Wanted: Prescience for the future values of camera and lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by David Lyga, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Who, of those who have been following this genre for (decades perhaps?) can offer a vision as the the resale values of 35mm SLRs and lenses in the years and decades to come.

    This is a tough question but: Have we hit bottom? I am talking about pedestrian models like the Pentax, Minolta, Canon, Konica (etc) mechanicals or electronic, pre-AF; the stuff from 1960 to about 1985.

    Like the LP (vinyl), this stuff never truly dies because it is so very flexible and understandable. Offer opinions. Brainstorm. - David Lyga
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I loaned my Chrystal ball out, only comment is that LP are still being made in small numbers as are turntables, with 35mm, only a few are still being made, if 35m film ceases production then all a 35mm camera is is a paper weight.
     
  3. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    People collect all sorts of things that cannot be used, so the lack of availability of film will not necessarily be fatal to the price of cameras. Some cameras are nice things in their own right - exemplars of excellence in both design and manufacturing. I would like to have my Voigtlanders and Exaktas even if I could not use them.

    Of course, supply is going to dwindle over decades. I can see my cameras going straight into the rubbish bin when I pop my clogs. So, I suspect we are at or close to bottom with prices, at least for the better designed cameras.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Prices/values are on the rise after a period of free fall. I bought an M3 Leica back in the mid 1980's at first it's value drpped because of digital but it's now worth more than I paid.

    Way back in the 1990's an article in the BJP predict that the value of film cameras would drop drastically and few new film cameras would be made because there would be a surplus of second hand cmaers etc in excellent condition.

    However we are now probably at or past the tipping point and the most desirable film cameras are increasing in value. So my M3 is now worth more than when I bought it.

    Not all cameras and models have risen but they will.

    Ian
     
  5. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Bottom? Hardly.
    Lenses seem only on the up lately, but depends what you go for, the best are rising.
    Takumars and FD lenses were getting junked for almost nothing 5-10 years ago. Now good luck getting anything (except maybe a 50-55/1.8) under $100. I've seen FD 85mm f/1.2L lenses go for $800, and version 1 EF 85/1.2L for the same.
    Leica M seem to follow what some of Canon's white L lenses do. The new models come out for double the price of the old models, then the second-hand old models go up in price to halfway between new-old price.
    Mirrorless/MILC/EVIL/deck-of-cards-on-a-beercan cameras are certainly not helping, especially with the digital video crowd. Even absolute-junk C-mount lenses that nobody wanted anymore a few years ago have found homes on Pentax Q and Nikon 1, for those going for that 'retro' look (whatever that is).

    Medium and Large format are hell cheap comparatively. Like brand-new Mamiya 645AF lenses are $2k+, the same lens you can get on fleabay for $4-500. cf Canon L lenses, I've seen them second-hand for more than B+H prices. And large formats might still be worth a bit (up to a grand or more for the newest apo/xl versions, but still fractions of what they would have cost new.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's patchy, some Bronica And Mamiya cameras and lenses are still very cheap, however TLR's particularly Rollei's have surpassed their values before the big dip.

    I think that there's a cult status more important to previously digital only photographers turning to film wanting to use more iconic cameras.

    Ian
     
  7. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    By personal observation only, I think prices bottomed out around mid-2009 when so many people, desperate for money, were emptying their closets and nobody was buying. They stayed down for about 18-24 months and started rising in late 2011 or early 2012. I did a lot of buying in that time and now have pretty much all the camera and darkroom gear I need and so haven't been watching.

    With apologies to Will Rogers - Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good camera and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Interesting ethos :tongue:

    I'm off on a major buying spree in a few days. However I'll only be buying cameras that I can repair. or restore.

    Ian
     
  9. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I really can't say for sure, though I got a couple cheap k-mount lenses around 2000 for a lot less than they go for today - digital exodus.

    My purchasing has only been on ebay, and mostly for cameras with parts that will interchange with my Sears KS-2 (I don't consider parts cameras G.A.S.). However, it seems I cannot find them as cheap as a year or two ago, even accounting for increased shipping costs. These variants still don't command high prices, but they are costing more lately.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I don't care because I don't intend to sell any of my equipment, or buy any more because I have everything I need, and just want to stay in good health to.use it.
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    My Magic Eight Ball says "future uncertain check again later".
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Unless you are in the business of buying and selling, it only really matters if the item you want and need is just slightly more expensive than you feel you can afford to pay.

    If you are considering selling something, do so only if you are comfortable with the idea that you will never own it again.
     
  13. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Glass up, metal (and plastic) down.
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I can't think of a worst financial invesrment of my money than film equipment,it's value is in what it does for a photographer,not it's commercial worth.
     
  16. momus

    momus Member

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    Anything Leica or Zeiss will continue to hold prices, or even rise. Just don't get any ideas of thinking camera gear is an "investment". It is a lousy one, and prices go up and down for absolutely no discernible reason, except for this hard and fast rule...... if you're buying, expect to pay top dollar because prices will have suddenly shot upwards, and if you're selling, expect to get considerably less than you paid because prices will have suddenly fallen. THAT truism you can take to the bank (another lousy place for an investment, unless you're a banker).
     
  17. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    As an "investment," camera gear is highly unlikely to anything more than keep up with inflation. In bad times, demand really drops off too. You're much better off buying stock in companies like Union Pacific Railroad etc.


    Kent in SD
     
  18. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    I think generally things have stayed pretty static in the last 3-4 years which is when I left d******l and came back to analogue - all started by a chance purchase of a Kiev 4 in good working order for a £5. I suddenl;y realised there was a world out there of stuff I could play with that wouldn't cost too much. It's harder to find the £5 items now - e.g. Zuiko 1.8 50mm. Usually make £20 wheras they were recently a £5, but other cheap Zuiko lenses - 135mm 35-70 F4 70-150F4 etc are still dirt cheap. The more sought after I think are up a smidgen. I think OM cameras are generally the same, except fully serviced known-good which seem to be making a little more than they did - this is all subjective, but I have been keeping my eye on them. However bargains are still out there.

    I wouldn't worry about it - cameras are never going to be an investment. I am sure film will still be made by someone somewhere for the forseeable. Let's just enjoy what we have and take pictures!
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It depends where and what you're buying or selling. I've just bought a job lot of mixed photo junk and it's worth a lot more than I spent. Most items need cleaning up or repairing. I took a risk because two items couldn't be seen clearly but.

    I had my Rolleiflex 3.5E valued by Rollei 15 years ago at £750, that value dropped but I was told by a camera seller at an antiques market he'd pay £500 and sell it for £750, he knew I wasn't looking to sell it though. The camera cost me very little and I no longer use it much because it is partly an investment they won't drop in value again.

    Ian
     
  20. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Getting back into analogue several years ago, of course, I had to go buy some equipment. Mostly Olympus OM's and lenses, a Canon AE-I with a 50mm f1.4, and a few other odds and sods. Literally without exception, everything is worth more than I paid for it, probably because in the last couple of years, it has become obvious that film isn't going away, and some new ones are even being introduced. Maybe people were holding off, not wanting to invest in a camera that there wouldn't be anything to load it with.
    Don't know, and don't much care. But, it's a good sign.
    Take pictures, be happy.
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Depends on the fad du jour, and what the fanbois are persuing that week. Right now stuff that was 10 to 20 dollars a few years ago is going for 70 to 100, because it's popular with the bokeh nuts and the 4/3 crew (I'm thinking of some of the FSU lenses).
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I made a mistake early this year when a seller had half a dozen f2 Jupiter 8 lenses all LTM fit, I picked two for a Zorki C I'd bought for £5 previously from the same seller and to replace an Industar on a Fed. They were £10 each way under the usual ebay price and in excellent condition, one looked unused. Mr Rock (Rocky Cameras) and another dealer snapped them up.

    Ian
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Some people know a price for everything, and the value of nothing.
     
  24. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    First, I utterly guarantee that 35mm film will still be made by someone in this world for the next hundred years. Yes, I mean that. It is simply too pervasive a medium and, in this case, the availabilty of cameras to use it in confirms the continuing manufacture of this medium, just like the fact that there are DOZENS of turntable manufacturers out there as I write this. That manufacture is not driven by the relatively few vinyl manufacturers, but, instead, by the existing stock of LPs.

    It is very informative to see these replies, in that there is NO definitive confirmation either way out there. You are all over the place. True, the old lenses have found new life with the conflation of 1) 'adapt for digital' and 2) 'downright cost effective' (compared to the amazing costs of new digital-dedicated lenses).

    The SLR bodies bode differently, however. Yes, there is desirability etched onto the very love of the engineering 'build quality' and also love of a more subjective nature (reminiscence). These cameras are HIGHLY lovable, just like a past writer's affection for his ROYAL or REMINGTON manual typewriter. There really are personal attachments to those things. But, even without this impetus, these bodies would still be sought after because they do represent a real achievement in the flexibility of photography. The SLR finally defined photography as we know it today. It allowed virtually ANY type of photography (if you consider a few lenses especially made or aping the tilts of a view camera!).

    Now, it is up to you to determine if I am guilty of waxing too poetic and am too much entrenched with wishful thinking. And, yes, Benji, there is a difference between price and value. Thank you for bringing that up. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2013
  25. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

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    My film camera bodies mean a lot to me, but I don't know how much they'll be worth down the road - I certainly didn't buy them for their investment value! On the other hand, I have some pretty spectacular lenses that became orphans when AF came to be. What I saw these lenses sell for really hit rock-bottom around 5 or 10 years ago. When these lenses were rediscovered by the crop-sensor digital crowd prices rose steeply, although were still a bargain compared to contemporary lenses.

    The next big thing, I think, is going to be full-frame mirrorless digital bodies. The flange-to-sensor distances of these cameras will allow just about any SLR lens to be adapted without a crop-factor. With focus-peaking, in-body-image-stabilization and perhaps a few firmware features built into these cameras' programs, just about the last barriers for using legacy lenses on modern bodies are becoming moot.

    Maybe we'll see the prices of some of the fine lenses from the past stabilize with some real value.

    Mike
     
  26. blockend

    blockend Member

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    I think that may be stretching things a little. At current rates of progress we can expect to get 10 x 8" quality from a camera the size of a Rollei 35 in the next forty years. However announcements about the death of film, like the demise of most established analogue formats in the face of something new and sell-able, was very much premature.

    What's most likely to happen is the development of a flexible digital format that fits 35mm film cameras and mimics all the films we've loved and lost in every detail. 35mm is relatively vulnerable as it requires industrial size plant to manufacture it. By contrast, large format traditional processes can be home made. I think there'll come a point where even traditionalists admit digital gives them everything their film cameras did with extra convenience, but we're not close to that yet, so keep shooting film.