The deals we still wonder about

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Photo-gear

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There are some deals we have absolutely no regrets: they were good deals.

There are others we realize later on they were bad: the purchase of a Ricoh KRx30. The reason was that they most of the time get old rather badly. Also, Ricoh parts of the film era are quite hard to find. Finally, there ain't that many technicians still willing to fix Ricoh cameras.

But there are some other deals that we still wonder about. For instance, someone had for sale an Olympus Stylus Epic. I managed to meet the seller, so I could take a look at the camera. At first look, it was in good shape. Then, I tried to verify the functionning of the camera. The little LCD screen showed the battery was low. We then went to a pharmacy to buy a fresh one. Before buying one, I asked to check out the battery inside the cam. The test showed it was still good. The seller was not willing to buy a fresh one, although I said I would afford the purchase of the battery in the case the test was OK.

That's how I decided not to go along with this purchase.

What about you, guys?
 

Vonder

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I looked over a Minolta AF camera in the used camera section of my local photo store. After a few seconds I discovered the lens was busted, no AF at all and the focus was distorted. I reported it to the salesman and went on my way. A few weeks passed and again I was visiting the store -same camera, same lens, still sitting there for sale at the same price. Why? Did they hope someone clueless would buy it?
 
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Photo-gear

Photo-gear

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I looked over a Minolta AF camera in the used camera section of my local photo store. After a few seconds I discovered the lens was busted, no AF at all and the focus was distorted. I reported it to the salesman and went on my way. A few weeks passed and again I was visiting the store -same camera, same lens, still sitting there for sale at the same price. Why? Did they hope someone clueless would buy it?
That's exactly what drives me nuts.
 

DannL.

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There was once a British made drop-plate camera located in Greece in which I had an interest. But, there was something fishy looking about the front of the lens that kept me wondering. I then asked the vendor several times about the lens and received replies that made no logical sense. I guess it was either the language barrier, or intentional. So, ultimately I passed on the camera. Eventually, and well after the camera sold, I found a catalog showing how the camera should look if it was complete. It was then that I knew the front lens elements were missing completely. Having a good sense of what does, and doesn't look correct is helpful. Sometimes the defects are not so obvious.
 

blockend

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I assume any camera described as 'untested', especially regarding the light meter, means it's dead. Mercury cell CdS and Selenium meters do not age well, even if their owners bother to convert them to the proper voltage. Avoiding the subject is many sellers' way out of having to admit the thing is junk.

Something that never fails to amuse me, is the condition of screw thread Leica lenses for which substantial sums of money are asked. There's one Youtube video extolling the virtues of Leica lenses, and you can barely see the second element for a dark cloud of fog. Plenty on ebay have glass that looks like the bottom of a dirty milk bottle, and their owners describe them as in good, or even excellent condition.
 

patrickth

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Anyone selling a graflex on ebay who says he knows nothing about cameras, claims his is perfect and no pictures of back. A pet peeve of mine.
 

Truzi

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I assume any camera described as 'untested', especially regarding the light meter, means it's dead.

I assume this too, but found that many times the camera only had a dead battery. If the seller does not sell many cameras, it seems they think anything that takes film is fully manual. :smile:
 

Bill Burk

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Across the bay someone once had a 5x7 Graflex SLR for around a hundred dollars... My wife told me no way so it never was a possibility.

But I occasionally wonder, what if? When I went with 4x5, I joined APUG and LFF and have had a lifetime's experience, but I drew a line in the sand at 4x5 and this one purchase might have been a game-changer...

I wonder...
 

KennyMark

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Last July I happened upon a Speed Graphic kit at a local antique fair. It was in typical less than perfect condition but not bad and had a few film holders and a Calumet roll film insert in the case with it. The kicker though was the enlarging lens on a Beseler lens board that had its light-on indicator sawn off and painted over, mounted on the camera. When I asked the seller about it, he could only look at me, he didn't say a word. I left it for someone else. I couldn't reward such duplicity with a sale.
 

Cybertrash

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I too have had some bad luck with a Speed Graphic. I knew little of how the cameras worked, so when I bought it I didn't realise it was missing a Graflok back (has a pring back). Since I wanted to use Polaroids that was a bit of a bummer. Also the shutter selector lever was stuck.

Still works great for sheet film though.
 

EdSawyer

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You could swap on a graflok back without much trouble. Might not be worth it but it's an easy swap.
 

darinwc

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I once passed on a Brooks Verywide 100 for 250$.. this was when they were going at around $500.. Now they are $1200 and up. (kicks self) I always wanted one.
 

Black Dog

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My Olympus Trip in near mint condition for 25 squids-what a bargain!:D
 
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Photo-gear

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A Zentra Bronica with a lens 75mm (f2,8) with accessories + steel case: 250$.... It's on a local website.
 

E. von Hoegh

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The 32 1/2" Dagor I missed, back in the late 1980s. It went for w few hundred bucks, over the years I've managed to convince myself it was an inaccurate listing :laugh:
 

Alan Gales

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The 32 1/2" Dagor I missed, back in the late 1980s. It went for w few hundred bucks, over the years I've managed to convince myself it was an inaccurate listing :laugh:

If we are talking the 1980's how about the cars I passed on like the 1965 Mustang for $500.00 that needed a front bumper, the 1969 383 Roadrunner for $900.00 that the used car salesman wouldn't let me drive because I was 19 and the 1967 Camaro for $2,000.00 with the rebuilt 327 and new paint.

If I had those cars today I could buy any lens I wanted! :D
 

E. von Hoegh

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If we are talking the 1980's how about the cars I passed on like the 1965 Mustang for $500.00 that needed a front bumper, the 1969 383 Roadrunner for $900.00 that the used car salesman wouldn't let me drive because I was 19 and the 1967 Camaro for $2,000.00 with the rebuilt 327 and new paint.

If I had those cars today I could buy any lens I wanted! :D

Here's a deal I didn't pass up in '87 - a 1969 383 Roadrunner, the guy built a 440 with the intent to run it at the strip - 11.5;1 pistons, aluminum rods, a forged "Hank the Crank" crankshaft, lightened flywheel, Sig Erson cam, a sixpack, cool can, 8 quart pan, Lakewood scattershield, hemi 4 speed, Dana 60 rear axle. The car came with the original 383 block and original rear axle, for $1300. It had sat for almost 10 years, but had no rust and started as easily as an engine like that can be expected to. It idled at about 12-1300 rpm and was undriveable on the steet. I sold it for $3500 in '91 and bought a '64 XLCH Sportster, one of 1940 made that year - except for the gas, oil, tires and sparkplugs it was factory original.
 
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I sold my Leica IIIC and get 400 dollars at 1994. I went to Ara Guler - magnum photographer- and bought two prints for 200 dollars.
Same prints is listed 6500 dollars each at art price com ! Invest in art and it goes crazy.
 

Alan Gales

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Here's a deal I didn't pass up in '87 - a 1969 383 Roadrunner, the guy built a 440 with the intent to run it at the strip - 11.5;1 pistons, aluminum rods, a forged "Hank the Crank" crankshaft, lightened flywheel, Sig Erson cam, a sixpack, cool can, 8 quart pan, Lakewood scattershield, hemi 4 speed, Dana 60 rear axle. The car came with the original 383 block and original rear axle, for $1300. It had sat for almost 10 years, but had no rust and started as easily as an engine like that can be expected to. It idled at about 12-1300 rpm and was undriveable on the steet. I sold it for $3500 in '91 and bought a '64 XLCH Sportster, one of 1940 made that year - except for the gas, oil, tires and sparkplugs it was factory original.

Wow! What a deal and what a car!

I did own a 1973 Dodge Charger Rally Sport with 340 Magnum, bubble hood with factory hood pins, 3 speed automatic with slap stick. Being at the end of the muscle car era, they didn't make very many of them.

You see what those old Mopars are going for at auction today? It's wild!
 

E. von Hoegh

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Wow! What a deal and what a car!

I did own a 1973 Dodge Charger Rally Sport with 340 Magnum, bubble hood with factory hood pins, 3 speed automatic with slap stick. Being at the end of the muscle car era, they didn't make very many of them.

You see what those old Mopars are going for at auction today? It's wild!

Yeah, you could shift at 6500rpm. Or pass someone at 100mph, slam it from 3rd to 4th, and go by with the wheels smoking. Drive it in traffic, and you'd be grinding it over to the curb in 1st gear on the starter to let it cool so you could change plugs. As W.O. Bentley once said, "there's no replacement for displacement".:laugh:
I still have enough bits and pieces to put together a 413. It would be nice to have in say a '66 2 door Coronet or Belvedere to show the kiddies a thing or two about tourque.:smile:
 

Alan Gales

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A friend of mine had a New Yorker with a 383. He would get on it and you couldn't see the back wheels for the smoke. It looked kind of funny being such a land yacht. :D
 

E. von Hoegh

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A friend of mine had a New Yorker with a 383. He would get on it and you couldn't see the back wheels for the smoke. It looked kind of funny being such a land yacht. :D

One car I wish I'd kept was a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, a high performance 425 and front wheel drive - wheee!!:laugh::smile:
 

mesantacruz

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Here's one...
Ebay 2/3 years ago... Hasselblad kit c or c/m... 3/4 lenses, hoods 2/3 backs, filters, everything etc... starting bid $99 dollars...

went to sleep a little woozy, and didn't wake up in time...

NOT ONE BID!

contacted seller, and said he was so relieved no one bid, but would gladly let the set go for $1300 or so.
 

Alan Gales

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One car I wish I'd kept was a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, a high performance 425 and front wheel drive - wheee!!:laugh::smile:

Nice!

The vehicle I wish I still had was a 1967 Chevy short bed pickup. It had a 403 Olds engine in it transplanted from a Cutlass 442.
 

Fixcinater

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Nice!

The vehicle I wish I still had was a 1967 Chevy short bed pickup. It had a 403 Olds engine in it transplanted from a Cutlass 442.

I had a '75 short bed that was lowered about to Chevelle height, 454 bored to 460 with 3.73 rear end. 275 width rear tires couldn't stand a chance.
 
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