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Wish you had bought before the boom? Cameras
Old 08-14-2018   #1
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Wish you had bought before the boom? Cameras

In 2006, I got a mint black Contax T3 for what was about $600 USD. A lot of money back then, especially when factoring in exchange rates and shipping to Australia, which came close to $900 AUD total. That's what you paid for a premium digital camera at that time, even now.

Now, the T3 sells on eBay for over $1500 USD, sometimes coming close to $1900. It's bananas.

In 2007, Matt Alofs noted that a Hexar AF sells for between $300 and $500. A quick check of the Bay suggests prices of $630 for a used silver to $1200 for a mint black AF.

http://blog.mattalofs.com/hexar-af-review/

In 2008, I had the opportunity to buy a black Hexar AF in good condition. Passed on it because I thought at the time that my T3 was just as quiet, and even smaller. There was a decent condition Contax G2 set with three lenses, which I also passed on. Now kits go for twice the price. Had I bought them, I would have got ten years of enjoyment, assuming all was well with their operation.

Are there any cameras you wish you had bought before the boom? How do you feel about the rising prices of niche film gear?
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Old 08-14-2018   #2
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Raising prices on some cameras I never cared for doesn't concern me. But I paid higher price for new R2M knowing what they are not going to be sold for less.
Yet...
Somewhere at verge of millenium we purchased EOS300 for under 300$ with kit lens as family camera. I'm still using it and in fact this camera put big question on Leica more and more.
Today I purchased EOS, one we couldn't afford back then.
EOS ELAN IIe with wider kit lens, for 80 CAD.
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Old 08-14-2018   #3
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If I had a crystal ball and could foresee events in the future then I would be a multimillionaire by now and I would rarely make a mistake.

Many things that could have been bought for relatively low prices a few decades ago or even a few years ago are now beyond the reach of most people.

I remember seeing a 1957 Goldtop Les Paul guitar in 1981 going for 3100 dollars and thinking that is a ridiculous high price... now 80,000 to 50,000 dollars is the going rate depending on condition and originality.

Hindsight is 20/20 is the well known saying, and very true.
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Old 08-14-2018   #4
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I think all-mechanical cameras are still good buys, especially 50's and 60's with no batteries. It is lenses that seem to be climbing faster every month.
There are lots of things that are falling in price though, like my stock picks.
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Old 08-14-2018   #5
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I would have loved to play around with a T3 or similar, mostly because it’s a type of camera which would never be more than a novelty for me, so there’s no way I’d pay $1k+.

At a more relevant level for me personally - I wish I’d bought a Summaron f2.8 before everyone seemed to remember how good they are...
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Old 08-15-2018   #6
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Another camera which has caught my eye is the Pentax LX. I've only just found out that it was a pro level body which was produced for almost twenty years, but it still very compact, and completely dust and moisture sealed. I already have a couple of nice SMC Pentax A manual focus lenses from the 70's and would quite enjoy a small pro film SLR. Prices on these seem to be semi reasonable at the moment. Maybe now is the time to grab one, before Instagram models start parading them around and jack up the prices.
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Old 08-15-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archiver View Post
Another camera which has caught my eye is the Pentax LX. I've only just found out that it was a pro level body which was produced for almost twenty years, but it still very compact, and completely dust and moisture sealed. I already have a couple of nice SMC Pentax A manual focus lenses from the 70's and would quite enjoy a small pro film SLR. Prices on these seem to be semi reasonable at the moment. Maybe now is the time to grab one, before Instagram models start parading them around and jack up the prices.
Your issue with the LX is going to be serviceability, rather than inflation. The prices have hardly shifted over recent years, but Eric Hendrickson (legendary Pentax technician) has commented a few times recently that parts for the electrical circuits are becoming very difficult to come by.

Definitely get one, they're fantastic! Just don't be surprised if you end up with a pretty paperweight in a couple of years...
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Old 08-15-2018   #8
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No cameras but Leica M lenses. Back in ca. 2005 they were expensive but nowadays second hand prices are that high.
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Old 08-15-2018   #9
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Quote:
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At a more relevant level for me personally - I wish I’d bought a Summaron f2.8 before everyone seemed to remember how good they are...

...This!...
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Old 08-15-2018   #10
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@nickthetasmaniac - thank you for the advice, I'll take that on board. The Pentax ME is a lovely camera, and the thought of having a full fledged pro camera that takes these lenses is very appealing. I'll be careful and try to get something recent with little use, and for a reasonable price.
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Old 08-15-2018   #11
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Not really. But I do wish I'd bought the 911 I walked away from ten years ago because it had the nasty tan leather interior.

Ah well :-)

Anyone else noticed that the price of Hasselblad V cameras and lenses hasn't moved much in the last three years? Maybe those will be the next ones to go boom?!
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Old 08-15-2018   #12
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If I had a crystal ball...

Well, you all know the end of that sentence.

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Old 08-15-2018   #13
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Seems that now's a good time to invest in the "second-best" cameras to the ones that are most hyped.

Mamiya 7 prices have gone through the roof, and Pentax 6x7/RZ67's are following as people get priced out of the 7 (hard to find a P67 kit with the 105 2.4 for under 700-800 nowadays)
Contax T2/T3 has gone crazy, driving up the prices on the Yashica T4/Stylus Epics that were once seen as bargain versions of the Contaxes.
Leica M6 and Contax G2 have also seen a decent (though not as pronounced) spike, which seems to be bleeding over to some of the other Leicas. The M4-2 and M4-p in particular are selling for 200ish more than they were a year ago, at least on eBay/KEH.

Seems to just be a matter of anticipating what people will move to when the hype cameras get too expensive/start dying out (in the case of the compacts). I'm personally pleased that I bought an M4 last year, when the M6 was getting all the attention, and prices on it have climbed $200-300 in that time as people look for something cheaper than the M6.
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Old 08-15-2018   #14
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I bought a bunch of cameras during the price dive of film cameras all are worth more than I paid except one. I have a mint Canon 650 that is worth less.
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Old 08-15-2018   #15
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Yep, film point and shoots are seeing crazy prices... and I like those, but will not be buying.
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Old 08-15-2018   #16
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I bought before the boom, had my fill then sold them at a profit.

Every now and then I'll come across a deal on something and usually buy it up, bring it back to the city and sell at a profit.

An example would be a P67 WLF in the case for $50 that I resold for $150. Little things like that to get some extra film money or whatnot.
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Old 08-15-2018   #17
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I've won some and lost some. I picked up my very nice collection of Canon FD and Pentax M42 Takumar glass just before the mirrorless "legacy lens" thing started driving them up; on the other hand I probably sold my black M6 TTL .85 way too cheap about two years ago, if recent prices are any indication. And I've pretty much given up on the Pentax 67ii ever coming down to earth. But my favorite 35mm camera at the moment is a Canon EOS Rebel K2, which despite being all-plastic and a very toylike silver color, is a hell of a lot of camera for the $20 I paid.
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Old 08-15-2018   #18
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I've had my fair share of buying-and-selling action so no complaints from me. All the Leica stuff I picked up around 2006 costs now two to three times as much. Ditto for anything Contax or Leica R I got. There were real bargains at the time. Someone mentioned -quite rightly- the Summaron 35/2.8. Contax G1s with a Planar 45/2 were going for £200. Noctiluxes were still expensive but not yet made of unaffordium, apparently. Leica R lenses were selling for a fraction of what they go for now. I know if I were starting all over again now, Leica wouldn't be an option. Voigtlander, on the other hand, would.
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Old 08-15-2018   #19
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Now, the T3 sells on eBay for over $1500 USD, sometimes coming close to $1900. It's bananas.
Never understand this logic. Is buying any digital camera for 1,5k or even 3,5k like a Sony RX1R2 which looses half of their price in 2 years then also bananas? Or a M10 and so on and so on. If you buy a new car you loose the same amount of money in the moment you turn the first time the key, a normal smoker pays the same amount in one year for cigarettes. You get the idea.

I bought my T3 for around 1k USD after using a T2 for many years (still working), use it since 2,5 years every day, makes around 1 USD per day for a lot of fun, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one for 1,5k USD if mine would break (doubt it).

At the end, important is which value has the camera (or any other expensive item for you hobby) to you personally, the price only decides if you can afford it or not.

Coming back to the tread title, wished I had bought a Ricoh GR21a few years ago for a fraction of the current prices, now I hesitate because the Ricohs are extremely prone to failure (display and motor drive), if they were reliable like the Contax T3 i would pay another 1,5k USD for it, simply love this high end compact film cameras. Ah, also add a Pakon F135 plus which went for 300 USD 2 years ago. Missed it

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Old 08-15-2018   #20
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Never understand this logic. Is buying any digital camera for 1,5k or even 3,5k like a Sony RX1R2 which looses half of their price in 2 years then also bananas? Or a M10 and so on and so on. If you buy a new car you loose the same amount of money in the moment you turn the first time the key, a normal smoker pays the same amount in one year for cigarettes. You get the idea.

I bought my T3 for around 1k USD after using a T2 for many years (still working), use it since 2,5 years every day, makes around 1 USD per day for a lot of fun, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one for 1,5k USD if mine would break (doubt it).

At the end, important is which value has the camera (or any other expensive item for you hobby) to you personally, the price only decides if you can afford it or not.
Agreed.
I think film cameras are getting "their real value back". They have been far too cheap for quite a long time.
With increasing interest in film photography and demand for film cameras we will see increasing prices in the coming years. Especially for those cameras which were built in only small volumes, and which offer high quality.
And when prices surpass a certain level it makes sense for manufacturers to offer new film cameras again. I am convinced that we will see that. The question is only when we will see it. I guess in 4-7 years.
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Old 08-16-2018   #21
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yes, crystal ball would be helpful.
My uncle Fred, heretofore known as "my Rich Uncle Fred" put $1,000 in to IBM in the early 1960s.
Don't know if he bought any screw mount Leica's...but he could.
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Old 08-16-2018   #22
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Skipped on a mint Plaubel Makina 67 with leather case and lens hood but a defective lightmeter for $500 5 years ago. Up until about 2 years ago Olympus MJU II cameras sold regularly for about $30 here in Sweden. These days you rarely see them below $165. An original black paint M3 sold for $2000 at a local auction house back in 2012. I will pick up a black M2 when I get the chance.
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Old 08-16-2018   #23
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Quote:
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Never understand this logic. Is buying any digital camera for 1,5k or even 3,5k like a Sony RX1R2 which looses half of their price in 2 years then also bananas?
The value now is in full frame Canon or Nikon digital cameras with 12-24 megapixels. Same may be said of cropped sensor cameras like the D5300 that are only a few years old. Canon and Nikon because no retro appeal., mass produce, and have a rapid upgrade cycle. Supply of working/good/mint condition film cameras (especially with electronics) is dwindling. Plus they're often collectors items.
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Old 08-16-2018   #24
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Are there any cameras you wish you had bought before the boom?
A Hasselblad X-Pan.
On the other hand, I've bought lots of excellent cameras at the right time when they were extremely cheap. And in two cases I bought indeed at the lowest price point .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archiver View Post
How do you feel about the rising prices of niche film gear?
Generally I am fine with it. Because in the long run it is simply needed to see new film cameras on the market.
And currently lots of excellent cameras are still very cheap. Good time now to get certain "dream cameras". Especially the latest, most modern film cameras from the period 1994 until 2007.
Like Canon EOS 1N and 1V, EOS 3, EOS 30 and 33 (V). Or the latest Minoltaa Maxxum / Dynax cameras. Nikon F90X, F80, F100, F4, F5. And the latest Pentax SLRs.

Mamiya 645 models and RB 67 are also still underrated and cheap for example. Some Bronicas, too.
It is still possible to get some great bargains. The best slide projectors ever built from Leica, Rollei, Braun, Kindermann, Reflecta are also still extremely cheap now. Time to get one!

Cheers, Jan
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Old 08-16-2018   #25
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A 6x7 camera
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Old 08-16-2018   #26
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A 6x7 camera
Koni-Omega Rapid is still reasonably priced.
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Old 08-16-2018   #27
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Quote:
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Are there any cameras you wish you had bought before the boom? How do you feel about the rising prices of niche film gear?

No to the first question because many of today's hot properties didn't seem like bargains to me back then either.


As others have stated, there's still lots of film gear which is largely ignored and can be readily had for very little money.
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Old 08-16-2018   #28
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No regrets wrt camera gear, but I wish I would have bought more shares than I did of: Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet (Google) stock.
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Old 08-16-2018   #29
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you could say that again. bitcoin, too. a friend of a friend cashed out at the peak and now he's a millionaire.
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Old 08-16-2018   #30
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Should have bought another black paint M2 when I got mine for $700 (cdn) in Paris at the end of the 90s. Or the Makina 670W I saw in Toyko in the same era for under $1k (USD)
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Old 08-16-2018   #31
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I should have bought one of the many Hasselblad 500C/M outfits that were available for peanuts everywhere.
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Old 08-16-2018   #32
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Canon F-1 $32
Nikon S-2 w/lens $10
Nikon F-2 w/50mm $53
Nikon F-2 $27
Nikonos IV $20

Now, mind you all need serving.
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Old 08-16-2018   #33
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There are booms and there are booms.

I bought a Leica IIc with a 50mm Summar in 1965 for $25.

Much later, 1984, an M3 for $200 - still have it and still use it.
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Old 08-16-2018   #34
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Not so much a camera but I sure wish I'd bought a 50mm Noctilux when they were affordable!
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Old 08-16-2018   #35
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Similar to above, I bought a IIIc with a Summar f 2.0 in 1963 for $25. Sold it for $45 in 1964 and bought my IIIf still working but repairs for $50. I used it 2 weeks ago.

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Old 08-16-2018   #36
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Canon F-1 $32
Nikon S-2 w/lens $10
Nikon F-2 w/50mm $53
Nikon F-2 $27
Nikonos IV $20

Now, mind you all need serving.
Wow, great prices.

You beat Mattias Burling in getting super deals.

At the super low prices Mattias Burling says he gets his cameras on his YT videos always makes me believe he is either super lucky, or fibbing or he buys them hot from a drug addict
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Old 08-16-2018   #37
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Ah, when I was in the camera retail business in the 80/90's ... soooo many opportunities of getting cost - reseller discount ... crap, I wasn't paid much ... missed out on soooooo many cameras !!!!
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Old 08-16-2018   #38
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Never understand this logic. Is buying any digital camera for 1,5k or even 3,5k like a Sony RX1R2 which looses half of their price in 2 years then also bananas? Or a M10 and so on and so on. If you buy a new car you loose the same amount of money in the moment you turn the first time the key, a normal smoker pays the same amount in one year for cigarettes. You get the idea.

I bought my T3 for around 1k USD after using a T2 for many years (still working), use it since 2,5 years every day, makes around 1 USD per day for a lot of fun, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one for 1,5k USD if mine would break (doubt it).

At the end, important is which value has the camera (or any other expensive item for you hobby) to you personally, the price only decides if you can afford it or not.

Coming back to the tread title, wished I had bought a Ricoh GR21a few years ago for a fraction of the current prices, now I hesitate because the Ricohs are extremely prone to failure (display and motor drive), if they were reliable like the Contax T3 i would pay another 1,5k USD for it, simply love this high end compact film cameras. Ah, also add a Pakon F135 plus which went for 300 USD 2 years ago. Missed it

Jürgen

Okay, I get where you're coming from, and it's a useful perspective.

What I think is bananas is how supposedly obsolete products using purportedly dying technologies have dramatically increased in resale value over the last ten years. How many things increase market value by three times over the course of ten years?

Having said that, current prices of Contax T3, T2 and G2 are too rich for my blood. If my T3 gave up the ghost, I'd be wary of putting almost $2k into buying another. Cost is objective but value is relative to use, enjoyment and personal budget. Some years ago, I considered getting another T3 or two, making sure they work, then putting them into storage in case mine stopped working, but that is now almost the cost of a Canon 5D Mark IV.

Fuji Klasse and Klasse W are going up. Ricoh GR1v is getting harder to find at a good price. Contax G lenses are becoming more expensive because Sony users are adapting them to the A7 series. Leica R lenses are being snapped up by film makers who know how good they look on a RED Epic.
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Old 08-16-2018   #39
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The adage about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing springs to mind.
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Old 08-17-2018   #40
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Okay, I get where you're coming from, and it's a useful perspective.

What I think is bananas is how supposedly obsolete products using purportedly dying technologies have dramatically increased in resale value over the last ten years. How many things increase market value by three times over the course of ten years?...
It's quite simple, they went down because of the hype about digital and now they are recovering.

Over and over again, in the past, I have bought good cameras for next to nothing because they were "only" film cameras.

I used to make it a point never to pay more than about three pounds for a camera unless there was a very good reason (like an f/1.4 lens) but last year I had to increase the point to five pounds and this year ten seems to be creeping in as the base price but there are still bargains at three and below.

I wonder if all those digital cameras that dropped in price & value like a stone after a year of so will recover.

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