We should all have uncles like yours! You are a blessed person!
My Grandfather's Leicas went to my uncle who promptly discarded it, to my father's horror. My dad's Leica is up for grabs between me and my brother - thank goodness photography's not a hobby of his! I already have my Mom's Leica.
Most of my camera collection came from a fellow who ran a camera store and was inclined to squirrell away things. He then married a woman who threw his german wine collection down the sink and threw out most of his cameras, eventually complaining to the fire marshall that the place was too cluttered. Unfortunately they also found his gun collection and only criminals are allowed to have guns in Canada. He then had a stroke.
^ heresy! She should have, at least, thrown the german wine collection down her throat!
Now would not be the time to get rid of any M mount lenses with the rumor mill going on Canon coming out with a full frame EOS 1R (rangefinder) set for manual M series lenses only. Auto or manual and using Digic III processing, newest generation full frame sensor and manual rangefinder focus with confirmation... it could extend the life of many Leica or Voigtlander M mount lens collections. Not a film camera but sure would be a powerful incentive to keep your Leica film cameras so you had the best of both worlds.
Where did you hear that?
Originally Posted by WarEaglemtn
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IMHO the difficulty with cameras as an investment (with the exception of the mega-rare stuff) is really the same as most collectables....there is no regular market-place (like a stock-market for shares), everything is down to supply and demand, and changes in people's interests and fashions.
Although, if there is a reliable priced catalogue (as with postage stamps and coins), this can encourage interest in a particular area.
Having seen how cheaply the commoner cameras from the 1900's-1930 go at photo fairs, it occurs to me that one factor (apart from the obvious problem of obsolete film sizes) could be that a particular collector's interest might be for the period which he can remember or relate to, e.g. I started picture-taking in the late 70's, and I have little interest in equipment further back than the 1960's, when I can just remember the stuff which my Dad used.
There was a time folks invested in stock looking for a dividend and stable investment.
Today, they buy stock for a quick profit, like betting on horse races. Things change.
Looking at cameras as an investment, however is silly.
I bought a pretty good investment outfit in 1969,
a black Leica M4 with a 50/2 lens. Paid $750.
Corrected for cost of living (2007) that's $4400.
Which is to say, the camera is
still a camera, but the dollar I used to pay for it is now worth 17 cents.
The real value of the camera has been that I paid for college with it,
and it has supported me many years since.
The added value has been, in other words, ME.
That its 'value' has kept pace with inflation is largely irrelevant.
A new MP with lens, a year ago, cost just about what the C-O-E projection predicted it would.
So, Leicas DON'T accrue value, they retain value. Putting that $750 in a nice, secure bond would have been a MUCH better INVESTMENT. They only are tools, and the money you make comes not from possessing them, but my USING THEM !
On the other hand, a new 105 Nikkor cost about $125 in 1969.
Same lens, on Ebay, mint-in-a-box, is about the same. Or LESS.
Corrected for Inflation, that lens should cost $750, which is so.
The lens has lost most of its value as an investment,
but the value as a piece of photo gear has increased, at least to me.
Film is better, and I'm a lot better shooter than I was 39 years ago.
Buying a nice, expensive camera for pleasure is the same proposition.
Buy a nice, new, expensive Leica, shoot it for 39 years,
unload it. Nice, cheap hobby, good clean fun.
But collecting cameras is a just mug's game.
You have a very generous uncle, I inherited my Leica M3 and eye level prism Nikon F (641) from my dad just before he passed on from cancer three years ago. My brother got a Topcon, Nikkormat Ftn and a Leica IIIG. My dad's one regret was he did not give them to us sooner. All the cameras get used the way they are meant to.
"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."