In my observation, very good / near mint conditioned cameras are stable or rising in price. User condition cameras, OTOH, are still (slowly) declining in price. Which would be understandable, as cameras of the first category are likely to migrate to the second category, if used.
I got a very good deal on a "user condition" M4 last year, which before the "digital crunch" I wouldn't ever have been able to afford...
My impression from having dropped out for most of the last 5 years:
Some things have gone down in price. For example, N90 bodies at KEH. N90s in bargain grade is now $45. I recall my brother picking one up 5 years ago when they were something like $100-200 still. N90 (non s), I seem to recall KEH having one in the last month or so for $25.
My impression is that the prices on some of the more popular large format lenses have gone up. Verito's, Heliars and the like. Tough to tell as there are much more "buy it now" items with incredibly high prices.
I walked passed an Urban Outfitter window display. It had some Holga cameras and a fuji Instax camera and some 70's ish goods. Here are what the hipsters want.
Lot of the stuff was what their parents had or a imitation of the genuine item.
I haven't bought many cameras in the past few years because I am largely set with the purchases I made in the several years prior. Maybe that has happened throughout the community of film users. Nice film cameras have perhaps largely trickled their way out of the hands of pros and wealthy amateurs and into the hands of loving users to stay (at least for a while).
Now when I buy something, it is usually something low-or-mid-level for cheap, just because it is just too good of a deal to pass up, not because I really need to use it. I pass a lot of "starter" cameras on to students and friends, so I will often grab them when they pop up for cheap. But as far as buying high-end stuff for my own use, there are only a handful of items that would make a blip on my radar at this time.
"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)
Might be a localisation thing; that is to say, globally some film cameras of interest will turn up in odd places, others in more common places, and quite often no cameras anywhere. In Australia film cameras are still readily available on the second hand market, at flea markets, weekend markets, FleaBay, private classifieds in papers etc. High end cameras (like the Nikon FA, F90X, Canon EOS 1N etc.) frequently turn up cheaply (an EOS 1N with a power drive booster E1 is regularly seen at $700 -- Autralian dollar/on parity) in the papers. But in the OP's original list were some very old camera models. I wouldn't expect to find many of those around even with a good deal of searching. Collectors will get hold of them and never let go.
Personally I made my choice of camera and system years ago and have not deviated from it; bits and pieces are cheap for repairs. If I need a camera I look for recent models so there is some recourse to affordable repair (based on availability of parts, etc.). There are many people about (on APUG too) that buy cameras they do not need, resulting in a huge stockpile of stuff that is mothballing away when it could be sold off/given away to somebody just starting out in film photography (after, ahem, a most dissatisfactory experience with digital...).
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In know in the Oklahoma City area there is a strong film program in some high schools and community colleges. Our one "big" place is down to processing B&W once a week now, but can have color done in an hour to include 120 size. Their film choice used to be much, much better but they still have full selection of Illford, Kodak Porta in every size, and some Fuji.
I use them for developing and scanning, and no, they got rid of their drum scanner about 5years ago or at least it broke 5 years ago and haven't got it fixed frankly because when I asked about it a year or so ago, it was the first time in around 2 years anyone asked. For them, the help has said business is stable to slightly increasing at times around major holidays or when school is in session you can always tell, they are short of film for a couple of weeks.
I too have noticed particularly in the past 8 months that some cameras seem to be going up or holding their own and others are slowly getting cheaper. I agree that perhaps part of the reason is that I have also sent out a couple of cameras for repair and not that wasn't cheap.....but my CLA on my Super 23 press camera was more than I paid for the thing. If I could muster up the time and cash, I would love to CLA all my cameras. About half of them could use it. For me, part of this hobby is not only using my cameras, but also respecting and admiring the people who built and marketed these wonderful devices. I have yet to meet a camera I couldn't find something to like about it.
I have noticed that the stares I used to get when lugging an old Nikon F4 around my neck (yes with a 645 Pro around the shoulder also most of the time.....haha, I do it for the exercise!!) are now willing people who have honest questions about film cameras and where and how to get film developed....information and stuff mostly.
Film resurgence? Not convinced yet, but I think alot of digital shooters are tired of all the messing around with their substandard computers, quirky software to fix something to make their picture look better, and horrible inkjet printers for the masses giving so-so results at best......it's just easier to drop it off at the lab and when they pick up the finished photos, all looks OK with minimal effort on their part not realizing that it's the wonderful aspects of film that allow an average person to get great results from even the most average of analog camera out there.
I of course and having a wonderful film resurgence along with my huge case of G.A.S. Hey, when you get a new to you camera you have to run a roll of film through it don't you? Is 10 minutes after you open the shipping box to soon or to late for G.A.S. addicts?
Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D
About labs: when labs were king I often thought that far better results could have been obtained if the (negative) film speed had been cut in half by the photographer. I remember many times seeing too dark prints received by people who could not understand why, and then I saw the negatives and KNEW why.
A combination of overrated film speeds (folks, Tri-X is really EI 200 no matter what anyone says) and overrated flashes (the marketability was in the manufacturer saying your flash's guide number was tops) contributed to this degeneracy as did overly contrasty scenes not being tempered by giving more exposure). Before film speeds got their 'inflation' around 1960 the results were generally better as long as development was constricted to prevent highlight 'blowout'. (David Vestal, in his Craft of Photography, showed quite startlingly that Tri-X was fully capable of generating excellent tonal quality and grain sturcture down to about EI 50.) But, of course, the slide films cannot be underrated or you will end up with white everywhere with the resultant overexposure.
In sum, I really do not think that the unthinking amateur ever got his/her money's worth with film because he/she did not know how to exploit it properly. It is rather sad that with film quality being 'state of the art' now, with all the bugs ironed out, it is relegated to the graveyard. I love old technogies. Whether listening to my 6000 (yes, in storage) classical music LPs that I bought over the years in thrift stores for an average of about 25 cents each (Philadelphia, despite having a world-renowned orchestra, is a city where cluture, true culture, blooms for only a few) or using the highest film technology that ever came to fruition in the world, I get to enjoy things very cheaply and never have to worry about someone stealing a camera or record album because I have so many more, bought for peanuts.
Maybe some will declaim such prudence and frugality as craziness because they are so very addicted to having everything new (like our consumer culture dictates that they should). But, for me, with my one million (pennies!) it works. I get to have my (sponge) cake and eat it too. I am living 'high off the hog' for the 1970s! That is not so bad. - David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 08-18-2011 at 08:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.
There are so many cameras available that there are plenty to go around, there is no shortage of inexpensive manual bodies.
There are many people about (on APUG too) that buy cameras they do not need, resulting in a huge stockpile of stuff that is mothballing away when it could be sold off/given away to somebody just starting out in film photography (after, ahem, a most dissatisfactory experience with digital...).
There are more cameras than buyers from what I see.
I have been checking out this site for a few weeks now, theres a fair amount of resurgence on Japan. There is some killer stuff the kids there are using these days. Not that lomo and holga junk I see on the streets of New York City. I think I should visit Tokyo.
It's more a retro fashion statement outside diehard film otaku types.
Originally Posted by Newt_on_Swings