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  1. #1
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    Film cameras costing as much today as they did two years ago

    In 2008, I bought a second hand Nikon F5 from one of the retailers of Amazon.co.uk. Back then, in 2008, it cost me £359.

    I figured that with the continuing advance of digitals (the D3, D3s to name but a few), film cameras like the F5 would continue to decline in price (I realise the F6 is still sold as new by Nikon so I wouldn't expect it's price to drop). I was hoping so as I'd like to buy another F5 - I love mine so much and would like to have a second. Having had a look at amazon.co.uk again today, in June 2010, two years after I bought my first F5, I find them to be more or less the same price though. I realise two years is not a massive time lapse, and we've had a global recession etc, but still - I'd have expected an F5 to be the lower end of £300 at least by now.

    Should us film shooters take this as a good sign I wonder? It suggests to me that in the last two years, the demand for film cameras like the F5 has not declined, or is it just that the F5 is famed for being so good that it is holding its price? Is that fair, and have others found this to be the case, or not?

    Ted
    Ted Smith Photography
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  2. #2

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    I notice pro film camera tends to hold their price better. Not the case for say, F100 which is actually a stripped down F5. Probably the buyer segment for this class shift their focus to pro model. That's why pro model's price stays with the expense of the lower type market.

  3. #3
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    Your surprise is based on the assumption that the F5, as a member of a once-dominant but now niche class of product, should be steadily dropping in value. If you back up and track the changing values since the inception of the model, this might generally be true, but the decline is by no means linear and predictable, and nor should it be really. There's going to be periods of price stability, and even spikes of increase here and there. There's also certain limits to how far prices will fall so long as Nikon still exists and still makes F-mount lenses.

    Even if total demand for film cameras shrinks, so long as there is a market for film and film cameras, I suspect demand for models like the F5 isn't going to erode at a linear pace because the factors contributing to an F5's desirability don't really change over time, nor do the tastes of those who would be interested in the first place.

  4. #4
    jp498's Avatar
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    I've noticed demands for manual focus nikon lenses stays very strong. No surprise high end film bodies are strong either. I think it's a good sign. I too would like an F5, but can't get one right now.

  5. #5

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    One thing that kept demand for manual focus lenses high (Nikon for sure, and to some extent Canon FD) was the release in the last few years of a lot of adapters for such lenses to be used on video cameras. Such cameras, with their tiny sensors, have nearly infinite depth of field with almost all focal lengths, so these adapters (sometimes generically referred to "DOF Adapters") allowed videographers to have the kinds of perspectives and shallow depths of field previously only known to 35mm movie cameras and still photographers. I wonder if, with the release of Digital SLRs that can take movies, the demand for these adapters, and thus for older manual focus lenses, will slack off a bit again?

    Duncan

  6. #6
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Sony is releasing a video camera that will have interchangeable lenses in their new "E" series with an optional adapter for the A mount Minolta AF lenses. That means the market for these lenses will be greater, thus demanding higher prices.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  7. #7
    Scott_Sheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_smith View Post
    Should us film shooters take this as a good sign I wonder? It suggests to me that in the last two years, the demand for film cameras like the F5 has not declined, or is it just that the F5 is famed for being so good that it is holding its price? Is that fair, and have others found this to be the case, or not?
    Ted:

    The ONLY advancing market in analog photography is the Wedding and Portrait segment.

    As the F5 is overkill for most other uses, It still has strength in the W/P sector.

    Also it is the HIP deal right now to shot film and hipsters with $$ are gobbling up these cameras as they are 1/20 the price of Digital.

    Thanks

    Scott
    Scott Sheppard
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  8. #8
    taulen's Avatar
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    Dont know, seems you can get good prices sometimes, for example, there is a F5 for sale in Norway atm. for 200£, and it looks really good, no tear and wear as I can see. So you can probably get some good deals if you can wait it out.

  9. #9
    Carl V's Avatar
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    Some Nikon 35mm bodies even cost as much to buy second hand as what they were selling for when they were new several years before. I only refer to dealers here in the UK, but the last new price for the FM2n back in 2001 was about £400 for a chrome body, and around £20 more for the black finish. Today, mint condition examples of these bodies fetch virtually the same price. The same goes for the FM3a. They still command a high price even though they were discontinued in 2006.

    Nikon's manual 'ai' and 'ais' lenses tell the same story.
    Carl.

  10. #10
    fotch's Avatar
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    You have to factor in the value of the currency for then and now.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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