View Full Version : A camera list

03-09-2010, 01:26 AM
My mother-in-law is an avid Garage Sale and Flea Market Junkie. When we visit her, we join in her merciless and ongoing assaults and over the past 13 years I have found the very best deals in camera gear than I have in the past 20 on my own. People selling most of the time don't know what they are selling or what they are worth. I could post a whole brag article on what I have found on these excursions but point of this post is...

She tells me of all the cameras she sees while sharking all these places and has accurately described "passing up" several twin lens cameras with Japanese names... sheet film cameras "with big bellows, wooden tripods and brass lenses"... entire 35mm camera outfits, etc. that she could have picked up in my absence, for a song... but she doesn't want to get a bad deal. (Spending my money as it is, because of course I give her what she spends.)

I've already told her that if a camera has the name Kodak (Or Instamatic) on it and it will fit in the glove box of her car not to buy it. If it's Bakelite (unless it has Dick Tracy on the front) I don't want it... If it has Nikon on it with a detachable lens, or the name Leica and costs less than $20, buy it. If it is tall and has the name OmegaII on it for less than $30 buy it...

But I was thinking... How do I make her a rough list of what to buy and or not to buy, and what items should she call me on the spot when she comes across them?

Any thoughts?

Dan Grisez
03-09-2010, 08:03 AM
Put several photos and descriptions of the gear you are looking for (types, name brands, etc.) on a Word document and print out a few sheets that she can carry around. Having a visual representation as well as descriptions will make it much easier for her to know what you want (and what you don't want, too). And if you get a couple of duds here and there, you can always throw them on eBay. She'll probably still pass up a few gems, but with a list that has pictures, it will make it less likely that she will do that.

BTW, I like your sig. :D

03-09-2010, 09:22 PM
How could I have possibly missed thinking of that??? BRILLIANT!

Dan Grisez
03-10-2010, 08:02 AM
Glad I could be of service. :D

03-10-2010, 09:00 AM
If she finds one of these for a couple of bucks, you'll be happy - http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/top_priced_cameras.php

03-12-2010, 05:57 AM
A list might workwith really cheap simple stuff - but I reckon as the price goes up a bit - so does the risk.... it is so easy to get stung.

I was on the isle of Geurnsey a couple of years ago and spotted what looked like a Sanderson wood and brass camera on a tripod with a very nice brass lens. The shop was closed and the camera too far away from the window to see well - but I thought it said 'Geortz' on the lens.

From a distance, it looked fantastic! I rushed back the next day to have a good look...

The camera was actually made up from parts of at least two damaged cameras made from different wood. Although it looked almost like a complete camera, it was not able to focus or fold. The bellows were terrible - almost disintergrated. There was no name on the camera (any bits of it) and it wasn't really repairable or restorable, as such, as it wasn't nearly complete. The tripod looked like it had been adapted from an artists easle and was probably not very old...

Moving on to the lens. It did indeed say Geortz Dagor on the front! Yeah!

Only.... someone has obviously cleaned the glass with an abrasive pad - unbelievably scratched - and the rear elements were missing. The iris had collapsed and the blades were rattling around inside - but because the rear was missing a few of them had got lost - the barrel was obviously very corroded and scratched but had been 'polished up' to look good with brasso.... :o

I reckon the owner must have looked up 'Dagor' on google or something... and come over all 'optomistic'. The price tag was 1000!!!!

At first glance by someone who didn't know anything about cameras - it might have seemed quite attractive. After a closer look - even at $20 I wouldn't have bought it...

The moral is - you've got to see it, I reckon!

Maybe the best tactic is to equip said Mother-in-Law with a mobile phone with a built in camera and get her to give you an on the spot description with an emailed photo?

03-16-2010, 07:28 PM
If she has a cell phone with a camera, she can snap a photo or two and send them to you on the spot.

03-16-2010, 09:23 PM
Why don't you increase that maximum price for a 'clean' Leica to $25, you'll make out okay?

03-16-2010, 09:24 PM
Here we have something actually useful for a camera-phone to do.

03-16-2010, 10:29 PM
Or give a copy of McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras as a birthday gift for your mother-in-law.

Steve Smith
03-17-2010, 02:54 AM
Here we have something actually useful for a camera-phone to do.

Well... I'm still not getting one!


03-17-2010, 12:12 PM
I'll be looking for very inexpensive gear at yard sales this Spring & Summer, and broken junk (or yuck plastic cameras) will no doubt surface!