Your Great Garage Sale 35mm Find?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    For the past several years I have noticed how 35mm equipment has gone down in price both on the new and used market. While this is sad for those of us who spent lots of money on 35mm equipment when it was new, it is a great time to find fantastic deals on camera outfits on the used market.

    Yesterday I purchased a 35mm outfit at a local garage sale. It was a Minolta Maxxum 400si with two Minolta lenses; a 35-70 and a 70-210. I paid $35.00 for the camera with both lenses (price even included a shoulder bag) all in very decent condition! Granted, I know that the 400si has its limitations and that it was not the purchase of the century, but I was able to grab a few nice shots with it as I tested it yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised with the sharpness of the images and the overall results.

    Last year my dad was able to pick up a Pentax Super Program with a 50mm 1.7 SMC-A lens for just $5.00! The camera was in almost new condition! I shot many nice images with that camera as well.

    Yes, these are not Nikon F5's or Leica M7's, but they are all capable of producing outstanding results. I get a real kick out of shooting with these garage sale finds and getting back images that rival (and many times excell) images shot with my D200! I love the surprised look on my friend's faces when I tell them that the pictures they are holding were shot with a $5.00 camera or a camera that has been "obsolete" for over a decade!

    Would you like to share your latest garage sale find? How about sharing images you have shot with them as well!

    These are a couple of images I shot with yesterday's garage sale find; the Minolta 400si with the 35-70 lens. Film was Kodak Max ISO 400 (also a great find at my local Sam's Club store for under $1.50 a roll new), handheld.

    p.s. I know that the images are not fantastic, museum-worthy images. I am just posting these to show how the metering, shutter speeds, and lens worked well with a bargain-priced camera.
     

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  2. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Be careful...they multiply! I'm up to three manual-focus Pentaxen. Heck when you can get a very good condition ME for $15 it's hard not to pick it up just to keep an experimental roll in. I haven't found as many screaming "$5 w/lens" deals, but I did get a Canon Elph sub-compact APS camera for $2 the other day. Works great.
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I bought a cool home made enlarger head for 35mm/127format at a junk bin at a camera fair for $1. Made from recycled coffee tins, tobacco tins, pressboard, felt, and bits that must have come from a kit like the condeser lens set, and the projection lens.
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I got the only Leica I ever owned at a garage sale. An M3 with dual range 50mm summicron in the case for 450.00. I also got my first 4x5 at a garage sale, 25 dollars for a Burke and James with 135 Steinheil lens. I later sold both cameras for good profit.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I got a near-mint Argus C-3 in original box with case and flash for FREE at an estate sale...not to mention tons of slides and b/w film rolls from 1949 all through the '50s that were shot with it!
     
  6. mjs

    mjs Member

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    A few years ago, garage sales produced an embarrassment of riches. For some reason these things seem to go in seasons around here. Five or six years ago it was Canon AE-1 season but the owners seemed to want excessive prices for them ($150 average) and I didn't bite. Then it was Minolta season and I bought XG-1, XM series, several SRT models, all for $5 to $10 with average lenses (the ubiquitous Minolta 45mm lens, sometimes a 50mm f/1.7 or f/2.) A large stack of film point n' shoots, never more than $1 each. Film cameras have fallen off in the last couple of years, though: we may have just about run through the stash of old film cameras. Now I mostly see older (2-3 mp) digitals. I gave most of that stuff away to kids who expressed an interest in photography; I think I have one XG-1 left from that time. My first darkroom was $25 from a garage sale; an anonymous "student" enlarger, a wooden crate full of trays, graduates, etc.

    I was once offered a Leica. An elderly woman had a small sale in her garage; I glanced over it and said something innocuous to her. We got into a conversation and I mentioned an interest in photography. She had a Leica and some lenses; her deceased husband had brought them back from Europe after WWII. She offered them to me for $200, which at the time I actually had. But I couldn't do that to her. I gave her the name of a local fellow, who may or may not have given her a "fair" price but he gave her a lot more than $200 for it. I guess I'm just not a Leica guy.

    Estate auctions are a more reliable source in my area. My very first very own 35mm camera was a Minolta SRT-101 with 58mm f/1.4 lens which I bought in the box at an estate auction for the princely sum of $44 or so. More recently, last spring I got a Nikon FE with the 55mm f/3.5 macro lens for $20 and an N2020 with the 35-70 zoom for $10, both at the same auction. I always wanted a macro lens but couldn't afford one in my youth; now that I mostly shoot 8x10 I have one! :smile: It's a lot of fun to play with, though: I have a couple of rolls I've shot at auctions where there wasn't anything of interest to me but I had to hang around because there were things my wife was interested in. I have some detail shots of some old toys, and in particular an old Coca-Cola sign, which I'm very excited about. I also have a whole gaggle of Yashica Electro 35 rangefinders (including two sets of the auxiliary lenses,) for $3-$5 each. I love those Electros; one of them came with the never-ready case and whichever one of them works has been my under-the-car-seat camera for years now, loaded with Tri-x.

    Mike
     
  7. mudman

    mudman Member

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    I got a canonet GIII GL17 for $2 and a Pentax 50mm f2 KA lens for $10. And a KA adaptall mount for $2 as well.
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    My best buy 35mm was a black Miranda EE with a 50mm 1.4 for $10.00. But my overall best deal was Kiev 88 with 3 lens for free, last day of a 3 day weekend and the folks who had it just wanted to get rid of it and save a trip to the Goodwill. Turned out the shutter is broken, at some point I will get it fixed or buy a new body.
     
  9. bighilt

    bighilt Member

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    I picked up a mint Nikkormat FT2 for the equivalent of $20 at a pawn shop. Still hoping to walk in and find an M3 Leica for a similar price but no such luck yet.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I found a Nikon L35 compact at a local Rotary Club sale. I don't see myself using it but it was only £1.


    Steve.
     
  11. T42

    T42 Member

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    Hello Steve and Forum.

    I also found a Nikon L35AF at a garage sale. One US dollar. The pop-up flash was stuck in the "up" position, and consequently killed batteries. I opened it, repaired the broken hold down latch with a dot of super glue, filed it to proper shape, put a bit of lithium grease on the latch and closed it up. It has worked flawlessly ever since. Not a bad P&S once one gets used to its way of "thinking automatically." Even has a button for 2 stops of correction for strong backlighting.

    Happy day.

    Henry
    F, F2, M3, Kiev 4a
     
  12. bighilt

    bighilt Member

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    I picked up a mint Nikkormat FT2 for the equivalent of $20 at a pawn shop. Still hoping to walk in and find an M3 Leica for a similar price but no such luck yet.
     
  13. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I found that the lens on my Nikon L35AF was a very good performer. Excellent travel camera, if one can grit his teeth and accept the teensy negative.
     
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  15. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I can't say that I've ever gotten a deal on a 35mm camera at a yard sale, but it's not for lack of trying. I was inspired to check out yard sales and flea markets by a story that I heard from a lab tech at college, claiming to have purchased his Olympus OM-3 for $8 at a yard sale (this would have been 1993 or so). The seller thought it was broken, but it simply didn't have a lens mounted, there was nothing actually wrong with it.

    I was once offered a "Time Magazine 35mm camera" for $10 at a yard sale, but I declined.
     
  16. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I found a really nice Exakta VX at a garage sale for $15. It is a 1952 model and still works great. I don't use it much but it is a great addition to my Exakta collection.
     
  17. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    I saw a cardboard box at a yard sale. It had a bunch of really ancient camera stuff in it and smelled of 50 yr old leather. I bought it for $10. later on it revealed a Leica IIIa circa 1937 and 5 CM lens all in mint condition.
     
  18. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I would say that a find like that would definitely be the find of the century for me! :surprised: I hope to stumble upon something like that someday, but for now I am even happy to find these "old" 35mm SLR's from the 1980's and 90's! :smile:
     
  19. Eric Mac

    Eric Mac Member

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    Never hit it big in cameras at a garage sale, but I did find a Raytheon transistor radio for a buck once. I bought it because it looked cool. Lucky for me transistor radios were the collectors rage at that time and I ended up trading it for a 35mm Realist stereo camera and viewer.

    I still use the Realist from time to time.

    Eric
     
  20. mjs

    mjs Member

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    That's sort of how I got my Mamiya 645 body and 80mm lens. I paid $20 for it "broken" and got lucky: it just needed a new battery.

    Mike
     
  21. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    During lunch at a thrift store near my office I found a Canon ML point and shoot with a 40mm 1.9 lens for $3.00 with a gizzer discount of 20% cost $2.40. Looks the lens is 6 elements, but just a guess.
     
  22. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    Almost embarrassing to tell about, but a few years ago a trip to a yard sale advertising "nikon lens" yielded a pristine AI'd 105/2.5 Nikkor and a rare 500/5 Nippon Kogayu (sp?) mirror tele complete with all five filters, caps and leather case.

    Two $100 bills in the transaction. I don't feel too guilty about the deal as the seller was a professional birding photographer who was selling out to convert to auto focus gear.
     
  23. chop61

    chop61 Member

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    I was working at a camera shop in the mid 80's when a woman came in with two 35's she bought at a garage sale. A Practica, and a Leica IIIc. She bought them both for $20. Neither worked. I told her how much it would cost to fix them both and she wasn't having any of that. I told her the Leica was worth quite a bit, but she didn't want to bother. I even got the used camera value guide out to show her. Still not interested. She said she couldn't even see through the little focusing hole, her words. I had two 20's in my pocket and I offered them to her for the Leica. I was a student and it was all I had for the rest of the month. She just shrugged and said, "ok."

    I paid a little over $100 to get it fixed and sold it a few years later for a pretty good profit. Probably the only time I'll ever own one.
     
  24. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    Last year I bought a Canon Sureshot Supreme for £3 from a charity shop. The little camera has a razor sharp lens and is a handy go anywhere compact.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I have had very good luck with Canon Sureshots as well. Very sharp for a $3 point and shoot. I got one when I was in high school, and I still have it. Now that I do "real" shooting, I was going to give it to a friend, but found a similar one in a thrift shop for $3. They are great $3 cameras, and I am glad to not be giving mine away after all!
     
  26. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    The only thing I had to do with mine, is learn how to override Dx coding on cassettes. I fool it into exposing 400ASA at Ei200 with the aid of a sharp knife and some electrical insulation tape.