Where are the new ones
At present, we who are using film cameras are in the minority away from the feeding frenzy of new and even more expensive digital offerings being churned onto the market seemingly in ever larger number every day.
The supply of film, chemicals, paper accessories are still readily available on the open market and have even increased in the past couple of years. BUT there are very few NEW cameras being offered for sale. I believe Nikon still make the F6 in small numbers, Leica still have their 'M' series (I don't know about the reflexes) But these instruments are all high end in the price bracket. I won't even make mention of medium format models, the Bronicas, Mamyiyas, Rollieflexes. I know the Rollie is still made, almost to order but at an astronomic price
Then there are the newer rangefinder models marketed under the Voightlander name lower down the price scale and a few models sold as entry level models 'recommended' for students. Mostly we rely upon film cameras, some relatively new, but quite a lot which are 'getting on a bit'. The choice of cameras and lenses at present is still reasonably good, especially from the likes of Canon, Nikon and to some extent Pentax, Olympus and Minolta. Even with the last three there is a definite sign that some of these are drying up.
Where do we go when all of the good models die simply of old age, which they must surely do because new spares for the older models must be almost non existent, relying on canabalism to keep them working. Especially the ones using some sort of electronics to fire the shutter.
I don't know about elsewhere in the world, but in UK the availability of good Pentax or similar 42mm thread models is at a very low state. Yes they are mechanical and they could be repaired (mostly). They were probably the post prolific cameras of all time but they have almost simply vanished, gone, disappeared. (Compared to say 5 years ago). It makes me think that to some extent unless a reasonably priced mid range series of cameras is reintroduced, we could be living on borrowed time.
The F6 is made in about 50 cameras a month...
It seems the largest choice of new (and newly constructed cameras) has Lomography.
Some time ago there was an add-up thread about new cameras.
Here it is:
I have a car manufactured in 1972, that I stilll use regularly. I can buy ALL the parts for it off the shelf. As long as there is demand, someone somewhere will keep the demand supplied. My car is an MG Midget. Same with cameras. At the moment the used supply is such that it is uneconomic for anyone to specialise in supplying new/refurbished, but in time it will happen. For example, if you took a common and good model - say Olympus OM - there are only so many bitsthat wear out. You could totally specialise in these buying up all old bodies, remanufacturing the few bits you need, and selling out as new re-built. They would cost £100s but in time I am sure it will happen.
I have a feeling that film cameras will outlast film. If you take all the cameras made by the major manufacturers, there must be millions still in circulation. I bet film will no longer be made before the last of these ceases to function.
I can also tell you that my mechanical typewriters will still be working long after ribbons are kaput.
I don't forsee the need to replace any of my cameras during my lifetime. Some of the accesories may become hard to repair or unrepairable due to new parts availability, but I doubt even that will be a problem.
I own a Leica IIf which was made the year I was born, and it is still taking great photos. I seriously doubt that I will outlive its usefulness. It's those brand new digital cameras being sold today which will very soon become obsolete because of the ever changing technology in the digital realm.
And obsolescence aside, repair of the digicams will involve highly specialised replacement parts, often specific to a certain model, often made only by the original manufacturer. Your Leica can be supplied with newly fabricated parts if the future owner wants to pay for them, that won't be possible for the digicams.
Originally Posted by M Stat
I suppose at present, it's tough for a manufacturer to introduce, say, a new film SLR, when there are such good ones available used for pennies. There are a few makers out there of course, like Cosina, Phenix etc. I think the reason Cosina can make a go of range finders is that even the ancient, battered old Leicas are still expensive. SLRs are different as you can get a practically new Nikon FM3a for not that much. Large format is still well catered for though with new cameras, and medium format is fairly well handled too.
I think if Cosina can work out a way to sell an SLR against practically free used ones, then I think they may try again.
I own over a dozen 35mm SLRs and I rarely shoot 35mm anymore. I'm not hording them, they are just not worth more than $20-30 each IF I could find a buyer. Not worth the trouble to try and sell. Now, when the film camera Apocalypse happens, and cameras become scarce, then I'll be sitting pretty. But I'm not holding my breath.
Originally Posted by jcoldslabs
leicas can wear out, I suppose, but you have to be trying. Ditto Nikon and Canon pro-level cameras, of which there are now many for sale cheap. So I think your fear is overblown. There is a huge supply of very good usable equipment out there -- compared to digital professional cameras even used leicas are a bargain -- people know I'm into cameras and give me stuff. I'm about to take several kits to the local university photography program for students to use.