Why are Polaroid 405 backs so expensive?
Yesterday, I delved into the many crates in my storage unit to unearth a small cache of Polaroid backs in multiple sheet film sizes. I mated a 405 to my latest acquisition.
Rather, when first toying with this new camera, the 405 back, which has sat unused for more than a decade (I shot with the 545 series, never cared for the 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 format) decided to show its age. So I hopped onto eBay to peek at what a "new" Polaroid 405 back would run me - $200. Somehow, defying, every tradition in the global second-hand marketplace, this item is selling used for more than many times its original retail value. Furthermore, they really aren't that old to play the whole "and adjusting for inflation bit. 405 were for the shooter on a budget, 545 were the pro series. Pros preferred the larger 4x5 size which mated to the framing of the film to be shot afterwards, with a stable of unique films like Type 55P/N. Hh how I pine for thee, I mis you terribly 55P/N - hands down the best film ever for the Bohemian photo artist, smoking hand rolled cigarettes, and once a month selling prints on a sidewalk in the local city center, wherever they may be parking their boots; selling to disseminate their art with and recoup costs, but not with any financial urgency. You might be able to tell that I have been contemplating that little scenario with a touch of an application to myself.
Certainly, there is nothing collectible about a 405. Certainly more useful than the other instant film backs for whom their film format has sailed the river D76 into the great stop bath beyond, but surely there are enough of these to go around to such a diminishing market slowly being extinguished by lack of media to compose upon. They should stay at the same value, if not decrease as time goes onwards as many items facing then suffering obsolesce do.