Film Gear Prices Going Up?

I don't quote Ken Rockwell a whole lot in either private or public. We probably differ on more points that we agree when it comes to details but I generally agree with his intent. Heck he even declares that you should take him with a grain of salt - tongue-in-cheek kind of way. All that aside, I do run across a post of his while googling something that crosses my mind now and again.

Today I was looking for something or another and happend across a post of his from earlier this week. I forget what the post was about but there was something in there about the price of old film gear going up and up and up. He makes some pretty wild claims in the post and I wouldn't bet on some of his actual numbers quoted nor agree that it is a fantastic idea to pay a premium price for a NIB Canon A1. There is one thing that I can confirm myself - that is that some film gear is going up. At least the stuff that I sorta track with in a non-clinical way.

I am not talking about investment grade collector's cameras, or Leicas, Hasselblads. I am talking about some fairly common, used 35mm gear. It may be a fluke but Nikon FE2's seem to be fetching more than they were even a month ago, way more than they were a year ago. FM2's seem to always bring more than FE2's and still do but you would see a lot of FE2's in fantastic shape go for about a hundred bucks. Not so much anymore. Nikon manual focus glass has shot through the roof in the last year and some of the prices I am seeing this month for stuff like the 28 f2 and 35mm f2, etc are twice what they were last year.

I honestly wonder if this is a fluke or there are actually more people getting into 35mm film? You can get some really great deals but even I am finding it harder to buy at the prices I was seeing last year. Seems like you have to take more of a chance on "iffy" descriptions or the seller doing a really bad job of describing the item. Here are a few of the deals I would have bought myself today but I got distracted on a phone call and blew it:

  • FM2 with missing rewind crank (easy and cheap do-it-yourself fix) with 105 f2.5, 55 Micro, some really nice Nikon hoods, a gaggle of filters, and a decent bag. $244. Wow - I could have mde money just by piecing it out. see
  • Nikon FM - body only. $32
  • Really nice Nikon FE with what looks like a pristine 50mm f1.4 AIS and a couple of filters. $115

These were some of the ones that caught my eye. The really funny thing is that there was stuff just like it that was selling for half of the same value within a few hours. Funny.

RB

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