Monday, October 18, 2021

Tale of a Film Star

This past Thursday my wife and I went on a walk around the neighborhood. We happened to come upon a garage sale, and, being good neighbors, took a look around. 

The home owners were a very young couple who were selling the type of general brick-a-brack that one finds at these types of sales

 And then I spotted a white box with some camera equipment. I asked how much they wanted and after a brief discussion between them as to whose grandfather had owned it (they both thought it was the other's grandfather. They never really agreed on where it came from) they came up with the priestly price of 25.00. 

I have a couple of Yashica cameras already and I've always been impressed by their quality. The lenses are particularly good. I own an SLR FX 3, and a TLR Yashica Mat 124 mid format camera. This new camera would complete my trio!

I had no cash on me, but I walked home and soon returned and traded for the box. The box contained more than I thought! Here is the tour...

This is a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. It's a rangefinder camera that was made from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. This one is a later one that was purchased new in 1980.

A closer shot shows the UV filter. The camera is dead mint and looks as if it was hardly used. When I first looked at it I wound it and discovered it had film in it. I rewound it and gave it to the sellers.

Interestingly, it came with this close-up attachment. This is a pretty rare piece and typically sells for more than I paid for the whole box. Everything came with the original boxes and instructions.

This is the leather pouch the close up attachment is stored in.

It came with this Vivitar flash unit. Interestingly, this unit is no longer recommended for electronic cameras because the hot shoe attachment draws so much current that there is a chance it can damage the camera. I have other flashes I can use, however, and other non electronic cameras that can use this flash. By the way, the batteries were removed from everything before they were stored. 

Again, everything came with its original manual.

This is the box for the UV filter that is on the camera. It has the plastic storage disc inside.

Even though this is an automatic camera, it never hurts to know what your light conditions are. This light meter was included.

As was the box and manual, of course.

Speaking of manuals, here is the camera manual. Everything, even the paper manuals, is in mint condition.

Here we have a cable release and a photography book. Again, perfect condition.

These are the misc. manuals and receipts.

Here is the other side of the baggie.

I added up the prices the original owner paid and it came out to over 260.00. That was a chunk of change in 1980. It makes me a bit sad that everything looks like it was never really used. This was really wonderful equipment.

But, you know what? It still is! And I'm going to make sure it gets used and appreciated! After the next 40 years it might not look in as great a condition, but it will have stories to tell!

Heck, I'm even thinking about buying an enlarger...

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!



  1. Stu, I’m eating lunch now with my dad and showed him this post, which he enjoyed. One of his favorite topics. He said you sure did find a treasure and knows you’ll have fun. You’ll have to post some future pictures you take with it.

  2. I sure will!
    I'm proud that an expert like Lou agrees with my bargain! I can only wish to be as good as he is!
    Tell him thanks!

  3. Neither of them knows whose Grandpa owned it? You've just bought yourself a haunted camera, my friend. "Dead mint" is more appropriate than you thought!

    1. I wondered what that clicking sound was all night long...
      Does that mean I don't have to use the timer? It can just take the pic by itself!

    2. Makes you wonder what was on that roll of film!

  4. Stu, this post reminded me that I am sitting on 3 OLD rolls of undeveloped film—that I plan to bring to a film developer, this week, if I can find a good one (most have closed for good). Two rolls were in my dad’s old cameras and one is mine—from a novelty camera that took four pictures per frame/negative. I’ll let you know if there are any surprises. Mine won’t be a surprise, as I know it’s from a trip to Missouri—ages ago. Am hoping my dad’s develop OK.

    1. Very Cool!
      I feel you on the finding a lab to process them. I have several rolls myself. The problem is that the labs I've found charge an arm and a leg just to do "process only" and I have no idea what (if anything) is on the rolls.
      I'd love to hear what you find!
      Say hi to Lou for me!

  5. My dad was a firm believer in only using good labs—never the chain stores. Many years ago I was at a Walgreens Drug Store and overheard a lady, who was at the counter picking up her photos, scream out, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T FIND MY SAFARI PICTURES?!”

    I will definitely say hi to my dad—I’ll see him tonight.

    1. Yikes! That's not good! It's not like your're going to jet right back over and snap a few more!


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