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Thrift store amusement...
Old 05-20-2017   #1
rbiemer
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Thrift store amusement...

Earlier this afternoon I stopped by our local Thrifty Shopper--equvalent to Goodwill--and after getting several books I looked at the case where there are usually a few indifferent or junk cameras. Nothing this visit.
Go to the registers to pay for my books and on a counter behind the registers are several SLR cameras. A Minolta auto-focus something and a couple of others. One of which was a Promaster 2500pk with its 50mm f/1.7 lens. I still have some Pentax K mount lenses so I asked to look at it. The first oddness was that the girl behind the counter invited me to come back and help my self...
So I did. And when I picked up the camera and tried to pull the lens cap off I couldn't. One side of the cap was mashed into the lens. And there was the sound of broken glass rattling around! And the price seemed to be rather a lot--it was marked $69.99. If it had been half that I might have taken a chance.
I did find and buy a Soligor 2x tele-extender for M42, though. That was a whopping 6 bucks.

Rob
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Old 05-20-2017   #2
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I hear you!

Dear rbiemer,

I know many other people find things in thrift shops but to me they are a waste of time. I stop at the local Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores and I have never found anything photography related worth a close look?

And yet, I've bought a lot from Shopgoodwill.com and for what I've spent when I compare wins and losses I'm way, way, way ahead.

I'll still cruise the thrift stores though. I need a cabinet to store my gear!

P.S. I lived for 11 years in the Triple Cities area. I had a house in Windsor, NY along the Susquehanna River that I moved from in search of greener pastures. I still regret that move several times each day after almost 16 years.

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Old 05-20-2017   #3
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Um....$69.99? Um.... I thought my local Goodwill was out of their minds.

For most thrift store SLR's (and the condition they are in) you need to pay me to take it. Having said that, I did buy a few cameras and lenses from thrift stores over the years. Got my 105/2.5 Nikkor for $8, my new-in-the box Crown Graphic for $5 and the rollfilm back was an extra $2. Got my Rollei 35 for $10, and so on. But those are the very rare finds and they are all from years back. Today, usually I'm lucky to find a Ricoh XR something-or-other at $99. Or a quite obviously broken light meter for $35. Or Mamiya-Sekor 50/1.7 for $59. I miss the days when stuff was priced more appropriately -- yes I know my list above are rare, exceptional deals, I know, but there's no denying current thrift store pricing (in my area) is out of touch. Contrast with local craigslist literally giving away Nikon N70's (and similar) for free, or if I pay, about $15-25. I did pay $10 for my last Nikon N80, and I pass on most other film SLRs these days. I'm overwhelmed.
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Old 05-20-2017   #4
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My local thrift store had a broken in pieces OM-1 for $120.
Literally broken in pieces.

When I visited a buddy in Oahu last year, we stopped off at a Goodwill for fun. (What was I going to do, surf?...) They had an old 4mp Sony compact digicam marked at $340!!! Sony sells new ones, with 20mp, for $100 now.

My best finds have been on craigslist, ebay and flea markets.
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Old 05-20-2017   #5
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Found a few weeks ago at a Thrift store...was on a shelf behind the counter...battery was dead so couldn't test it...but for $11 it was worth the gamble...got a charger and it came back to life...been having a blast with this find...

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Old 05-20-2017   #6
xayraa33
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Not too many photo gear bargains at Value Village or Goodwill in my area of the Great White North.

Even 12 years ago a beat up common Minolta SRT 101 SLR would go for 60 Cdn dollars when rarely found.
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Old 05-20-2017   #7
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Last week I bought a very nice Pentax Spotmatic, with a clean f1.4 lens, at a local "Hospice Shop". The meter even turns off when the shutter fires. It cost me $NZ50.
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Old 05-20-2017   #8
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Well, this is timely. Because of this thread earlier in the day I decided to swing by one of my town's thrift shops......

....wouldn't you know it, found a nice condition Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP. Working fine, with OK-looking seals, etc. Price: $4.00 USD

Note that this thrift shop is NOT the Goodwill. The same camera at Goodwill would be upwards of $50 and its right across the street from this store. What's more, I enjoy chatting with the folks in this store. Not that the Goodwill employees are mean, they're just not as sociable and gregarious. They're not as "interesting" either. The person at the counter today showed me his radioactive mineral collection. It was genuinely fascinating. Keeps me coming back

On a side note, whenever I have nice quality things to donate to a thrift shop (happens more often than one would think) I never take them to Goodwill. Always to one of the "reasonable" stores.
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Old 05-20-2017   #9
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50$ Nikon f with black prism Kept the prism and gave the working body to first rff person who asked for it.Texas member i think .50$ 2nd body nikkormat ft with 300mm nikor ,kept the lens gave the working body to another rff member.
Probably my best find was Canon Ae1 with 50mm 1.2 for $4.98 including leather case,all in working condition.
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Old 05-21-2017   #10
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I source a lot of my cameras either via thrift shops or car boot sales. More recently, shops go online and check prices on eBay, and go for the highest sold. I have come across prakticas valued in the 's and the like. It certainly has become more difficult to get a bargain these days.
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Old 05-21-2017   #11
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Presuming that 'Thrift'/'goodwill stores' are the same as charity shops in Britain, all I can say is I've only ever found 'poop' in them as far as cameras go.
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Old 05-21-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Not too many photo gear bargains at Value Village or Goodwill in my area of the Great White North.
I think Goodwill takes all of the "good" cameras that are donated and sells them on line. The cameras that I've seen there all fall into the junk-junk category, fixed focus Instamatic clones and the like.

However, at a smaller independent thrift shop, a couple of weeks ago a co-worker found a black MX with a Vivitar telephoto. It's the one on the left below. Fortunately she phoned me and asked if I was interested. When I realized what it was, I told her "Don't let it out of your hand until I get there!"

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Old 05-21-2017   #13
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Last fall, I picked up an Olympus OM10 with 50/1.8 for $5.00 USD. Last week I found a Pentax K1000 with a 50/2.0 and a 135mm third party lens for $9.00 USD.

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Old 05-21-2017   #14
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I worked in a charity shop about a year back doing their cameras and testing and making small adjustments if they were needed and eventually the shop got a new manager who despite apparently knowing noting liked old cameras and wanted to do my job. Instead of transferring me they just had me leave.

Either way I offered to help out on the other charity shop which often has cameras priced stupidly high (Zenit 12 xp with broken lens for 90) and offered to help out and they said they already had an ex pro who comes in to do it and at this point I actually did say "you know that a lot of these cameras are steeply overpriced" to which the worker genuinely said "i know I cant believe some people are stupid enough to buy them"

Since then Ive avoided volunteering in charity shops and instead just donate money directly. When it comes to hunting I find nothing even though I look
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Old 05-21-2017   #15
David Hughes
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Hi,

Ignoring those that price them by weight, explaining the Zenit prices ;-) but not the T3's, I reckon it's important to understand how each shop works.

Some save them for the local expert and then 30 appear and one or two will be worth the money.

Some take them in and stick a price on them and put them out 5 minutes later; usually with a dead battery and a half used film in them. They can throw up some bargains but you have to check everything, especially the battery terminals.

Lastly, one or two save them for certain days of the week when they reckon they will get the most customers with money to spend, market day f'instance.

I make a point of trying to find out how the shop works and then basing my buying accordingly. BTW, when they under price them I usually tell them and give up after the second time, if they ignore me.

Regards, David
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Old 05-21-2017   #16
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My best find was probably a Nikon FM2n & 50/1.4 for $25. Next was an Argus C4 Geiss-modified with three lenses for $40. A Yashica T2 for $5 wasn't bad either. I've probably spent 200 hours over the last ten years looking for bargains, though, so the per-hour payoff isn't there.
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Old 05-22-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zane0777 View Post
SNIP ...I've probably spent 200 hours over the last ten years looking for bargains, though, so the per-hour payoff isn't there.
Hi,

Better than standing around terminally bored while she tries on shoes, though...

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Old 05-22-2017   #18
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My best find was probably a Nikon FM2n & 50/1.4 for $25. Next was an Argus C4 Geiss-modified with three lenses for $40. A Yashica T2 for $5 wasn't bad either. I've probably spent 200 hours over the last ten years looking for bargains, though, so the per-hour payoff isn't there.
That Argus was a heck of deal, especially something so uncommon.
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Old 05-22-2017   #19
mich rassena
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I occasionally find cameras at thrift stores, but now that our local Value Village has closed down, I rarely see any. I would have assumed they'd be popping up at the other stores in town, but no such luck.

I've quit going to Goodwill altogether. The majority of the cameras seem to find their way online, and the few times I stop in, there's very few items I'm interested in.
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Old 05-22-2017   #20
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In my area the peak period was around 2005-2007. I suppose the 35mm SLR holdouts were finally swayed by 10 MP APS-C. I think the point-n-shoot crowd migrated to 2-4 MP compacts a few years earlier. I find very little of interest in thrift stores these days.
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Old 05-22-2017   #21
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We have "Hospice Shops" and "Opportunity Shops" and they occasionally have cameras, normally P&S. A local Prebyterian op shop currently has a Praktica IV, with E. Ludwig Meritar 50mm lens, and a couple of other Japanese preset lenses. I might have bought it, if I didn't have two Praktica IVs already.
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Old 05-22-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmr View Post
I think Goodwill takes all of the "good" cameras that are donated and sells them on line. The cameras that I've seen there all fall into the junk-junk category, fixed focus Instamatic clones and the like.

However, at a smaller independent thrift shop, a couple of weeks ago a co-worker found a black MX with a Vivitar telephoto. It's the one on the left below. Fortunately she phoned me and asked if I was interested. When I realized what it was, I told her "Don't let it out of your hand until I get there!"

You are most probably very correct, I have yet to see a decent camera for sale at Goodwill, even for way beyond above market price.
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Old 05-23-2017   #23
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Our local goodwill has raised prices on some stuff and sells other stuff dirt cheap. LPs for $1.99--we always find something--once found a bunch of jazz LPs and bought them all. Cameras used to be plentiful but lately there has been a shortage. About a month ago I found a Canon AE-1 with 50mm lens in very nice condition for $15. I bought it. Needs light seals but everything else works.
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Old 05-23-2017   #24
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Cameras used to be plentiful but lately there has been a shortage. About a month ago I found a Canon AE-1 with 50mm lens in very nice condition for $15. I bought it. Needs light seals but everything else works.
Pretty much all old cameras need light seals. Funny thing is for some of them, the light seals cost me more than the camera!
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Old 05-23-2017   #25
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Quote:
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Pretty much all old cameras need light seals. Funny thing is for some of them, the light seals cost me more than the camera!
Installing the light seals is cheap and easy.

Getting the old ones out and cleaning up all of the grode left behind is messy tedious work!
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Old 05-26-2017   #26
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I was back at the same Thrifty Shopper this afternoon and no cameras but I did buy--$10 each--two lenses. Both Tamron, both Adaptall-2 lenses. One is a 85-210 "macro zoom" with a Contax/Yashica mount, the other is a 28mm f/2.5 with Canon FD mount. Glass on both is pretty good, the adaptall mount on the 28mm doesn't seem to be mounted correctly--I'm not getting full aperture ring movement.
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Old 05-31-2017   #27
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I found this today at a favorite Thrift Store...it had a Red Price Tag of $7.95 and today Red Tags were 50% off...$4.32 out the door...
I have a similar one but it doesn't have the spiked feet...







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Old 05-31-2017   #28
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Dats a "cute little tripod" there. Most of the tripods I see in our thrift stores are either beat to oblivion or super cheap-o.

Now, I did go back and visit my "good" local thrift store and found myself a lens. A Nikkor 28-80 AF kit lens of some kind. VERY plastic and lightweight, but for $5 I sprung for it. Images are pretty good! I expected lesser performance. A lot less.

The other good thrift store in town had a very unusual item. It was a large filter-holder ring for the Canon 19mm FL lens. Such an unusual thing that I thought someone here on RFF might be interested in. I went back yesterday and it was gone. Sold. I wonder to whom?

I did find some darkroom graduated cylinders that match my current set. I bought em even though I don't really need them.

I think I'll cruise through the thrift shops a little more often now.
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Old 05-31-2017   #29
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Antique stores in small suburbs and small towns are my hunting grounds. Most recent find Star D Conquest tripod ex $5. Best past find a 50/2 S Nikkor perfect mint flawless $10. Another good find a couple years ago Canon F1 w/motor drive and 50/1.8 mint local camera store service sticker new seals $100.

Right now a bunch of ancient folders, a couple AE1 units, a couple newer Pentax film rigs. Nothing special.

Years ago I told the lady who owns the placr get all cameras you can tell all booth rentals to do the same. She still delivers!
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Old 06-04-2017   #30
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Had a choice between this Oly and a Nikon Lite Touch 35-150 both were ten bucks at a local Goodwill. It's not a 35 2.8 Mju II but there's no LCD bleed and everything seems to work.

[IMG]_1MD0211 by Michael DeLuca, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 06-05-2017   #31
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I was worried by this thread and went and checked; this was taken this afternoon and in other shops I saw about half a dozen cameras.



Regards, David
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Old 06-05-2017   #32
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Quote:
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I was worried by this thread and went and checked; this was taken this afternoon and in other shops I saw about half a dozen cameras.

Regards, David
That looks like the box in the local "St John Ambulance" shop. I did once find a Miranda Sensomat RE there, though.
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Old 06-05-2017   #33
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The store near me had a whole bunch of nothing this past Saturday--but it was at least different stuff. Two P&S cameras in their original boxes and with the paper work, etc. Looked really good until I popped the battery doors off. Corrosion of the batteries to the extent that I couldn't pull the batteries out.
It was also the first big yard sale week end here and the single biggest one is a neighborhood sale in one of the nicer areas--7 or 8 blocks and 40 or 50 different sales. I found two cameras at two different sales, both were those give away 35mm cameras you used to get with a magazine subscription. Though, one woman who was helping out at her parents sale told me she "had a bunch of film cameras at home." And she could text me pictures of them if I'd like.
So, today I got about 9 phone pics of two Polaroid cameras--not any of the nicer ones, a Kodak instant camera, a Revere 8mm movie camera, and a Minolta X370. I've got an X570 already and don't need any more indifferent zoom lenses.
I did buy two Parker fountain pens, a "51" Special and a 21. They both are going off for some repair/restoration. Paid a whopping 50 cents each for them.

Rob
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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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Back at the Thrifty Shopper yesterday. Only photo stuff was a box of Kodak BW paper.
It was on top of a stack of store brand inkjet photo paper.
And open.
And the black plastic envelope was unfolded--somebody must've wanted to see what was in there.
And it was marked $15.00
8x10 Polycontrast.
Maybe 1/2 of a 50 sheet box left.
I suggested to the manager that if they ever got another box of actual photo paper, maybe tape it shut and keep it behind the register where the other expensive stuff is. And had to explain the difference between that paper and (her words) "regular photo paper".

I am becoming tempted to volunteer there just to help 'em with the photo gear...

Rob
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Old 1 Week Ago   #35
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At the local Hospice Shop this morning, I picked up a nice Fujica ST605, complete with a wide "hippy style" strap, for $20.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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I picked up a Minolta X-700 with a 35-70 zoom in it for $14.99, a Series 1 Vivitar 70-210 (28xxxxx serial) for $14.99 and some other accessories for $7.99 one night at a local thrift store. All are in near-mint condition and function perfectly.

But ever since that local lady found the Mt St Helens eruption pix in a camera and the story went around the world, Goodwill shopping is hopeless.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Our local Goodwill stores now put the photo gear online, so gone are the days when I would make the rounds of all seven stores. Maybe it's a good thing, because I've got way more cameras now then I'll ever need.

Except the Nikons. Still looking for a few good buys there. A couple weeks ago I was in an antique/newtique place (I utterly detest the so-called "primitive" stuff) where I picked up a Nikon F2AS for $22.00. It's got a busted finder release lever, but I have a dead finder that can donate the part. Other than that, and the need of new seals, the camera works fine.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #38
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Quote:
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I was worried by this thread and went and checked; this was taken this afternoon and in other shops I saw about half a dozen cameras.



Regards, David
David,

That is what I've seen the different times I've looked for photo equipment at a few different Goodwill stores. Never anything I would value.

Best,
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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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Thrift store prices in Sydney have inflated to silly amounts in recent years. Mostly I only see overpriced junk. Before that there was the occasional treasure like a pristine Nikon F, a Topcon RE Super and some XAs.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #40
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David,

That is what I've seen the different times I've looked for photo equipment at a few different Goodwill stores. Never anything I would value.

Best,
-Tim
Hi,

Perhaps I should have added that there were a few in the box there and elsewhere that I would have bought but I already had them. Several were in really good condition and the Konica box in the picture had the camera and papers, as new.

Threads like this turn up from time to time and so I've kept a list of stuff I bought. At present, this year, a dozen cameras (average a little over UKP 4) and 3 lenses (average 2). The cameras ranged from a Pentax K1000 or Minolta X-700 down to some cult P&S's and an antique Kodak VPK.

Having said that, I'll add that it seems to be luck more than judgement because I know of some I've missed when talking to people in the shops.

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