Thrift Shop Finds

Brownie

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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.
I noticed when cruising their site yesterday that there isn't anything close enough to me for lower or no shipping. There actually are a couple, one I could drive to and a few where shipping wouldn't be too restrictive.

I stopped by the local GW yesterday, someone there is very proud of their gear. They had one of the third generation silver Maxxum lenses there for $40, it's worth maybe $20 if it works. They had a few other camera related items too, all overpriced.

I also went to an independent thrift shop. They had a Maxxum 300-something, one of the later cheap models. It had a 35-70 first generation lens which I would like to have if I knew it worked. A bag, a weird handle and a 28mm lens which was possibly a Canon mount with broken aperture for $15. The only thing I may have been interested in was the 35-70, and while it was in decent shape cosmetically, I passed. I may take one of my Sony bodies in and test the lens.
 
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ex machina

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I noticed when cruising their site yesterday that there isn't anything close enough to me for lower or no shipping. There actually are a couple, one I could drive to and a few where shipping wouldn't be too restrictive.

I stopped by the local GW yesterday, someone there is very proud of their gear. They had one of the third generation silver Maxxum lenses there for $40, it's worth maybe $20 if it works. They had a few other camera related items too, all overpriced.

I also went to an independent thrift shop. They had a Maxxum 300-something, one of the later cheap models. It had a 35-70 first generation lens which I would like to have if I knew it worked. A bag, a weird handle and a 28mm lens which was possibly a Canon mount with broken aperture for $15. The only thing I may have been interested in was the 35-70, and while it was in decent shape cosmetically, I passed. I may take one of my Sony bodies in and test the lens.
Pricing is left to individual locations and regional centers, and sometimes seems arbitrary. I don't mind $10 so much for shipping/handling but balk when it is sometimes twice or three times that.

I have found good deals at Goodwill retail outlets, once picked up a mint Canonet QL17 GIII for $10, but these are just the items that slipped through -- it's rare to see much of the way in desirable cameras in-store these days.
 

Brownie

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Argus A-Four w/case on the 'bay. $7.50 plus tax and ship. Seller's photo, not mine.

With the addition of this I am missing only the FA and A3 to fill in my Argus A models.

I'm not counting the CC, which is really an A, not a C. CC means "color camera", and it's a member of the A family, not the C family like the C3 and C33.

Confused yet? How about the Argoflex Seventy Five, the Argus Seventy Five, and the Argus 75? All the same camera.

Not very creative with the names, were they?

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Brownie

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This a-four is in really stellar condition. Aesthetically both the camera and the case look new. Even the strap doesn't look like it was used much. When it first arrived the shutter was very slow, the speed adjustment was stiff, as was the focus and aperture. Figuring it was grease I sat down this morning and got into it.

Fist thing was to remove all the glass. Taking the knurled ring and the distance scale off revealed the grease, and lots of it. There was so much I couldn't tell how many turns it took to get the focusing lens off, so it'd be trial and error putting it back together.

Here's a small sample that came of the threads of the focusing threads

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P1062069 by telecast, on Flickr

All the glass out, focusing, secondary, and rear. You can see some grease on the ring, this is before anything was cleaned. Getting the glass clean was a pain with all the grease. I ended up dunking the lenses in isopropyl alcohol to get it gone.

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I don't like going into these any more than needed, and while I'm getting decent at removing the lenses, mirrors, rangefinders etc., I am not so with shutter and aperture assemblies. So instead of taking everything apart, I tried flushing the aperture and shutter blades with Ronsinol cigarette lighter fluid. It flushes out the grease and leaves just enough oiliness behind to keep things lubricated. I stuck the nozzle in every slot and flushed, then directly on the blades front and back. Within seconds everything freed up and started working correctly. I used canned air to blow out any chunks of grease from inside, then flushed again and let it dry thoroughly while I cleaned the lenses.

Here's are the aperture and shutter blades after cleaning. They look as new.

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A tiny drop (not even a drop, just touched a toothpick to the threads) of machine oil on the focusing lens threads 180 degrees from each other made it run smooth. When I put it back together I had to sort out the focusing. It took a couple of tries because as I stated earlier, I had no idea how many turns it needed to get back to where it was and I wasn't at all sure how to accomplish it. Once I figured out the sequence it was pretty easy. It really does look great all cleaned up for a camera manufactured in April of 1954. Can't wait to run a roll of film through it!

51123478249_57e81dc1a5_b.jpg
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