Thrift shopping photographer finds a Canon lens worth $1400 for $7

A photographer describes the joy he felt at finding a 50mm f1,2 lens for sale at a Portland thrift shop. The keen-eyed deal seeker had been watching this location, where he knows Goodwill sends all its area camera donations. The lens marked at $7 is a super deal.

The 50mm lens is one of the most useful around. Referred to as a Normal lens, because it nearly reflects what the average human eye sees, I have not taken mine off my Nikkormat in years.


"Here in Portland, Oregon, they send most of their camera donations to this one superstore on the east side, but they save all the high-value items for their online auction site," Luke tells PetaPixel. "I've been shopping there consistently since 2014, mostly for film cameras to sell on my side business @filmsupplypdx, and I never really have seen any good digital cameras or lenses before that day."

"I didn't immediately get my hopes up, since I've seen dozens of those fake Canon lens mugs, but I grabbed it from under the pile of donations and realized it was actually a 50mm f/1.2 L series lens!" Luke says.

The lens weighed 1.3 pounds — clearly too heavy to be a mug — and had the solid feel of a professional camera lens. The bottom cap of the lens had a Goodwill price tag that read "Home Entertainment $6.99." And taking off the lens cap revealed high-quality glass rather than an empty space for drinks.