONLY when I can buy at a price that I could get back in a pinch. I live in the Philadelphia area and the northeast of the USA is where probably one third of all 'USA destination' cameras were sold. That gives me a good buyer's market and, conflated with the recession (depression?), that spells opportunity of sorts.

    A few days ago I attended the Fort Washingrton, PA (twice yearly) used camera show and bought, from a junk box, an Agfa Silette LK, the cheap version of the other Silettes. I paid $5 for a dirty camera whose shutter and aperture dials were stiff and uncomfortable but whose glass was flawless (despite all the grime). Today I completed my work on the camera after having removed the glass elements, flushed the shutter/diaphragm with much lighter fluid to remove the decades of gunk, and let it dry overnight in my oven with the pilot light on (about 110 F). The glass I clean with straight ammonia from the supermarket. NOTHING gets glass cleaner and it leaves no static charge. Then I removed the top and thoroughly cleaned the RF area. (But WARNING: don't use ammonia on the colored piece of glass in the RF area or the silvered (?) coating will come off. Just use water with a tiny bit of dish liquid.) Then I tested ACTUAL focus, which was different from the DESIGNATED focus, and made the screw adjustment to align the two to mesh. My correct focus is now from 34 inches to infinity.

    At wide open (F 2.8) the lens performs admirably, with only the far corners SLIGHTLY soft. From F4 to F16 it performs like a Leica, period, no qualifications. That, folks, is how I draw blood out of a five dollar bill. But no one died because of the 'assault'. I gain immense satisfaction out of doing this and cringe when I see the Leicas being sought after. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2011
  24. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,816
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    jscott, again, well said.

    It really is a crapshoot but since I make minor repairs it is so-so with me. I just bid on another SRT 101 for $9 (plus at least that in postage). I am amazed to hear that in Washington state the postage is also insane. About 95% of their cameras come from the west coast. WHY? - David Lyga
     
  25. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,375
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just have no desire David to clutter my small house up with junk that I'm never going to seriously use, I have no urge for constant equipment acquisition, I'd rather spend the money on film and processing.
     
  26. KarnyDoc

    KarnyDoc Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The local Goodwill stores here in New Jersey - there are two along Route 46 - don't interest me, though they hold a fascination for my girlfriend. I'm not impressed with the intelligence of the staff OR management, and their tendency to price set items (e.g., china) to break them up is pathetic, with Salvation Army even worse.

    Dieter Zakas
    Goodwill? More like, "Bad won't"