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Thread: Dropping Prices

  1. #1

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    Dropping Prices

    The current move to digital seems to have had an enormous impact on prices of traditional equipment, particularly with 35 mm, and darkroom equipment for any format. Enlargers and enlarging lenses are almost being given way (good news for me, by the way). However, this does not seem to have affected the price of large format cameras or lenses, or at least, that is how it seems to me. Any thoughts on why this might be the case? Are your impressions different?

  2. #2

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    Dropping Prices

    Every time I sell a lens, I'm convinced that the bottom has dropped out of the LF market and there's no demand left. Then I try to buy a different lens and I quickly become convinced that there's plenty of demand to keep prices high. Just my luck, I suppose.

  3. #3
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Dropping Prices

    Your impression is consistent with mine, Don. The reason, I believe, is that 35mm and medium-format film cameras are perceived to be within the quality range of prosumer and above digital. In contrast, large format is actually experiencing somewhat of a revival, compared to the last decade or so, thus the prices are fairly stable.

  4. #4
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Dropping Prices

    I totally agree with the prior posts but want to add one little bit.



    I am not sure that prices are dropping as rapidly for some MF equipment as for others. I suspect that largest drops are in prices for 6x4.5 gear and that there are only fairly small price drops, if any, for top-of-the line 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 gear. I know that the prices I wathc, those for Rollei SL66 stuff, since I am in the market for a lens, have remained stable for the past year.

  5. #5

    Dropping Prices

    In my opinion Large Format is experienceing a revival because (of all things) the digital age. Information is widely available in the internet. Photographers can go without a darkroom by inexpensive scanners with transparency adapters.

  6. #6

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    Dropping Prices

    Some things are cheaper and getting cheaper every day. Other things are selling for more then any sane person would pay. If Ebay is the market of choice all I can think is the place has gone wierder then normal. Considering how wierd it started out that's pretty wierd.

  7. #7

    Dropping Prices

    From my point of view (having just sold some lenses on e Bay) the prices of certain kinds of LF lenses are dropping, while others are not. 150mm and 210mm lenses really seem to be a buyers market, selling very very cheaply. On the other hand longer lenses, particularly those useful for 8x10 and ULF, as well as unusual lenses (super fast lenses or odd portrait lenses) are selling as dearly as before.

    I keep thinking that the constant fear of abandonment by the film producers, like the most recent Ilford debacle, will lower the price on LF cameras and lenses, but so far the only affect has been on the "lower" end equipment. Those 19" Dagors, American-made Petzval lenses, and 8x10 Deardorffs are not, and perhaps never will be, cheap.

  8. #8

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    Dropping Prices

    It's my experience that prices of used LF stuff had gotten way too high, and is now coming back to where it should be. A 50 year old Speed Graphic or Busch Pressman is not worth $400, but they were going for that a couple of years ago. And a Super D Graflex with Graflock was approaching $2000! Stuff is not really cheap, yet, but it more closely represents the value of USED equipment instead of COLLECTOR prices.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  9. #9

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    Dropping Prices

    Darin, that's certainly true for me. I made the 4x5 jump a little less than a year ago, but would have never done so without the information available on this site and a few others. Although I've taken a couple of darkroom and printing classes from a local camera shop, I'll probably never set up my own darkroom. But I do have a scanner and computer to help me post a few shots now and again.

  10. #10

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    Dropping Prices

    I keep waiting for the prices of new large format enlargers to drop. Specifically, I would love to own a Saunders VCCE 4x5 enlarger, or a Zone VI 5x7 enlarger, but I just can't afford the $1,500-plus price. I'm waiting for the day when they sell for less than $1,000 -- probably will never happen.

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