Found a $10 Minolta srT101 + 5 lenses at a thrift store.

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Maineiac

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I found a Minolta srT101 camera & 50mm 1.7 Rokkor lens, plus 4 Pentax PK lenses at a thrift store. they were all listed for $9.99, probably because the camera and Rokkor lens looked like someone had found it in the sceptic tank, gave it a few shakes and put a for sale sign on it. But it cleaned up surprisingly well. I initially was going to clean it, make sure it worked, then sell it on eBay or Facebook marketplace. but after a short walk around the neighborhood with a roll of Kodak Gold 200 I'm really liking this camera, maybe slightly more then my Canon FTb QL.

I still have some cleanup in those hard to get to place, but it's going to stay with me for a while (or longer)


2 pics of camera and 1 shot take with it.

srt-101-gold-12-Edit-Edit.jpg
View attachment srt101-1.jpg View attachment srt101-2.jpg
 

Kino

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You can't go wrong with an SRT 101! They are work horses and the lenses are cheap to buy and great performers.
 

Huss

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You coulda bought a Leica M with that $10 (I would have sported you the extra penny).

:wink:

Nice find!
 

Sirius Glass

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I gave up going to thrift stores in my area, because they send all the cameras off some where else to be sold and the stores have no cameras to sell. Good for you and your find, I am glad someone can find cameras in thrift stores.
 

mtnbkr

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I gave up going to thrift stores in my area, because they send all the cameras off some where else to be sold and the stores have no cameras to sell. Good for you and your find, I am glad someone can find cameras in thrift stores.

Same thing around here as well. I haven't seen a camera in a thrift store in ages.

Chris
 

Kino

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Put out the word to relatives and acquaintances that you are looking for film cameras. You might be surprised at what comes out of the closet...
 
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I found a Minolta srT101 camera & 50mm 1.7 Rokkor lens, plus 4 Pentax PK lenses at a thrift store. they were all listed for $9.99, probably because the camera and Rokkor lens looked like someone had found it in the sceptic tank, gave it a few shakes and put a for sale sign on it. But it cleaned up surprisingly well. I initially was going to clean it, make sure it worked, then sell it on eBay or Facebook marketplace. but after a short walk around the neighborhood with a roll of Kodak Gold 200 I'm really liking this camera, maybe slightly more then my Canon FTb QL.

I still have some cleanup in those hard to get to place, but it's going to stay with me for a while (or longer)


2 pics of camera and 1 shot take with it.

View attachment 327131 View attachment 327137 View attachment 327138

Lucky! Anytime I check the thrift shops in my area it's a mid 80s point and shoot that got run over by a truck and/or a tripod missing a leg. Junk city I tell ya!
 

Huss

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Lucky! Anytime I check the thrift shops in my area it's a mid 80s point and shoot that got run over by a truck and/or a tripod missing a leg. Junk city I tell ya!

You think you got it bad? At my thrift shops it would be a monopod missing a leg.
 

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Nice! That’s a good find.

I still check as often as I can. Most days it’s those legless monopods and off-brand 135mm lenses, but I have scored some good stuff for cheap: Spotmatic SP with 3 lenses, Canon FTB with 5 lenses, minty AE-1 with lens, Nikon F5 (broken) and F100 (working), Nikkor 105mm f2.8 Micro, miscellaneous filters, box cameras… Most was sold/traded once I had my fun, but some has stuck around.
 

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I can still find them, but they tend to be marked way too high AND I already have one of them.

Saw an OM1 for $65 today and a basket full of "coke bottle" lenses for about the same price each. Of course, the lenses sell "by the inch", so sometimes you can find deals on wide angle lenses...

My score this week was a 210 Seal Hot Press for $20. Dirty and forlorn, but it cleaned-up good and works fine.
 

AZD

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I think some actual camera shops are much worse than the thrift stores. They KNOW the condition of what they have. At this point you separate the good shops from the bad. I’ve seen one with three overpriced Leicas in the case, all obviously in need of CLA, but priced like excellent working examples. I might not be fooled, but with film camera hype someone will be eventually.

In either case, it’s all about flipping. Sure, I’ve done it, but by then it’s been cleaned and tested with film. But I guaran-freaking-tee nobody ran a roll through that M3 with the gummy wind lever (“I think that’s supposed to return, isn’t it?” “Um yeah, I think so…”), or the M1 who’s shutter doesn’t completely close, or the IIIG with sticky slow speeds…
 
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I think some actual camera shops are much worse than the thrift stores. They KNOW the condition of what they have. At this point you separate the good shops from the bad. I’ve seen one with three overpriced Leicas in the case, all obviously in need of CLA, but priced like excellent working examples. I might not be fooled, but with film camera hype someone will be eventually.

In either case, it’s all about flipping. Sure, I’ve done it, but by then it’s been cleaned and tested with film. But I guaran-freaking-tee nobody ran a roll through that M3 with the gummy wind lever (“I think that’s supposed to return, isn’t it?” “Um yeah, I think so…”), or the M1 who’s shutter doesn’t completely close, or the IIIG with sticky slow speeds…

Breaks my heart. I never understood why people let nice quality gear either get abused or neglected. I baby my stuff as I don't want to damage it and I try to take proper care of stuff.
 

AZD

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Breaks my heart. I never understood why people let nice quality gear either get abused or neglected. I baby my stuff as I don't want to damage it and I try to take proper care of stuff.

If I had to guess, I’d say that a lot of stuff was just put in a closet and forgotten, or never used much in the first place. Then one day the original owner wakes up dead and some family member finally gets rid of all the hidden treasures. Nicer equipment usually goes to camera stores, the rest goes to the thrift shop. This happens all the time. I’ve seen people show up with a literal truckload of photo gear. It’s nuts.

I’m surprised at how many full kits with bag I’ve found. They all have the instruction manual, a cleaning kit, a crappy zoom or two, some basic filters, sometimes a spare set of ancient batteries… exactly what the salesman said they needed in 1986 before going on vacation.

The second part of this is photography books. I’ve scored some nice ones. Much like lenses-by-the-inch, books are priced about a dollar per pound. Many of them have very nice notes written on the inner cover, or some kind of “Library of John Doe” stamp. Whenever there’s a full name I search for them online. The first hit is usually an obituary, and not always recent.
 

rulnacco

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Put out the word to relatives and acquaintances that you are looking for film cameras. You might be surprised at what comes out of the closet...

This is very, very sound advice. The other is to monitor estate sales in your area, for the reasons others have mentioned.

One time in London just a few years back, I started up a photography class at the school I was teaching science. I e-mailed staff asking if they had any cameras they'd like to get rid of, and requested they drop them off in a box I put in the staff room. I got quite a few cameras donated--including a couple of gems. One was a Yashica T4 in mint condition (errrr, I "loaned" that one to myself, and replaced it with a decent SLR from a thrift store that I went out and bought for that purpose; wasn't a good teaching camera you know, with no manual controls and all...), and the other was an Olympus OM-1n with the particularly nice mid-range zoom, also mint. That one, I knew who had donated it--I took it back to him, and explained to him it was a pretty desirable camera & lens, and that he might want to look at selling it. He said he really had no use for it, and was happy to give it to us.

I've recently moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and even here, which is not the most densely populated or cosmopolitan region of the country, I've scored some nice deals at estate sales the last few months. They've been a bit thin lately--seems like not many people popped their clogs around the holidays, excuse my making light of others' misfortune--but I've found some quality old (and some more modern) stuff that I can put to good use back in October and November. I try to get there at the opening of the sale if they have some interesting stuff advertised, but I've found that in my area, the people who generally go to those things apparently aren't so keen on camera gear, so I've managed to snag some fun things for reduced prices on the final day of sales, too.

As you probably don't have so many relatives dying frequently, see if you can find others' relatives who have passed on with lots of camera gear stashed away.
 

Huss

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This is very, very sound advice. The other is to monitor estate sales in your area, for the reasons others have mentioned.

One time in London just a few years back, I started up a photography class at the school I was teaching science. I e-mailed staff asking if they had any cameras they'd like to get rid of, and requested they drop them off in a box I put in the staff room. I got quite a few cameras donated--including a couple of gems. One was a Yashica T4 in mint condition (errrr, I "loaned" that one to myself, and replaced it with a decent SLR from a thrift store that I went out and bought for that purpose; wasn't a good teaching camera you know, with no manual controls and all...), and the other was an Olympus OM-1n with the particularly nice mid-range zoom, also mint. That one, I knew who had donated it--I took it back to him, and explained to him it was a pretty desirable camera & lens, and that he might want to look at selling it. He said he really had no use for it, and was happy to give it to us.

I've recently moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and even here, which is not the most densely populated or cosmopolitan region of the country, I've scored some nice deals at estate sales the last few months. They've been a bit thin lately--seems like not many people popped their clogs around the holidays, excuse my making light of others' misfortune--but I've found some quality old (and some more modern) stuff that I can put to good use back in October and November. I try to get there at the opening of the sale if they have some interesting stuff advertised, but I've found that in my area, the people who generally go to those things apparently aren't so keen on camera gear, so I've managed to snag some fun things for reduced prices on the final day of sales, too.

As you probably don't have so many relatives dying frequently, see if you can find others' relatives who have passed on with lots of camera gear stashed away.

Speaking of T4... My brother used to have one back when he first got married. They hadn't taken any film pics in years so I asked if I could have it. They threw it out with the trash when they first started to use their phones to take pics..
 
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If I had to guess, I’d say that a lot of stuff was just put in a closet and forgotten, or never used much in the first place. Then one day the original owner wakes up dead and some family member finally gets rid of all the hidden treasures. Nicer equipment usually goes to camera stores, the rest goes to the thrift shop. This happens all the time. I’ve seen people show up with a literal truckload of photo gear. It’s nuts.

I’m surprised at how many full kits with bag I’ve found. They all have the instruction manual, a cleaning kit, a crappy zoom or two, some basic filters, sometimes a spare set of ancient batteries… exactly what the salesman said they needed in 1986 before going on vacation.

The second part of this is photography books. I’ve scored some nice ones. Much like lenses-by-the-inch, books are priced about a dollar per pound. Many of them have very nice notes written on the inner cover, or some kind of “Library of John Doe” stamp. Whenever there’s a full name I search for them online. The first hit is usually an obituary, and not always recent.

Funny you mention books.. I bought an F3 instruction book off eBay and was looking through it and on the very last page was what he bought, it's value and the insurance info from Progressive back in 86. He bought the F3HP, MD-4, 50mm 1.2, 70-210 some filters and a Haliburton case. It all said pro to me. I was happy to see the prices more than anything. No serial numbers though. MY F3HP is an 86 model... What are the chances? LoL. You're right though about circumstances and stuff ending up in a closet to be found by kin and sold by same.
 

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AZD

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That’s great! The whole thing was equal to over $6000 in 2022 money. The F3 and 50mm about $3000. Yikes. It makes those thrift store deals even more rewarding.
 
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That’s great! The whole thing was equal to over $6000 in 2022 money. The F3 and 50mm about $3000. Yikes. It makes those thrift store deals even more rewarding.

Yeah there's always someone that finds an F3 at a Goodwill or something. I find junk lol
 

Kino

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If you want to find good cameras at thrift stores, you have to go often and consistently. Chat-up the workers and let them know what you are looking and sometimes they will alert you to something you might have overlooked.

Casual shoppers who drop in once a month or every blue moon will only be successful by pure luck
 

aw614

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Ive been kind of lucky, with my thrifting and flea market luck, got some deals within the last year, but also lots of times being empty handed. But I really can't complain given some of the stuff I've found. Most of what I've found cleaned up really nice like my Minolta SRT 100x, Himatic AF2 along a few others or getting rolls of expired film for a few bucks.

I've passed up on a few stuff though...sometimes not wanting to lug a camera on my luggage from a business trip or not wanting to deal with another mount (Passed on two instances of a 20 dollar k1000 body).

But it's like a full time job to go constantly to check various stores. Some seem to get better stuff than others too.
 

mtnbkr

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Speaking of T4... My brother used to have one back when he first got married. They hadn't taken any film pics in years so I asked if I could have it. They threw it out with the trash when they first started to use their phones to take pics..

About the time phone cameras were good enough to be used for general snapshots, film had bottomed out, film cameras almost couldn't be given away, and getting film developed as becoming a chore. It was looking very much like any film camera was essentially useless. If only I knew then what I know now...

Chris
 
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If you want to find good cameras at thrift stores, you have to go often and consistently. Chat-up the workers and let them know what you are looking and sometimes they will alert you to something you might have overlooked.

Casual shoppers who drop in once a month or every blue moon will only be successful by pure luck

This is probably true for sure.
 
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About the time phone cameras were good enough to be used for general snapshots, film had bottomed out, film cameras almost couldn't be given away, and getting film developed as becoming a chore. It was looking very much like any film camera was essentially useless. If only I knew then what I know now...

Chris

So true! I was an inactive photographer for years and then BAM I got back into digital, which naturally brought me back to film which is what I started on 40 some odd years ago. I really missed the creative fun and sadly I'm a gear head so I had to buy most everything from scratch. I have one lens I purchased new. The cameras and all my other lenses were used off fleabay, KEH, MPB etc. Now, I'm fixing to start developing film again. Fun to be had all around!
 
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