The Pentax 645N is that rarest of beasts, an autofocus medium format camera. I’ve wanted one for a while, especially when my kids were younger and wouldn’t stand still. I missed one on eBay and thought “don’t worry, there’ll be another one along in a minute”. Er, no as it happened. I saw another online, but it was more money than I could justify, so I let the dream die for a couple of years. Then, whilst browsing the internet, I saw one at a good price and bought it. Upon opening the box, the shutter speed dial pinged off (apparently this is a weakness in the design), so before I’d even loaded a roll it went back to the shop for a fix. A couple of weeks and one fix later it was back in my hands.
“Hi, they’ve got a Canon EOS 300 with a 28-105 lens and they want £5 for it. Do you want it?”
Yet another phone call from my wife from the local charity shop (or Charlie shop as my kids call them). I have enough EOS film cameras, I really don’t need another one, but a 28-105 lens (USM as it turned out) for £5? It was too good a deal to pass up, so I asked her to buy it. I figured I’d run a roll of film through the camera and then get rid of it.
Last year, my wife rang me from a boot sale and asked if I was interested in a camera called a Rollei 35. I did a quick bit of Googling and, seeing this glorious collection of levers and dials in such a compact package I said “Yes, please!” I ran over to the boot sale and found my wife near the seller’s stand. She had two identical Rollei 35 cameras that her father had owned. I spent a few minutes just trying to get the back open, there is an art to it! She wanted £25 each for them. I am rubbish at haggling and in any case they looked in good condition, with soft cases and boxes so I bought them both.