Lens cap: $3., Working Polaroid SX-70: $35., Free ELVIS cards thrown in the deal? Priceless!

Who knew.
Well, we used to know. Every month in the Pasadena Elks Lodge, all kinds of used gear photography dealers gather and lay out their wares on long tables.

What do they have ? All kinds of camera goods in all kinds of conditions. Brand new, used, VERY used, and that exact thing you were looking for.
Cameras, lenses, film cameras, stereo cameras, polaroid, tripods, brackets, speedlights, case, film, paper, lens caps, hoods, all wet darkroom supplies, photographs, books, DVD’s, etc.
Mostly the prices were pretty good, and like at any swap met, negotiable.

Some folks showed their goods on table cloths, some in display cases, overflowing cardboard boxes, up to elegant plexi cases you would see in a camera store. Most of the dealers are regulars, and we overheard a lot of repeat customers, coming back for more from the same people.
Hmmmm…what else did we see….let’s see…other than the items we bought (yes, the Elvis cards were on the dealers table and we asked for a pack to seal the deal) you can find lenses both film and digital,

How about that Hasselblad you’ve always wanted but the price was too crazy high?
This beautiful 500c/m with 150mm lens and back was only $800! And you know you can rent a digital back for these bodies. If you have interest, we may be able to find the guy again. He had his whole family with him and it was a good feeling from the booth. better be, when you spend that kinda dough.

Stereo cameras,

antique photos, side by side with more lenses and cameras,

Film developing equipment (huge contingency of apparent photo students were on hand, buying up the needed wet darkroom gear )

Now we’d be lying if we didn’t admit there was a lot of pure…well…junk. But one persons junk is another persons treasure to be sure.

Need a filter?

We did go with a list of things we hoped to find. The lens cap we lost, a lens hood that got stepped on and the SX-70 that wouldn’t close. They were on a replacement list.
The other half of the list we never did find. This time.
Why an SX-70? As The Impossible Project is about to bring out new film, we want to be ready.

Years ago, this was a great place to pick up used gear and we did back then: strobes, camera bags, and a lens or 2.

With the onset of online, EBAY and Craigslist the concept of the Camera Swap was, we thought, a lost event.

Remember a few weeks ago we told you about the great thing about the photos mags, the paper ones, that were now incredibly cheap ? The ones that for about $1. an issue you were guaranteed to get your money’s worth?
That’s where we found the listing for the swap. Buried in the back with notices of upcoming events. It was probably Shutterbug.

And there are a bunch in California. Somehow, we’ll bet there are a bunch in your state or country. The camera clubs that used to thrive before we spoke mainly with 1’s and 0’s may still be there in some iteration or another.

Even though there was some digital, it was primarily analog. Plus the stuff that crosses over: light stands, tripods, photographer vests, camera bags. Even some books.
On the last run around the place we saw some lucky person pick up a pristine copy of a Lisette Model book for cheap.

It took a walk once around the place and then, a closer look for the details. In the piles of stuff, there was gold.
For someone.

We did say it was at the Elks Lodge. Can you find it in this shot, watching over the festivities?

$2.00 gets you in the door, and children,Military, and high school students get in free.

When we first crossed into the hall, we were asked if we wanted to sell our DSLR . Nope, we were quick to reply, but we did have a couple of pristine Nikon film cameras we would bring next time.
We were told they’d get about $20-$30 a piece.

When was the last time any of you went to camera swap meet? Want to share experiences?

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