Is the market for used LF cameras growing?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I don't know if it's just my perception, but when I was checking out LF cameras on eBay, it seems that the cost of LF cameras have gone up and there are fewer LF cameras on the market. Is this just my perception?
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I've not looked at LF cameras on ebay recently, but I expect your perception may be accurate. With the quality available from some of the top end digitals rivaling (some might say surpassing) MF, Large Format is the last bastion for more image quality. It's also the holy grail of being a "real photographer".

    The piece of anecdotal evidence I have is that a fellow I know who builds and repairs LF and ULF cameras isn't hurting for work, and has a comfortable backlog, as of the last time I talked to him.
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    New prices have risen. I got a Shen-Hao 8x10 new in 2009 for $1916. The inflation calculator indicates that would be $2,203 in 2017 dollars. However, the new price actually is one thousand dollars more; $3,295
     
  4. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    Yes, they are rising in value. I've noticed that as well. They seemed to have bottomed out a few years ago, and are slowly regaining some of their lost value. But just about all film cameras have seen that trend, perhaps large format the least of them. Or at least their curve is a bit behind the others.

    When my Dad first gave me his old Pentax K1000 a few years ago, they were selling for about $30. They seem to go for 2-3x that amount today.
     
  5. WilmarcoImaging

    WilmarcoImaging Member

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    It’s also the Christmas/Hanukkah/gift giving season, and the global economy is good. All are factors which tighten the market.
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    looking at some off the replies, You seem to be right, which is good news. I completed my MF and LF sets years ago and they seem to last for decades.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    That's a good thing. It's way better than today's mega pixel race where photographers update camera every few years. I remember a few years back I bought some MF and LF cameras for very little money compared to today's prices. I knew the value of them from the 80's and I have a feeling that some photographers were dumping their old gear to go digital or upgrade their current digital gear. I thought the analog gear market would never recover. Again, if my predictions may be wrong. I bought a Burke and James 5x7 camera for $200 4 years ago.
     
  8. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    Speed Graphics look like they are on the rise but 4x5 monorails still seem to be dirt cheap. Every time I look I see decent Cambos with lenses for a few hundred dollars, so basically buy a lens and get a free camera. 8x10 feels like it is creeping up again, but maybe I am just remembering the cheap buys I got after a lot of looking. Run of the mill 4x5 lenses (70s and 80s Schneider and Rodenstock) don't seem to have risen in value at all while a lot of weird and wonderful stuff certainly has.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The prices could well be going up. I have all the cameras which I want and I have not looked at prices in several years.
     
  10. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    The golden buying period is over on eBay
    I see more garbage and higher prices
    The bargains were years ago when the pros were dumping large format
    Go support the current makers..we have some nice,picking out,there for new
     
  11. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    You mean lots of beat up ancient lenses,that are popular now...you could have bought a boxcar full for nothing
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The period of free large format enlargers seems to be coming to an end also.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    This is an interesting screen shot. I searched the trend for search terms "Lomography" and "film camera" Very slight up trend in "film camera" and down trend in "lomography" since 2011.
    You can draw your on conclusions.
    film vs lomography.jpg
     
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  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Frequency of "View Camera" vs Lomography searches over time since 2004 also shows in increase in "View Camera" interest.
    view camera vs lomo.jpg
     
  16. OP
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    Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I remember seeing Polaroid 8x10 processesors for under $200. Now they're more. LF is more popular. Maybe the magic of digital photography has lost the magic glow?
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Digital interest.jpg
     
  18. brent8927

    brent8927 Subscriber

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    I don't think this is unique to just LF, though I agree it's the one format where it's clear as day film still surpasses digital. I've noticed used Hasselblad equipment both on ebay and KEH are a good amount higher than when I was first buying equipment in the 2000's. I get that prices go up with inflation, but I don't believe we've had much inflation at all over the last 10-20 years, and I believe used Hasselblad prices have gone up around 30%.

    Certainly one aspect may be that it's just getting harder to find equipment in that "like new" or "ex+" condition. I suspect this could be a factor with used LF equipment too? Though I do believe LF equipment is much easier to fix/maintain--how you compose your image is much more complicated with all the movements, but the camera itself is far simpler mechanically.

    (Does it drive anyone else crazy when you see items listed as "like new minus" and they're clearly KEH "Ex" at best?)
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it might be growing, but people only want cheap, free or the lending tree
     
  20. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

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    Is this based on direct experience or via third parties through reviews, blog posts and other internet born proclamations?
    Because in my direct professional experience, images from digital cameras at around 50MP with good glass like Zeiss or quality tilt-shift types printed at 30x40” are pulling away from a good print from 4x5, at least in color.

    My sole reason for shooting film in 35mm, 120 and 4x5 is the hand made black and white print, it’s well worth the effort.

    As far as the price of gear creeping up, I keep track of it for insured replacement value reasons and the really good stuff like Apo Sironar S lenses is indeed creeping up. Hasselblad lenses seem to fluctuate by as much as -10 to +10 percent.

    Top quality / modern darkroom equipment has become more scarce and the prices reflect that.

    For example my first Saunders LPL 4550 XLG VCCE was $450 at an estate sale in 2013, it was in mint shape and came with four carriers and lens cones.

    My second one was $950 in 2015 via a camera dealer in California, still in mint shape and about the same accesories as the above.

    But my third one was a whopping $2,200 last week. Now it is literally brand new with the impossible to find stabilized power supply ($600 new ) but man, that hurt!

    As for large format camera used prices, they are still dirt cheap so I bought both my Chamonix 45N2 and Gibellini ACN45 brand new.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You're right Daniel prices for second-hand darkroom equipment is rising as demand is outstripping supply. When I bought my DE Vere 5108 enlarger (10x*) about 12 or 13 years ago there were always two or three being listed on ebay with a lot of 504, now both are much harder to find and prices have risen quite steeply.

    I've also noticed second hand LF camera prices rising but not all types mainly more desirable field and technical cameras, there's still bargains if you know what you're looking for. However there's a very definite upward trend and a lot more amateurs beginning LF work particularly here in the UK/Europe where 20-30 years ago only professionals were using them (I began using LF for work around 1976 so observed this shift).

    Ian
     
  22. OP
    OP
    Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I'm an old dog with LF. Got my first 4x5 over 30 years ago through Calumet. I've gotten a few LF cameras since then. I have to admit I didn't touch my Sinar F2 for a couple of years from pro burnout. Luckily I rediscovered the magic not too long after by bring it to a road trip. I still can't help myself looking at the negs fresh out of the fix.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The digital revolution caused a glut of Hasselblad cameras and equipment at the time I bought mine. Now that surplus from professional photographers has been absorbed so the market is going back up for those cameras and lenses. If it was not for the digital revolution I would still be only shooting 35mm and I would not have my Hasselblads, Graphic, Graflex, WideLux and darkroom. I would only be thinking about them.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I go to a local Camera Fair quite regularly, there's 4 or 5 a year, I guess I started going about 10 years ago on trips home while living in Turkey. What I've noticed is 35mm SLR prices haven't changed a lot except for some of the more desirable top end cameras but MF cameras sell easily prices are rising there's less each year and the same goes for LF cameras and lenses.

    In a nearby town there's a Sunday market with a stall selling photo equipment, the stall holder saw my Rolleiflex about 3 years ago and asked about it, he could see I wasn't interested in selling it but said he could get £750 for it (it's in near mint condition) when last valued about 10 years earlier it was worth around £300 - £350, both values match ebay completed sales figures. Actuall this also matches APUG/Photrio sales :D

    Ian
     
  25. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Phase One now has a 100 mega pixel back. I have not used one but I'd bet it's as sharp or sharper than my 8x10. Of course it costs a fortune.
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Is your maths right ? My B&W 5x4 high res scans are 250mb, my 10x8 1gb, that's close to a factor of 10x larger, colour scans would be 3 times larger. The issue here is software interpolation, when I did my Photography MA (2001/2) I shot one project with a 2mp camera and made superb A3 prints, most of the print quality came from the Canon printer driver.

    You have to remember how most commercial images are used, mostly magazines or other publications, and of course website, bill boards etc are actually printed al quite low resolutions and can be made from 35mm images.

    So scan a 10x8 B&W or Colour negative or positive and you'll very easily out perform a 100mp back.

    Ian
     
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