JOHN Pitt is the man who keeps us in the picture when it comes to valuing some of the rarest items for sale on our eBay site.
A lifelong camera enthusiast, John is the man who takes a look at all the cameras donated to St Luke’s for sale.
“I am not in any way a professional but I have just always loved cameras and photography as a hobby and I am also a member and co-founder of a small Facebook based photographic club called the Photographers Group,” said John.
It was an introduction through that group that led John to start testing and fixing the many old cameras that are donated to us.
He’s now been volunteering for more than three years and is known quite simply as the St Luke’s Camera Man.
Every week John visits our Donation Centre to pick up donated items and then takes them away to get them ready for resale.
“At home I check each item to see if it is working and this usually involves fitting or charging batteries, checking the lenses for the presence of mould, dust or scratches, testing and examining each item and then separating them into working or faulty categories which are dealt with separately,” he explained.
Sometimes it is possible to repair faulty equipment - it’s often as simple as cleaning and lubricating - but other times parts need to be purchased or taken from other equipment and I have on occasion been able to make one good camera out of two faulty ones.
“Working items are then valued by checking the values of similar items that have sold on eBay.
“Low value items are returned to the shops after being labelled as tested and working.
“Higher value items - anything over £15 - are prepared for sale on eBay, which includes taking pictures and writing a detailed description.”
And for John, all the work is worth it as it gives him a chance to support a favourite charity.
“St Luke’s is fantastic and I get a great deal of pleasure from being part of it, even though it’s in a small way,” he said.
“I also get a great pleasure from handling and working with so much different, and sometimes very old equipment.
“It’s a win win situation and long may it continue!”