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  1. #21

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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.

  2. #22

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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.

  3. #23
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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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.


  4. #24
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
    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.

    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!
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #25
    John Bragg's Avatar
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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.

  6. #26
    GM Bennett's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    I picked up a (barely used, as far as I could tell) Konica Auto S2 for $5 (CDN - so like US$4!). Pretty hefty for a 35mm rangefinder, but the lens is sharp and contrasty.

  7. #27
    snegron's Avatar
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    I believe that I got lucky with the Pentax and Minolta cameras I mentioned in my original post. However, after reading everyone's great finds here I am now motivated to actively go out and search garage sales for bargain 35mm equipment!

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by chop61 View Post
    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.
    The only time I ever got to touch one of those, a high school freshman student brought a camera bag into class the second day and told me that it was her grandmother's camera.

    She wanted to know if it was good enough to use in the class because it was kinda old. I opened the bag to find the Lecia III and three lenses - all in immaculate condition.

    I thought about trading her a Pentax K 1000 for the kit but my better nature took over. I sent it home with a note to her grandmother telling her about what I thought it would be worth and the number of a dealer I knew who would be interested in buying it. I didn't have that kind of money at that time.

  9. #29

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    Last summer I found a double-stroke Leica M3 with collapsable 50mm f2 at a garage sale! It had been on a shelf for 20 years, and the rangefinder was sluggish and the speeds off. It came with a hardbound Leica book, lens hood and very useable eveready case. It had belonged to the seller's father and had sentimental value. I offered her all I had, $100, and though she knew it was worth more, she took it on the condition that I promised her that I would care for it and use it (and not sell it on eBay). After a $125 re-lube and adjustment, the camera is in perfect working order. BTW, I do consider myself extremely lucky! Now if I could just find a 35mm Summicron at a yard sale...

  10. #30
    snegron's Avatar
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    A brief follow up to my garage sale expedition today:

    I found absolutely nothing! There was a bulk film loader, but I didn't want to take the risk because I wasn't sure if it would have a light leak due to its age. So I guesss the quest continues...!

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