I recently took delivery of what appeared to be a well-kept Canon A-1 35mm SLR from 1983. It was reported by the seller as in good condition but untested. The lens was specifically listed as clean and clear. As you can see from the pictures the lens is far from “clean and clear”.
I knew the camera was untested (I asked the seller and they said that they didn’t have a battery) so I knew that going in. BTW, the 6v A544 batteries that power the A-1 are quite common and available in stores and online. After checking out the camera with a fresh battery I discovered that the light meter display wasn’t working. The shutter speeds sounded accurate but without knowing if the meter was responding I wouldn’t have been able to trust the camera in full auto mode. The camera also had the infamous Canon “squeal” that happens whenever the mirror assembly’s lubrication dries out over time and from sitting unused for long periods. The squeal is not caused by the shutter as some people believe.
Obviously looks can and often are deceiving and in this case, I could have taken a hit. Fortunately, I was able to return the camera. At this moment I’m waiting to receive my refund.
Thanks for stopping by, Chris
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3 thoughts on “Not always as they appear…”
My favorite eBay (non) description is: “Worked the last time I used it.” When I bought a camera with that descrip that clearly didn’t work, it made me wonder when exactly was that last time?
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Agreed! I also like the ones that say they don’t have the batteries (common AA) or that they’re not sure how to check a camera to see if it’s damaged.
True. Both of those are annoying (esp. when we are talking double-triple A batteries) but they imply that what you are getting may or may not work. Whereas when someone says “worked last time I used it”, there’s more an expectation that it should work now, otherwise don’t say that!
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