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Thread: Dropping Prices

  1. #11

    Dropping Prices

    While I do see a lot of things that seem to be real bargins, they are always things that I either already have or don't want. The things that I do want or buy seem to be over the moon price wise.

    I did buy a new still in box densometer from our local pro lab the other day for $15 when they went all digital. On the other hand, I watched Besler negaflats on the auction site for about two weeks looking for a bargin and finaly had to pay over $50 for something that sells new for $200.

    We are lucky where I live to have a museum with an very extensive B&W collection that rotates regularly but always has major works on display. Right now they have four Ansel Adams "Half Dome"s on display demonstrating his changing printing style over a 30 year period of time.

    Point is: I have never seen a digital B&W print that I thought could compair to a good dark room print. I suspect that as more and more people get into large format, many will transition to "wet darkrooms" and the price of enlargers will go back up.

  2. #12

    Dropping Prices

    I don't mean to sound like I'm gloating (considering the post immediately above mine), but I got a LPL 4x5 VCCE enlarger for free a little over a year ago. A hospital was throwing it out.

    I used it to enlarge only 35mm for a while, and then I went directly from canon EOS to a horseman monorail. I used the school's equipment for a while then bought my own. I figured, I had a 4x5 enlarger, I should probably get a 4x5 camera.

    I'll admit that and this site have definetly contributed to me doing more and more photography, to the point where it was unclear that I would graduate on time in my actual major. I'm kindof sick of, what with the like "rating" scheme for uploaded files, and the utter garbage that is constantly on display in the "top rated photos" (Naked women! Photoshopped too! Brilliant!). But I still read a lot on this site. I always feel a little guilty after reading either though. "Couldn't you have been using all that time, of, I dunno, actually shooting?" a little voice in my head nags. "I mean, I'm sure the relative merits of the red-dot-artar versus the fuji 450C are very interesting and all, but seeing as you have neither, and don't really NEED either since you already bought a long lens... which works fine..." and yet I still scour the archives for mentions of the repro-claron.

    My excuse now is that my horseman is in the shop. Once I get it back though, I've got 2 boxes of "NS" (they drop the 'p' from all their films in japan for some reason) sitting impatiently in my fridge.

    Without digital photography, I would have never gone beyond 35mm. No question. Digital replacing film for commercial / industrial purposes is what has allowed me to shoot film for artistic purposes.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Dropping Prices

    As I understand basic market theory, when demand goes down (as it has and will continue to do so for much of the traditional film market) then supply will drop at a corresponding rate; this means that production will gradually become more costly-- after all, it is more efficient to produce 1000 5x7 enlargers than 100, and therefore the price will (hopefully) reflect the efficiency that the higher demand begets. Thus, some of you will be waiting a long time, if you are waiting for the price of new equipment to come down below a certain level. It seems to me that prices for new stuff will only go up-- if it costs more to make (because they are not making as many), prices go up; if they have lower demand, also, it seems like they need a higher profit margin to justify continuing the line, so prices will go up further still. Does this strike anyone else as being true?I don't think this is true for the used market; however, my experience (which includes buying and selling my own camera gear for more than 10 years, plus working in a retail shop that sold used gear) tells me that used gear holds its value, within relative parameters, for a long time to come. I have had the experience of buying a used lens, using it for two years, and selling it for within a few dollars of what I paid-- mostly because the condition of the lens had not changed, so the price didn't either.
    That said, the old adage goes something like, nothing is worth more or less than what a buyer is willing to pay for it... if cameras sell for 200% of their "actual" value, then that is what it is worth, at least to the buyer. Remember the cigar boom? Do you know that you can get some of the same high-end brands of cigars for 25% of the prices during that time, or less! (Only some of those brands, however, because many went under when the boom ended...)

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2000

    Dropping Prices

    I have to follow up with a bragging story. Someone else started it, so forgive me. I just bought three enlargers: two Devere 504 's (floor models), and an older Durst with condensors for 5x7 (I forget the model - it's the huge one that looks like it is from the lab of a mad scientist). The Durst came with a 210 Schneider Componon-S and a 150 Rodagon. A local college was getting rid of its traditional darkroom and going digital. I paid fifty bucks each. It actually cost me more to haul them away than it did to buy them.

    I love digital.

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