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 My worst purchase!
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Jacques M.
2454 Posts
Posted - May 30 2021 :  08:48:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Generally, we write here to share our best finds. For that time (and for fun), I propose just the contrary.
Having seen a Leica fake (from Fed parts) with at least a dozen of photos, I decided to buy it.



Yes, much too shiny to be honest. But the shoe was interesting: a Leica's one:


All that was described as working.

Jacques M.
2454 Posts
Posted - May 30 2021 :  09:12:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I checked it, but some days after. And I discovered that the speed dial was badly positioned (1/30th of second instead of Z). I tried to put it in the right position. Impossible: it had been glued on its axle....

And when checking the speeds, I saw a miserable first shutter, ready to tear.

And nothing (= no film plate) under the shutter.


After some mails (and photos), the seller had accepted to refund. But as the taxes and shipping were still for me (and the cam was cheap), I finally renounced. After all, it is a sort of symbol of the worst which can always happen in a transaction. As a sign of peace towards the camera, I have just bought a genuine fake Elmar which will be far better than the genuine original Industar 10...

Amitiés. Jacques.

Edited by - Jacques M. on May 30 2021 09:14:33 AM
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Guido Studer
362 Posts
My Collection

Posted - May 30 2021 :  1:57:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Guido's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bonsoir Jacques, hello everyone

Myself I love such modifications or like in this case such fakes. I own some 20 of them and I don't regret to have bought not one of them. Okay, in the early years when I didn't knew very much about fakes I paid a bit too much for one or another of this cameras. Like a apprentice's premium ...

But my worst purchase was this Zorki-4a a bought from a member of this forum in 2005. I knew him from the German spoken usenet photo group <de.rec.fotografie>. As far as I remember my target was to buy a Leica copy for little money.

Why this purchase was the worst one regarding Russian cameras? It's simple, it was the first of this cameras I ever had in my hands. The second and the third were Zorki-1 and "it" didn't stop to buy such cameras until now. It's a kind of disease I was warned of before.

Best wishes - Guido

PS: I don't add a photo here but I think everyone will know how a Zorki-4 looks like.
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Jacques M.
2454 Posts
Posted - Jun 02 2021 :  09:23:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Ha, ha! Thanks, Guido!
I will tell some words about my first Fed, which was too the worst of "my worsts".
In 1999, I was freshly inscribed on ebay, and I was looking at the Feds (I knew nothing about them). There was a good looking Fed S with its 2/50mm lens. I decided to buy it, just to see.
But paypal did not exist, and I put the amount in an envelope in banknotes (the equivalent of 160€, if I remember), and I sent all that in Russia. The envelope arrived, but it was empty, the seller said.
Mad with anger, I bought again that same camera through Western union, that time. No problem, except that I had paid it twice...

Can anybody compete?

Note that I immediately loved this camera which became my "daily" during a long time...

Amitiés. Jacques
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117 Posts
Posted - Jun 02 2021 :  1:07:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
my worst purchases were lenses, not cameras. it seems that some russian sellers have no idea of clean glass, so I bought some very bad lenses from them.

just a slight correction regarding paypal: they existed in 1999, I'm one of their first customers. the service was paypal then, the company was confinity. they were sold several times and then renamed the company itself to paypal. being an old customer sometimes is a nuisance, the same is true for ebay: you had to inscribe in the US in those days, and from time to time they reset your settings to US customer...

that would not have prevented jacques from paying twice, surely this was not available then in russia.

at least you got a camera after the second payment. I have been cheated completely from time to time. I payed and I got nothing. ebay claimed that the account was hacked and as the payment wasn't paypal, they declined any refund.

www.a7camera.com www.120folder.com www.instantphoto.eu www.135compact.com www.oddcameras.com
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Michael Perkins
United Kingdom
23 Posts
Posted - Jun 02 2021 :  1:21:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is an interesting thread! I've made plenty of bad purchases. Usually they're my own fault: buying a camera listed as "untested" or "don't ask me anything, I know nothing about cameras!" on the off-chance. I get what I deserve. Cameras are pretty easy to test, at least the basics, so "untested" invariably means the seller doesn't want to admit it most definitely does not work!

I've never actually sent a camera back. Once in my hands, it seems a lot of effort to return it when it might have taken a month to arrive. The only case where nothing arrived at all was some flashes from Lithuania. I didn't lose much money on that - and certainly not much sleep!

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Ulrich W.
729 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jun 02 2021 :  2:00:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Guido, hehe. I think I know the guy you have bought your first russian camera from

My worst purchase was a Contax II. The pictures of the auction were blurry and small and it was sold as "not tested". It arrives a totally broken cameras which looks as if it has been under water since years... Rusty screws, viewfinder full of dirt, winding knob does not work. I believed that the seller has not tested it, because it couldn't be tested. I opened the camera, maybe there might be some useful parts, but everthing was broken. So I throwed the whole camera in the dust bin.

Another bad purchase was a Zorki 1 which smells terrible moldy. I unscrewed the lens and inside the camera where a lot of very small psocids running around... I also throwed it away.


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