More shopping

I haven’t posted for a while. Been busy taking pictures, if that’s any consolation…

Anyway, it is time to admit that I have Gear Acquisition Syndrome, but it is not the conventional sort, and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s pure luck.

A while ago I engaged in the dangerous activity of browsing for interesting clutter at a nearby antiques store called Otto’s Allgemeinwarenhandel. I know it’s dangerous, and I almost always come away with some knick-knack which, while I have a use for it, I may or may not actually need.

I asked the proprietor whether she had any old cameras — she often does — and she said she had a beautiful old camera, a 1951 Rolleiflex Automat in good condition, with original box, leather Bereitschaftstasche and owner’s handbook, for sale on commission, but the seller wanted a lot of money: N$7800. Indeed the price was a lot of money, and the camera is in need of an overhaul sooner or later, as the shutter is suffering from ‘sitting-on-a-shelf-itis’ and the slow speeds sometimes stick. She said the price had been gleaned “from E-Bay” — a sure recipe for valuation disaster, in my opinion. I said I’d go away and research the real value.

A little research later, and I found that the real value of the camera should be more like N$1500. I went back and said so. The proprietor said she’d contact the sellers, and then let me know.

Time passes. An acquaintance tells me he has a pile of darkroom equipment I can have; I must just collect the box from his house. I do so. At the bottom of the box is a Voigtländer Avus 9×12 plate camera, dating from around 1925…

Voigtländer Avus 9x12

The shutter is defective, but distinctly reparable, the bellows seem to be in good condition, but the ground glass holder is shot, and there aren’t any plate holders. All of these things can be remedied. I’m now pretty sure that this is my oldest camera.

And the antique store lady phoned back. The seller had agreed to my offer, so now I have a 1951 Rolleiflex Automat with a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 75mm f/3.5…


About lidlesseye

Mouthing off about photography, and occasionally important things too.

Posted on August 15, 2008, in Photography. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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