Shopping for Classic Cameras
The Rolleiflex 3.5 F will arrive on Friday. Being it is a 57 year old mechanical item, it will likely need a CLA (clean, lube, and adjust), in addition to a new and brighter focusing screen. There are just a couple of qualified repair people in the USA that do this to Rolleiflex cameras, which will mean a four month period without the camera. Will evaluate when I get it this weekend and see what I have. If I am not happy with the cosmetics, I will return it and keep looking-there are many to choose from. So far, I have never been burned on Ebay, by only dealing with folks with perfect feedback and expertise in the area of the items they are selling. I avoid sellers who buy cameras at estate sales and know nothing about the camera and have not film tested it. It is usually apparent in their item description that they do not have a clue about either the item they are selling or the basics of photography. This is especially common with vintage cameras that are often picked up at estate auctions and other arcane places.
I also don't buy from people who do not allow returns, in case there is an issue. I have run quite a number of rolls of film through my Agfa Isolette III since purchasing it on Ebay without issue of any type. It was advertised on Ebay as having been rebuilt by Isolette specialist, Jurgen Kreckel, which in fact it was. One of my lenses, a Schneider G-Claron 150 f/9 eventually required a CLA, a few months after buying it, due to a sticky shutter. As the equipment I love is not made anymore, buying used requires patience and a lot of browsing and reading before clicking the mouse. Know all you can about the camera you are buying and patiently wait for it to appear. The procedure for casting a winning bid is something I will address in a later post-there are techniques that work very well.
The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. "Why," I answered without a thought, "now." ~David Grayson