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.
Some people know a price for everything, and the value of nothing.
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
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.
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.
Originally Posted by David Lyga
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.
When digital still cameras first seriously arrived in the latter 90s there was a brief, half page article in one of the photo magazines showing what looked to be a film cassette with a few inches of film protruding. It was, in fact, a 'cassette' that was actually a digital capture medium, honed and sculpted to fit traditional 35mm cameras.
Then there was nothing else ever said. It was as if the digital manufacturers silenced this threat on the market for new digital cameras because the old film cameras (and their accompanying lenses) would have provided photographers with the ability to do quality digital photography without the consumer having to buy new equipment. - David Lyga
Well, there was also an April Fools joke based on that concept a few years ago, Re35 if i'm not mistaken.
Although that said, I believe what they've written on their site, that as there were so many people disappointed by i tbeing a joke, that there is probably a market for that sort of thing anyway. It couldn't have been done 15 years ago, maybe not even 5, but as an electronics engineer, reading about all these new things like graphene, curved oled, wearable plastic-circuits, I think this sort of thing may be possible in the next 10-15 years. I don't think it will roll up in the cartridge, too much chance to scratch the sensor, and it won't work with all cameras (that use the frame counter and auto-rewind), but it's possible.
Still, it's a long way off.
Lomos and Hipsters may be pushing a few of the price-rises of soviet junk cameras, digital-mirrorless-videographers may be pushing up old lenses, and newly-rich chinese-middle-class may be pushing up the prices of the old 'desirable-brand' collectibles like Leicas. But there are quite literally millions of old bodies and lenses out there, every week another old codger dies and his family throw his collection on ebay. The market is too big to make blanket assumptions, but in general (for lenses) I think we're past the bottom and nowhere near the top. The worldwide economic recovery is just starting, so if you want to invest, go get some old mint Leica and Rolleiflex bodies. If you want to get some 'was almost the best once' like FD and OM and Takumar, go get it, and shoot the hell out of it. If it doubles in price in 10 years, yay for you. If it halves in price, take the loss and average it over how many frames you've shot with it and you can easily justify such a small price...
Value is what you get from something, that might be a useful item - a lens, camera etc that helps you in the production of you're image making (in our context on APUG)
Originally Posted by benjiboy
However value is also related to price , what you paid for an item and what it might be worth if you want to sell it at any point.
Prices are all over the place and relative to where you buy and sell, if you're selling you have to decide at what level, do you go for maximum profit. or a quick turnover at a fair price. I tend to buy from the latter and sell in the same way. That and fair prices for new items actually gets me repeat orders.
You once worked in this market Ben so I'm rather surprised at your comments.
Ian, I honestly think that Ben is sick and tired of people playing the 'make believe' game (as I am often guilty of!) about future values appreciating greatly. With Ben having been on the retail end of things for years he probably has had his fill of people lusting after such equipment, and for no rational, apparent reason.
But, for me, this cheap market is like I am a 5 year old kid entering a candy store with a $20 dollar bill. - David Lyga
I have a soft spot for late period consumer SLRs, and they can be bought for buttons. The metering is often the same as the pro versions, AF is great, and the manufacturers had learnt every trick there was. Yes, they're ugly and plasticky, but they're light, have built in flash and enough flexibility for every occasion. Very much underestimated cameras.