Looking for some information (i.e., value) on a couple of vintage cameras
Hi there: new guy on the block, as it were, looking to help out the film community in a fashion.
Here's the situation: I inherited a couple of 35mm cameras (presumably SLR in both cases) from my father. I will stipulate that at age (nearly) 59, I'm not a photography buff, nor am I likely to be: while I appreciate the results, my interests don't lie in that vein. Thus, I see no reason why a couple of (presumably) good cameras should languish unused, and I'm looking to work with someone to find a good home.
One of two is a more-or-less garden variety: it's an Asahi Pentax K1000. It has the leather case and (of course) the original equipment lens, but no additional lenses or accessories.
The other, from some minimal research, may be more interesting: it's a Robot Royal 36, model III. Again, it has the original equipment lens and the leather case, but no other accessories.
I should add that neither camera has been used in quite a few years. That said, they have both been kept in a dark drawer in a file cabinet in a climate-controlled space (i.e., my house). Thus, I believe both are in good condition.
What I'd like to find out from the experts here is a reasonable value for each of these. That's key in finding a good home for both. I can provide what I believe to be serial numbers on either, if needed, by private message. Thanks very much.
Go to ebay, search for those cameras and look at the prices that cameras in similar condition ACTUALLY sold for, auction prices and buy it now prices are not an indication of market value, actual selling price is. The Pentax K-1000 might fetch a little more than you expect because it is an excellent student camera, and it is back to school time right now. I have no clue on the other camera.
Another good source of pricing and market value is www.KEH.com you might need to do some poking around, but I found a price for the K1000 body just by doing a quick check at KEH.
"Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
"Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"
Not sure how much of a guide these are:
EDIT: The prices quoted here are probably a bit optimistic and would be for cameras in very good condition.
Last edited by Steve Smith; 01-05-2011 at 07:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Ebay completed auctions and KEH's retail prices are generally good value indicators.
But without actually examining the cameras there is no credable way to determine the value beyond that. Storage is not particularly kind to any mechanical device, cameras included. Lubricants dry out or migrate, plastics deteriorate and sometimes fungus attacks lens surfaces. Your cameras could be jewels or parts donors, or anywhere in between.
After looking at the sources mentioned, if you want to go to the next step in getting a value for the cameras, if you can state where you are folks here might be able to recommend shops that could give you an in-person evaluation of condition and value.
I'm in the greater Philadelphia / southern NJ area. Downtown Philly is reasonably accessible as are the Philadelphia and New Jersey suburbs. Wilmington, DE is also within fairly easy reach.
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Check out any second-hand camera dealers in your area and take the stuff to them for an appraisal (say you may be interested in leaving it on consignment).
They should be able to give you a fair idea (but don't give up your day job or plan your retirement just yet )
Most cameras of this age (especially the Robot) would need servicing, of the shutter especially not to mention the meter, (any of which could cost more than the going price of the camera in the open market).
Then again, the market for "film" gear is relatively limited, and there are plenty of K-1000s around.
Finding someone willing and able to service a "Robot" could prove to be difficult and expensive, so again, the market is limited to niche collectors able to do their own servicing/repairs.
The K1000 is very common. Which lens is attached? In general, these sell for between $30 and $60 -- sometimes a bit higher, sometimes a bit lower.
The Robot is a different matter and probably is worth more, depending on condition. Check eBay completed auctions.
Perhaps, at some point, there should be some consideration to a "What's my stuff worth?" category that can be accessed by a temporary logon. This way, you don't clog up the registration database with people who have no intention of future contributions to the forums. They just want to know the value of their gear and that's their primary/only interest. And that's fine.
Or better yet, create a Wiki-style database of approximate camera values. That would save people a lot of time.