Food and fuel prices have gone up in the last couple of years in the US, but for reasons having to do with food and fuel themselves (like the increased demand for corn related to biofuel production) rather than because of the "value of the dollar" as such. Cameras have, um, a pretty limited amount of corn in them, so I'd expect their prices to be little affected by the volatility of specific commodities...
Originally Posted by batwister
Hey, it turns out that the Wayback Machine has KEH's catalog from January 1997!
The pages are PDFs; not all of them are there, but some are. Here are a few representative prices from sixteen years ago. Remember, these are 1997 dollars---multiply by about 1.4 to get current equivalent values.
Canon III rangefinder body $205, 50/1.9 Serenar $89
RB67 body with WLF $265 EX, $179 BGN
4x5 Crown Graphic, Graflok with RF, $235
210/5.6 Symmar-S in Copal 1, $429
M3 bodies, $919-1219 (I don't know what all the variations mean)
50/1 Noctilux $2370
50/2 Summicron collapsible $449 EX, $310 BGN
Nikon F3 body $546 EX, $379 BGN
I can't match all of these from their catalog today, but the Symmar, for instance, would run you $179 in EX condition (and that's for the -SMC version, which I think the one in the old catalog isn't).
Of course, 1997 was before d*g*t*l really took off, and it might be more illuminating to look at prices from 5-10 years ago. (Those should be in the Machine too, but I have to get the dishwasher loaded and get to bed.) Still and all, if you tried to fund your retirement by investing in vintage Leica bodies, you might have lost some ground.
Nah. At max it would be a new car for the zeiss lenses I've offloaded a few years ago.
Originally Posted by ntenny
HaHa..They don't make them anymore!!
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
A couple of items that seem to be going up these days:
1) Rollei 35 cameras of various versions, especially the ones with the Sonnar lenses (35S and 35SE).
2) Lenses for Kiev 60 cameras. The cameras themselves seem to be up in price a little, but the lenses seem to be up more, especially the ones that are non-normal in focal length. Also, I have noticed that a lot of the systems are now broken into components rather than complete (body, lens, prism...)
Here in the UK the price rises for film cameras tends to be patchy, depending on the make and perceived "status" of a particular camera. There are a few dealers, particularly in London, who appear to be to hiking up prices of some models (e.g. Rolleiflex, Olympus OM4Ti etc.) in order to create a "collectors market". These dealers will probably be avoided by most genuine photographers, who find that the price for the same items in a store miles away from London, could be as much as 30% cheaper.
The exception here is Leica M series, where the price hike is universal, making the purchase of an M series camera and lenses, increasingly unaffordable for the average enthusiast.
With respect to pretty much most brands of 35mm SLR lenses, we have the Micro-4/3rd's revolution to blame for prices going up. Even pre-AI Nikkors that used to go for $25-$50 are now going for $75-$100, sometimes more. With respect to the Nikon F3 bodies, I've seen the opposite happen. At least, at brick & mortar stores (and KEH). Prices are going down. Back when the dump all film cameras craze started, the cheapest I could find an F3 was about $200. Well-used F3 eyelevel with lots of brassing, a cracked frame counter window, and light leak into the prism from a damaged shell. Today, I can get the same camera, with less cosmetic damage, but a missing AE-L button for $95. KEH still has BGN grade F3's and F3HP's in the $80-$100 range.
eBay tends to be all over the place. Most of the higher priced items, if you look at completed auctions, you'll see them relisted multiple times with the same price. It's as if the sellers don't really want to sell their gear, so they put up an inflated "feeler" price to deter someone from buying it. Case in point, there's one eBay seller in California who keeps selling a couple Nikomat FTn bodies for $300-$400. Ones that aren't in the greatest shape. I can get similar condition bodies from KEH in a lot of 5-7 bodies for $50...
I get the sense that you can pick up a Nikon F100 now a little cheaper than say six months or so ago. I've seen several for well under $200.
Yup. As long as you're not looking for something that looks as if it were new, prices are cheaper than ever on bodies.
There seems to be a general upwards drift on eBay on lenses and bodies to a lesser extent. An ordinary ME Super body that went for $20-$25 a year ago might go for $30-$40 today. OTOH, I picked up an SRT-101 w/ 50mm for $13 plus shipping on Sunday. If it's as the seller described it was quite a steal. Even if it wasn't, it's still looks like it should be a good carry-around kit. Lenses seem to have about gone 1.5-2x in price, although there are still many bargains.
I have never figured out why people keep listing things at the same price forever. I watched a copy of "Modern Photographic Processing V1" hang out for over a year at some crazy price like $142.00. Seems to me if it didn't sell in a month at that price they should have caught on - especially when you can purchase both volumes new for not much more money.
Man, remember when K1000s were selling for upwards of a hundred bucks a few years ago? That was the hipsters. We all bought the 'World's Most Essential and Basic 35mm SLR' hype pretty hard. I thought I was doing amazingly to find one at a pawn shop with a broken framecounter for $40.
And now they're back to under $50. It's a cycle.