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High Andes Find.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by lenshoarder, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Bear with me. I'm going travelblog style until I hit the punchline at the end.

    I've been in Peru for about a month. Everywhere I'm at, I look for old cameras and lenses. In Lima, I found a few Zenits and Kievs but the people in the antique stores wanted 150 soles for them, about $60. Considering I get them in mint condition in Poland for $10, I passed. I kept searching. In Cusco I found an absolutely mint Zenit 122 with a mint Helios 44M for 60 soles, about $23. I would have bought it on the spot except the seller was a jerk. When I asked him the price, he launched into a tirade about how he wasn't going to discount it at all. He didn't even give me the price. I had to ask again. Then he followed up with the no discount tirade again. I was miffed and walked off. The next day I came back for it and it was gone. I asked him where it was and he said he sold it. That thing must have sat there for months/years with all the dust on it. Less than 24 hours after I find it, someone buys it? Someone has it out for me. I was bummed about that for days. I found another Zenit 122/Helios 44M in Urubamba. It was in sorry shape and full of fungus. I asked how much. The girl said 400 soles, about $154. I said in English "Are you s*itting me?". Many younger people understand English and she laughed. I told her I would think about it. A few days later I found a Zenit 12 with Helios 40M. Mint. The lady in the camera store wouldn't sell it to me though. Not for sale. Why did she let me look at it? I wandered for days with no luck ...

    Until today. I had given up after checking probably every camera store and mercado in town. I was walking down to the bus station to buy a ticket. I came upon a big flea market by what smelled and looked like an open sewer. It was not pleasant. I saw a few point and shoot film cameras until I came up this lady with quite the spread.

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    Amongst it were a Zenit 12 body and a complete Zenit 12. Look at the lower right. The body was a disaster. The complete one fired and looked cleanable. The lens though.... it focused smoothly and the blades were snappy but the front element looked like it had been finely sandblasted by the powdery dirt. I still considered it as a souvenir. I was still kicking myself for missing out on the 122. I asked the price. She says 30 soles, about $12. I thought I could talk her down to $8. I put it back down and told her I would think about it. I decided to go have lunch. Afterwards, I decided to go back and try to talk her down. On the way there, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Something familiar, at another vendor.

    I asked the price. He said $90. I asked to see it. It has that fine coating of dust that's on everything. It has greasy finger prints all over the front and rear elements. I have no idea whether it works. The zoom is smooth though. I have no doubt I could have talked him down to $60 but my excitement got the better of me. I offered him $80, he countered with $85. I agreed. Unfortunately, I didn't have the equivalent of $85 in my wallet. I did have my emergency $100 bill though. I took it out right in front of him. I won't mention where I kept it this being a family website and all. All along, he had this, "What are you doing?" look on his face.

    Well anyways... here's what I found in the Andes. I think it was a win win. The seller probably thinks he took a tourist for $85, he probably would have settled for far less. I think I got a decent deal for $85.

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  2. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    A decent deal, that's like 10% of a new one. What would you have to pay for it to be a good deal!?!
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Wow! What a find - the story makes it even better. :bravo-009:
  4. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    sadly, me coming from Chile, southamerica, i know those "flea markets" i know the feeling of "heck yeah!!! i got this super expensive lens for almost nothing" the problem is, that with that type of findings and where you found it, i could assure you it was stolen. So yeah, good for you, it sucks for the other poor dude/girl that lost it. And buying it it only keeps pushing those people to steal the "gringos" that come to town...anyway! AWESOME find dude!. and have fun! shoot it a lot!! and make it worth!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Holy crap. Nice find...now does it work?

    And yes, to echo Chris, it's a shame that someone earlier got taken advantage of. :/ You don't exactly "find" 7-14mm's on the side of the road or growing on trees.
  6. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I hear you guys. Although this wasn't on the side of the road. It was in a little electronics store. Still, I can't be sure of where he got it. I did see M43, and other camera, equipment in many of the rabbit warren electronics mercados. It's funny how far tech has spread. Those electronics districts could be anywhere. They are exactly like the ones you see in Asia.

    Anyways, can you spot it amongst the cell phones?

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    Does it work? I have no idea. I don't carry a M43 camera with me. I still haven't even wiped it down. I don't see the point. Everything I have has a light coating of powdery sand/dust on it. I'll hold off until I can get to a clean zone.
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