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  1. #1

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    Film camera prices going up?

    I bought a demo rated Nikon N80 from Adorama back in April for $89. Today a demo rated N80 from Adorama is going for $159. Is anyone else noticing that prices seem to be going up? Or is this just an isolated example of a great camera finally being recognized?
    Steve Long

    my blog: http://wayofuncertainty.com/

  2. #2
    CGW
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    I'm not seeing any relief from the downdraft on 35mm prices. For many, it's the disappearance of cheap C41 processing that's driven in the final nail. When I can get a clean Nikon F90x/N90s for $50, there's not much reason to think they're in demand. Collectibles and some medium format aside, there's not much reason to think there's even the old "dead cat bounce" behind what you're hoping to see. Sorry

  3. #3

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    My purely anecdotal experience with Nikon bodies at KEH is that the prices just keep dropping.

  4. #4
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    As far as I can tell from my totally informal take, the deals just keep on coming...but sellers are more broke (or have less credit, really, since they are likely just as broke as they always have been but did not realize), so they are asking more. I do not, however, think they are getting much, if any, more in the end.

    Supplies, OTOH, seem to have gone up quite a lot in the past few years...especially for U.S.A. users of Ilford products.

    Let us also remember how many products have been eliminated from further production in the past few years. Basically, whatever interesting and unique analog things were left are now no more. All tungsten-balanced still film is gone. Almost all high-speed film is gone (Pro 800Z, Superia 800 in anything but amateur 4x24 packs, Superia 1600; when will Portra 800 go?) The entire Polaroid company went under. Both Kodak and Fuji are condensing their product lines (e.g. Fuji with all Fujicolor, both pro and amateur, and Kodak with the elimination of Portra 400NC and VC). Color chemicals are a pain now for the home user. Color printing paper in cut sheets is almost entirely gone, when I could get at least five different emulsions, each in three different surfaces, as few as three years ago. EPN and EPP, two of the best films ever for studio flash product work, completely axed. TXP in medium format, for heaven's sake! (I honestly did not see that one coming, as I thought it was an extremely popular emulsion; it certainly is among everyone I know.) This is not all, but you get the point.

    What do we get in return during this period? A new T-Max that to me does not appear much different than the old in anything but 35mm, yet another medium speed color neg film, and an ugly one at that (Ektar), a middle of the road replacement for 400VC and NC, gimmicks that only fools would buy (like Rollei Crossbird), and a bunch of new, expensive plastic cameras in every orientation you could imagine.

    Everything different and useful about what film offers over digital is being stripped away, and replaced with things that are the same and of limited use – things that offer less difference between them and digital than the unique products that were axed. When unique analog materials go away, a few people will scrape around in the dirt trying to find ways to replace them using analog methods, but most will turn to digital for the niches that these products filled. As such, demand for film goes away as film becomes less and less different than digital.

    In short, I am more worried about having things to put in my cameras than about the prices of cameras, which are bound to go nowhere fast, at the rate people are quitting and/or slowing their film shooting.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5

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    2F/2F, Fuji 64T is gone? Damn. That film was absolutely killer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    TXP in medium format, for heaven's sake! (I honestly did not see that one coming, as I thought it was an extremely popular emulsion; it certainly is among everyone I know.) This is not all, but you get the point.
    Kodak still advertises txp for 120 and everyone is still selling it.

  7. #7

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    It's hard to say, because prices for used gear can be volatile. I just did a little camera shopping, and some stuff seems to be "hot" and going for good prices, and other stuff is getting ignored and going for bupkis, and most of it seems to be going for less than a few years ago. I think people are dumping 35mm gear for cheap now the way medium format was a few years back.

  8. #8

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    I just found 10 rools of TMax that had expired in 1997. Paid a buck each; load them on a Rolleiflex With a Planar 2.8 and went taken Pictures around the Coast of Chile. Later I took then to a professional Lab and ask them to give an extra 2 ''ticks'They came out beautiful. I'm not worried about film going away.

  9. #9

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    I think you'll find that prices for film bodies that accept German-designed (e.g. Zeiss) and/or German-manufactured lenses are, largely, on the rise due to collector interest out of the Far East.

    Where lenses are concerned, you'll find that most prices for most lens families that can be fitted with an adapter for use on digital camera bodies (e.g. M42 lenses) have actually been on a slow, steady rise over the past 3-4 years or, at worst, are stable.
    Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..

  10. #10
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    Generally I see that bodies are still dropping in price, except for some that collectors are going gaga over.
    Rolleiflexes seem way overpriced. Those little rollei 35's seem to demand premiums.
    Small cameras are in. 35mm SLR's are out.
    It's harder to find a good "kit" these days. it seems that either the bodies are sold alone or with crappy lenses.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

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