Here in the community, we often read about how our fellow Lomographers bought a camera at a yard sale or flea market. But how do we know when buying a camera if it is in a functioning state? Here are a few tips about what to look for (or to avoid).
What you need:
- Go to a flea market, or any kind of yard or garage sale of course;
- You might want to bring along batteries;
- Keep your eyes open!! Cameras are often lost among a number of other objects.
So, you are at a flea market or sale and come across a camera you would like to add to your collection, how do you assess if it may work?
1. Check the shutter:
If the camera does not need any batteries, check the shutter still works: it is the first condition to a working camera! If the camera requires batteries, ask the vendor whether he has some, or try the ones you brought if they are compatible.
What I do to check if the shutter is in a good shape is put the camera on Bulb mode (“B”), and open and close the shutter several times. If the shutter does not open or close when you action the button, you probably will not be able to shoot with the camera or be prepared to try and fix it, if you have such skills.
2. Check for fungus
The next step is to check the camera for mushrooms: look through the viewfinder, open the back and check all the camera for fungus.
Fungus is one of the most dreaded things that could happen to your equipment, and is almost impossible to get rid off because it is so small.
What does fungus look like? Here are some photos off Phototuts:
To know more about it, check out this blog post on Phototuts
3. Check the knobs, buttons etc
Check all buttons and knobs are functional, especially the rewind knob!!
4. The most important tip: HAVE FUN!!
Once you have bought the camera, go home, clean it up (Yayoboy recently wrote a nice tipster) about that), and shoot a test roll!! That is the only way to find out if your new camera works properly: the only way to be sure is to shoot a test roll.
Here are some of my latest acquisitions:
What about you, have you bought any new (old) cameras this summer?
Hope you enjoy this little tipster!!
- Tesastscad's tipster: Fix the Sticky-Shutter Problem of the LC-A
- Phototuts+ blog post: “All About the Dreaded Fungus – Lomography Tipster”http://photo.tutsplus.com/articles/hardware/all-about-the-dreaded-fungus-lomography-tipster/?search_index=3
- Yayoboy's tipster: Basic Analogue Gear Cleaning and Upkeep: Take Care of your Third Eye!