I'd been good all week, hadn't bought a single camera, but then I read the listings for a local auction house, and it said 'Lot 383 - 2 leather cased viewfinder cameras & Canon lens', so I thought I'd better take a look.
Anyhow, this is what I've now got, a Canon IVS2B with f/1.8 lens
Just like new. Even got a nice Canon 135mm f/3.5 tele to go with it, and a Beauty 35 Super 35mm rangefinder camera as well.
Yes, it really does look just like new, and the price including buyers premium and GST (our VAT or sales tax) was NZ$178, which is about US$150 or just under 100 pounds sterling.
Looking at it, I think it may have had one, or even two films through it, if the owner was very careful with it, but possibly it has never seen any action at all.
The film advance and shutter action are a smooth as silk. I wouldn't have believed a camera could sit idle for fifty-five years and still work like that.
The Beauty Super that came with it was a well-used camera by comparison, with a case that had broken off across a fold. Much what you'd expect really. Both cameras are much the same age, so a real mystery.
I finally found out why this unreasonably shiny camera has been sitting unused for all these years just about thirty minutes ago when I went to load a film. The cassette just wouldn't fit in properly, and the cause was fairly obvious once I knew where to look, the shiny end cap of a film cassette was jammed in the camera.
The cassette end was one of the old-fashioned type about 8mm deep, that's about 5/16" for those of you who don't do metric.
A brief fight using with pliers and tweezers, and the unwanted extra had been removed, and now I've got film loaded ready for the coming weekend.