I just bought an excellent+ condition Nikon F2A for $280. Way back in 1980, I bought one new for $500. That's 44% depreciation spread over 30 years. Now go look what a Nikon D1 digital camera sells for nowadays and contrast that to its original new selling price.
Umm. $500 1980 dollars are worth about $1285 2009 dollars.
We gotta remember, though, that the original price of the F2A is in 1980 dollars. Inflation has made the dollar much weaker over the years. That $500 F2A would be closer to $2000 or so today, or where the F6 is.
When the Nikon F was introduced, it cost about $350 and the median household income was around $5000 per year. It was an expensive camera sold mainly to professionals. In 1980, median household income was around $20K. A $500 camera would still have seemed pretty expensive, but relatively more affordable than the earlier camera. Today the median household income is a little over $40K, and almost no one wants to buy a $2500 F6. And $500 gets you a low-end DSLR. I'm not sure what all that means, except that perhaps over long periods of time, these numbers lose their meaning.
Figuring out what to sell? I think you have answered that question in the 35mm department if you read between the lines or listen to your subconscious.
Originally Posted by darinwc
olympus 21mm, olympus 85mm, CLA for OM2.
Looks like you are picking Olympus as a standard and I have seen you sell a few Canon FD items in the past. So, keep the OM stuff and list the rest. I have done the same thing. At some point I realized I really only need one great system in each format I choose to shoot. I went with the Canon F-1 and would rather pick up a couple back up bodies for that system rather than have all the other different ones. Though I still have a ridiculous amount Minolta stuff I just couldn't seems to get rid of. I have actually offered to give it to a few students, but the follow up calls never come.
I hear you about having trouble with the high ticket items. I have bought some many TLR part cameras, old folders, rangefinders for fixing up fun, I could have bought all the lenses I needed for LF that I still don't have. I have a health/unhealthy need to know how all different cameras work.
Good luck, I will have my eyes open when you start. I think my 90mm LF fund has $20 in it to spend on the right un-needed item you have for sale.
So my question is, what steps do you take when you need to reduce your collection?
My steps were simple. Frankly, most of my gear got stolen when my car got broken into.
Originally Posted by darinwc
What questions do you ask yourself to help you decide what stays and what goes?
#1. What do I want my images to look like?
#2. What do I need to have in order to create those images I want to create? (Though, this does not exclude back-up equipment just in case something breaks or gets stolen)
#3. What do I have/want that isn't necessary for helping me create the images I want to create?
The only piece of photo gear I ever regretted parting with was my first Yashica D. I swapped a friend for his Suzuki motorcycle in 1974, he still has the camera, and the bike has long since been in the junk pile. Material goods come and go, memories last until you die, why waste your time and energy on trifles. The only things worth holding onto is family and friends, cherish them. Simplify your life, and spend your time with family.
You don't have to use every bit of equipment you own every day. There is validity in simply being a collector.
People collect all sorts of things... Stamps and coins. Dolls and Teddy Bears. It is just as valid to be a collector of vintage camera equipment.
It just so happens that you are also a photographer. Therefore, instead of simply looking at your collection, you can actually take pieces of your collection out and use them to make the best photographs that anybody has ever seen.
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~