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  1. #1
    snegron's Avatar
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    Your Great Garage Sale 35mm Find?

    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 400si 2.jpg   400si 1.jpg  

  2. #2
    BetterSense's Avatar
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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. #3
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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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.
    my real name, imagine that.

  4. #4
    dpurdy's Avatar
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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. #5
    2F/2F's Avatar
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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!
    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)

  6. #6
    mjs
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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! 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. #7

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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. #8

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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. #9
    bighilt's Avatar
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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.
    -- Hilton --
    www.thelightstuff.blogspot.com
    Tips and tutorials and mainly photographic musings!

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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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.

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