Is the market for used LF cameras growing?

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

  1. fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    Atibaia, SP - Brazil
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hey, so now we’re artists!? Cool! :cool:
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,652
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    Only if you want to be.
     
  3. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

    Messages:
    552
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    Torino, Italy
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I agree with your interpretation of the market. The same thing also happened in other fields that have nothing to do with photography, like LP records, or vintage model trains. In some cases the industry could still act to compensate the increased demand (reissue LPs are being massively pressed, and today it's easier and in most cases cheaper to buy a factory new LP than a vintage one), in others, like film photography, it didn't.

    I have, however, a different opinion about top-of-the-line cameras selling at quite the same prices of shoddy cameras. Perhaps the two of us were tracking different makes and models over the years, but excellent cameras were always orders of magnitude more expensive than gimcrack ones in my experience. The digital craze just turned cameras that were sold at absolutely insane prices ever since, finally barely affordable (with sacrifice) for a worker. But, as said, we were perhaps looking for different items.
     
  4. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It seems to me that the LF market uptick is real. The real question for me is why. Don't discount the idea that a new generation can gain satisfaction from film photography, including in LF. I think it is great, even if means prices have ticked up. As long as the new crowd buys film, I'm happy.
     
  5. johnnyh

    johnnyh Subscriber

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    near Bristol
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Was it this by Tim Parkin ? About a third of the way down the page.
    https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2014/12/36-megapixels-vs-6x7-velvia/

    There are numerous links in the article
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  6. Tobes71

    Tobes71 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Location:
    Chichester, West Sussex
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    From my perspective LF lenses rather than cameras are climbing in price. There is a limited supply of good lenses, but there is actually quite a lot of choice in new LF film cameras. It seems unlikely that the cost of second hand field cameras would ever surpass the price of their new alternatives.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    24,212
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    it does, there is a problem that people who have "nice gear" and are trying to sell it tend to have ...
    bikini bottom dwellers, students and people with no money who want to get into LF cant' afford the stuff
    because they think it is 2002 and a top-end sinar or arca swiss, or korona
    is going for 200$ fully loaded with backs from 8x10-2x3 split, with a tripod, and 9 film holders each format ..
    these days, there are super nice new cameras being made by a handful of makers, stuff that's been in a moist garage for 30years
    stuff that people who bought nice-nice as you mention decide to sell, and buyers are looking for a nice-nice for
    some sort of ultimate $200 for everthing included price. my limited experience is that i had a camera for sale
    included a whole bunch of stuff ( stuff that isn't made and is hard to find these days ) camera was used maybe 15 times
    selling for maybe 1/2 the price new ( or less ) and people attempted to wear me down and insist i sell it all for $100
    and then being dogged for months because i didn't.

    there's been a massive sell off for 15 years, few bargains, and lots of bargain hunters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  8. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    6,015
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I'm just waiting about another half hour until it's a bit warmer to head out for my walk with a backpack, with my Sinar Norma 4X5 in it. Those were quite expensive in their day, and that level of 1960-1970's Swiss machining and detailing would be almost unthinkable today. But I bought it in very nice condition from a studio user for only $600, and with reasonable care, it could last another century. I get a lot of compliments on it. Lots of techies who work in the digital imaging game hike or bike the trails around here, and they know the real deal when they see it, and themselves refer to it as a "real camera", and often even ask to look under the darkcloth. But they tend to be very polite, and never walk or ride in front of the camera without asking first. ... a completely different experience than inland, where they think you are some kind of terrorist or govt spy with a snooping device on the wooden tripod. Some lenses have gone way up in value - esp lightwt field lenses - while lots of big studio lenses have collapsed in price. Portability also seems to greatly affect supply and demand pricing of view cameras themselves.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,757
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    I think you've touched on a turning point Drew. After a few years of the fully digital crown who never used film (still or cine) and always knocking analog there's a growing realism that they've missed out.

    You only have to look at the plethora of film based Kickstarter etc projects whether for cameras, lenses, film, paper etc. But then you realise many don't do any meaning research before shelling out mega bucks on new products via Kickstarter that they could buy for a fraction of the cost. I guess it was the Lomography Petzval that was the first, then the Direct Positive paper that wasn't as it needed reversal processing. Now we have two none genuine "Biotar" lenses a 75mm f1,5 and an 20mm f2 both made by a new company easily reaching & passing their target funding, but there's no Zeiss input and selling at a price that even Zeiss themselves could under cut manufacturing in the far east.

    My interest in the Biotar is I bought a 58mm f2 Biotar with a Praktina FX camera 3 weeks ago at a bargain price and the lens is in near mint condition, optically perfect, I paid about 1/3 the usual Ebay (completed) price for just a Biotar for the camera nad lens. I knew there was a Kickstarter project to remake the 75mm f1.5 and they are rare, the last one I saw sell went for $2,000. But was shocked to see how much they wanted for their 58mm f2 lens, you can buy them in good condition for less than 10% of their discounted price, and hey the Russian Helios 58mm f2 44-2 lens is identical, particularly the early ones.

    It's the reverse of teaching "Old Dogs New Tricks" :D

    Ian
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,016
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You mean teaching new dog old tricks? You and inexperience is no match for old age and analog skills?
     
  11. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    True!

    But also, I think much of it is a new sand box to play in. It really is the Neo-Victorian era. 50 year old Leicas and iPhone exposure apps. 8x10 field cameras and Instagram. Being 'part of' something can be exciting and interesting. Hence, the role of Kickstarter. They aren't always wrong. You can read about a zillion posts which purport that there is a near endless supply of used (working!) 35mm cameras out there. That really isn't true. A Kickstarter for a new 35mm camera? There might be a need. I'm not going to tell someone not to do it. More power to the next gen ... especially, if it keeps film being made.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,757
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No the young are buried beneath disinformation :D

    I embraced Digital I guess 25 years ago, it's just another way of working, we had (and still have), B&W, Colour neg, colour positive, Polaroid and clones,and the darkroom work behind most of it then Digital and a Hybrid cross over (as Edmund Land hd predicted).

    Is it a new sandbox ? or a series of differencing sand boxes, I remember as a kid going to my Scottish Grand parents where I played with the same toys my father and siblings had played with 40+ years before, and having seen what my nieces first child in Iceland is playing with it's no different, Horses for courses, she hops round Iceland on her hobby horse rounding up the sheep and then Skype's my sister (her grand mother).

    It's about understanding reality :D

    Ian
     
  13. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    6,015
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I run into quite a few digi engineers and even execs who would love to be doing what I do, which incidentally equates to have a creative outlet during your days off not being tethered to the ball and chain of a computer screen! The difference between them and me is that I bought a house and commercial building here over forty years ago, and have a deluxe darkroom. But there's a special term for any techie who makes under 150K a year - they're called homeless! Either that, or they're crammed four to six in a small apt. Not many can afford their own darkroom due to the obscene real estate prices around here, even though some have genuine interest. And no, they're not going to give up weekend access to the beach or redwoods or ski slopes to go work for some tech startup in Texas. If you're stuck sleeping in your car here in order to save up a little nest egg, at least you have a view (or an interesting riot from time to time).
     
  16. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just finished watching a Youtube video on Intrepid's first release of 8x10 cameras. They have just starting shipping what will be 400 brand new 8x10 cameras, in addition to the 4x5 camera they currently sell. I think that this will put a dent in the present supply of suitable lenses out there. Since, they offer a 4x5 reducing back, as well, my guess is that more first time large format buyers will be shooting 4x5 (just a guess).



    Video link:
     
  17. mrosenlof

    mrosenlof Subscriber

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the market is still pretty soft for monorail 4x5 cameras. I think they are the ideal first LF camera, but most people seem to want field cameras.
     
  18. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I spent $10,000 on the 50MP back for my V system and because of that purchase, I now shoot a lot more film with my Hasselblad system than before because it is a more flexible system on paid commercial shoots that also yield opportunities in fine art.

    I’m fine with not discussing this D stuff in the analog forum but it really came down to one person starting off down this path early on in the thread. I shot an architectural piece last year in that I used drum scanned 4x5 color neg and the 50MP back and the performance of the MF-D back pretty much equaled the scans.

    All that stuff aside, I am building out a spectacular fine art darkroom at a furious rate these days...it’s where my heart of hearts belongs...:smile:
     
  19. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Yeah, I agree. I always recommend a monorail to someone starting out. Most are dirt cheap and the easiest camera to learn on since all the movements are available and they are so straight forward to use. I've seen some old but still quite usable monorails sell as cheap as $50 on Ebay. For $200 you can get a real nice Cambo/Calumet or Toyo model.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,016
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  21. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep....and it is unfunded because there is already a serious glut of new LF cameras on the market.

    If I had an itch to bring a new camera to market, the last thing I would do is add yet one more LF camera.
     
  22. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They went unfunded because Intrepid got there first. Intrepid was successful with their 4x5 camera and is now shipping 400! new 8x10 field cameras. I would say that there is a glut of monorail LF cameras on the market. Ebay search for an 8x10 field camera yields only a handful of cameras - either junk or $3k +. While the intrepid cameras have limitations, they appear to be more than worthwhile for someone starting out in LF photography or a reasonably priced, lightweight 2nd field camera.
     
  23. jrhilton

    jrhilton Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't think the market is growing by any significant amount, if at all myself, but the supply of good equipment is going down. After all a good LF camera should last a lifetime (which can't be said about many things these days) so why sell unless you really need to.

    Based on people I know who have got into 10x8 in recent years they are mostly shooting xray film, Harman DPP or enlarging paper etc though and are often dabbling with alt-processes (which is an area I think has definitely grown in popularity). Not too surprising when you look at the cost of LF film.
     
  24. Luckless

    Luckless Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Given that this is the first time I've heard of La8"10" or Woodyman Project (Or possibly ulule...), I would argue that part of their failure to reach funding goals would have to do with their initial marketing push, rather than solely based on someone else 'beating them to market'.

    From general photography groups I've been part of, I have personally noticed what appears to be a growing interest in large format. More people see content about them and existing users talking about why they enjoy it, and that makes for more people saying "Hey, that sounds like a good idea..." - It is why I gained interest in large format a few years back, and finally got a 4x5 about a year ago. I've not gotten to use mine a great deal and haven't had the time/resources to explore it a great deal, but I know I will be adding to my collection of tools for working with in over the next few years, and will eventually dive into 8x10 or even larger. How long I stick with it is still very up in the air, but at this time I'm feeling like large and ultra large format are going to hold a lot of my interest in the long run.
     
  25. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    6,015
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I don't ever want a self-driving car. I can't even stand an automatic transmission. I want to feel the road, or rut, or pasture. I never liked any kind of auto anything on a camera. The pixel counters miss the point completely. If you want better pictures, you need something to slow you down and make you contemplate what you're supposedly looking at.
     
  26. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Drew, you would like my 03 Wrangler Rubicon. Inline six, manual transmission, true locking front and rear differentials, soft top and even vinyl seats! Oh, and you will definitely feel the road, rut, pasture, trail or rocks. :D I wouldn't want a self driving car either and automatic transmissions bore me.

    When I started out in 35mm someone told me to keep my 20 best pictures in an album, update and review them every month and slowly lower the quantity down to 10 best. I did that. What I noticed was that almost every one of my best pictures was taken with a tripod. They were not sharper, just better. I figured out that the tripod slowed me down and improved my photography.

    I do like aperture priority, zoom lenses and even digital for shooting sports but sports is a different animal.
     
,