I find that people find out that I still use old film cameras, and then give thier old ones to me. I recently went to a photo swap with gear I had mostly been gifted or found at deep discount and restored, and sold about $400 worth. That allows a lot of cash for other things, so the ocassional 'retail used' purchase can be made.
I do love to hear of thrift finds, but don't come up with the deals as much as when my kids were younger, wife was at home with them, and almost everything 'semi-durable' we needed came from a thrift.
Now my new bad old camera habit is being sourced by going to liquidation/misdirected frieght/estate auctions.
Pentax Spotmatic with functioning meter cell in worn eveready case with clean 50 f/1.4 super takumar $20. New light seals for $10 (thanks Jon Goodman, down in Texas). Shot five rolls in it, and then sold it at the camera swap for $65.
Most of us love to shop. However, now that our economy is not in its greatest shape that most of us are in a very tight budget. So sales ads and thrift shops seem like haven to purchase a lot of things. Buying bulk is always a good idea, as you can stock up for quite some time and save a lot of green over the long run. Keeping a keen eye on what is going for cheap in your area grocery stores can save you a lot of money if you keep to it. You can keep from wondering about installment loans to keep the shelves stocked by clipping coupons.
Recently I got a:
Canon T50 w 1.8 lens for $17. Broken.
Hollywood Cadet tripod $5.
SLIK Universal U-102 tripod $6.
Mahogany tripod $2.
Tungsten lamp w 150watt bulb $1.
Canon Sureshot SD 500, no card w charger $10.
Epson Perfection 3200 scanner without film rack, charger or software for $15
Minolta Auto200X flash w case $4.
Promatic FTD 4000 flash $4 in box, corroded.
Pentax A3000 ready to go with batteries $14.
Minolta Freedom Dual compact 25cents.
Canon Shure Shot broken $3.
SV Kenlock 200 SQ tripod $6.
Pentax camera bag 25 cents.
Sears Auto 35 $4
And the piece de resistance, a Canon AF35ML w case for $10. One of the guys on this blog called the AF35ML a "future classic". It "has the fastest lens of any automatic compact camera ever". It has all the convenience of a Canon Sure Shot with the big lens of a Canonet. It is light and compact. I think the AF35ML gets put in the junker bins because they are dark and not as brilliant looking as the older cameras. I put normal batteries in and it functions well so far. The integral flash should make my life easier, because I'm getting tired of lugging around a lot of gear.
I almost bought a new DSLR yesterday. It took me about a day to figure out that it only had a lens the size of my Canon Sure Shot. I told the clerk, "I need at least a 1.7 lens." She replied, "A lens that size will cost you thousands." I said: "I've got a bunch of old cameras for less than $20 with even bigger lenses." Sometimes I don't know just what kind of consumer I really am.
I used to work in one too. We weren't allowed to get diddly. The "Charity" managers was too busy sending the good stuff to Japan----and pocketing the proceeds. Nietzsche said that altruism does not exist. A case in point.
i used to work part time as a second job at a certain chain style thrift store (name withheld to protect the innocent) and when sorting we all took first picks even tho company policy forbade it and the best part was other coworkers set the price for you i got a set of almost new $400 golf clubs for 10 bucks once but i also scored a canon T90 and an old b&w 35mm enlarger for $5 as well as fome fd mount lenses. so yes that is what happens
I need to learn how to fix stuck shutters. I came across three Rangefinders with stuck shutters. A Konica, a Canonet and a Minister D. Had to leave them behind. They all wanted high prices for non-functioning cameras.
I did buy a Mini-Lux Mini-Cool for five bucks. I thought it was just a small lamp until it almost burned my house down. Now my lighting needs are fulfilled! But I need another tripod for it.
Then, at a junk dealer, I got a Weston Master II light meter for ten bucks and a Canon Speedlight 199a for fifteen bucks.
Went to American Cancer Society Store in Walnut Creek. The clerk pulled out two big bags full of lenses. I paid $50 for a Canon TL QL and an AT-1. Both shutters work.
I left behind about a dozen lenses.
Not much on the internet regarding the Canon TL QL or the AT-1. I thought Canon was a good brand, but their owners don't seem to have much enthusiasm. Got the battery for the At-1 for $8 at Walgreen's, so I now have my first powered up classic camera.
I'm in a bad mood since I did a shoot this morning with no film in my Hi-Matic 9. A lot of work for naught.
Went to the city of Alameda. Three thrift stores. Just a few compacts.
Regarding the digitals, two of the three I bought required ten more dollars to get running. One is too ugly to use as a gift.
I check Thriftstores in my area regularly. Last week-end I got a Nikon F for $14.99 at the Value Village. Beat-up, looks like it went through the Vietnam war (perhaps it did) but still ticking. I replaced the mirror bumper and cleaned up dust from the ground glass. I've run a roll of film through it and look forward to see how it does.
You got an Oly 2020 for $10 - brilliant. That's a cult camera for digital infra-red imaging - there's one in my bag now and it cost me a lot more than that. Put a dark red 43mm filter on it and see (get one from China on ebay).
Sorry - wrong place - but I'm also an unrepentant collector of veteran digital cameras - y'know, like more than five years old. Oh and antique ones - more than ten years old. :-)