Film cameras costing as much today as they did two years ago

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ted_smith, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    In 2008, I bought a second hand Nikon F5 from one of the retailers of Amazon.co.uk. Back then, in 2008, it cost me £359.

    I figured that with the continuing advance of digitals (the D3, D3s to name but a few), film cameras like the F5 would continue to decline in price (I realise the F6 is still sold as new by Nikon so I wouldn't expect it's price to drop). I was hoping so as I'd like to buy another F5 - I love mine so much and would like to have a second. Having had a look at amazon.co.uk again today, in June 2010, two years after I bought my first F5, I find them to be more or less the same price though. I realise two years is not a massive time lapse, and we've had a global recession etc, but still - I'd have expected an F5 to be the lower end of £300 at least by now.

    Should us film shooters take this as a good sign I wonder? It suggests to me that in the last two years, the demand for film cameras like the F5 has not declined, or is it just that the F5 is famed for being so good that it is holding its price? Is that fair, and have others found this to be the case, or not?

    Ted
     
  2. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    I notice pro film camera tends to hold their price better. Not the case for say, F100 which is actually a stripped down F5. Probably the buyer segment for this class shift their focus to pro model. That's why pro model's price stays with the expense of the lower type market.
     
  3. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    Your surprise is based on the assumption that the F5, as a member of a once-dominant but now niche class of product, should be steadily dropping in value. If you back up and track the changing values since the inception of the model, this might generally be true, but the decline is by no means linear and predictable, and nor should it be really. There's going to be periods of price stability, and even spikes of increase here and there. There's also certain limits to how far prices will fall so long as Nikon still exists and still makes F-mount lenses.

    Even if total demand for film cameras shrinks, so long as there is a market for film and film cameras, I suspect demand for models like the F5 isn't going to erode at a linear pace because the factors contributing to an F5's desirability don't really change over time, nor do the tastes of those who would be interested in the first place.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I've noticed demands for manual focus nikon lenses stays very strong. No surprise high end film bodies are strong either. I think it's a good sign. I too would like an F5, but can't get one right now.
     
  5. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    One thing that kept demand for manual focus lenses high (Nikon for sure, and to some extent Canon FD) was the release in the last few years of a lot of adapters for such lenses to be used on video cameras. Such cameras, with their tiny sensors, have nearly infinite depth of field with almost all focal lengths, so these adapters (sometimes generically referred to "DOF Adapters") allowed videographers to have the kinds of perspectives and shallow depths of field previously only known to 35mm movie cameras and still photographers. I wonder if, with the release of Digital SLRs that can take movies, the demand for these adapters, and thus for older manual focus lenses, will slack off a bit again?

    Duncan
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Sony is releasing a video camera that will have interchangeable lenses in their new "E" series with an optional adapter for the A mount Minolta AF lenses. That means the market for these lenses will be greater, thus demanding higher prices.
     
  7. Scott_Sheppard

    Scott_Sheppard Advertiser Advertiser

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    Ted:

    The ONLY advancing market in analog photography is the Wedding and Portrait segment.

    As the F5 is overkill for most other uses, It still has strength in the W/P sector.

    Also it is the HIP deal right now to shot film and hipsters with $$ are gobbling up these cameras as they are 1/20 the price of Digital.

    Thanks

    Scott
     
  8. taulen

    taulen Member

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    Dont know, seems you can get good prices sometimes, for example, there is a F5 for sale in Norway atm. for 200£, and it looks really good, no tear and wear as I can see. So you can probably get some good deals if you can wait it out.
     
  9. Carl V

    Carl V Member

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    Some Nikon 35mm bodies even cost as much to buy second hand as what they were selling for when they were new several years before. I only refer to dealers here in the UK, but the last new price for the FM2n back in 2001 was about £400 for a chrome body, and around £20 more for the black finish. Today, mint condition examples of these bodies fetch virtually the same price. The same goes for the FM3a. They still command a high price even though they were discontinued in 2006.

    Nikon's manual 'ai' and 'ais' lenses tell the same story.
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You have to factor in the value of the currency for then and now.
     
  11. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Film Cameras costing as much as they did 2 yrs ago

    For people interested in using film cameras the supply of properly working ones keeps dropping. The better mechanical ones are not falling as much in price as the electronic ones because mechanical cameras can probably be kept going longer. I like using an FE or FE2 but at some point they will stop working and I will use mechanical Nikkormats instead.
     
  12. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Any product will have its bottoming-out price. Maybe that's the one for the F5.

    I bought it new when it came out...a helluva lot more than a few hundred, let me assure you.
     
  13. film_man

    film_man Member

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    For starters, the Amazon marketplace is generally overpriced for second hand photo equpiment, at least in the UK. For example, they have EOS 3 bodies for £250 on right now. I bought mine for £67 on ebay and the usual closing price is £90-100. Camera shops like mifsuds will sell you one for £150, including a few months warranty.

    Also, the depriciation of film equipment jumped when digital first showed up. Everyone started selling their film cameras. Prices dropped and dropped and dropped until pretty much everyone sold their film camera and got a digital one. The trade nowadays is mainly between film users which kind of stabilises the prices.

    Also, as said, the top level cameras have kept their value while everything below them has tumbled to pennies. For example, F5 and EOS 1V bodies go for £250-500 depending on condition. The next one down, F100 and EOS 3 bodies go for £100. The next one down, F80/whatever and EOS 30 go for £50. The next one down goes for £30. So it is a bit of a game of diminishing returns. If someone is buying a film camera they'll most likely go for the top of the range. If you want to save some money go for the nex down. Anything below and it is not really worth!

    If you really want another F5 have a look at camera shops instead of Amazon. There are a few F5 bodies in places like mifsuds or ffordes for less than £300. Grays in London has one for £285 with a year's (!!!) warranty.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2010
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If you need the camera as a professional tool where "break-downs" are unacceptable such as weddings then Grays' are worth a look. It generally charges more but prides itself on top class fully inspected merchandise, Remember Grays' lives or dies by Nikon so needs to protect its reputation. A year's warranty which I think extends to 18 months if you are a member of the Nikon Owners Club may be worth the extra price which makes the price above very attractive.

    pentaxuser
     
  16. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Always a pleasant experience to deal with Grays' also.
     
  17. Carl V

    Carl V Member

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    I've bought lots of items from Grays over the years and have nothing but praise for them. They're not necessarily the cheapest dealer in town, but they do stock some lovely mint condition cameras & lenses and you do receive a good service.
     
  18. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member

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    I suspect one reason the F5 has not dropped in price in comparison to other models of film cameras could be that it can operate the newest Nikon lens features, e.g. the G and VR.
     
  19. likemarlonbrando

    likemarlonbrando Member

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    it seems like the market bottomed out about a year ago. I got my f5 at that time from keh for US$280! now its over 400 there.
     
  20. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    When Russia (or Iran or Al Qaida or whoever) explodes their secret electronics killing Electro-Magnetic-Pulse weapon in the stratosphere, we'll be the only ones able to photograph the aftermath. All those digital cameras will be fried. Of course, we won't be able to share our stuff on APUG anymore...
     
  21. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I actually feel like film is going through a phase like a butterfly. The butterfly film once was died for time when digital became totaly dominant but a new catipillar was born and is going through a cacoon currently where the older generation, being like the catipiller is dying off and leaving us and a butterfly of young people shall come out bringing film back to glory. I have seen many very young people actually picking up analog gear recently. Many of them actually have this understood opinion that film is always better but digital is just what people shoot today. They seem to say that film is amazing quality....I don't know....Kind of interesting....I have noticed film gear prices also remaining stable....
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I started buying Hasselblad lenses three years ago the prices were still slowly dropping. Once I got my four lenses the prices started to rise. The cost of the SWCs and XPANs started moving up first and faster. I bought my SWC last summer and the prices have continued to rise. I have about all the Hasselblad equipment of which I would get reasonable or good use so now I am looking at LF in hopes the LF prices do not start rising soon.

    Steve
     
  23. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    The high end film cameras will retain their value and probably will go up from now on since there is no substitution and they are cheap compared to the alternative digital cameras that replaced them.
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ted, the F5 was, according to some, the last great Nikon SLR. Their next offering certainly created a lot of buzz but not as much enthusiasm from F5 users as one might expect, for various reasons. I recall being at B&H and inquiring about prices of various models, about a year or so after the F6 came out, and the prices for the F5 were still very high and actually went up after the F6 was introduced.
     
  25. film_man

    film_man Member

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    I think there will be a period of a few years where prices for cameras like F5/1V bodies, XPans, Contax 645s and other such high end electronic stuff will remain stable and then they might actually start increasing as the ones in circulation will start dying and nobody will be able to repair them.
     
  26. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Interesting, so do you know if this is driven by workflow, technical advantages, cost, or simply just a bunch of Jose Villa wannabes?