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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    resurgence in film camera interest or not?

    Honestly, I have found it to be increasingly difficult to buy film cameras during the past two years, approximately synchronized to the Great Recession. Is this true? Are they now more costly? Do they, like vinyl records, refuse to die a dignified death?

    A few years ago people would take ANYTHING for these cameras but now...NOT! Anyone experiencing the same: talking about the mass market type, NOT the Nikon F series, NOT the Leicas, NOT even the Bessa. (But, also, not the Holga or Diana). Types like the Minolta SRT, Pentax Spotmatic, Canon Tlb, Mamiya DTL. These were workhorses and I would take two of same any day for one Nikon F. - David Lyga

  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I work at a university art department and some of the students that are serious about photography and want to explore it beyond the digital realm are discovering film cameras. There are those Hipster types that like LPs which are also attracted to old cameras also. There was an art student that had a Hassie 500CM around his neck and said he loved shooting with film. Luckily, our school still has a wet lab with enlargers so students are getting a taste of the analog world.

  3. #3
    CGW
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    Not what I'm seeing: e.g., check the closing prices on recent SRT 101 auctions under the Big Tent. Nikon F100 bodies? Shocking!

    True, though, that the days of 15 buck Spotmatics are over.

    If anything Gresham's Law seems to be in play: junk's driving the gems into hiding.

    Got my best deals off the 'Bay on medium format gear in 08-09. Still gloating about some of those...

    There's such a huge reservoir of mid-market gear that "supply" arguments behind any apparent rise in price just don't hunt.

  4. #4
    PDH
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    In my market there are lots of great cameras going very cheap. Some Nikon and Leica are of course holding their value. My guess is that because film cameras are not being replaced with new models and as used cameras are being bought up or just wearing out and become more scarce prices will go up.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    When I visit camera fairs here in the UK there's film cameras galore being bought by young people. Prices depend on how old and how well amde, so I bought a new Canon D300 last year for £10 ($60) but a nice Exacta was mush more asw were Spotmatics etc.

    It's noticeable that on Ebay there's far less analog equipment these days, this is for twom reasons, first there's almost no new equipment made and secondly many who went digital have offloaded their analog equipment by now.

    This cycle was predicted but it's been slower because of the financial crisis caused by the US mortgage market's collapse.

    Ian

  6. #6
    CGW
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    It's noticeable that on Ebay there's far less analog equipment these days, this is for twom reasons, first there's almost no new equipment made and secondly many who went digital have offloaded their analog equipment by now

    And third just might be that demand was waning anyway--crash or no crash.

    Unless it's collectible, mint/NOS-in-the-box, it's not going to go for much. Most of us are up to our arses in film gear and newbies aren't going to load up, whatever the price, as long as film and processing access continue to move towards the endangered species list.

    20-somethings interest in film tends to be fleeting. Like with vinyl, they might buy and play an old Dual table till it breaks but will they upgrade to a Rega? Doubtful.

  7. #7

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    It was not too long ago, when I was building up a Leica system, that one could go to B&H or KEH and find literally pages and pages of listing for Leica lenses. Now there are few to choose from. Back then I picked up a pristine 35mm Summacron for around $1,600. Now the same lens in the same condition goes for around $2,400 to $2,600. I thought it was the introduction of the Leica M9 that was responsible for the higher demand and prices of Leitz lenses now. Just a theory.

  8. #8
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Stat View Post
    It was not too long ago, when I was building up a Leica system, that one could go to B&H or KEH and find literally pages and pages of listing for Leica lenses. Now there are few to choose from. Back then I picked up a pristine 35mm Summacron for around $1,600. Now the same lens in the same condition goes for around $2,400 to $2,600. I thought it was the introduction of the Leica M9 that was responsible for the higher demand and prices of Leitz lenses now. Just a theory.
    Maybe. It's a rarified market. Hardcore Micro 4/3s shooters are bidding up the prices of fast manual primes in mounts with adapters to popular models, mostly for video. Film bodies are what's piling up. Good glass? Not so much.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    ...as long as film and processing access continue to move towards the endangered species list.
    I'd like to think film would last a long time if we were down to one supplier. Certainly there's enough analog shooters to fully support one manufacturer. Lack of competition might hurt product quality but film would stick around.

    Admittedly, I get enough stares at public sites or transportation platforms when I have even one SLR on my neck: I must be nefarious. None of the cops, guards or DHS folks pay any attention to the thousands of phones with 6MP cameras wandering around. They key in on me. Never been stopped though. Not yet anyway.

    s-a

  10. #10
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Honestly, I have found it to be increasingly difficult to buy film cameras during the past two years, approximately synchronized to the Great Recession. Is this true? Are they now more costly? .... - David Lyga
    You cannot be serious....the simple fact is, that you can't hardly give this stuff away these days. have you really looked? I personally have a ton of good used gear I've been slowly trying to get rid of. I've some stuff posted for sale here at what I think are rock bottom prices and am open to offers - there is just no serious interest.
    Last edited by BradS; 08-15-2011 at 02:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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