All 35mm cameras have continued to slide into lower and lower prices since you last asked. The collectors who bought them in the 70s through the 90s have taken a beating. One friend of my had hundreds of quality 35mm cameras he liquidated the past 12 months, saying "I should have sold 5 years ago when they were higher...."
Originally Posted by getalifeagain
Maybe if you can get them for $100 for a body they will come up again in the next 20 years, if emerging consumer markets get interested (China, for example). The problem is, the people that inherit them think they are still at the peak of years ago, so they want to sell them for too much. You could also get stuck with equipment that stays at rock bottom for 20-50 years, only to crawl up after they are 100 years old. Do you have 50 years to wait? It would be like investing in buggy whips in 1920.
Leica's are in a different class mainly because the Cosina made Bessa's Zeiss Ikon's etc in both screw & M mount along with new lenses has resurrected the market.
Originally Posted by goamules
So while prices may have slumped heavily for some cameras this is no longer true of Leicas.
Right now, used Leica prices are on the rise in the US, mainly due to the continued erosion of the US Dollar - not changes in supply nor demand.
Leica prices, like most collectibles, are cyclical. Right now on an upward trend... Like other "investments" you should buy the best quality of scarcer issues if you hope to have any return... Having said that, its hard to believe any of the more common Leica bodies will ever gain that much more in value... The IIIg is interesting example to follow....probably the 'best' modern SM Leica body to invest in...this camera used to sell for $ 1500+ back in the mid to late 90's.... now it sells for $ 750-1000 all day long....
See the chart below. Last 6 months of the US dollar versus the other major currencies...
There's no way I'd consider camera gear as an "investment." Rarely does it even keep up with inflation. If you want to invest, buy stock in Union Pacific railroad. I use and enjoy old camera gear--I have Petzval lenses from ~1860 & ~1875, two 6x9 folders dating 1914 & 1937, and a couple of rapid rectilinear lenses dating to the 1890s. (I don't own any 35mm stuff.) I consider all of these to be toys in that that they won't give me any $$ return, just fun/entertainment. The way I'm looking at it, the pool of buyers for film gear will always exist, but it will become smaller and smaller, resulting in less & less demand. I've mostly bought camera goodies made before 1900, but even with that I don't see myself making any money on them. The Union Pacific stock will at a minimum keep up with inflation, and probably do better than that. If you want a Leica IIIf then go buy one. Just don't try to justify it by thinking it will be worth more five years from now. Likely, it won't be.
Kent in SD
A hobby is just that and an investment is not the same. Expect the ROI to be the enjoyment you receive in using the camera and don't worry about if it will appreciate in value. You can be disappointed in both if you try to mix them together. If the equipment used in your hobby happens to appreciate over the long term or depreciate as fast as other equipment, be happy but, do not plan on it. If buying a Leica for use, get a serviced user and concentrate on the glass. If buying as an investment get the best affordable and put it under glass.
Some years ago I bought my Leica and have loved using it. Today it is selling for about the same price as I bought mine for. My profit has been the enjoyment in using a camera I felt good with.
I think Leica would be a good asset for the future.. :laugh: