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Brandon L Douglas said on February 19th, 2019 at 7:52 am :

So, I have a (rather) simple question. First off, I really enjoy the content of the canonfd.org website. I have an expansive collection of the A series cameras, I shoot with the regularly and I work on keeping them well maintained. They have suited me for years, my favorite is the AL-1 for reasons that I am sure that you are aware of.

Now that the long introduction has been concluded, my question is, I have been looking into the F series, specifically the F-1 (new) and I have been looking online. My first go-to resource is keh.com. However, though much of what you have written, I am beginning to find it is quite the scarce camera.

I am trying to determine by visual inspection of photographs of images taken to sell cameras what the F-1 looks like, compared to the F-1 (new). I honestly am unsure of what I am looking for. Additionally if there are any other reputable shops online to search for this camera.

I am sorry if this was so much to read, I am sorry for the spelling and grammar issues.

Submitted with thanks,

Brandon L Douglas.

Dec 5, 2015 | Tips to buying cameras at flea markets

In building up my collection of Canon cameras I often get the asked how expensive a hobby like that can be. It turns out — not so much — since I go to flea markets and second-hand stores to find camera bodies. It is true that camera bodies are cheaper than lenses, so your mileage will vary depending on your interests, but hopefully this gives you a rough guide based on my experience with the Ooi-keibajo Flea Market here in Tokyo and the Helvetiaplatz one in Zurich.

Tip #1: avoid the stalls that only sell cameras

Buying cameras at a flea market

These stalls are usually owned by people who know the appeal of cameras and lenses and are out to make a small (or possibly larger) profit. The stall in the photo above was one such example, and you can notice the little price stickers too — another warning sign. Usually these stall owners are unlikely to bargain, too, so you’re almost certainly buying at a markup.

Tip #2: just because the camera viewfinder is open or the lens is exposed doesn’t mean it’s bad

Buying cameras at a flea market

Certainly you ought to look for cameras that are sold in cases, but even then that’s not always a given, since sellers might ask for a premium on the account that there is case, when in fact the camera within the case is really just a junk. On the other hand, you can find really pretty cameras that are only lightly used if you look around carefully. For example, the AV-1 above (which I really should have bought, in retrospect) is both beautifully functional and rare, since it’s a full black body.

The checklist I go through:

Buying cameras at a flea market

Tip #3: lens filters are a blessing in disguise

Buying cameras at a flea market

A lot of the most beautifully kept lenses and camera bodies I’ve found at flea markets have had lens filters. This is a good sign on two fronts — first, the original owner cared enough about the camera and the lens to buy a filter for it, so that the lens wouldn’t get scratched, and two, the lens filter helps protect the lens from the not-so-friendly or not-so-knowledgeable hands that come by the market.

Tip #4: do your research before going

This is a bit obvious, but not all cameras are worth paying for. The AE-1 Program is a dime a dozen at flea markets, so if you’re at a sufficiently large market, you can shop around and spot a couple of these and compare prices. You’ll never know what you can find at a flea market, which is definitely part of the fun!

Buying cameras at a flea market

I bought the above Canon AF35ML Super Sure Shot (1981) for 400 JPY (~$3).

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