buying MF.. Just go to KEH or what about this camera show?

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_todd_

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I was just a DSLR shooter until I started shooting some 35mm this year. I've always appreciated and been drawn to film but I have a big problem with laziness, which is what got me hooked into digital in the first place... Unlike many I read from here and elsewhere, I am one who sits at computer all day every day for work but don't really have a problem sitting at it as part of my photography hobby on top of that... Yes, I am confessing my digital addiction. Please forgive me.

Anyhow, I've been slowly but obsessively considering all my MF options for a couple months now and have distilled my plan of the moment down to getting into MF for as inexpensively as possible to start and then I will expand later. This has me thinking that a YashicaMat is my best option (unless I encounter some irresistible bargain). I will likely be getting one this month, presumably from KEH.

The only thing that has me holding out (aside from the best time to spend the money considering the time of year and having five kids to play Santa for) is that I discovered the existence of this camera show here in Southern California: http://bargaincamerashows.com/

The question is, should I just KEH it, or is there a chance of encountering some too good to refuse deal at this camera show? Or do they tend to overprice stuff at these shows? Anybody know what to expect at these kind of markets? The one that I can make is on Dec 22...

Either way, I may just hold out until after this show because it would be nice to get my hands on some of these MF bodies....
 

jstout

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A couple of my personal observations about this problem that so many people share in common. At KEH, you pretty much get what you pay for, and you can send it back if you don't like it (for some reason). The only drawback is they have a markup above what you could get it for on a good deal somewhere. They often have the thing you are looking for.

I've heard pro buyers are let into the shows early and scoop the good stuff. Don't know if that's the case here.

Being a savvy, skillful, experienced buyer might keep you out of trouble at a show. Maybe. Craigs list is probably safer.

If it has to be a certain camera, model, type, etc., your options are limited. Just a couple random thoughts.

Figure on sending any YashicaMat to Mark Hama, unless someone else has already sent it to him first.
 

trythis

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I have only been to one camera show. The prices were too high and the sellers were bitter about the customers knowing what everything sold for on ebay and they were pricing equipment over or at ebay prices. I bought a box of old mystery junk for cheap, but the rest was too organized and expensive, but I am a cheap you know what.

If you are really nice, they seemed OK with letting you touch a camera to see if you liked the feel of it, but most acted as they were leery of thieves.
 

bdial

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Generally, the sellers at the shows are reputable dealers, and there are certainly bargains to be had. At least that is my experience with the major show held out here in the Boston area.

I would say that the prices are somewhat less than the they would be in the shops. Among other things, at their shops they don't have competition 10 feet away.

The advantage over going mail-order is that you get to personally inspect the camera before plunking down your money.
You also get a chance to compare multiple examples. Plus, you may discover after looking, that a Yashica doesn't quite do it for you, but a Rolleicord does, for example.

At the show you are likely to find the whole gamut of dealers, from the large dealers, to small one person operations, some where the booth is an extension of their brick and mortar stores, and others just looking to move stuff they've had too long at any price, and everything in-between.
Some shows do let "early birds" in, but that doesn't mean all the deals are gone by the time you get there.
Also, the last day is sometimes a good day for bargains, you can snap up the stuff they don't want to pack up.

I got a whole box of LF lenses for 20 bucks that way once. A couple of them are even quite nice :wink:.
(Some of the others are just interesting paperweights, but I made my money back in selling a couple of the good ones.)
 
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mweintraub

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I go to the local camera show all the time. I even had a table there. Yes, the other sellers walk around before the doors open to buy things. I sold the best stuff that way.

KEH is a great place to get used gear. As mentioned, their return/exchange policy is great and they include a warranty.
 

Sirius Glass

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_todd_ welcome to APUG!

I go to camera shows to see unusual cameras for sale, such as pre-1930 Graflexes [Graflexi?] and Speed Graphics. For all the rest, I buy from KEH to avoid hassles and return problems. I have discovered that the KEH prices are lower and the equipment condition better than eBay and other internet sales, excepting APUG classifieds.
 

Dan Fromm

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Camera shows are flea markets with, usually, no right of return or other recourse. The usual flea market rules apply. If you can't afford to lose as much as you spend or don't know products and prices, don't buy.

Craigslist is a flea market with absolutely no right of return or other recourse. See above.

eBay is somewhat of a flea market, with no opportunity to inspect the goods before purchase and with somewhat iffy right of return.

KEH's buyers and graders don't know as much as they should, but KEH offers a no questions asked right of return.

If you can't afford to make a mistake or don't know products and prices, KEH is the place to buy.

Re dealers at being flea markets being professionals, well, what makes them professional is the profit motive, not expertise. Many of them do their best to rook innocents. Todd, you're an innocent.
 

doughowk

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I got a "deal" on ePrey for a Bronica SQ-A. It worked intermittently. Even took it to a local repair shop, but no good. So I replaced the body thru KEH (& picked up a 2nd lens); and now have a very good camera.
In the past I had purchased a TLR from KEH. Had problems with it. KEH fixed it with no hassle. Recommend them highly.
 

r-brian

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Or you could just buy something off APUG classified that was used by a photographer and sold by the photographer that's selling it.
 

Sirius Glass

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KEH has always fixed any problems. One time they sent me a replacement before I returned it in order to be sure that I had exactly what I wanted before I left on a trip.
 
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_todd_

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Cool thanks for all this, and the welcome! :wink: KEH will most likely be getting my business but the show is definitely an experience I'm looking forward to...
 

Alan Gales

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Cool thanks for all this, and the welcome! :wink: KEH will most likely be getting my business but the show is definitely an experience I'm looking forward to...

Definitely go to the show and have fun. You never know. The last show I went to, I came home with a nice Leitz Tiltall tripod for $75.00 which was a fair price.
 

trythis

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After reading and thinking more, Alan is right, go to the show and have fun.
The box of junk I bought had a camera in it I could disassemble and learn from and two lenses I have since sold for 4X what I paid for the box. So, my experience was enjoyable, but it wasnt a Hassleblads at garage sale prices. An unreasonable dream anyway.

If you need a camera and arent tinkering, KEH seems like the best deal going.
 
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_todd_

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After reading and thinking more, Alan is right, go to the show and have fun.
The box of junk I bought had a camera in it I could disassemble and learn from and two lenses I have since sold for 4X what I paid for the box. So, my experience was enjoyable, but it wasnt a Hassleblads at garage sale prices. An unreasonable dream anyway.

If you need a camera and arent tinkering, KEH seems like the best deal going.

To someone who suggested that the camera show is a place where negotiation skills are necessary, I responded that my only negotiation skill is negotiation avoidance, and for the most part my tinkering ability (with camera gear at least) is a liability. :smile: That said, I would at least go for some tinkering anyway if it were my only option.
 

MattKing

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I am a regular attendee at the local camera shows. I find them entertaining, and the entertainment value is the biggest reason I go.

I've bought a few things at decent prices. I've also seen and handled some things for the first time ever that are reasonably rare and hard to find in the flesh (e.g. a Rollieflex 3003).

If you are thinking about buying something, it is imperative to know what the market value is ahead of time.
 

momus

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I'm very jealous of you folks that have camera shows in your area. I'd love to go to one sometime. There's a nice guy at our 5 days a week flea market that has some neat stuff, and he also repairs gear, but his prices are not much of a bargain. At least you get to see and handle the goods, and there's no shipping charges involved. I like that. Any dealer that wouldn't let me handle the stuff isn't going to get any business from me. Here in Florida, the guy at the next booth might be selling guns and knives, so no one is going to snatch anything. Not but once, anyway}

We do have a ton of antique stores where you can find old folding cameras and the like, but every store owner thinks their dirty old Kodak Land Camera is a valuable antique, so that's a non starter too. These antique stores are more about fleecing the visiting Yankees I suppose, which is hilarious, since all the store owners seem to be retirees from Up North too.

I'm more about striking up a conversation w/ people at markets than actually buying stuff, and you get to see things in the flesh that might prompt you to buy something later at KEH, now that you know what it actually looks like. I can't tell you how many times I've seen an old camera in a store and struck up a conversation w/ the owner about it, only to come back a few days later and see that they've doubled the price now that someone actually showed an interest in it!
 
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TimFox

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_todd_ welcome to APUG!

I go to camera shows to see unusual cameras for sale, such as pre-1930 Graflexes [Graflexi?] and Speed Graphics. For all the rest, I buy from KEH to avoid hassles and return problems. I have discovered that the KEH prices are lower and the equipment condition better than eBay and other internet sales, excepting APUG classifieds.

Graflices, just like indices and Ampices.
 
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