Amazing finds

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tim o'brien, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. I just bought a Graplex R.B. 3x4 mit 150 Zeiss Tessar lens on it.
    Super nice camera, very low price. Everything works! Clean, working,
    what more can you want...? That's not the amazing find.

    The woman I bought it from was coming to a local photo show here in
    san jose, so I arrainged to pick it up at the show. She was working
    at a table with a couple dozen Kodak Retinas of various styles and
    vintage. I had just picked up a Retina II with a missing advance know
    so I thought I would see if they had a parts camera cheap I could
    scavage the neccessary parts from. After talking to the guy who owned
    the booth, we selected a Type 011 with 47/2.0 Ektar on it that was
    missing its leather. All of it. Sort of gun metal grey formed
    aluminum body. Industrio looking. 10 bucks.

    Well, after getting it home, I looked through the rangefinder,
    clicked the shutter a couple times at all speeds, pulled the front of
    the Ektar off and gave it a good cleaning... and loaded a roll of
    film. Bloody sharp, well exposed, range finder right on photos!

    I suspect I'll be looking for some of that red snakeskin leather
    covering to make this a one of a kind. While it will never have the
    value of a non-restored 011, I think this puppy will be one of my
    daily shooters for quite awhile.

    Y'all got any good aquisition stories (or a wind knob for a Retina

    tim in san jose
  2. My favourite aquisition ... a Retina IIIC, cased in good working order, complete with boxed 35mm f/4, all for £10 at a local car-boot sale ... somedays you just get lucky :)

    .... sorry, no spare wind knobs ... try Chris Sherlock in New Zealand
  3. About one year ago at an auction I pick up a lot of three cameras: a Polariod (junk), Super Ikonta 6x6 (that I really wanted)and what appeared to be a prewar heavily mutilated roll film camera for $130.

    Well the S. Ikonta got readied for service, the polariod hit the trach can and the mystery camera hit the basement. Just before hitting the basement I noticed the lens read "Zeiss Tessar by Bausch & Lomb 50mm 3.5 pat pend...", It also sported a nice pnuematic rim shutter withs speeds from 1sec to 1/300. With this little bit of info I started my web search the following day and found a "Simplex Multi-exposure" camera built in 1914 by Multi-Speed in New York in extremely small numbers of which only 5-6 examples are know to survive! But what I had was not quite that flat rectangular camera that took rolls of 35mm film and could take 400 (24x36mm)pictures or 800 half frames, according to some historians the first 35mm camera ever!..

    Well not to bore anybody for too long...what I had was a front panel and lens/shutter assembly of that camera! A trip to the library gave me further reasons to get excited...reported prices for complete cameras where in the neiborhood of anywhere from $3000 to $8000! What was a piece of camera worth? Christies estimated about $1,800 and Ebay only reached about $200....Well in doubt a few months later I traded (I have a weakness for everything Zeiss..) with a Italian Collector for a 21mm Biogon Lens for my Contax IIIa...estimated at about $900....

    $130 for about $1000 of camera equipment..not a bad night at the auction!

    Now I am searching for that garage sale Picasso...

    P.S. if someone is kind enough to tell me how to post pictures here I will post what I found about a year ago and what the complete camera really looks like!
  4. Here is what the camera was suppose to look like....
  5. Was it the same camera?
  6. While perhaps not really "amazing" but I was sure pleased: in a old. dingy used camera store in Beijing this last September I found an ugly, beaten up Rolleiflex Planar 2,8E TLR. I walked out the door with it for $180 USD. A small scratch on the front element and a sticky 1/15 speed but this does not stop it from taking marvelous images. And I was originally looking through a pile of cheap Seagull TLR's! Forget that!
  7. m_.


    not as amazing and classy: I got a "part" camera (Nikon FE) from an online sale for little money. When I got it, the battery in the camera was old looking so I changed the battery, it worked beautifully and until today, still shoots beautiful pictures for me. The lens that came with the camera turned out to be one of the best Nikkor 50mm f1.2 that was supposed to be a freebie.
  8. Just the other day, knowing that I like and use old cameras, someone gave my wife a box of stuff that was destined for Goodwill. Mostly junk, except for a Voigtlander Prominent w/50mm f2.0 Ultron, w/case, in excellent shape! Slow shutter speeds were initially off, but after an evening of exercising the shutter while I watched television, 1 sec. is now right on the money. I ran a test roll through, and the results were superb.

    I would agree w/Steven Gandy ( it's an oddly designed beast, with controls in strange places. Not very user friendly. But it's a fine old thing with gorgeous build quality.
  9. The 50/2.0 Ultron is a great lens. I have one on my Vitessa-L.
  10. My best buy was a nice Retina IIa with case for $8. Here's a link to a picture I took with it.

    [Union Station, Washington, D.C. Handheld, Tri-X, exposure a guess at 1/25th @ 4, if I remember correctly.]

    Best to all,

    Ed B.
  11. My best find (literally) was in one of those curb side 'take what you want' piles that people sometimes put out. A very dusty camera bag containing a Pentax ME with a stuck mirror, a 50/2.8 and 135/3.5 with superb glass, a winder, cable release, filter, lens hood and two flash units, all in very clean condition. That was a pretty good day, I've been using a Pentax ME Super for years and had often considered adding s winder and spare body.

    One of my best classic finds was on the big auction site. A very badly illustrated "antique Kodak camera" which turned out to be a Retina 119 with a cute little Tessar 3.5 lens... $20.00. Some long gone photographer had taped a meters to feet conversion scale on the back of the camera so I guess the seller didn't have a clue. It's a nice fit with the Retina 118 and 126 I've already got on the shelf.
  12. My best aquisition is a like new (don't seem used) Minolta SR T101 with 58/1.4 (same condition with original lens cap) with original strap for less than $60. Super clean VF.<br>
    Also a like new (don't seem used) Yashica TL-Electro with Yashinon 50/2 lens (same condition with no original lens cap) and orginal strap for $15. Only foam seal need to be replaced, some dusty VF and no instant return mirror (sometimes). <br>
    Also I bought a lot junkie which were sent to trash directly.
  13. Okay, I'll bite:

    The very first camera I bought on eBay this past July was listed as a "Karvee Camera Deckel Munchen." The only thing the seller knew about it was that it had the initial "KW" in a diamond on everything with it -- ground glass back, three plate holders with their own case, and the original leather case (albeit having been opened with a hacksaw after the key was lost with the case locked).

    Yep, it was the American sale version of a Patent Etui, a "Kawee Camera" -- the last version, AFAIK, from around 1935, with a rim-set Compur that's accurate, a Schneider Radionar 135/4.5 (okay, it's not a Tessar, but I've now got one I can put on it if I want), and manual slide front rise instead of geared. The whole 9x12 cm camera is about the size of a modern 4x5 double film holder.

    Oh, and I got it for $16.50 plus shipping. I've finally got film sheaths, had film since August, and I'm almost ready to develop the film; I'll be shooting it by New Years, maybe Christmas. Heck, if I needed to, I could shoot it tonight, though it might be a few days before I could develop the negs...
  14. My wife and I went to some yard sales this past summer, we stopped at a moving sale that an old couple were having. I didn't see anything that caught my interest, so I started walking towards my van, when my wife says, they have a list posted with furniture and such in the house, + some camera equipment. To make a long story short, I walked away with a nice user ( some chrome missing ) Leica IIIC with summitar lens and case, and a very nice Voigtlander Dynamatic II with carry case, all for the huge some of $50.00 , needless to say, but I LOVE going yard sale hunting with my wife now !!!
  15. R8, new in box, found at a flea market.

    $10.00, thank you very much.


  16. Nikon R8 super 8 cine camera, not a Leica SLR, but still a good find.

    100/6.3 Luminar, $25 at (no kidding) a camera show.

    45/4.5 Mikrotar, $10 at (no kidding again) another camera show.

    3x4 Adapt-A-Roll 620, mint condition, $5 at (I am not making this up) Ritz Collectibles. I can't imagine what Sandy was thinking.

    These last three all qualify as classics.



    Look a lot, and every once in a while you'll find something that you probably won't want very much.
  17. I got many "oldies" as gifts but, my most recent find was a Bantam Special in excellent condition with the desirable Kodak Supermatic shutter. At the garage sale, I paid $25 for it.
  18. I once bought a very nice tripod for 25p at a jumble sale that lasted me about ten years. I also bought a Polaroid 600SE for £40 at a shop in Plymouth, decided I didn't really need it and sold it, the same day, to a shop 30 miles away for £125, which seemed like a decent profit to me.

    I've had several other bargains, like the Chinon 50/f1.2 screw mount lens (the one with the bite out of the rear element to accomodate the aperture pin) that I got out of a dealer's junk box for £10, used for a year then sold to a collector for £75.

    Some days are better than others :)
  19. I bought a FED 4 on our local online auction for $5. It was listed in "antiques, other" as "an old camera, shutter not working" and illustrated with a very muddy photograph. Setting the rewind knob to advance fixed the shutter. I sold it on the same auction site for $50.
  20. Thanks for all the stories. I will keep looking for that Leica III with Sumitar lens on it for 25 bucks, but until then, I'll keep shooting with my collection of quality sub 100 dollar classic cameras.

    tim in san jose
  21. I left my canon AE-1 at a friend house during a party. When I went back to retrieve it, he gave me my camera, plus a Canon AE-1p that had been sitting at hs house for a year (from a previous party).

    -That guy has a lot of parties.
    wadeschields likes this.
  22. leo


    First edition of "vietnam inc", along with an olympus xa w/flash for $2 at a flea market
    . Also picked up a rolleiflex e 2.8 planar on ebay for $100. And then the luck ran
  23. A new-in-box Holga, at a Goodwill, for a dollar.
  24. I´m not that lucky with amazing finds, but a friend of mine is. I learned about classics and XIX photography with him and his collection.
    Some of the finds:
    A Monte en Sarre Leica If (the only one reported?) came with a professional microscope. He paid 400 u$s for the microscope (including Leica mount with compur shutter, and pentax mount) and the leica. He sold it for more than 5000$ in europe. (I think 7000$ was the number).
    Two Kimbay colored albumen albums with 20 photographs each, and ivory decoratings in the hard front for 100 argentinian pesos, (that is, 30 u$s). He sold them in Europe for 2500u$s. After selling the albums, the same day, he found 1 more album in an antique shop nearby. Bought it for 1000 u$s, called the client, and got i think 1500u$s.
    Two Leica Compur for 200 u$s each.
    A Puyo Portrait lens for no more than 100 u$s.
    And the latest one a Leica M2 with Summicron 50 f2 for 130 uSs.
    And the list goes on and on. He is a lucky guy... Yep...
  25. My best finds so far: at an estate sale, a prewar Contax ll RF with Summitar (needed shutter curtain ribbon repair) and an EXA (minus lens) for $1.00 Can. Traded the Contax to a friend for a beautiful Olympus OM 10 and an Olympus 200mm. From E**y, an Edixa Edissimat LTL SLR fully functional but dirty, for $1.00 US + shipping. Also from E**y, all in one lot and just as clean as the day they were made, a Yashica Lynx 5000, a Zeiss Ikon Symbollica, an Agfa Optima ll S and a Konica Auto S2. All for $30.00 US. Wierdest one so far, a SEM-Kim and a Vivitar flash plus two crappy cameras for $3.00 US.
  26. Belina,

    I am so sorry. Perhaps if you take it back to Goodwill they will give you the dollar back?

    tim in san jose
  27. I was at a local camera show a couple of years ago -- one
    vendor had a Rolleiflex MX for $75 -- a little worn on the leather,
    but it worked beautifully and lenses were clear. I still think of
    that as my best buy ever. A while back, and elderly friend asked
    me over and she handed me an old camera bag that she said
    she no longer needed. In it was the first Rolleiflex and a Leica
    Model A! I tried out the Leica -- not something that I'd use, and
    sold it on Ebay for $1250. That bought lots of things, including
    a nice Nikon F2 that I have used a lot. My daughter still has the
    Rollei -- it needs work.
  28. I got a Nikon FE2 for $95.
  29. Found two agfa isolette III with solinar 4.5 and synchro compur shutter at junk store for 20 $ one works perfectly the other with frozen focus and frozen rangefinder both with leather case

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