Well, inspired by the rangefinder thread a while back I became attached to the idea of having a QL17. After finding more web sites raving about the camera, I decided to acquire one via eBay.
Three non-working Canonets later, I guess I'm giving up. One had stuck aperture blades, one had lens fungus, and one's film advance stop didn't work. At least they all were sold to me by eBayers honest enough to give me refunds.
Anyways, based on my experience, I'd say that these cameras are not reliable enough to buy on eBay. Find one locally instead so that you can make sure it works. (On the other hand I bought a late 60's era Yashica Electro that takes awesome pictures and it actually works and was cheaper than the Canonets. But now I'm feeling pretty lucky about this one.)
Yeah, I've had two jammed ones as well. I think the shutter jamming is a common problem.
My Ebay experience (as an international buyer) so far has been good.
Now, the only camera I purchased was defective (it was stated in the auction), but after emailing some Pentax experts I decided to take a risk.
A CLA fixed it, and nowadays this is my main camera (Pentax ESII).
There's an enlarger (without the baseboard and lens) on its way. Let's see if it was a bargain or a lame duck...
guess i was lucky. $30 for mine, works great. Smells like a cigar though -- febreze did wonders.
Jorge O, I have had really good luck with ebay purchases - most of the darkroom from enlarger to the preverbal sink was purchased there. Funny, the enlarger a 23CII cost as much to ship as it did to win the auction, the 4x5 came with a beseler/minolta 45A head was actually less (of course they were purchased about three years apart). Other items have come from local camera shows. Hope the enlarger works out for you.
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I purchased the enlarger for US$25 and change.
Postage plus credit card charges (it was purchased in Euros, so there's an exchange charge) will be some $90...
I simply did not find any decent enlarger over here for less than $250 (and I mean a 6x6 one, not 4x5 or alike).
Bjorke, that's pretty funny about the cigar smell. $30 sounds like a good price to me, the going rate on ebay these days seems to be $35-$55, which I now think is overpriced, since it seems like a good deal of these cameras are broken.
I've bought a pristine Super Angulon lens through eBay and a somewhat beat up, but properly represented Yashicamat. These were at least sold by people who used them and were knowledgeable photographers.
But it seems like most Canonets are sold by people who don't know anything about cameras or their condition. They just know that if they find them at a garage sale they can hock them on eBay for $45.
Grady, I definitely agree with you about sticky blades being a particularly bad problem with this camera.
I have a few guidlines that have served me well when buying camera equipment on ebay that I thought I would share.
1. I never buy camera equipment from anyone with less than 50 feedback points.
2. I never buy camera equipment from anyone with less than 100% positive feedback, unless they have over 150 feedback points.
3. I never buy camera equipment from anyone with less than 97% positive feedback regardless of how many feedback points they have.
4. I never buy camera equipment from anyone that says " I don't know a lot about camera equipment, but...(fill in the blank) "
5. I never bid on something without a clear picture of the item. ( If they can't shoot a clear photo of the item, then they probably don't know much about photography or what they are selling ).
I have always received good quality equipment when purchasing on ebay as long as I have followed my guidlines and have only received marginal equipment when I have ignored my guidlines and bid anyway on something.
Does anybody else have any thing that they look for when bidding on ebay items?
The shutter has seized up on mine as well. I've just got it up on the shelf as eye candy.
note: I didn't purchase mine on ebay. I was buying some equipment from a gent who was going completely digital and he threw it in for free. Worked for about 6 months. Great little camera--would get another if I wasn't worried about it breaking and if it could go up to 1200 iso in auto mode (800 is the max). I really liked the leaf shutter: quiet and fast sync speed.
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
If someone who has sold 500 cameras and related items shows a blurry picture, assume there's something he doesn't want to show. Avoid.
Originally Posted by fingel
I have bought several MF folders and a FED-2 on eBay. All in good working order - even the one from the "I don't know anything about..." seller. The camera was covered in 50 years accumulated dust and tobacco tar, but when I had cleaned it I found that it must have been sitting on a shelf for all that time: Perfect!
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist