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Dang prices for RDs & SPs
Old 01-09-2010   #1
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Dang prices for RDs & SPs

After watching, bidding and resisting ridiculous RD and SP EBAY prices for one whole week, I am going take a deep breath and look at other options of shooting in low light:

* use faster film on my RC instead of machine wash C-41 B&W
* use Flash
* wait for the hysteria to subside
* look elsewhere to buy a RD or SP

any suggestions?

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Old 01-09-2010   #2
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You can get a NICE 35mm SLR and 50mm lens for less than people are paying for those crappy little fixed lens RFs these days, its crazy. I know the Olympus RD/RC and the Canonet and the Yashica GS cameras had really good lenses and are fun to use but hell they were the cheap crap cameras of their time and you can get something much nicer for the money these fools are paying for these things now.
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Old 01-09-2010   #3
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Nothing wrong with wanting a 35 SP or RD. They are a fine way to experience RF cameras, especially when they have been serviced.

Be patient, one week is nothing in ebay's market movement time.
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Old 01-09-2010   #4
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The RD's and SP's are nice, but I wouldn't pay their current going prices on ebay... In the meantime, the Konica Auto S2's seem to be going for quite a bit less.

Nothing wrong with wanting a 70's RF, but with the dim viewfinder it may sour you on the RF experience. IMHO, the best value right now for a cheap kit is an old manual-focus SLR and a fast 50mm.

Go to keh.com -- they have A LOT of the those old SLR's for sale. The ones in BGN condition are very good buys.
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Old 01-09-2010   #5
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Old 01-09-2010   #6
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I agree - is speed (or DOF?) is you only issue, look at possibility of SLR with 1.4 lens. If RF is what you want, there are loads of nice sub-f2 FL RF's. Yashica Lynx, 5000 or 14; Petri 7s - just a couple to mention (note, those all are without AE mechanism coupled to release thus having proper smooth release button. There's no fun to use cameras with stiff and long traveling release buttons).
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Old 01-09-2010   #7
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My suggestion is to get a small flash and use your RC with it. I'm using the Nikon SB-22. RC has a very clever flash automation system, you can read the instructions here:

http://www.ph.utexas.edu/~yue/misc/35RC.html
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Old 01-10-2010   #8
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I'm with Chris and others. An SLR is a much better value if you want a fast lens. I can't figure out why these old '70's RF's have become overpriced cult cameras. Back when they were new (yeah, I'm old and remember that time) no serious photographer would have been caught dead with one. Mom and pop snapshot cameras.
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Old 01-10-2010   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
I can't figure out why these old '70's RF's have become overpriced cult cameras.
My guess is that people weren't happy with what P&S (film and digital) cameras had to offer. When they discovered better P&S cameras, and this rediscovered knowledge started to spread around, they became cult and prices started to rise. Simply because there's limited number of this cameras on earth.

And, there ARE certain differences between similarly sized SLR and RF with similar, say, 50/45mm f1.7/1.8 lens.

I may agree that RF's of pre-70's are more solid built, and thus more durable and nicer by feel. Say, Ricoh 500 and 500G are two completely different breeds. For Oly that would be like comparing 35S to later models.
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Old 01-10-2010   #10
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I like the compact size of my Trip and RC.

When I took street pictures, nobody felt threatened by it, it was as small as a large handphone. Carrying a SLR around made the target very self-conscious, the size and shape of the SLR meant serious photography to many of the folks being photographed. (see this for an example of my RC: http://retro.ms11.net/dome-parkway.jpg ).

In many establishments, there is some sort of policy that camera's aren't allowed, somehow the Oly 35xx are exempted while SLR tend to be picked on (of course, this is my opinion only )

Anyway, I'll add one more option to my first post, which is to look for a Sub-2 Rangefinder, of course the G-III comes to mind, and thanks for the suggestion, I will also check out the " Yashica Lynx, 5000 or 14 and the Petri 7s".

I took my Summicron / Leicaflex to mortons bar a month ago, the exposures were too dark, even at f2 and 15 seconds. So instead of C-41 ISO 400, I recently put in a kodak 3200 ISO film (t-max ?) into my Trip to test it out. Too early to tell when I'll use up the roll.

Any other comments on other Rangfinder (GIII ?) vs my precious RC ?

raytoei
(ps. i am a newbie, 3 months ago I thought Canon was a printer company that sold cameras, now I mess around with curtain pinhole tests with my FSU LTM, and my camera collection has ballooned)
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Old 01-10-2010   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
I'm with Chris and others. An SLR is a much better value if you want a fast lens. I can't figure out why these old '70's RF's have become overpriced cult cameras.
Mine cost a fraction of the price of a corresponding SLR or Leica lens, at current low used prices - and there is nothing wrong with a cheap, limited but optically uncompromised camera. At current high prices, matters are of course different - anybody who needs a camera (rather than the umpteenth toy) and buys a Olympus SP at full current rate rather than a F4, RB67 or any other of the serious pro cameras you can now get for the same budget has either been talked into something stupid or is none too smart!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
Back when they were new (yeah, I'm old and remember that time) no serious photographer would have been caught dead with one. Mom and pop snapshot cameras.
That was in the days when the cult of the SLR was as much a religious belief as digital is right now, and when even carrying a Leica would make you the butt end of many jokes. By the eighties, many pros were toying around in public with XA's or Rollei 35's, and the mju generation of AF compacts pretty much put an end to compacts being associated with retards.
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Old 01-11-2010   #12
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Thanks for all the useful suggestions. This is what I did in the past 48 hours.

a. I looked at the various options of Canonet, Yashica Lynx, Minolta Hi-matic and Petri. The Lynx 14 was great at f1.4 but too large, 7SII was highly desirable but again was being bidded up unrealistically, and Petri didn't appeal to me and the Canonet G-III prices was bubble-like. I bidded on a less popular Minolta Hi-matic 9 with a fast 1.7 lens. And I closed the bid at $15 + $6 for SH.

c. I wasn't done yet. ClassicCamera listed a Olympus 35 SP that was selling for $20 + $10 S&H but was "not working properly", I called them up and they told me that the spot meter didn't work but the shutter was okay. I grabbed that too.

So,I am holding my breath waiting for USPS to deliver my fast cameras.

cheers!

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Old 01-11-2010   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The Lynx 14 was great at f1.4 but too large
cheers, Lynx 5000 is the Lynx to carry around.

Petri 7s looks and feels cheap and yet it has BEST shutter release, it's literally feather-like. Yes, better than Lynx has, not mentioning cameras with heavy-and-slow-moving releases to engage AE levers.

Just use what you have got and they will be good picture takers.
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Old 01-11-2010   #14
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Did you look at the Minolta 7s ? It is bigger than it's successor, but the 45mm lens on it is quite good; though I'd suggest a hood as it can flare a little. The chrome ones usually go for cheap on the Bay, but they use the old mercury batteries and the meter has to be adjusted for the new 1.5v ones.
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Old 01-12-2010   #15
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Congrats on your Hi-Matic and SP. Both were bargains. Noone ever uses the spotmeter on SP anyway.
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Old 01-12-2010   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mablo View Post
Noone ever uses the spotmeter on SP anyway.
I think Earl will have something to say about that!
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Old 01-12-2010   #17
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The Konica Auto S16 is another good one. Talk of the lens being "inferior" to its slower brother, the Auto S2, is just that--talk. They're kinda hard to find, but they aren't that expensive.

The Auto S3, however, is mentally disabled expensive.
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Old 01-12-2010   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikku View Post
The Konica Auto S16 is another good one. Talk of the lens being "inferior" to its slower brother, the Auto S2, is just that--talk. They're kinda hard to find, but they aren't that expensive.
Don't know if 1.6 makes any difference to 1.8 lens, though 1.6 versions has hot shoe, if flash is often mounted on.
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Old 01-12-2010   #19
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Here's an arbitrage idea:

* Sell your 35RD for $150+ (see this listing)
* Buy a LEICA LTM cheap (see here )

Wait a few months, enjoy the pictures.

Hopefully by then, the the RD Craze will subside OR when Leica LTMs becomes Crazy again and then sell. Rinse and Repeat.

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Old 01-12-2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Here's an arbitrage idea:

* Sell your 35RD for $150+ (see this listing)
* Buy a LEICA LTM cheap (see here )


raytoei
I did that back in 2004 to finance a Leica IIIf - which I still use. In my case I sold an Olympus 35SP, which I miss and a 35RD.

With regards to fixed lens RF's - you are essentially buying a lens that happens to have a body attached.

With regards to the Oly 35SP - you are buying an outstanding lens that puts most older Leitz and Zeiss glass to shame with regards to resolution and contrast - which is great for color. In fact, the negs can have too much contrast for my taste. You really have to be aware of the lighting.

For B/W prints - I definitely prefer the older Leitz, Zeiss and Rodenstock lenses.

If you are counting dollars and nothing else - a friend purchased a Nikon FE2 with a so, so AI 50/1.8 for a $150 last summer.
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Old 01-13-2010   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btgc View Post
Don't know if 1.6 makes any difference to 1.8 lens, though 1.6 versions has hot shoe, if flash is often mounted on.
Good point, I forgot about that. I actually do find it useful. One warning, however: the Auto S2 and S16 are pretty big. About as big as my OM-2n, but without a pentaprism.
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A different POV
Old 01-13-2010   #22
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A different POV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mablo View Post
Congrats on your Hi-Matic and SP. Both were bargains. Noone ever uses the spotmeter on SP anyway.
When I had my SP (which I now regret selling) I used the spot meter all the time. It was accurate and provided what I considered better 'advice' regarding the exposures I chose.

YMMV (and Mablo yours apparently does! )/ScottGee1

BTW, my name is not Earl!
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Old 01-13-2010   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottgee1 View Post
When I had my SP (which I now regret selling) I used the spot meter all the time. It was accurate and provided what I considered better 'advice' regarding the exposures I chose.

YMMV (and Mablo yours apparently does! )/ScottGee1

BTW, my name is not Earl!
Me too - the spot meter works well.

Incidentally, my Oly RC cost £12 and the SP £25. There used to be many fixed lens RFs coming throught he classifieds at bargain prices, somehwat more Leica/Bessa?Nikon flavour now.

Some of the other less glamorous/cheaper cameras to look out for: Olympus 35LC, Vivitar 35ES (my favourite), Konica Auto S2, Canonet 25, Petri 7S, many Minolta Himatics.
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Success?
Old 01-13-2010   #24
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Wink Success?

Success has consequences . . . this site and Cameraquest may have a lot to do with the increase in demand for 'classic' RFs.

eekbay auctions often link to Stephen's reviews.
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Old 01-13-2010   #25
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Ok ok guys. I'll take it back Next time I have a SP in my hands I promise I'll use the spot meter.
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Just this once . . .
Old 01-13-2010   #26
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Wink Just this once . . .

Well done Mablo; we'll waive the fines for your past offenses and credit you with time served.

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Old 01-13-2010   #27
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Well, this is the highest I have ever seen for an Olympus RD:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...OIBUAA:US:1123

190 USD Including S&H....
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Old 01-16-2010   #28
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....
Petri 7s looks and feels cheap and yet it has BEST shutter release, it's literally feather-like. Yes, better than Lynx has, not mentioning cameras with heavy-and-slow-moving releases to engage AE levers.

Just use what you have got and they will be good picture takers.
It's nice and smooth, until you wind it with that loud "clunk"! I don't think it seems cheap at all. It seems pretty robust. But, yeah, it seems to have a sharp fast lens and the bokeh looks pretty good too; I need to use it some more before drawing too many conclusions, but my biggest beef with it is its size -- quality-wise, I think it's great. And I don't have to worry about batteries.

I'd rather have an RD or SP more for the newer features and smaller size, but I doubt that the quality difference would amount to much. Well, hard to justify $100. But it seems to me that several months ago, SPs could be had for less than that, so it does seem that the going price has gone up.

I think the demand for certain models just emphasizes that people do value the smaller size of some models. The Petri 7s just isn't going to be popular with its manual metered approach. I don't care for that much myself, as I still make too many errors, but I can see where a more traditional photographer would feel fine with it.

As for the RC, what else is as small, and has both manual and metered (shutter-priority in this case) modes?

Just before I first started looking at rangefinders, apparently Ken Rockwell came out with an article praising the RC. The prices, perhaps coincidentally, went higher. Meanwhile, not seeing KR's article, I read other articles about how cheap the RC was and what a good bang-for-the-buck it was, but yet I didn't see those cheap prices! Four months too late, I guess! But then I picked up and old junky one with some minor flaws for cheap, so it's not so bad. Even crappy-looking cameras can manage to make beautiful photos.

Anyway, there are alternative bang-for-the-buck choices if you are willing to compromise here and there.
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Old 01-16-2010   #29
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It's nice and smooth, until you wind it with that loud "clunk"! I don't think it seems cheap at all. It seems pretty robust. But, yeah, it seems to have a sharp fast lens and the bokeh looks pretty good too; I need to use it some more before drawing too many conclusions, but my biggest beef with it is its size -- quality-wise, I think it's great. And I don't have to worry about batteries.
I agree - winding department on Petri 7s is somehow distracting, and that "clunk" makes whole business looking like it has internal error, though it's by design. I had wrote how to silence it a bit.

Also agree on lens, it compensates what I called cheap feeling. Turn aperture and speed rings, material for me doesn't look too solid, and feeling when speed ring is turned, also lacks smoothness. Everything works, just like cheaper built car moves you from place A to place B.

Viewfinder has nice contrast, guess because of green sheet over RF window, that's called Green-O-Matic; I like VF a lot, just RF patch isn't large enough, though still usable.

I don't have Petri Color to compare build quality, though owners report it's more solid built than 7s model. For me it's like Yashica Lynx models feel more substantial than full-sized Electros, later GSN especially. World changed, companies had to make cameras cheaper, nothing extraordinary here.

To add on Oly, beater 35RC is my only Olympus RF camera. I like it's size, off-the-top multi-pass advance lever, and how pictures come out.

Shutter release gets improved a lot by release attachment.
Aperture ring is too narrow and too close to body, because Auto mode were designated as general way to use camera. Thus shutter speed knob was designed to be accessed easy and fast as main exposure control.

Don't know if it's only my camera, though focus ring on front on lens can easily turned off position. I'd like focus ring to be more dampened.
It's nice carry around camera, if I don't need large apertures or slow speeds.
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Old 01-16-2010   #30
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Don't know if it's only my camera, though focus ring on front on lens can easily turned off position. I'd like focus ring to be more dampened.
Seems to be no bug but a feature - I have 2 RC's doing that. I'd like it more damped, too.

But otherwise they are fine cameras, very good lens and pretty accurate AE.
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Old 01-16-2010   #31
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Don't forget the thrift/opshop/charity stores. I've got most of my rangefinders from there and the best thing is you can see they have come straight from the original owners and have not been "hacked" with as some of my evilbay specimens have been. Oly RC $20, Yashica CC $10, Canon GIIIQL17 $10, Yashica Lynx 14 $10 - all working perfect.
On the Oly side, there is also the EC and the DC, both electro types though and no manual controls. Nice though.
These rangefinders have a charm and seductive appeal of their own thats hard to explain (gulp).
An OM-1, I concede is often the more practical choice. But then more so is the Canon G9, and then to my Nokia with a Zeiss in it.
There's something else involved but I'm not sure what it is.
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Old 01-29-2010   #32
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Don't forget the thrift/opshop/charity stores. I've got most of my rangefinders from there and the best thing is you can see they have come straight from the original owners and have not been "hacked" with as some of my evilbay specimens have been. Oly RC $20,
Sounds good, but I've had poor luck at thift stores. Finally found something, but seems broken-- had better luck elsewhere. Oh well. Maybe someone else around here is more persistent than I am?

Quote:
...
These rangefinders have a charm and seductive appeal of their own thats hard to explain (gulp).
An OM-1, I concede is often the more practical choice. But then more so is the Canon G9, and then to my Nokia with a Zeiss in it.
There's something else involved but I'm not sure what it is.
I guess I can't say I'm "seduced", but I am fascinated. Although it seems to me that a digital replacement should be possible, I'm not sure that the g9 is it. Close?
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Old 02-15-2010   #33
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Well...another record breaking price. $286!!!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Rare-OLYMPUS-35-...item20af654eac

I was in on this bid, but lost out obviously. Are we anywhere near the peak yet? I'll come back to ebay in a few months, I guess. Way to hot now
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Old 02-15-2010   #34
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Well...another record breaking price. $286!!!
hm...it's just one of those FL RF with sub-f2 lens. I wonder. But I like this, this means I could sell some of my cameras.

Look at frontal picture, does aperture just looks without a blade or two?
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Old 02-15-2010   #35
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I could sell mine.
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Old 02-18-2010   #36
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I could sell mine.
Now, that's one good looking camera
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Old 02-18-2010   #37
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I've a tale of my own for this thread!

Was in Paris last year browsing along boulevard beaumarchais, you can't walk 10 metres without walking into a camera shop full of film cameras. I was looking for something cheap and cheerful and probably overpaid for the Olympus pen EE-2 I bought.

Anyway, while hunting I had a look at a 35RD and the store owner asked if I wanted to make an offer "it is fully guaranteed, fully refurbished, €375 is my price but make me an offer"

I politely declined!

I also managed to get an Olympus 35DC recently on the bay for €55
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Old 02-18-2010   #38
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I could sell mine.
$287!! I bid $287!!!



Seriously, that's a handsome cam! Do you carry a print of it in your wallet?
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Old 04-05-2010   #39
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: England
Posts: 52
I foolishly missed out on a 35RD on Epay recently that went for £27 with a sticky shutter - I should have bid a little more...!

There are bargains out there - just keep looking.
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