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Photography Question 
Raquel S.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/22/2003
 

Bargain Hunters! What was your favorite find?


Just curious to know what your favorite bargain with your photo equipment. I know that there can be a lot of photographic junk out there and you get what you pay for, but once in a while that true little rare beauty of quality at a great price pops up.

What little gem did you pick up for a steal whether it be at an online auction, store, or your local Salvation Army/Goodwill/consignment store?

TIA!

5/19/2006 2:11:51 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  My favorite find was a telescope drive I found at a garage sale for five bucks. The telescope was destroyed, but the mount and drive work. I used it on the comet and the full moon lunar eclipse in my gallery.

5/20/2006 5:46:53 AM

 
Raquel S.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/22/2003
  Well, that's a great find for astro-photography for only $5!

I remember about 10 years ago at a community garage sale, I picked up a old camera bag that had an older, but still good, Olympus OM(?) SLR camera and lens. The viewfinder and mirror were a bit flawed visually, but everything else seemed to be in good shape. The seller told me it wasn't working properly and didn't know what was wrong with it. I picked up the whole set for a whopping $10 for the whole thing. I opened it up and discovered the only thing wrong with it was that the film was loaded incorrectly and was jammed. Once I carefully cleared it out, I actually got to shoot off a couple of good rolls of film with it. (Although my first attempts at flash photography were horrid as I didn't realize the importance of flash sync speed. I couldn't figure why I only got half a picture.):o

Eventually, I sold the old Olympus SLR on Ebay for a whole lot more that what I got it for and ended up (eventually) buying a new Nikon SLR.

A few years later, a friend of ours found an old Nikon photomic (sp?)in a garage sale and gave it to us knowing our passion for Nikons. We ended up selling that one as well on Ebay for a good price. (Again, DH was the factor on that one - any manual Nikon camera other than the beloved FM2 are just not worthy in his book.)

I've also had luck with some bulk photographic lots on Ebay for dirt cheap. It was in those bulk lots that I've been able to get decent accessories that way: several cable releases of various lengths, quality lens filters, cleaning tissues, Lumiquest products, etc. that have served me well. (But I also got a lot of stuff I hadn't a clue what purpose they serve.)

But then, that was when Ebay was still young and had frequent server crashes. Nowadays, it's so hugely popular and more expensive to use (for sellers) bargains like that are harder to find. Now it's off to the local thrift stores and garage sales again.

5/20/2006 6:25:33 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Ebay is still a great resource for the wise shopper.

When I was shopping for a back-up FM2 camera body, I found a guy selling a "package" which included the body I was looking for...along with an MD-12 motor drive, a generic lens, a tripod, several filters and a light meter.

I bought the package and re-sold the meter, the filters, the lens and the tripod...all in seperate auctions.
The net cost for the camera and motordrive was $95.

5/20/2006 4:54:37 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  I gotta agree with ya on the ebay thing, Bob. Just the other day I got my "good condition" Vivitar 70-210mm f-2.8-f-4 Series-1 lens I got from ebay. The box was factory sealed. Not bad for 55 bucks, huh?

5/21/2006 8:51:44 AM

 
Raquel S.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/22/2003
  I agree, Ebay is still a great resource - I'll never debate that. I still check it out quite a bit to see what I can find.

5/21/2006 9:16:25 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  There's a lot of horror stories about ebay, but I've had nothing but good luck. Everything I've gotten has been new or like new. The worst problem I had was with my MD-1 motor drive. The grip cushion fell off about a week after I got it. A little glue, and it was good as new. Several lenses were advertised in good condition, and were new when received. Guess I'm lucky, but I do read the feedback comments before I order.

5/21/2006 9:38:14 AM

 

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