Thrift Shop Finds

ex machina

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Most recent find, an early 1960s Honeywell Pentax H3 with the optional light meter and 55mm ƒ1.8 Auto-Takumar m42 lens for $15 w/case. The light meter battery is still somehow good and the meter appears to work, but the camera would need some CLA to return to service. I would normally skip a non-working camera even at this price but figured I could salvage the lens, and it had been so long since I saw anything interesting in a thrift store (had also been so long since I had been in a thrift store due to my car being in the shop for 6 weeks + Covid).

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Honeywell Pentax H3 by Lewis Francis, on Flickr

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Honeywell Pentax H3 by Lewis Francis, on Flickr
 
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Brownie

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WOOT!

A guy in the Argus Owner's group just gifted me a Geiss-modified C-4! No photos yet, not sure when it will arrive, but very excited. This is from Camera-wiki:

The Argus C4 was an attempt by Argus to improve on the C3 model by combining the rangefinder and viewfinder into a single eyepiece; and restyling the body into a smaller and more modern-looking design. However in one respect the C4 was a step backwards, in that it offered no option for interchangeable lenses, which the C3 had offered (albeit inconveniently).

Into this void stepped the Geiss company of Chicago, who adapted the C4 with their own proprietary interchangeable lens mount. In addition to adapting the stock 50mm f/2.8 Cintar, Geiss imported a nice series of lenses made by Enna-Werk in West Germany, including:
  • 35mm f/4.5 Lithagon
  • 45mm f/1.9 Lithagon
  • 100mm f/4.5 Lithagon
  • 135mm f/2.8 Lithagon
Argus followed suit in 1956 with its own C-forty-four camera offering interchangeable lenses by Steinheil. However Argus's own mount system was strange and inconvenient; and unlike the Geiss system, it did not allow focusing by grasping a focus ring on the lens barrel. As a result, the Geiss-modified C4 is now considered one of the most usable and desirable of all "Argus" cameras.

Won't post the photo, not mine, but link to article:
Argus C4 Geiss - Camera-wiki.org - The free camera encyclopedia (camera-wiki.org)
 

ex machina

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Latest, a Polaroid 300/Fuji Instax Mini camera for $3.99. Functioning batteries and an empty film pack makes it at least appear to be working.

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ex machina

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Today's thrift store find, an early 1950s Zeiss Ikon Contessa folding 35mm rangefinder, made in Stuttgart, Germany. At first I thought it didn’t work, but turns out it needs to have film inside in order for the shutter linkage to function. Missing the Contessa badge on the shutter housing but I’ll display it opened, anyway, and unsurprisingly after nearly 70 years the selenium meter no longer works. A really solid, well machined work of art for $10, so I’m not complaining.

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Zeiss ikon Contessa 35mm folding rangefinder by Lewis Francis, on Flickr
 

Brownie

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Today's thrift store find, an early 1950s Zeiss Ikon Contessa folding 35mm rangefinder, made in Stuttgart, Germany. At first I thought it didn’t work, but turns out it needs to have film inside in order for the shutter linkage to function. Missing the Contessa badge on the shutter housing but I’ll display it opened, anyway, and unsurprisingly after nearly 70 years the selenium meter no longer works. A really solid, well machined work of art for $10, so I’m not complaining.

View attachment 882515 Zeiss ikon Contessa 35mm folding rangefinder by Lewis Francis, on Flickr
Check into the meter. I've been doing some reading up on them, and the fact is the cell goes bad a lot less than people think. The majority of the time it's a corroded connection between the cell and the meter and many of them can be brought back to life with nothing more than a cleaning.
 

ex machina

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Check into the meter. I've been doing some reading up on them, and the fact is the cell goes bad a lot less than people think. The majority of the time it's a corroded connection between the cell and the meter and many of them can be brought back to life with nothing more than a cleaning.
Might look into that. The lens is pristine. Shutter is slow at the lower end but seems reasonable at faster speeds, might just need to be exercised a bit.
 

ex machina

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Brownie

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Watching with growing curiosity a shopgoodwill.com auction for an Olympus OM20 + Oly 40mm ƒ2 that's high bid is north of $1200 -- wtf? Is the 40mm a unicorn lens I've somehow missed hearing about or is this a nostalgia battle between two folks of some means?
What is this goodwill auction site? Are these their own thing, or are they on eBay, or what? I've never heard of it before.
 

ex machina

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What is this goodwill auction site? Are these their own thing, or are they on eBay, or what? I've never heard of it before.
It's Goodwill's own auction site -- this is why you generally don't find decent cameras at Goodwill stores these days, they instead end up in a regional warehouse where they are photographed and posted for bidding.
 
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barry13

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The Goodwill site has lots of interesting stuff, but most of their employees don't have time or are unqualified to test the gear, and there is no warranty or exchange option (last I checked).
Sometimes the staff will add comments like "no mold noticed", "aperture works", ..., but more often there's not much about the condition.

So, IMHO, it's a lot riskier than other sites, but usually at similar prices.

It used to be easy to find nice cameras for good prices at the goodwill stores, but now almost all camera equipment goes straight to the county auction warehouse.
 
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Brownie

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The Goodwill site has lots of interesting stuff, but most of their employees don't have time or are unqualified to test the gear, and there is no warrantee or exchange option (last I checked).
Sometimes the staff will add comments like "no mold noticed", "aperture works", ..., but more often there's not much about the condition.

So, IMHO, it's a lot riskier than other sites, but usually at similar prices.

It used to be easy to find nice cameras for good prices at the goodwill stores, but now almost all camera equipment goes straight to the county auction warehouse.
The other thing I noticed is that most of their shipping is higher than you would find on eBay. It looks like the $0.01 shipped items are priced accordingly. Nonetheless, it's another source and I'll add it to the list of places to check in case something special pops up.
 

ex machina

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The other thing I noticed is that most of their shipping is higher than you would find on eBay. It looks like the $0.01 shipped items are priced accordingly. Nonetheless, it's another source and I'll add it to the list of places to check in case something special pops up.
These days I mostly limit myself to auctions from the nearest regional site, that way if I win something I can drive by and pick it up, saving the sometimes slightly onerous handling and shipping fees.
 
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