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Roger Hicks
11-27-2008, 02:26
There seem to be three kinds of free equipment. Some is worth what you pay for it. Some is worth less (distracts you from taking pictures). And some is a joyful discovery.

Any examples of each kind? Especially the stuff you wish you HADN'T been given, as it's always tempting to rejoice about the discoveries, and easy to ignore the fact that there's a lot of junk out there.

Cheers,

R.

EcoLeica
11-27-2008, 02:48
28mm E series Lens - which i love
right angle lens adapter - stupid huge thing that gathers dust on my desk
Diana Camera - Do i really need to say more?

kully
11-27-2008, 02:54
I really wish I hadn't been given a print glazer, a rusted print drier, two old enlargers, some old UK made enlarging lenses... the list goes on...

Oh, and various cameras / lenses because "you like camera's don't you - here, we have a digital now" - tinkering with them is a time-waster too.

Ronald_H
11-27-2008, 02:57
I was given a FED5. Rangefinder is so dirty it's next to useless.

BUT because the shutter IS accurate, it works admirably as a wide angle shooting platform, leaving my M2 for other things. The Industar 61 is also quite good, but rarely used with a Summicron DR around.

Bike Tourist
11-27-2008, 03:01
I had the use of an old Leica film cutting template when I had a IIIf — much nicer than trimming film with scissors. I gave it back when I sold the IIIf.

ClaremontPhoto
11-27-2008, 03:01
It wasn't exactly free, but it was only pocket change.

An Art Deco Rolleicord that needed a lot of renovation.

It still needs a lot of renovation!

Paul T.
11-27-2008, 03:03
I was given my dad's Zeiss folder, picked up in wartime Italy, which I treasure but haven't actually used yet.

And I found an Apple G4 in the street, whihc I've upgraded and use for all my iTunes (plus recordings), photos and website stuff. It's especially good in winter as it generates lots of heat in my office...

Soeren
11-27-2008, 03:41
I have had lots of enlargers given to me, some I kept and some just stayed i transit for a short while. Best of those must have been the Durst 707 AC which I still have. Worst a Durst 900 which was liberated from its lenses before it went to the scrapyard.
Most of my developing stuff ei. Drums trays etc. was also given to me for free.
Talking about cameras, I have been given four of them. A Minolta 101 in a very poor condition and I havn't used it. Three Nikons, a FM (+ 50mm f/1.8) which unfortunately lost its mirror haflway through the first film, a Nikormat FT3 that sees some occasional use and a F3 (+55mm f/3,5 Micro nikor). I'm using that one regularly.
Still waiting for someone to give me a Leica M2 or M4.2 or maybe a Voigtländer Bessa II :)
Kind regards

kshapero
11-27-2008, 03:52
As the local camera freak, people always wanted to give me some old camera that there great grandfather left them. Almost always a clunker broken beyond repair.
But....... sometimes I score big.
Examples of great finds:
Pentax SPII with lots of lenses.
Leica IIIa w/ 50mm/f2 lens

Also I once found a Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 50mm/f1.2 at a yard sale for $25 in great working order.

Alas if only GAS was just a one way street.

nobbylon
11-27-2008, 04:07
I really wish I hadn't been given a print glazer, a rusted print drier, two old enlargers, some old UK made enlarging lenses... the list goes on...

Oh, and various cameras / lenses because "you like camera's don't you - here, we have a digital now" - tinkering with them is a time-waster too.

hilarious! however I was given a box of 'various' and in amongst all the [email protected]@@ was a Contax 159/50mm planar and a 1964 first edition super takumar 50mm 1.4
I still have to sort an ad out for anyone who wants some darkroom kit, color analyser, enlarger etc. First person who picks it up from me here in Amsterdam can have it!

Roger Hicks
11-27-2008, 04:31
Great stories! Several times I laughed out loud! Thanks, guys.

Cheers,

Roger

Mr_Flibble
11-27-2008, 04:32
It was last month when I was given a Franka-Werk Solida Record. Nice gesture, but it was useless without a lens :(
So I flogged it as a repair/parts camera.

eli griggs
11-27-2008, 04:44
I'm usually looking for free kit, but I have passed on several cameras, a couple of enlargers, etc, over the years, usually when I've upgraded.

The only one I regret is the Canon F1n I gave to a fellow student at school about 30 years ago. I decided he needed it more than I did, even though it was my all time favorite camera, a latter Leica M3 SS possibly excepted. I sacrificed for over a year to buy it on a Carter Administration Soldiers Pay but I was planing on buying some new kit with some of the moneys had coming in, G.I. Bill, etc, so I thought I'd do something nice for someone else. :angel:

I was able to buy more Canon stuff, but a couple of years latter than originally thought as it turned out. Other than helping someone, there was no good reason for me to have parted with what was a loved and valued tool, I really did need it myself. I should have given him a lesser Canon AT-1 or FTB ql, either would have done just as well. I just hope he used it every day and made a billion dollars shooting swimsuit models and celebrities. :D

I can't even remember his name and I quit school not too many weeks after.

Did I mention it had a FL 50 mm 1.2 on it when last seen waving goodbye? I miss that lens as much as the camera. :bang:

Eli

Muggins
11-27-2008, 05:35
Hee hee, nice thread, Roger!

I'll second the chap who keeps being given cameras, then wastes time fiddling with them. I'm much the same - thankfully my first love, box cameras, usually just get a clean up and that's all they need.More complex things can be more of a timewaster...

On the other hand, in terms of positive free equipment, my girlfriend's parents overheard a friend of theirs whose science department was moving buildings say that he had a drawer full of old cameras that he didn't really want to throw away. They jumped on my behalf, and I ended up with a Nikkormat ELW plus 50mm Nikkor lens (f2.0, I think)... and an F3 body! To top that, a friend gave me his surplus Micro-Nikkor 55mm so I effectively ended up with the beginnings of an F3 outfit for free.

I've not been that lucky since - I think this might turn out to be me "eureka!" moment for this lifetime.

Adrian

Ronald_H
11-27-2008, 06:18
Also I once found a Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 50mm/f1.2 at a yard sale for $25 in great working order.



Sadly, being a camera freak myself, people have not give me great stuff yet, not even horrible junk :(

I should go to yard sales more... a Nikon FM2 with a Nikkor 50mm/f1.2 for 25 Euros... drool...

jolefler
11-27-2008, 06:23
aluminum FILCA case. Would have been nice, except he scrawled his name all over it! :rolleyes:

Jo

Hobbes
11-27-2008, 06:37
My Retina II and my Century Graphic were freebies! The Retina came in a box of Brownie Hawkeye and similar cameras. There were lots of flash bulbs and such to dig through in the box, but burried at the bottom was the Retina!

Not free, but I picked up a Canon FTb with a 50mm 1.8 and 24mm 2.8 lenses yesterday off craigslist for $10! The camera is spotless and so are the lenses. That is pretty darn close to free.

John Lawrence
11-27-2008, 06:39
Like others I've been given stuff over the years because, "oh I understand you use / collect old cameras". I've had much of the stuff listed above, disc cameras, 110 "instamatics" the odd flash gun or 20 and a packet of Halina flip / flop flash bulbs - with 4 used!

gb hill
11-27-2008, 07:02
I thought Roger was giving away free gear...drats;) Anyway I was given a Pentax Spotmatic in bad need of a cla. The mirror would lock up & not return. After taking off the bottom plate I immediatly saw the problem. Oiled the moving parts, replaced light seals & it works like new. I was also given a near complete darkroom setup. Durst enlarger, timer, trays, bottles, paper, safelight, & other stuff. I've been quite happy with the free stuff I have got. You know the old saying, One man's junk is another man's treasure. "So send me your junk". Especially if you have a medium format that shoots 120 film laying around.:)

photo4ls
11-27-2008, 07:44
I was given a Nikon FM3a by my very good friend that
new he was not going to be w/us very long. He even
gave me the 45 f2.8p lens along w/motor drive.
I would rather have my friend back than all the free
gear on the planet. My wife and I really miss him since
he was truly a good friend.

Nelson

raid
11-27-2008, 07:53
I have been given a Konica S3 for free, and a prism for the Pentax MX. Other near-free items have been consistently junk and useless and gathering dust. I bought a very cheap Tower camera that may have been thrown off some tower somewhere. I got for cheap a Kodak back for a camera that I don't have and that does not work anymore. I have to convince myself that it is a "classic". My wife is not buying my arguement.

Nh3
11-27-2008, 07:53
Ok, this is a little awkward but worth mentioning because its related to free gear.

There is a major camera store Called Henry's outlet in Toronto. Its located right at gay area of Toronto. Anyway, if you go there get ready to be offered a free strap, or lens cap or even a filter by the ever friendly smiling camera salesman who would want you to come back and show him some of your photos.

But if you didn't then next time you go there he won't even talk to you!

:D

Gumby
11-27-2008, 07:56
should i send him a little reminder note?

You are too late. I invited him to Christmas at my house... and he accepted. :D

ClaremontPhoto
11-27-2008, 08:12
Someone gave me aluminum FILCA case. Would have been nice, except he scrawled his name all over it!

Go to a lawyer and change your name to match the camera case.

jolefler
11-27-2008, 12:03
already a guy on this board using that name, eh Roger? ;)

Jo

ClaremontPhoto
11-27-2008, 12:21
already a guy on this board using that name, eh Roger? ;)

Jo

So, that's sort of like having a football signed by David Beckham isn't it?

dazedgonebye
11-27-2008, 12:45
I have a Retina III my wife inherited from her Dad. It's only a problem because she won't let me shoot it...and that vexes me.

Well, I've shot two rolls through it, but now she won't let me play anymore.

jolefler
11-27-2008, 12:58
So, that's sort of like having a football signed by David Beckham isn't it?

...the same league. I would tend to believe there's some disparity in income, though. The web site's a gold mine, I hear :D

hamradio
11-27-2008, 15:46
I haven't picked up much...I got an old minolta xg1 the other day, but the light meter refuses to work, and it hung in the owner's garage for years. The lens (28mm chinon...did not seem too sharp) even had a dead centipede-like thing inside it.

With the minolta came a few flashes I'll put to good use, however. I really wish I would find an old minolta srt at a thrift store for a couple bucks...cheap on ebay, but not cheap enough. :D


I thought $15 was a pretty decent price for a near mint yashica electro gsn, though. Not any spectacular once-in-a-lifetime deal, but a lot better than ebay.

Bob Michaels
11-27-2008, 16:41
I have the ideal situation with a friendly local used camera shop owner. I take it all to him and ask "do you want this?"When he says no, I throw it away. Some of the things he accepts.

But when I need something like a lens cap, hood, or strap; he always returns the favor. Last year he knew I was looking for a Canonet GIII 17 so when he got a good one in a bulk buy, he just gave it to me.

So it is a bit like having my own communal storage / trade facility.

Al Kaplan
11-27-2008, 16:45
Places like that are pretty rare these days.

dmr
11-27-2008, 17:37
I seem to get offered enlargers quite a bit, and I turn them down because I just can't use them. I don't have space to set up a darkroom, and I shoot mostly color and I don't really have the skill to print optical color prints.

I was also offered a bunch of Canon SLR stuff which I turned down. I have one SLR (Pentax K1000) which I use regularly, and I really don't need more cameras, really.

I have, however, got a few nice hand-me-downs, stuff that I would not otherwise get for myself, such as ...

1. A very nice Yashica D TLR in excellent shape. I've only shot two rolls, and it does take some getting used to. I plan to use it more, now that I have a real ...

2. A Gossen Super Pilot light meter. I'm feeling a bit more confident as to how accurate it is, but I really wish there were a way I could check this against a known standard.

3. A nondescript fixed-lens Nikon P&S 35mm camera. I ended up giving this to another RFFer.

4. A HUGE honking Sunpak 120 bare tube flash which did not work and had some broken plastic pieces. I cleaned up all of the grody battery residue and such and it actually works fine now. I used it for my Weegee experiments. I think this has to be registered as a weapon in 28 states! :)

Carlsen Highway
11-27-2008, 18:06
I just got given an enlarger, dev tanks, trays and so forth, all the little bits and pieces. This was just fine with me....

...plus I was given a colour enlarger and every damn gizmo you need or could think or for printing cibachrome from slides in luxery, including a couple of packs of 500 sheets of paper. God knows how old they are.
The first I will use for my black and whites not sure what to do with all the cibachrome stuff....maybe I should buy some Kodachrome. Do they still make Kodachrome 64?

NIKON KIU
11-27-2008, 18:35
I got for free a polaroid land camera,the old folding kind, unfortunatly,it took 127 film and smelled like mold heaven, so off to ebay it went.
I will keep the Hassy 501cm,although I had to buy a lens and back for it.

Kiu

dmr
11-27-2008, 19:00
Do they still make Kodachrome 64?

Uh-huh, they still do. :)

For now, anyway ...

Soeren
11-27-2008, 22:26
I have a Retina III my wife inherited from her Dad. It's only a problem because she won't let me shoot it...and that vexes me.

Well, I've shot two rolls through it, but now she won't let me play anymore.

What??? But thats torture!! Claim your human rights :D

cam
11-28-2008, 06:49
LOL!!!

this is a wonderful thread!

i got into photography too late so all anybody ever does is tell me what they would have given me.... sigh.

i have a nest of young vultures myself -- waiting for me to give them my gear (though they think RF focusing is archaic).

Tom A
11-28-2008, 17:21
I think my favourite "freebie" in the last decade is a battered Nikon SP! Robert Rotoloni gave it to me as " No collector will even look at it!" I then paired it with a 35f2.5 Nikkor that a friend in Japan gave to me as the front lens element looked like a skating rink.
That beaten up SP has a perfect finder and everything works smoothly - except the 135 frame - but who uses that on a Rf anyway!
The 35f2.5 has a certain glow to it in sunlight - but it is very sharp.

Roger Hicks
11-29-2008, 01:58
...the same league. I would tend to believe there's some disparity in income, though. The web site's a gold mine, I hear :D

The hourly rate of return on the work spent producing each article is, I suspect, about as high as sitting cross-legged in the high street with a tin cup in front of you (and of course the obligatory dog with a piece of string for a lead). Frances suspects that the tin cup might be more lucrative...

Cheers,

Roger

johannielscom
12-07-2008, 03:37
...But....... sometimes I score big...

I make a habit of scouring flea markets, thrift shops and internet listings. The really good stuff I keep (mostly for a while only), the other gear I sell for a profit, which has gotten me a beginners Nikon DSLR set in the past. With this set I started to make some money, and since have upgraded to a professional Nikon DSLR set and my favorite camera, Leica M3 with a set of M-Hexanons.

You need to invest a lot of time, several hours a day sometimes, but you get to handle a lot of gear, allowing for a well founded choice of what you'd like to use yourself.

My best finds:
Nikon FM2n with 50mm 1.2 EUR 50 -> EUR 250 sale
Minolta CLE with all three lenses and flash for EUR 300 -> EUR 850 sale
Konica Hexar AF EUR 35 -> EUR 375 sale
Yashica 35 GSN with lenses EUR12.50 -> EUR 100

Selling is time consuming as well, since you need to read up on gears' specifics and shoot good photos of the gear you're selling.

Moral, never pass up on old gear offered to you!

navilluspm
12-07-2008, 04:52
All the working film cameras I have were given to me, but one stands out: The Contax 167 MT that my brother gave me. I love the lenses. I love the spot meter on the camera, but that camera is the glichiest camera I have ever used! It goes through batteries like crazy, it jams a lot when it winds, it is very loud and not too particularly small. (My brother claims it was always this bad - so why he didn't sent it in under warranty when he had the chance, I will never know). But, in spite of all these things, it is my most used film camera at the moment, because I like the pictures it produces.

I love the lenses, but hate the camera. I think there is a secret place in my heart that hopes it dies, so I have the excuse to look for an Aria.

eli griggs
12-07-2008, 05:26
I just reread the thread and realized that when I first posted while still in the grip of a killer flu, all wozzie from fever and painkillers, that I'd completely misread the the question :o; it's not what I regret giving away, :bang: but what I've received, LOL.

I guess that'll be a Canon FD zoom lens give to me by someone dear, years ago, bought from a second-hand shop, at a time when there was NO money to spare, that had a nice little colony of fungus in residence. I will not put it on my camera and for the longest time now, I can't bring myself to toss it because she'd ask why don't I use the lens she gave me and I just say I need the wider angles of another zoom lens I use, but it's there in case I need it Sugar :angel:

Since then, about 19 years or so, I've managed not to use the lens but it's still around, just in case I'm asked about it. The colony is doing quite nicely by-the-way, but is somewhat lonely, waayyyy over there, away from my other camera kit these many years. :D

Cheers

Al Kaplan
12-07-2008, 05:34
I'm still good friends with an ex who is in the antique business. Between her and her antique dealer friends who buy out estates I run into a lot of photo gear from time to time, usually in exchange for telling them what they have and how best to describe it on Ebay. A few weeks back I wrote on here about a dealer who offered me "a sack of old cameras" for $500. I later found out that he figured it was some good stuff when I didn't counter with a "How about $300?", which I suppose he'd have taken. He'd bought the "sack" an hour earlier at an estate auction, the only bidder, for $25.00!

An hour later I'd swapped a 150mm Hasselblad Sonnar with my camera repairman for a CLA on the M3 body. I kept the M3 body and a few lenses, gave my son the Rollei 35 and the Leica CL with the 40 Summicron. I also kept the Minolta Autocord and an assortment lesser cameras and stuff including some filters, Vivitar flashes, synch cords, camera straps, camera bags, and belt pouches. Everything looked like new. One of the lenses was a Wetzlar black paint 28mm Elmarit that I traded for a nice M2 body with a cherry 21/3.4 Super-Angulon with hood.

There was also some misc. darkroom stuff including an 80mm Schneider Componon.

When one of the baristas at my local Starbucks asked me where would be a good place to buy a used film SLR for a photography class she was taking at college I gave her a like new Minolta X-700.

photovdz
12-07-2008, 09:57
no one ever gave me an "interesting" camera for free., sadly... .. but i'm used to give away olympus om bodies to friend (I buy a bundle because I want that special lens and I end up with one more OM-10, OM-1 or OM-2 on my shelf...) Cheap present, with a lot of potential ;-)

Some weeks ago I gave a IS3000 to the young daughter (15) of a friend for her birthday (couldn't resist to buy it for 20€ in pristine condition on a local garage sale, but decided that one was enough on the shelf)... now she is learning photography...

JohnTF
12-15-2008, 06:53
I thought Roger was giving away free gear...drats;) Anyway I was given a Pentax Spotmatic in bad need of a cla. The mirror would lock up & not return. After taking off the bottom plate I immediately saw the problem. Oiled the moving parts, replaced light seals & it works like new. I was also given a near complete darkroom setup. Durst enlarger, timer, trays, bottles, paper, safelight, & other stuff. I've been quite happy with the free stuff I have got. You know the old saying, One man's junk is another man's treasure. "So send me your junk". Especially if you have a medium format that shoots 120 film laying around.:)

Recommend you haunt the camera shows, last one, a Bronica with prism, two backs and three lenses, $300, I had to restrain myself,

Roger, what about those "too good to pass up deals?", I have a Pentax 6x7 on the bedroom floor, picked up lots of good kit for my muse, model, wonderful student and now accomplished world traveler, mom, and photographer Zuzanna from Prague, Seattle, Cambodia and the world.

The excuse was when something was too good to pass on, I passed it on to her. Have half of a Hassy kit for her now, need a lens and viewfinder for a 500C body with back given to me.

My friend Mindy in the Peace Corps found my old Olympus Stylus Digital to be exactly what she needs, pretty tough well sealed little camera to survive so far.

Regards, John

JohnTF
12-15-2008, 07:17
I had a strobe conversion set up for a Graflex flash that took #22 bulbs. It used the juice from the flash to trigger the strobe, so the trigger unit went in to the socket and the tube went in to it, plus there was some huge power supply about Prius size, talk about Rube Goldberg, it weighed a ton, and I had to hunt for a while to get the bits to make it work.

There was a time when you never really changed systems, you just modified what you had, which was not always practical, like shooting 35mm in Rolleis or Flexarets with adapters.

Another free strobe took one of the hard to find high voltage dry cells, which fit in to the camera unit, which was bigger and heavier than the Busch Pressman to which it was bolted.

Free strobes in the early days were just not too good, most would anchor a cruise ship.

Good free kit, from my friend's camera store, accessories for early Rollei (focusing hood, filters, etc.), and Nikon filters plus black and chrome F non-meter prisms.

Stuff that would, at one time, sit around a shop in the drawer, but now is on ebay in a flash.

Gave away lots of enlargers, cameras, to students.

Look for the yard sale the week after my obit. ;-)

Regards, John

nikon_sam
12-15-2008, 12:49
The first "free" camera that was given to me was/is a Nikon FE w/Tamron 28-70 zoom...I still have it and because I fell in love with the Nikon Brand stemming from that camera's metering ability my Nikon body count is around 10+
Also about two years ago a friend from church gave me a box of Nikon Stuff...in there was a Nikon F2 chrome body w/DP-1 finder, N2020 w/50mm 2.0, FT2 chrome body w/43-86 zoom, four Nikkor F type lenses...24mm 2.8, Nikkor-SC 50mm 1.4, Nikkor-Q 135mm 3.5 & a Nikkor 300mm 4.5
A PB-5 Bellows w/PS-5 Slide Copying Adapter and a MD-2 w/MB-1 (I put that on the F2a I already had)
There were a few other odds "n" ends in there but I can't remember what...
I still have everything except the FT2 w/lens which I sent to a fellow RFFer...

A garage sale find many years ago...Minolta SRT 102 w/50mm 1.7 for $5
I might put that one up in the Give-Away Thread since I have no plans of ever using it...

kid_a
02-19-2009, 12:42
I work at a camera store, and one time a very nice older lady came and dropped by with a case of old cameras that her husband, who had recently passed away, owned. There was nothing exceptionally valuable or with great performance, but I have used everything she gave us, and enjoyed it.

From the lot, I got all the best stuff ( 1- I'm the only one who would really use it, 2 - I was the only one who knew anything about what was worth keeping! ). I got a Rollei 35, which is just a great little pocket camera to bring out with me, an Olympus PEN D, which is great because I can fit 72 photos to a roll (35mm half-frame), and a Canon 814 auto-zoom Super 8 camcorder, which has started me on my latest video obsession.. That's neither here nor there though.

The Rollei and the Oly are fine cameras to bring out to the pub at night, the viewfinders are uselessly small, so I use them like toy cameras. I don't compose, and usually use bulb shutter speed with a flash in hand. Works well in the pub and at night, it creates some very nice exposures! Not for everyone though.

Steve Bellayr
02-19-2009, 13:05
If this is the free site. I do not know. But, anyway...I have 2 Kood step up rings, 27mm-37mm & 28mm-37mm, silver in color. If you can use them and you are in CONUS you are welcome to them gratis.

peterm1
02-19-2009, 13:18
I have been given a couple of cameras but nothing of great merit. My late dad gave me his Minox which badly needs servicing and I have never used due to its condition, lack of film (and to be fair, perhaps lack of interest.) Its of sentimental value though. And a friend gave me a Retina (1a?) Can't immmediately recall the model but (unfortunately) its the one without the rangefinder but nevetr the less its in OK condition and I should get it out and use it - they are jolly nice cameras and i have seen them give good results. I was also given a Retina SLR but in a condition that would never allow it to function.

I did however once meet a guy when I was trolling thru camera stores who had a very nice Canon P. As I kept seeing him at the same stores as me on the same day, it it was obvious that he was keen on old cameras and was doingt he same as me, even before I saw the camera he was carrying. So I got talking to him. Seems an old lady gave him the camera as it was "worth nothing to her." If my memory serves me correct I think he told me that the lady had also had an old Nikon rangefinder and lenses that "were thrown on the rubbish tip" for the smae reason. Ouch - but good luck to him of course for the Canon! At least that was saved.

Chriscrawfordphoto
02-19-2009, 13:44
The hourly rate of return on the work spent producing each article is, I suspect, about as high as sitting cross-legged in the high street with a tin cup in front of you (and of course the obligatory dog with a piece of string for a lead). Frances suspects that the tin cup might be more lucrative...

Cheers,

Roger

Roger,

There is a man in Santa Fe who sits on the sidewalks around the central plaza with a large dog (A Rottweiler, I think) that has a fat tabby cat sitting on its back. A white rat sits on top of the cat, except when the tourists scare it, then it hides under the cat!

http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com/fine_art/portfolio/santafe-snapshots/images/pics/rat-cat-dog1.jpg

The man told me that he makes more money doing that than he would working most of the jobs in Santa Fe, and he even had a license from the city as a "Street Performer" that legally entitled him to ply his trade!

Roger Hicks
02-20-2009, 23:20
Roger,

There is a man in Santa Fe who sits on the sidewalks around the central plaza with a large dog (A Rottweiler, I think) that has a fat tabby cat sitting on its back. A white rat sits on top of the cat, except when the tourists scare it, then it hides under the cat!

The man told me that he makes more money doing that than he would working most of the jobs in Santa Fe, and he even had a license from the city as a "Street Performer" that legally entitled him to ply his trade!

Dear Chris,

Great story! I don't know whether to be cheered or depressed by it... On the whole, I think, cheered.

Nice pic, too. Thanks.

Cheers,

R.

projectbluebird
02-20-2009, 23:48
Most of the free equipment I've received falls into the joyful discovery category. The camera that I learned on (a canon AE-1 that was my mother's, I've still got it!) was given to me because I needed and older, manual camera for class. My first medium format camera (a yashica MAT 124-G) was given to me because, "you like old cameras right? I've got one I haven't used for 20 years"

The best one however, was a polaroid land camera that had been sitting outside in a junkheap for at least a year. After brushing the dirt off, and rigging up a battery, I found out it still worked! It made some of the most distinctive images, I wish I could still get film for it.

Pompiere
02-21-2009, 04:02
Like most, I have been given the box of old cameras from friends and relatives and most of the time they are Instamatics or box cameras. But, my mother-in-law gave me a box of cameras that included her late husband's Argus C3 kit that he had bought during the Korean war. I was glad to spend the time to completely tear down and re-assemble that one so that my kids can have something of their grandfather's.
I was also once given a box that included a Braun Hobby flash that I now use quite often. I don't mind tinkering with cameras, in fact, I find it relaxing and satisfying to get something working again that has sat in a closet for years.

peterpan
02-21-2009, 06:11
Best: 90 yr old Goerz folder, with working shutter. Taped up to prevent light leaks it produced one of my most memorable photos to date, when out 'seeing if it worked' on a frosty morning

Got what I paid for: most of my kit

Worst: a four hours drive each way in a truck to collect a 10x8 enlarger that was rusty and had lenses that were full of mould (been kept in a garage about 50 years I think). Never restored the enlarger 3 years later and use the huge 12 inch lens as a paperweight.

Al Kaplan
02-21-2009, 06:13
a few years ago I got a carton filled with partial boxes of 8x10 paper, about 60 rolls of mostly Iford 35mm film, a few rolls of 120, one gallon packets of D-76, Dektol, fixer, etc. shipped prepaid to me by a guy on another forum who'd crossed over to The Dark Side and was now shooting and printing Printing Pixels.

Another time I'd arranged an even swap with a guy on that forum for my 28mm Elmarit in cherry condition for his 21/3.4 Super-Angulon in cherry condition, both complete with hoods and caps. He emailed me to tell me that my black Elmarit was BLACK PAINT and worth so much more than his Super Angulon that he was also sending me a very clean M2 body!

Al Kaplan
02-21-2009, 06:17
Dang, Peter Pan! Have you considered using that enlarger for making enlarged "contact" sheets? An 11x14 or a 16x20 "contact" sheet is a thing to behold!

LeicaTom
02-21-2009, 06:21
I once knew someone who inherited a box of seemingly worthless cameras, the man`s family almost threw the box out and showed no interest in the cameras..........so they gave it to an nephew and one camera though turned out to be something special and quite historic.

It was a 1944 Leica IIIC K Grey W.H. (Wehrmacht Heer) WW2 German Army camera, with it`s original W.H. Elmar lens. in about EX+ condition (the lens rim needed some work and the camera was dirty) but the paint and engravings were very very nice.

This man contacted me about the camera, I did offer him (over $3,000) for the camera then, but he had decided to let it go to Auction.....it sold in Frankfurt, Germany for over $5,000!

So it just goes to show what`s in some people`s boxes that they want to throw out, it`s best to look inside, you might be surprised! :eek:

Tom

stevencrichton
05-12-2009, 01:36
I think the best free for me have been in order ::

A pentax MX (2, 1 fixed by repeated hitting it on the desk) with 17mm tokina 24mm + 50mm + 40mm + 70-210 + 300mm f4 Pentax's, from my friend's father who used if for many years in documenting the on land sites he excavating. He's a very highly respected underwater archeologist by all accounts, who now is a very happy digital convert.
This was all given away in the end to a friend's wife who wanted desperately to have a camera of her own. Not a bad starter kit all in all :)

next up. My grandfathers voigtlander Brilliant TLR, which is still in use to today. I recently found the pictures of him cairo taken with it and scanned them and distributed copies to the family which raised a few oooh's and ahhh's.

Finally I was given 2 yashica electro's and closeup kits a while ago, but me being me used them. Then gave them away to try to inspire someone else to start taking photos.

I think my least free camera though was a Linhof Technica. Bought after avidly reading someone's book! I ran one film through it, the back was mis-spacing the lens was nothing special and that in my bag was like carrying a brick on my daily jaunt.

stevencrichton
05-12-2009, 01:40
oh ... I forgot ...

The other stunner was when I was at school and got the entire school's retired darkroom, film stocks and polaroid x ray cameras (xray's and kids are sensibly no longer mixed)

I think it took about 2 weeks to clear and probably was 5 rooms worth of things. After 15 years that's the film finally all gone and the last remnant (bar my changing bag and tanks still in use) donated away in the form of a paterson's dome safelight.

That was the motherload score :D

feenej
05-12-2009, 01:59
Mr. Sbug gave me a Minolta 7SII last Summer. I turned around and sold it for $160, then split the cash with him.

Spider67
05-12-2009, 02:27
@Chris Crawford:

great photo and interesting story.

A colleague of mine gave me a big leather case with an Exakta VX 1000, a 300mm Tair, a 200mm Orestor and a 25mm Flektogon + it's huge UV-filter in its original leather pouch.
The 25mm caught me immediately! It's a huge lens!

Damaso
05-12-2009, 02:52
90mm tele-elmarit, so far, so great!

bean_counter
05-12-2009, 04:07
A cousin knew I had Minolta gear, so he gave me his kit when he moved; a non-functional XG-1 (typical capacitor issue), with 45mm and 135mm lenses, and a small Minolta flash.

Dumped the XG-1, didn't need it, wasn't worth tinkering with. 45mm goes out and about occaisionally. Little flash is surprisingly useful.

135 is a cracking portrait lens. A keeper!

Also got two IIIf's from my father; not sure if it was a gift, or if I knicked them... had to put shutters in both, so I guess camera karma caught up with me :o

JohnTF
05-12-2009, 05:07
Passed along a few cameras, too many to count, but have not had to sell the house to pay for them, and I have had my share of interesting acquisitions.

Several enlargers and a mini lab were passed along to schools for what I paid, nada. My photo friend has just finished a degree in photography, and is a very accomplished photographer. Looking for a user 80mm Blad lens and viewfinder to complete that outfit for her, to add to her arsenal. ;-)

Reasonable return on the gift, excellent work.

Regards, John

Michael P.
05-12-2009, 06:09
Just last week my neighbor, who is retired from the newspaper business, gave me an old Mamiya C220 and three lenses. At first I was excited. Then I found that all three lenses have fungus, the normal lens shutter only works on B, the telephoto lens PC synch doesn't fire, and a gasket inside the camera body has turned to sticky gum. I shot and developed a roll of Ilford Pan F that came out OK. The camera works, but it's not what I expected.:( but I have to say that I am grateful nonetheless.

Calzone
05-12-2009, 06:58
I am a lucky guy.

Free Camera Number One: My dad gave me a Voigtlander Bessa I, a 120 folder that had an interchangable mask for 2 1/4 square negatives or 3 1/4x 2 1/4. The value added to this gift is my dad was poor, even though he worked hard his whole life, and didn't have much. I still have this camera, but the lens needs to be taken apart and cleaned professionally. I clouded the lens up by attempting to get the shutter from sticking.

Free Camera Number Two: Nikon F3HP in minty condition. Girlfriend lost interest in photography and kinda gave it to me to use indefinately.

Free Camera Number Three: Found a Contax T-3 by almost stepping on it. It was just laying on the ground in its leather pouch in an abandoned part of Brooklyn. Evidently someone lost it, but I was the luckyone to find it.

Free Camera Number Four: 16mm Bolex movie camera with a lot of accesories. I worked for a big Aerospace company. They were excessing some equipment as junk. The girl in charge was a friend, so I asked her if I could have the Bolex. I told her I could really use the Bolex. I used my good looks and blinked my eyes three times. She caved and handed me the box. Since then, I never did use the camera, but I ended up buying a zoom lense for the rig.

A friend bought a darkroom timer for a dollar and gave it to me. Also just happened to visit The International Center For Photography when the were still in Spanish Harlem. The had a help yourself pile of stuff they were getting rid of. The were moving to Mid-town. I carried about fourty pounds of negitive files, Perhaps a lifetime supply for even a avid shooter like Tom A. After several moves I believe I culled this down, but now I have to check.

Calzone

JohnTF
05-12-2009, 07:19
Just last week my neighbor, who is retired from the newspaper business, gave me an old Mamiya C220 and three lenses. At first I was excited. Then I found that all three lenses have fungus, the normal lens shutter only works on B, the telephoto lens PC synch doesn't fire, and a gasket inside the camera body has turned to sticky gum. I shot and developed a roll of Ilford Pan F that came out OK. The camera works, but it's not what I expected.:( but I have to say that I am grateful nonetheless.

These lenses are not difficult to service, I would consider it, or pass along the equipment to a student, I know one if you are interested.

Regards, John

SergioGuerra
05-12-2009, 09:44
Just last week my neighbor, who is retired from the newspaper business, gave me an old Mamiya C220 and three lenses. At first I was excited. Then I found that all three lenses have fungus, the normal lens shutter only works on B, the telephoto lens PC synch doesn't fire, and a gasket inside the camera body has turned to sticky gum. I shot and developed a roll of Ilford Pan F that came out OK. The camera works, but it's not what I expected.:( but I have to say that I am grateful nonetheless.
Hi Michael, I would be interested on the wide lenses... for a very special price ;)

Regards,

SÚrgio

pesphoto
05-12-2009, 09:51
Ive been given a couple enlargers over the years and other darkroom items, usually old stuff that was sitting around in someone's closet. Most recently, my sister's boyfriend(now exboyfriend) gave me his mom's Konica SLR kit, one camera was DOA, but the other, an FS-1, and several lenses are now being used regularly used by be.