I don't really do expensive. The most expensive camera I have bought is my Zenit E in 1973 which cost me £45.00 (Two weeks wages). The best bargain I have is a Zeiss Ikon Contessa LKE which cost me £1.04 on Ebay - a superb camera which has been in constant use over the last two years.
Relative to inflation and my meager (which is to say, virtually non-existent) income at the time, my most expensive photography purchase ever was my brand new K1000 in 1981.
Most expensive: I got into serious photography when I bought my Nikon D80 DSLR with kit lens and SB-800 speedlight. That was $1400 and I have no foreseeable plans to upgrade unless at some point I find myself a D700 for cheap. If you only count analog gear, it would be the Tachihara Zone VI 4x5 kit I bought last November for $600 from the local camera shop, which included two Schneider lenses, film holders, and other goodies. It was too good a package deal to pass up.
To even that out, I've received a few cameras for free, or next to nothing from APUG, RFF, KEH clearance, etc.
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Originally Posted by MattKing
In terms of even Steven I have been given a lot more than my most expensive purchase.
Among the things I've been gifted......a 355 red dot artar and a 210 gold dot dagor. As well as a Rollei T and a Nikon D1X.
The most expensive thing I bought is a Rollei 2.8FX
The only thing I ever took out a bank loan for was a new 355 Schneider Gold Dot Dagor which I sold when I got the 355 red dot artar.
I found an M3 SS leica with 50mm dual range summicron for 450.00 at a garage sale that I sold to buy a pentax 67 with 2 lenses.
For me it was probably the 1.4, 50mm Summilux currently on my M2. I canít remember what I paid for it, as it was a long time ago and I also traded in a Leica II with a Taylor Hobson 2Ē lens to get it (that bit was probably a big mistake) . My girlfriend at that time was with me when I bought it and she left me soon afterwards. I donít think she could understand why anyone in their right mind would spend that much money on something as trivial as a camera lens. However, I have never regretted that purchase.
most expensive: probably the Hassy set..2500 or something like that
best deal: linhof tech 4x5 I found in the dumpster
Most Expensive: Maybe not by the numbers, but "hurt the most": a tie between a beautiful little Canonet QL19 G-III that, after only running one roll of film through it, was stolen...or re-buying the Nikon 70-300 VR that was stolen along with that Canonet. I'd have re-bought that Canonet too, but that's easier said than done.
Best Deal: Another tie, both from the local Craigslist...either a near-mint Canonet QL17 G-III a guy had in his garage collecting dust ($20), or a similarly near-mint Nikon FM2n a kid was selling because immediately after he bought it, he realized the film advance lock wasn't working (making it possible to skip frames). When we met, I asked him to show me the problem, and he did...while specifically depressing the multi-exposure lever. Apparently, he'd not even run film through, or else he'd have realized his diagnosis was incorrect. I'd have set him straight, but the whole time, he had this attitude as if I were paying him for trash that he'd ahve otherwise thrown out.
So I kept my mouth shut and bought a 9.5/10 chrome FM2n for $50.
I can't remember if I've done this already, but I think the most expensive thing I've bought was my Bronica ETR kit. On the topic of digital, most of the stuff I have was given to me as gifts for graduation or some event (x-mas, birthday). Analog equipment purchases usually come out of pocket.
Best deal, I guess would have to be my Minolta Flash Meter II. It was $4 at a thrift store. Oh, but my Yashica T4 was free from the owners of that same thrift store.
One of the best deals I can remember is about 4 years ago someone had Nikon 3t and 4t close up lenses on Ebay. Buy it now 24usd + 5 shipping for both. I grabbed those. Glass was perfect on both and they came with the cases. Now there's many photo gear items I paid too much for. Some things I don't want to admit how much I paid for them:( It seems like shortly after I get something, I'll read a post like "Got this on Craigslist for(a small fraction of what I paid for it)." It never fails. Does this happen to you regularly?