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Thread: Modern Camera Prices

  1. #1

    Modern Camera Prices

    A couple of months ago in this forum, I made some rather disparaging remarks to Bob Salomon about what I thought was rather high prices for Linhof cameras. Last night, I was reading a book published about 1942 which showed the early Linhof as well as many other fine cameras of its day. At the time the book was publishe d, the Linhof, without lens, was listed at $234.00. A Speed Graphic was about $2 00 with flash gun, and the Juwel B, a Saint Ansel favorite, was about $340. A Ro lleiflex was $275. The point of this is that given the inflation factor between 1942 and today, tod ay's cameras are quite a bargain. Remember that in 1942 a new Ford or Chevy coul d be bought for about $900. Look at the prices of cars today. In another section of the same book, a photographer was bragging that he was doi ng quite well selling pictures to boxers and wrestlers at the fantastic sum of $ 25 PER HUNDRED FOR 8X10 glossies. As for me, I think I will stop bitching so much about camera prices and give tha nks that I don't have to make 8x10s for twenty-five cents each. Doug.

  2. #2

    Modern Camera Prices

    The price of Linhof Master Techs has actually come down by a factor of about two over the last decade or two, if I remember correctly from some old catalogues I recently saw. Bob can probably provide us with the details. A bargain at any price, says I!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 1998

    Modern Camera Prices

    Let's assume that a new car costsaround $25,000. I think you'd be amazed by the number of photographers who would be happy to sell hundreds of 8x10 machine prints from the same negative at $6.95 which is what $0.25 in 1942 is i n year 2000 dollars using that multiple.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Modern Camera Prices

    Appreciate the info Doug but you should note that Linhof and Rollei were, and are, made in Germany. That would mean that one of those being sold as new in 1942 was probably not right off the boat from the factory.

    Unless you were looking at a 1942 magazine from the Axis powers.

  5. #5

    Modern Camera Prices

    I don't know. If I'm understanding the data correctly, the All Urban Consumer CPI has increased a little under 11x since 1942 (from 15.7 to 168.7 1/42-1/2000). A Master Technika 2000 goes for $3695 from Badger Graphic. That's almost a 16x increase over 1942. The comparison to cars isn't really fair; there have been far more technical innovations and improvements since 1942 in automobiles than in 4x5 cameras.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Modern Camera Prices

    There was no Technika 2000 in 1942.

    The successor to the old Linhof Medezin (the model before the III) would be the Master technika which is less then the 2000. Also the one priced in 1942 would have included a manufacturers warranty of some sort in the US and the grey version from Badger does not.

    Properly imported Linhofs in the US include a 5 year warranty.

    In Bruce Barnbaum's case this meant that a 4 year old, heavily used Master with a broken drop bed was repaired at NC

  7. #7

    Modern Camera Prices

    OK, what's the suggested retail of a Master Technika w/ 5 yr. warranty?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Modern Camera Prices

    The authorized dealer sets the actual selling price.

    There are 3 versions sold in the US. The black bodied (least expensive), the chrome body (most expensive) and a chrome body with minor marks on the chrome that make it less then the normal chrome body.

    Any dealer will be able to quote selling prices to you.

  9. #9

    Modern Camera Prices

    Bob: The book I was referring to was Willard Morgan's "The Complete Photographer-An Encylopedia of Photography" published in 1941-1942. Since the U.S. didn't enter the war until December 1941, and given the lag time in book publishing, the prices should be close for new cameras. I have read in the past that Linhofs and Rolleiflexes were selling as high as $500 during the later years of the war. Guess it depended on how badly the photographer wanted the Linhof or Rollei. Doug.

  10. #10

    Modern Camera Prices

    Here's a much more recent example of LF price increases. The Sinar F1 was $1850 two years ago at B&H. It's now $2311. That's a 25% increase ($461) in two years.

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