A quick look at the secondhand market in Australia

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by Karim Ghantous, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. I'm one of those people who is always window shopping on eBay. You never know when you might see a bargain - or a trap! So I've been keeping an eye on the prices of secondhand M bodies. Here are some notes.

    M6 - Good ones go for over $4,000. But a new MP or M-A are $7,500 and $7,350 respectively. What makes more sense to you? I think I'd rather save up and get one of the newer models.

    M4 - I saw a good one for $3,000. Not bad. That's less than half the price of a new M-A. And they are unique in that they have brass gears - some people like those details.

    M8 - These are starting to creep up towards $3,000. Worth it? Maybe a little overpriced but not stupidly so. I think $2,500 would be the most I'd pay for a very good one.

    M9 - Creeping up again. About the same as a good M6. Worth it? No - see immediately below.

    M typ 240 - Good ones go for over $4,000. Usually closer to $5,000. A much, much better buy than the M9. The M9 is not a bad camera per se but the prices are too rich.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  2. I’m simply glad I assembled my M outfits during the 2016-2017 time period. Prices have just gone nuts.

    in Feb, 2016 I purchased the digital M262, the only M, film or digital, I ever bought brand-new, for the original US $5,200 price, and a really nice M4 in 2017 for US $1,000.

    Subsequently had the M4 completely overhauled/restored by DAG in 2018 and the thing is just flat silky/sexy smooth in use.

    Classic M2/3/4 film M’s in particular, have gone sky-high compared to used M240/M262’s and I’m afraid I would not touch any M6 at current prices.

    in 2016 I said I could be happy with my M262 for the next several years. In 2021, that thought has not changed.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  3. M6 are unreasonably priced partly because you can't just buy a new MP - there are waiting lists everywhere for new film Leica M's as far as I am informed.
    You can still find non-metered M's in nice condition in the range of US$ 1500-2000 which is not a crazy price considering they can be brought up to factory specs for $4-500 CLA and they are made to higher standards and often better materials than the M-A.

    While I do have some understanding of the Leica film camera market pricing, I am completely puzzled re. your observations of the digital market. Both M8 and M9 are prone to extremely costly defects if they can even be repaired, that is.
    Jochen likes this.
  4. After my own repair-filled, multiple-times sensor corroded M9 experience, I would never sink good money in a pre-M240 digital M body today.

    A nice M-240P or another M262 would be my choice.
    NHSN likes this.
  5. Film? User beater M2 or 4-P, if at all.
    Digital 246 4K€, 240 3K6€ at my usual dealer but I am content with my older stuff (i.e. kind of saving up for a modern MILC).
    Why not get a preowned M10? - I don't want to discover my glass' flaws on it, but if you are going crazy, it makes sense.
  6. For less than the price of a used M10 I went in another direction, buying a Nikon Df and a set of manual focus Nikkors I never could have afforded back in the 1990’s when I was using an F3; 18mm f3.5, 35mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 135mm f2 and 180mm f2.8, all late AIS, and a 300mm f4.5 EDIF last week, just because I could, LOL…

    All fits (with the 180 or 300 at the long end, not both) very nicely in a Tenba Solstice 10L sling bag that has a great stability cross strap that makes carrying way easier than you’d every think and those Nikkors are every bit as sweet to use as the modern M lenses I use with the M262.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  7. I am amazed by these prices. After well over 50 years of photography I decided to move to Leica of which I had no experience. In 2014 I bought a mint M2 for £500 and, as is the way, a CL, M5, M6 followed. To try Leica digital I purchased an M8 which I love dearly for the nature of the CCD photos. Only the M6 was valued at just over £1000. I have owned one Leica from new, an X113, underrated , like a Q but with a 35mm lens. I would not ,however, spend big money on an M8 or M9. I knew when I bought the M8 that at some time it would fail, maybe in a month or 10 years. It was a gamble that so far has given me 6 years of trouble free shooting and great joy. If it fails it is not worth repairing, or the parts are not obtainable, so it goes on ebay for £500 for spares. Spending a large amount on one is a gamble too far. Anyway thank you Mr. Ghantous, yesterday I had to ask my wife for some cash to go to have a pint with an old friend and today I wake up to the news that I am the richest man in the village. All the best, Charles.
    Greg M and Gerald Cafferty like this.
  8. "X113, underrated" Charles.

    Indeed, a camera seriously slighted because it was not a M

    Yet, it is equal to any M.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  9. Says, he, who as just purchased a M240;))
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  10. You can get a black M-A, but not the others. FWIW:

    Leica Store | M FILM CAMERAS

    charles_escott_new likes this.
  11. Prices of everything "used" in general are nuts these days.I sold an old bicycle, which I purchased used a few years ago, for more money thank what I paid. My wife thought the buyer was stupid, I told her he was smart as he was still getting a good deal as new stuff is generally unavailable and of dubious quality. I am getting calls from car dealers who WANT to buy my 18 year old beat-up car at a "premium" (perhaps I should sell it). People are buying used homes without performing any minimal inspections, often paying 10-20% more than asking price. This is nuts.
    I noticed a similar thing with a local, reputable camera store here in Minneapolis. It's not only that the prices are outrageous, but the offers are very limited. Simple matter of supply and demand on new gear, i.e. manufacturers are unable to provide ample supply to meet demand, buyers are turning to used stuff, often of questionable quality. Too much money chasing too few available products, I guess. Rumor has it that we will see normalization in supply chain sometime in 2023, ceteris paribus. But inflation, even if transitory, has left its mark. Buckle up for a bumpy ride ahead. It's going to hurt really bad when things come to "normal"... if they ever do.
  12. Phew.

    Things will get back to normal, but it will take longer than it ought to. Sadly, that much I am confident about.
  13. The world has taken up a 'new' revenue model: shortage. Prices of everything are or will be going up because (it will be claimed) somewhere ´down the line´ there's a shortage that limits supply.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  14. Bought my two Leica M4s new at the old Willoughby store on 48th St for $400, including Summicron lenses. Of course, this was real money back then. Bought a single stroke M3 from Willi Schwartz at Photo View Central, near Grand Central Station. Paid $180 for camera in mint condition. What a nice man. Anybody else remember Willi?
    Even back then the collectors were nuts. They were willing to pay more fore an older double stroke M3 than for a newer single stroke. Later, my wife bought M5 when introduced.
    My friends who worked at Leitz, and then Leica, told me that none of the later M cameras came close with regard to build quality. So, a little more than 50 yrs later, M4s, M3 and M5 still working flawlessly. My other durable long lasting camera is a Nikon F, bought c1962. My one bad investment: Hasselblad 1000F...doomed from its inception by shoddy, complicated shutter mechanism. Its success due to superior ergonomic handling over all other med format SLRs
  15. As my eyes age, I am more comfortable and successful with the M series bodies than with LTMs, even the IIIg. To the above user list, I would add the M4-2 and to a lesser extent, a rebuilt Leica CL. My M4-2 with its steel gears does have a rougher feel, but with a baseplate Rapidwinder it is much smoother. I'm looking forward to its return from its first CLA. Comparable condition M4-2 bodies are much cheaper than an M4 and the M4-2 viewfinder can be retrofitted with M3 parts to reduce viewfinder flare out problems. My restored Leica CL with its built in meter is a really nice walk around camera with either the original lenses or with small 50 or 35 LTM lenses with adapters. However its short rangefinder base length makes it hard to focus in low light so I find it more useful as a daylight camera. The two cameras may not be M3s, but they are still good Leica cameras available at more reasonable prices.
  16. In 2015 Brad Cloven "gave" me 5 minutes with his CLA'd M3. . can you say "hooked". OK, I did the Ebay search as above and discovered my retirement funds were going to leave me ruined in short order if the Leica GAS attack took off (and the prices were by todays values, very good). I settled on the Former Soviet Union "copies" of Leica's best. Short story is I now have a few too many cameras, but I still have enough money for life's month to months.
    By the way, the prices of decent FSU DSCF0862 ces13 rff-vert-horz rff.jpg cameras & lenses is now about 2x from the 2015-16 GAS attack stickers and the cameras / lenses are still CLA'd.
    Yes, for some of you people, only a Leica will do. For others on a "budget", the FSU's might be a pathway.
    James Bryant likes this.
  17. I figure that the half century of flawless operation of my M4s and M3, since I never felt the need of replacements, have made these the most economical camera purchases. Ditto for Nikon F.
    As with some other activities, there is a certain aesthetic pleasure working with well crafted instruments, be they cameras, guns, brushes, or musical instruments. Such equipment is also usually much easier to use.
    Karim Ghantous likes this.

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