Visit a Cheap Antique Store and Purchase a Camera
Many towns have a cheap antique store. Keep those stores alive. Find the cheap antique store in your town and buy an old camera from them. When those stores are gone, it will be a lot harder finding old SLRs and rangefinders in your town.
Cheap Antique Stores on North Broadway, Chicago, IL
If you read my blogs and dig on the Internet you’ll find my favorite cheap antique store in Chicago. I’ll give you a hint: in the daytime you’ll find two life size statues of the Blues Brothers in front of the store.
Today I purchased a Yashica FX-3 and Pentax K1000 at my not so local antique/junk shop (I only visit when I’m in the neighborhood for some other reason, it’s seven long Chicago miles from my home). It’s not really an antique store and its not really a junk store. It’s kind of like an ongoing garage sale in a store.
Mechanically, both cameras worked just fine without batteries. A 50mm lens came with each camera. I thought the Pentax lens had two small scratches and the Yashica lens had a small case of fungus. At home, with my cleaning supplies, both lenses cleaned up nicely. So I have two great little cameras.
They wanted $38 for both cameras priced separately. I offered to buy both and they said $35 was their price. I asked them to toss in the 80-200mm zoom lens that I found that looked like it was for a Minolta. A deal was made. Two cameras with 3 lenses for $35. I think it was a good deal all around.
Four Cameras from one Cheap Antique Store
Canon FTb – $15
I love this 40 year old camera. It was the first camera I purchased at this store.
The lady behind the counter thought it was $20 but the owner on the phone said sell it for $15. A beautiful piece of Japanese engineering with the user friendly QL (quick loading film system). I could easily be happy just owning this one camera. Read my Canon FTb review for more information.
Minolta SRT 100 – $20
I’ve come to like the incredible solidity of my Minolta SRT 100.
Every month or so I visit this store on North Broadway in Chicago, IL to look for cameras. On my second visit I found a Minolta SRT100 in fine mechanical shape. Most people are busy searching for Nikon and Canon cameras and I think the ancient Minolta SLRs get overlooked. I offered $20 for this fine old camera with its fast Rokkor 1.7 50mm lens in fair to good condition with filter. Read my Minolta SRT 100 review for a longer write-up with photos.
After two unsuccessful bids on the Yashica FX-3 the ladies in the store and the owner accepted my 3rd offer: About $15. I think it was Matt Denton’s Yashica FX-3 write-up where I first started looking for the FX-3. It’s not a great camera in itself but you can use Zeiss made lenses with it.
Today, June 1, 2012, the Pentax K1000 was sitting on the camera shelf. I already owned one of them but I always feel obligated to check out a classic camera whenever I see one. Everything seemed fine. Shutter speeds worked correctly and it came with a 50mm lens. At $20, I thought it was a good buy.
Buy a Camera Today at your Local Cheap Antique Store
In Chicago you can always find antique stores that are neatly laid out with cameras inside glass shelves with prices that are crazy. When someone is selling a beat up Petri 7 rangefinder in a glass display case for $60 you know that store isn’t for you.
Look for a crammed, cheap antique store where you need to carefully walk through the crowded aisles. If the store looks like a great garage sale you can become hopeful. If you find a few shelves crowded with Polaroid cameras, a few Kodak Brownie cameras, and one or two heavy metal SLRs or rangefinders, hold your breath.
You’ve found your new, favorite, cheap antique store for cameras.
Thanks for visiting What is a Film Camera today.