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  1. #1

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    *sigh* Dead cameras

    I am a camera killer. Not really, but soooooo many of the ones I buy off eBay or at the local junk emporiums (which call themselves camera stores) have flaws which render them unsuitable for use. Here's the sad tally this year so far:

    Minolta Maxxum 5000 - film advance was hosed - discarded

    Mamiya ZE-X - even after a trip to Garry's camera the shutter still hung half the time. - discarded

    Fujica AX-3 - Only worked with fresh batteries, otherwise the shutter froze - discarded

    Fujica ST901 - received it, put a lens on it, set shutter to 1/60th, slowly pressed the shutter... shutter stayed open. Returned for refund.

    Minolta Maxxum 5 - received it, never got the shutter to fire. Talked to eBay seller, took half off, I kept lens. Body discarded.

    I have to report that I've had some good ones too. All but one of my Canon FD bodies are good working cameras. I got an FM2N and it works great, as does an STX-2. My FX-3 is a lovely camera and with some green vinyl to replace the yucky camera leatherette, it's a sharp-looking camera too.

    At this rate we will soon run out of working 35mm cameras except for Canon FD, Nikon MF, Minolta MF, and a few others.

    So fess up - how many bad ones have YOU got this year?
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  2. #2
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    Over the past year (going back to August 2007):

    Chrome FM2 that was bought as a project. Didn't realize that one of the blades on the lower shutter curtain was hosed. Sold to repair shop as parts. Purchased in July of this year, sold about 3 days later

    Two bodies I purchased recently were functional, but had/have issues. The F3P needed to have the aperture follower cleaned, and needs to have the PC socket tightened down, as well as the F3-specific accessory shoe rewired, so it works. Luckily, the hot shoe on the DE-5 prism works, and the PC socket also works. The other body is my black FM2n. Well-used, so, some issues may be expected. Meter is somewhere between 1/2 a stop and 3/4 of a stop off. Varies. Luckily, there's no meter display twitch in the 1/15 and 1/30 shutter speed range. The FM2n is currently in for refoaming and to have the meter recalibrated to spec. Once it's out, the F3P will go in for the aforementioned issues with it. F3P arrived in June, FM2n last month.

    Had a few Nikkormat FT2's with meter issues earlier this year. One essentially had a dead meter, another had a meter that worked, but that was a full stop or so off. The third was metering as if it was calibrated for the PX675 mercury batteries. Smooth action, though. It did also have a shutter speed indicator that was showing 1/1000 when the shutter was set for 1/500. Fourth was brassy, metering @ 2 stops off, but worked fine otherwise. Luckily, I didn't pay much for them. Also had a near mint looking black FTn that had a somewhat jumpy meter that was off about a stop or two, shutter speed indicator that was all over the place, finally disappearing somewhere in the body. Also paid very little for it. Had a couple chrome FTn's with corroded battery compartments that worked, but had jumpy meters. Also had one that worked fine, just didn't care for it for some reason. Mainly bought it for the 50f1.4 Nikkor-SC, which had been AI'd, but was covered in fungus. Used the AI ring for a non-AI 50f1.4 that I had lying around.

    I've had a couple F's with dead slow speeds. A chrome 70xxxxx body, and a black 65xxxxx body. The black body donated its FTn finder to my current F, which is mechanically fine, but cosmetically challenged.

    Had an F3 eyelevel that I got for $15.00. Needed to have some serious work done. Donated it to a repair shop, walked away, after pilfering my prized P screen out of it. Another F3 eyelevel with twitchy meter problems - returned to repair shop.

    Black FM2n that was a freebie. Worked fine, but couldn't be mounted to a tripod or be used with a motor drive. Casting was broken. Had a shop rebuild it using another casting, then sold it off.

    F5 body, well-used. Purchased for $325. Half of the LCD was faded. Correct exposure was obtained when the meter display didn't show when in manual mode. Returned and exchanged for an F4s with MF-23.

    Another black FM2n for $35. Twitchy meter, plus dent, and missing a couple parts. Replaced the missing parts, and used it. Sold it to buy back my F FTn.

    Black FE2. Purchased as dead camera. Found that winding mechanism was jamming. Was able to unjam it and make it work, but had purchased it for parts, for the FM2n mentioned directly above. Sold for $30, along with 50f1.8 Series E that had massive fungus growth.

    Chrome FG-20. Received with above 50f1.8 Series E. Donated to used camera shop (then thrown on eBait as parts camera), after shutter was proven to be iffy.

    Chrome FE. Paid $25, due to massive dent in prism, and supposedly dead hot shoe. Hot shoe worked when I got it home. Replaced top cover with decent part, then sold camera for $40.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F2AS, F, Nikomat FT2
    DPUG: D200
    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 50/1.4 AI, 85/1.8 K, 105/4 Micro AIS, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

    My FB - My flickr stream
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  3. #3

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    Now I don't feel so bad. Samuel Johnson, the English man of letters, said that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. What does that make us?

  4. #4

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    Great quote!

    Quote Originally Posted by pinotgraves View Post
    Now I don't feel so bad. Samuel Johnson, the English man of letters, said that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. What does that make us?
    I think it comes down to ignorance too. We believe that camera repair shops actually do the "A" part of a CLA, and few do - at least not with electronic cameras. There's no shop out there that knows all things about all cameras, and none that have all the right manuals and parts.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  5. #5

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    I only bought a few used bodies and a few used lenses over the past 20 years. I only bought one bum body (Canon FTb) and was lucky to sell that one. I bought all my "stuff" at a local camera store. My local camera store is not the greatest but at least they sell decent used cameras.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    BradS's Avatar
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    Early in the year I was on a quest for a Nikon FA. I bought, received, checked out and returned three from KEH. Each of them was supposed to be in EX+ condition. One had a dead meter. One had the little =/_ light in the view finder on all the time - regardless of whether or not any exposure compensation was in effect. and one, appeared to work fine but, grossly underexposed in any exposure mode other than full manual. All looked great...great cosmetics, poor mechanical condition.

    I finally ended up with a beat up Nikon FE from an APUGer. Not exactly what I wanted but...better than broken crap from KEH.

  7. #7
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Out of the cameras I have:

    Minox 35GT - a gift from my mother of all people. Wonderful camera.
    Agfa Defender - $10 off eBay. Works, but with coatings on the lens just seemingly all milky looking - which makes for spectacular shots. Hey, it works for me.
    Rolleiflex - $150 off eBay. Works like a charm, but the shutter needs to be cleaned. It jambs up when it's below 32*F / 0*C.
    Pentax KX - Inherited from my dad. Film winding crank gets 'cranky' sometimes when it's cold, but it seems to always work when I need it to. Great camera!
    Pentax ME - the camera that never put a foot wrong. I've had it for eight years - never a single problem.
    Mamiya 645 1000S - something messed up with the depth of field preview that gets the shutter stuck when I shift into focusing mode. So I have to set the aperture to wide open manually and then stop down before I shoot. I use it wide open most of the time anyway, so I don't repair it.
    Hasselblad 500 C - birthday present from my parents (they know how much I love photography!) has never failed once. Everything was serviced by a factory trained technician in Sweden before it was given to me. Awesome camera with really expensive accessories.
    Osaka 4x5 - the first camera ever that I bought new. It's inexpensive, light, and extremely well built. It is so easy to set up. A real contender to the popular chamonix cameras, but nobody knows about them.
    Century #2 5x7 - $75 from fellow APUG member. What else can I say? It. Works. Great.

    I guess I've been lucky. Looking to offload the Mamiya once I can figure out a way to afford the lenses and accessories for the Hasselblad that I want.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #8

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    I basically take the attitude that any used camera is probably going to need at least a CLA, no matter what the seller claims is the condition. I got a Nikon F2 a while back that wasn't too bad, but the shutter needed adjustment, and the whole thing needed cleaning. When I bought my Speed Graphic, the seller said the shutter worked perfectly, but in fact, it was completely stuck, but fortunately was serviceable. The "minty" "museum quality" Koni-Omega is sitting around waiting for me to have the money to have serviced. I should know better than to buy anything from someone who uses the word "minty." But the kit did include the scarce 135mm lens.

  9. #9
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    I've done well. I've had problems with cameras, but never anything fatal.

    The Nikkormat FTn I bought a few years ago leaked light. I got it serviced and it was a reliable camera for a few years until I replaced it with an FM2n.

    I bought a Nikon FE for $75 once. It was really pretty. Unfortunately the shutter wouldn't work above 1/60 sec. and no repair shop I could find could repair it. I sold it on eBay about two years ago, fully disclosing its flaws, and got $56, probably because it was pretty. I didn't think that was too awful, considering.

    (I have a pair of user FEs now, both of which work fine. One had a floppy rewind crank, but I pilfered a part off the bad FE above and it is all golden now.)

    I had a Nikkor 105/4 Micro lens that I got cheap with a sticky diaphragm. I got it repaired. It seized again. I got it repaired again. It seized again. I sent it to Nikon and had them service it. I got it back and it's been good for about seven years since then.

    Other than that, I've had good fortune.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?



 

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