WTH is going on? Cost increases in used MF gear??

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by John Galt, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Huss

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    Just a couple of hears ago the Fuji GF670 could be had for under $1000. Now it’s over $2000. Zeiss Ikon ZM was under $1000. Now $1500 +.

    My local camera store’s film dept is extremely busy. And mostly young people.
     
  2. OP
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    John Galt

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    FWIW . . . I pulled the trigger on a 500CM body in EX+ condition with waist level finder on KEH Photo for $698, free shipping and 1 year warranty with 14 day no hassle return. There was a 501CM in EX condition with Accu Matte screen for $998 . . . . I was seriously considering it but I am on a bit of an austere budget . .

    It's like land . . . . they're not making any more of it . . .
     
  3. Millard Marc Thomas

    Millard Marc Thomas Subscriber

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    ________________________________________________________

    I think it's worth noting that my main camera repairman -- the famous Nikon F2 specialist Mr. Sover Wong of Nottingham, England -- currently has a service queue of 14-months, the longest I can recollect in my two+ decades of patronage of his unique services. (How did an electrical engineer end up becoming the world's pre-eminent F2 restorer? -- I shall have to ask!) Anyway, I personally am astonished that, despite there having been some 900,000 Nikon F2's produced in all, there's now a longer line than ever of Nikon F2 owners awaiting Mr. Wong's expert attentions, nearly 40 years on from the camera's last production date.

    So perhaps "supply and demand" cannot fully explain the apparent rising cost of old mechanical film gear of late.

    I *use* my Nikon F2's (although I will admit to 'collecting' a few spare bodies too!), and I'd like to think that Mr. Wong's exraordinarily long service queue at present is an indication that there are many more photographers like me who are increasingly making the same judgement that I did many years ago: that is, that old mechanical cameras are worth the cost of preserving and maintaining.

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  4. ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    Good cameras (new or used) have always been expensive. In 1966 I bought my first Rolleiflex TLR, a 3.5E2, for the equivalent of six months' salary - 52 years later it's worth much less, even with good care and several CLRs which have kept it in top if not entirely pristine condition. It had served me well and I won't sell it, but if I had to, I would be lucky to get A$500 (less than two weeks' average salary in Ozzy) for it on THAT web site haunted mostly by cheapskates looking to buy low and onsell higher. Such isl ife. Tempus fugits, Time passes, things change, and so on.

    But I do agree with those posters who say prices are way up of late. In 2009 I bought a Rolleiflex T kit (camera and case, lens hood, several filters, a 16 exposure kit) for $700 and I thought I was paying too much, but I wanted that camera. These days they sell for A$1,200 and up.

    Ten years ago I would've had any camera in need of repair or service done without a second thought - not so now. Prices in Australia are way too high and I find it's easier to just buy another (again on Ebay) and keep the oldie for display or give it away to someone needing parts. The good service people in Melbourne have retired now, one or two still do the work but the waiting times are getting ever longer. Also the costs. For most cameras other than the 'classics', a full repair may not be worth the cost of buying another.

    The bargains are out there, tho. Last month in Kuala Lumpur, I saw a camera shop with a collection of Nikon SLRs (mostly F3s and F4s) on sale for what I considered to be absurdly low prices - from A$200 up. An F4 with motor drive was on offer for A$300. I was tempted, but with a large collection of almost new Nikkormats gathering dust at home, decided to pass. Most likely these were ex news media anyway, and probably worn out, tho they looked in OK enough condition. A just Sayin' moment - I'm not drawing any conclusions beyond to mention what I saw in passing. I'm convinced there are many such bargains out there to be found, if one takes the time to look and inputs a little determination and patience into the search.

    Prices go up and down. In 2016 I sold my last Hasselblad (a near-mint late 1970s 500CM with a 1998 Planar 80/2.8 with two A12s and a box of useful accessories) for A$1,600. At that time the buyer was convinced he'd scored a true bargain. Maybe. Now he has it up for sale in various places (Ebay included) but is getting offers of A$600-$900. Hm. A cautionary tale or a good op to buy? It depends on your viewpoint.

    This said, I believe most good classic gear can still fetch high prices. The Rolleicord Vb and Rolleiflex 2.8E kits I found (and bought quickly-smartly!) in 2017 for very low prices, were one-off events even if I did luck into two such prizes in the same year. Again, just to say such finds are around, if you go hunting for them with cash to buy on the spot in your pocket.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  5. wyofilm

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    The fall of film has allowed me to own many cameras I lusted after years ago. With that said, there are many models of cameras (thanks youtube) that are pushing prices way up. Overall, a good thing as I believe it to mean that new/returning films photographers are entering the film camera market (after watching youtube).
     
  6. Huss

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  7. Dan Daniel

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  8. guangong

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    Prices going up is a good sign. Indicates increased market for MF film. Reasons for decline in supply of better MF cameras have been discuss by previous contributors.
     
  9. cb1

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    I just picked up a "near mint" RB67 180mm C lens for $100 off ebay out of Japan.
    RB lenses are awesome value.
     
  10. John51

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    Same here. I never lusted after Nikons or Leicas back then though. Maybe they were so beyond me that I couldn't even dream of owning one. :smile:
     
  11. Sirius Glass

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    Congratulations! That just means you wait a little longer between lenses.
     
  12. Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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    I wonder what the ceiling is for film camera prices, and then if that ceiling is high enough for the big players to get interested in camera production again.

    As the bottom falls out of the digital 35mm compact market and premium film compact prices skyrocket, I wonder if Ricoh or Fuji are getting interested ?
     
  13. Sirius Glass

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    Where is the skyrocket? I have been looking at the sky and I cannot find one labeled film? The online and brick and mortar store prices occasionally rise in small amounts.
     
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  15. Pieter12

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    If the bottom falls out of the digital compact market (not truly 35mm in sensor size), it will be because of the smartphone cameras, not film. As hip as it might seem, tons more photos are being taken with phones than film cameras.
     
  16. Theo Sulphate

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    For a manufacturer such as Nikon, Canon, Minolta, etc., the cost of tooling up for even one of their previous entry-level film cameras is enormous. There would be no profit or financial incentive. Best to enjoy the F6. Besides, there is a plethora of used film cameras worldwide.
     
  17. aoresteen

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    Except in Hawaii - lava flows to sea. :smile:
     
  18. aoresteen

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    The Hasselblad XPAN and 617 cameras have doubled in 3 years. I though I'd be abel to pick up an Xpan & 45mm lens for $1000 but they are over $2500 in decent shape. The Fuji GX617 is off the charts now.

    OTOH Pentax 6x7 & Mamiya 645 are bargains right now. The lenses are really cheap.
     
  19. abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    I don't think Ste_S was implying that film will kill digital point and shoots, but rather that since cell phones are killing then, the manufacturers may look for low volume high profit opportunities. (I don't think film cameras will be that opportunities, but you never know...)
     
  20. GLS

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    With regards to the Pentax, it depends; I have seen significant price rises for a lot of that gear over the last year or so. The Pentax 67II is now very expensive (typically £2k+), but even the older models have also increased. The 105mm lens similarly commands a high price.
     
  21. abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    The P67 bodies have gotten to the point that I wouldn’t call them all that cheap, but the lenses, with a few exceptions like the 105, the 75/2.8 and the 100 macro, are still pretty budget friendly.
     
  22. Alan Gales

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    Yeah, all you need is a cell phone to post "selfies" on the web. Would you like to see some pictures of my feet in the sand? :D
     
  23. jtk

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    IMO digital photographers (camera or phone) are photographers-first, antique-collectors not-at-all.

    Very few living pros use film cameras...the big names from the 1990s are digital now (e.g. Salgado) and Kodak isn't capable of driving its own bus . The "market" has moved ahead.
     
  24. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Well. it has certainly moved.
     
  25. jnanian

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    i can't imagine that every happening, and IDK about the film cameras vs cellphones that doesn't seem right
    are you absolutely sure there are more people making photographs digitally these days, and with a phone than with film ?
     
  26. GLS

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    And the ED telephotos.

    But yes, many of the lenses remain quite reasonable. For me the standouts in terms of price-to-performance are the late model 55mm f4, and the 135mm macro.
     
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