When we buy used equipment, there is always some type of grading system used to describe the condition it is in. Over the past few years, I've noticed that the grading system has been over-inflated. Is this a trend of things to come. How are we supposed to buy equipment if the description is not accurate?
Recently, I purchased a used Nikon F2AS, with orginal box, papers, and manual. The camera was described as being mint-. Because I've always wanted to get my hands on one, and this one even had the original box with it, I decided to ask "what does mint mean to you?" The reply I got was that the camera had minimal brassing, a small dent by the rewind knob, and was missing the pc sync cover. While this, to me, was not mint-, I went ahead and bought the camera. I couldn't pass up the opprotunity of getting this beauty with it's original box and paperwork.
So, I pose the question to everyone here. What kind of experiences have you had buying used equipment, and did it meet it's grading description?
Film is cheap. Images are priceless.
"Film is Cheap, Images are Priceless."
#1. "RE: Equipment Grading" | In response to Reply # 0Merlin Basic MemberFri 18-Aug-00 04:49 AM
You're right, of course - some people tend to be a bit optimistic when they grade cameras. Mint, to me, means it was taken out of its original box, handled gently for a few minutes, wiped clean of fingerprints, and put back. But let's be realistic, how many F2's - the last of which was built 20 years ago - are we going to find in "mint" condition?
In your case, a dent would disqualify the "mint" classification, but I guess if a couple of hairlines of brass show at the edges could be accepted. Trouble is, these cameras were rarely purchased by the kind of photographers that shoot Christmas pictures, summer pictures and Christmas pictures on the same roll! If you've found a good one, congratulations!
The closest I ever got to getting a "mint" camera was when I found my Nikkormat FT-3 in Holland. I saw it, and had to have it! One day, I'll find the "perfect" F2...
This is my personal condition scale:
1 = defective, repair needed or use for parts only
2 = extremely ugly, more brass than paint, but usable if you don't mind the odd rattle.
3 = not pretty but usable, heavy wear, dents
4 = above average wear, some brassing, all functions OK
5 = average condition, no bad scratches or major dents
6 = above average condition. Well cared for, clean, everything fully functional
7 = excellent condition, could almost be mistaken for new at a glance
8 = just short of mint, but no boxes or packing materials
9 = mint condition, all boxes and handbooks present, but not sealed.
I'm going to try for a "7", but I'll be lucky to find a "6" !
#2. "my two cents" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberFri 18-Aug-00 05:27 PM
My perspective changed when I began thinking of my cameras as tools Rather objects to collect. My first Nikon, bought new, was never used properly due to coddling. Upon buying my second body, the first was religated to "user" status, and thus began being the camera it was capable of. From that point, I made it a criteria to look for brassed, dinged and comsetically flawed, but mechanically perfect cameras.
My cameras of choice are any of the "F" models up to the F3, so all of my cameras are purchased used. Sometimes the "prettiest" cameras have the most potential for mechanical inaccuracies due to non-use. Mechanical shutter need exercise to stay functional and accurate. Therefore, I suprise many camera stores by grabbing the most "ugly" F2 out of the selection at hand. I save a bundle and never fear "using" my cameras.
I have notice, in answer to your origional question, that the rating is fluid, and usually more optomistic by the seller than the buyer. Unfortunitly, as humans are making the call, there is no recourse... it is subjective, not objective. This makes me do all of my buying in person... no suprises.