Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,926   Posts: 1,585,052   Online: 942
      
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,512
    Images
    4

    Omaha Camera Show: A report from the front.

    I got back into town and headed over to the annual Camera Show and swap meet here in town. I thought I would pass along some observations and notes from conversations I had with a number of the vendors.

    35MM-

    Almost all of the vendors selling 35mm agree that digital is driving the market for used SLRs and rangefinders all most out of existence for profitability. Prices are getting so low on Nikons and Cannons that no one wants to part with gear unless as part of a trade due to the low prices that have to be offered. I picked up 2 Nikon FE2s for $65 each and a long sought after Nikon FA for $150. So you can only imagine what the dealers paid for these cameras. I saw mint F3s and F4s going for under $300.

    Medium Format-

    There was virtually no MF gear this year. Dealers tell me that so much was dumped on the market the last few years that it is not worth buying and taking to shows. Just a couple of years ago there were tables lined with Hassys, Mamiya 645s, RB67s, Pentax systems etc. There still is a very good market for lenses and accessories for MF, I was told by one vendor, but he sells it all on Ebay.

    Large Format-

    The one real bright spot was LF in all sizes. Midwest Photo had a table and Jim told me that the current level of sales for 4x5 and 8x10 are incredible in light of the trend towards digital. I talked to several browsers who were looking at Jim's offerings who said they were getting back into LF after being away for many years. Jim told me that they quickly move all the 8x10 and ULF stuff that comes through the store..

    There was not the large selection of LF cameras that I have seen in previous years, and except for a few exceptions most of it was pretty much junk. No Deardorffs this year. Several dealers said they do have them ,but only sell them on Ebay because they can get much better prices then at a show such as this one.

    Darkroom-

    My particular bargains were found here. I picked up some 2500 series JOBO 4x5 drums with reel for $2 each, and a very nice 16x20 Seal Mounting Press for $100. The press needs a new cord but otherwise works fine.


    The darkroom stuff was also much less then in previous shows and I found the few enlargers offered to be pretty much junk. No 35mm or 4x5 enlargers at all. Just a lot of old Omega and Bessler MF. One dealer I know suggested that a lot of darkroom equipment has pretty much cycled through the photographic market place from labs and basement boxes to new homes. He said 3 years ago people were always approaching him about buying their darkroom gear or entire photo labs worth of stuff. Now it is new people who are piecing together first time darkrooms and are looking for a few specific items that they have not yet found or won at auction on Ebay.

    Here is one of the most encouraging pieces of information. One dealer told me that he talks to people, espeically college age students who get into dgital and become dissapointed with the results when they realize it takes a lot more of an investment to get quality results. These students are looking into setting up darkrooms and getting into MF and LF at bargain prices. he was extemely optimistic. He felt that there will never be a better time to get into MF and LF. Cameras and lenses sell for fractions of what they were new, and enlargers are almost given away.

    I thought some might be interested in the various takes from vendors who hav been dealing with selling used gear for a number of years.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Italia
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,680
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    One dealer I know suggested that a lot of darkroom equipment has pretty much cycled through the photographic market place from labs and basement boxes to new homes.

    I've wondered how long it would take for all the good old stuff to find new homes. A lot of people have either setup new darkrooms or upgraded from consumer equipment. Glad I've got almost all my stuff -)

  3. #3
    Flotsam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    S.E. New York State
    Posts
    3,221
    Images
    13
    Interesting. Thanks for that post.

    I'm not surprised that Large format is least impacted by the d*****l.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #4
    Monophoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,691
    Images
    44
    I went to the Albany (NY) C.A.M.E.R.A. show last weekend. What I saw:

    35MM: the usual collection of bodies and lenses. I really didn't pay a lot of attention to this section.

    MF: There was some. A very notable presence was that Greg Heisler was there with a large collection of bodies and lenses. I thought it was interesting that a professional portraitist would be selling so much high-end gear.

    LF: Very little 4x5 gear, and no smaller equipment. There was one Calumet 8x10, and Heisler had a Deardorff 8x10 studio camera (definite portability issues!) with no price tag.

    Darkroom: there was almost NO darkroom stuff at all. I saw one or two Nikor tanks, and perhaps a couple of reels. No trays, enlargers, timers, or the other stuff that you normally see at these shows.

    Books: There is one dealer who regularly comes to this show to sell books, and while he was there, his selection was very limited this time around. Curious.

    Digital: lots of cameras, memory cards, and other digital paraphenalia.

    Overall: five years ago this show filled a gymnasium. This past weekend, it was down to a meeting room at a cheap hotel, and even then there were a couple of empty tables. I can recall coming home with a bag of goodies - last Fall, I bought one lens cap, while this past Sunday I only got a book (Sally Mann's Immediate Family). And the attendance is tracking the level of commercial activity - downward.

  5. #5
    Flotsam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    S.E. New York State
    Posts
    3,221
    Images
    13
    I wonder how much of this effect can be attributed to increasing use of Ebay to sell and buy photographic gear?
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,512
    Images
    4
    The guys I talked to at last years fall show thought it would be the last one organized in Omaha. Ebay has pretty much killed of this type of venue for selling gear. But here they were again in the spring show, although about 15% less dealers than last year.

    One of the noticeble absences this time around was a guy who sold lots of Leica gear. He would show up with a couple of dozen bodies and maybe 50 or 60 various lenses. One of the other guys told me he stricly sells on Ebay or at larger shows closer to home in Chicago.

    Another seller who I have bought several lenses and a couple of cameras from also was not there. I know that last year he did not sell on Ebay, but I will have to contact him and see if he has gone that route.

    I guess on the other side of the ledger are the folks who would show up to these meets and sell their old gear. Now it makes more sense to try to get maximum value on Ebay for individual items.

    I think some of the guys still doing the winter swap meet circuit do it for the social aspects of talking to fellow enthusiasts as much as anything else. Like one guy told me, when you factor in gas, motel, food and renting a booth or a table and the time invested it begins to make a good deal of sense to be at home or shooting film while your inventory sells on Ebay.

    While Ebay certainly has its problems, this thread is not intended to be anti-Ebay or Internet selling. Auction sites have been a huge and efficient factor in moving cameras and equipment from one consumer segment to another, helping to keep analog going.


    It will be kind of sad when they end because it was always a unique opportunity to see all kinds of older cameras and gear as well as actually see the stuff in person and talk to people. And I never left one without getting some great deals on equipment.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  7. #7
    David Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    near Dallas, TX USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    3,345
    Images
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    It will be kind of sad when they end because it was always a unique opportunity to see all kinds of older cameras and gear as well as actually see the stuff in person and talk to people.
    It's the same here in north Texas. Up until a few years a go, there was a camera show every other month: 2 in Dallas, 2 in Ft. Worth, and 2 in between over a year. Now there is one every 6-9 months, and they are half, maybe one third, the size of past shows. It's really a shame.

    I like Ebay, and have bought some good stuff on Ebay. But, I've made some good deals at the shows, too; and I miss being able to touch the goods first! Plus, it was fun to see all of the old stuff even if you weren't interested in buying. Sigh ...

  8. #8
    Monophoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,691
    Images
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown
    But, I've made some good deals at the shows, too; and I miss being able to touch the goods first! Plus, it was fun to see all of the old stuff even if you weren't interested in buying. Sigh ...

    Yeah - kinda like going into a toy store.



 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin