This question just crossed what's left of my mind ... Has anyone ever seen any info on what folders from the 1950s sold for when new?
I am particularly interested in the Voigtländer Perkeo II with Color Skopar (and the Ercona II with CZJ Tessar, but data from behind the Iron Curtain is probably rare and not meaningful). I assume that cameras with four or five element lenses were premium products targeted at "advanced amateurs" and beyond but I don't have much sense of what retail prices they might have carried.
I've tried some Googling, but wind up with current used pricing if I find any pricing at all.
This will give you a rough idea http://www.marriottworld.com/ccm%20articles/1947.htm
There wasn't much inflation then so 1947 prices will be roughly the same as 1950s prices. I think you're looking at £40 to £50 for a coupled rangefinder and £15 to £40 for a more modest folder. My Ensign Commando cost me the same a year or two ago as it cost its original owner.... except that £50 in 1947 is the equivalent of £1,550 today, according to an inflation calculator. So the price of a high-quality, up-to-date, advanced enthusiast's camera hasn't changed
much in real terms in 60 years.
If you are interested in the price in US dollars, remember that the exchange rate was completely different back then.
Thanks Paul, that's at least some info.
I guess if I wasn't so lazy I could try and locate a library stash of US photo magazines, either paper or microfilm, and find some ads in the back. I was hoping there might ba a major compendium online that I had missed.
Yeah. You probably want the the Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/photos/nesster...ool-682685@N22
Thanks! Guy has some interesting stuff up there. Brings back memories of making wish lists while staring through all those fine print ads!
I don't know about folders, but I'm looking at an ad for an Olympus S for "only $79.95". The S II is listed at $114.50 and the Wide S at $124.50.
The "Economy Models" are showing $59.95 for both the Oly 35 and Wide-E.
For perspective, the BLS Inflation Calculator puts the economy models at just over $500 in 2014 dollars, and the Wide S at over $1000. Photography was not a cheap hobby back then!