Pentax Asahi K1000 SLR 35mm film camera, $5.

Nothing special here, just a nice, vintage 35mm SLR film camera that film photography buffs still actually use. What I really liked about this particular camera is that it's in excellent condition all over. Condition is incredibly important when it comes to older cameras.

Before I continue, I want to mention something interesting about inspecting cameras. This is by no means a foolproof indicator, but it's worth checking out. I've noticed that the bottom of the camera can be a really good indicator of how much a camera has been used and how well it has been cared for. A camera that has been used a great deal, outside of its protective case, will exhibit lots of scrapes and scratches on the soft aluminum bottom. A pristine bottom usually insicates light and / or more careful use.

Another good reason you should inspect the bottom of any camera you're thinking of buying is because many owners had the nasty habit of engraving stuff, like their name or social security number, right onto the camera's bottom. I've seen this plenty of times, so I always check for it.

Introduced in 1976, the Pentax K1000 35mm single lens reflex camera had an unprecedented 21-year production run that ended in 1997. And that means, of course, that there are lots of these cameras hiding out at yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores. People who still take photos with 35mm film apparently love the K1000, too, because they're very brisk sellers on eBay.

Here's a little trivia. Most people have heard of the Pentax name, so they're a little confused when they see the 'Asahi' name on the camera as well. As it turns out, the manufacturer of the camera is Japan's Asahi Optical Company, and Pentax is the name that Asahi assigned to their line of SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. Up until the mid 1970's, Honeywell was the U.S. importer for Asahi cameras, which is why you'll sometimes also see the name Honeywell Pentax on the K1000.

Late in the K1000's production, manufacturing was moved from Japan to Hong Kong and China, during which time several steps were taken to ensure that the camera would be inferior to the Japanese-made K1000 models. The easiest way to spot a Chinese K1000 is to look for the lone Pentax name on the front, without the Asahi or Honeywell. Do yourself a favor and avoid these Chinese models if possible, because your bidders certainly will.

If you're serious about making money on eBay, you simply must familiarize yourself with cameras and related photographic equipment. EBay is chock full of fanatical lovers of film photography, and they're all looking to you to find and list the stuff they want to buy!

This Pentax Asahi K1000 sold on eBay for $81.

Photo of Pentax Asahi K1000 35mm SLR film camera