Is it worth keeping film equipment for collecting or sentimentality purposes?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by robert_gaston|1, May 18, 2008.

  1. I realize there have been similar posts concerning this issue but I need some
    sympathetic advice. A few months ago I made the leap to a Nikon D200 DSLR
    after holding off for the longest time. The intro of the D300 and the resultant price
    drop on the D200 (not to mention those people who just have to have the newest
    DSLR, so sell their old one) spurred this on. I also was asked to shoot a wedding
    and I knew people would expect digital rather than film. I possess a range of
    Nikon bodies, from the F to the F4, a FE2, and even a Canon Elan 7e along with
    the usual accessories (flashes ,etc.). My lenses range from a non-Ai'd 20mm and
    50mm 1.4, to a 24mm f/2.0, 35, 55 micro, 85, 105 f/2.5, 180 f/2.8, 28-105, 80-200,
    and 400-600 Tokina, My favorite lense of all....a circa 1970 Vivitar Series 1 90mm
    1:1 macro lense. Great lense! So the question is this. Do I hold on to these
    items for sake of sentimentality? Just keep than as curiosities for future family
    members and friends to remark on as I have them on my bookcase? Is there any
    possiblity that they may turn into "vintage antiques" more collectible or of value in
    the future...then they may be considered now? Or should I garner what little
    monetary value they may have at this time, in this market, in this economy (!) and
    hope that cumulatively they might add up to something of note? Darn well
    nowhere what they might have been worth a few years ago I realize but still
    something to show for it? Or is best to just "write them off" for value's sake and
    keep them for my own personal nostalgia? Let me know what you think! Thanks.
  2. I'd say keep them for nostalgia - and maybe even put a roll through them now and then!
  3. I have a D2-X but still use my F-4s to shoot black and white.
  4. I think it's a personal decision: do you want to keep them? And do you still shoot film? As far as them being worth money some day, I'm not so sure. If the current pricing is any indication, it doesn't look promising.

    I keep mine because I can still use my AIS lenses with digital, and I have my darkroom still set up (even though I haven't shot film in a few years, but I plan to).

    At the very least, I wouldn't try to sell the stuff now because of the obvious reasons of the economy, plus they might be worth a little more in the future.

    Bottom line, IMO, if you don't have to sell them, it can't hurt to hold on to them. You might even want to pick up a film scanner some day. You never know. Good luck!
  5. It's a personal choice for sure - I faced the same decision about a year ago. I received some film cameras from a relative (N65, N75, N80) and a few lenses, and I had 3 F4, 2 F3,2 FA, and an F5 of my own. Decided to keep one F3 for sentimental reasons (26 years old by now) and the F5 too for the occasional film shoot - the rest was sold. Of my manual focus lenses I only kept the 20/4, 28/2.8 AIS, 50/1.8, and my first lens, the 105/2.5. On the cameras and equipment that I sold I had the same thoughts as you - hold on to them for personal nostalgia or let them go so someone else gets some use out of them - after some time I moved from the former to the latter (at least partially).
  6. Don't sell them unless you must. Think of yourself as a conservator of vintage camera gear. ;-) In the past, when I've found a vintage camera treasure, I always quietly thank the former owners who obviously cared greatly for the item. I really should be divesting of all my old gear, but I keep procrastinating. The hassle of selling the amount of equipment and accessories I have on eBay is just too daunting. I have thought of sending all the better stuff I have to a place like Schouten in Holland to sell on consignment. The Euro is strong and I think I may get more for my gear in Europe. It would certainly involve less anxiety and bother than dealing with looney buyers, eBay/PayPal, and you know places like KEH will just insult you with their quotes. Argh!!! I guess I'll decide what to do later.
  7. It just depends on whether you're the packrat type.

    In my opinion the only film cameras that are likely to be worth anything (and I mean *anything*) in the future are rare models in museum condition. Run of the mill stuff is landfill material unless it has some sentimental or curiousity value to you.
  8. Robert,

    With all due respect, do you really expect people who don't even know you to be able to gauge the sentimental value of these items--to you? Only you know that your late father gave you the Nikon F, or that this F saved you life in Viet Nam, or that the F4 took your first published pictures.

    Without some connection to people we value, cameras and lenses are just tools made of glass, metal and plastic that should have no sentimental value at all.
  9. I can't disagree with you more, David!

    I cant pick up a Leica M3 or a Nikon F2 without falling in love. ;-)
  10. Film equipment is worthless. Send it all to me.

  11. I still enjoy B&W film photography. I'm not only keeping my current gear but buying more stuff 2nd hand at pennies on the dollar!
  12. At minimum, I would have the older lenses AI'ed for use on the D200 body. I had John White convert my lenses (for use on my F100). He did an excellent job. You will still be able to use the converted lenses on the old bodies.

    As for the bodies, you will not get much for them, so I would keep them, but that is me.

    As to sentimental value, only you can answer that question. Some people are sentimental; others are not. It is neither good, nor bad; it is just the way people are.
  13. Unless you need the money ( and I mean NEED ) I would keep them and also use
    your film gear alongside the digital. To Mark CI ...... "film gear is only good for
    landfill" .....OUCH thats not very friendly to the environment ( or the film gear ! ) ,
    here in the E.U. it is totally illegal to dispose of unwanted electrical items in your
    general trash, ( this also includes lenses as the glass in older ones often contains
    lead ) you must take them to a designated recycle site or if renewing it the retailer
    whom you buy the new item off is obliged to "take back" the old one and bear the
    cost of recycling it even if they did not originally sell it to you. Back to the original
    question, Robert if I were you I would keep them and use them.
  14. My rule of thumb is anything I haven't used in the past two years goes to eBay. I'm going to be selling a ton of stuff in a couple of weeks. I hope to get enough money out it all to buy a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, something I will use a lot.

    Kent in SD
  15. Unfortunately the market for used film cameras imploded a few years ago. For years until that point. Every piece of Nikon gear I owned could have been sold for what I paid for it. Now day's you are better off letting them collect dust.
  16. A little less than two years ago I decided to go full bore into digital after 30 years
    with two Nikon F2 cameras. I had a Nikon 995 for a while and knew that digital was
    the way for me since I also do Macintosh support, graphic design and web sites. I
    looked around at the time at used prices and decided I would just trade in the bodies
    and three lenses, about $300, and put it to a new D70s.

    On the sentimental side, the F2s got me into the first incarnation of Nikon
    Professional Services (which I am no longer eligible), shot my first published photo
    (the poster of the movie "A Woman Under the Influence") and got me a one-nighter
    after a rock & roll show in Bakersfield one week after buying the camera
    (sometimes those farmer's daughter jokes are for real).

    No regrets though, the memories are what really count. Now I look forward to
    replacing my two D70s bodies with two D300 bodies (which very well could be the
    last bodies I need to buy considering how much they can do).
  17. I've been selling most of my film Nikon gear because (a) I don't ever use it, (b) it takes up space and (c) it will be woth less tomorrow than it is worth today. Unfortunately, I see film cameras going much the way of manual typewriters. Even though some of the old typewriters are interesting examples of the mechanical age, they have never drawn much collector interest. I suspect a good share of film gear--except for some very rare cameras and lenses, will have much the same fate. Even now, once you get past the top of the line film models from Leica, Nikon and maybe Canon, you can buy a truckload of relatively modern film gear for pennies on the dollar. And I suspect most of us will be long departed before there is much real collector interest.
  18. I have 2 film cameras, Canon AE1P and T90. I sold all the lenses but they offered me around 30 USD for the T90 and around 10 USD for the AE-1P. So I kept them, each with one lens so i can shoot them some times. It takes me over a month to shoot a roll of film but I still use them. I didn't see the point in getting rid of them for 40 bucks. Besides 1 of my kids seems to like cameras, he is 8, so i thought he might enjoy them to start with. I learned on that AE-1P 25 years ago and it would be nice if he learns with it too. Uhmm! and hard to let them go, sentimental reasons!

  19. Robert, how about using the digital and film?
  20. I just want to thank the person who parted with there Mamiya RB67 ProS kit and sold it
    to me.
  21. You may find you want to shoot film still. You don't have to "lock" in and limit self.
    Even though I shoot the D200 a lot, I still think film has a different look and is a richer
    medium so every once in a while I go on a film shooting binge and still love the results,
    but not the expense. I would keep and use your stuff. Also, on you D200, a lot of
    those older lenses are completely usable.
  22. Benjamin, about the rb67,one great thing about digital is that alot of people are selling great cameras,because they can't do both! I got my RB67 Pro-s from a New York camera store at a great price!
  23. If you sell it, sooner or later you will want one of the lenses that you sold--and possibly a lot more. As for the bodies, I would keep the ones that I like to shoot or that mean something to me. On the other hand, if you need to simplify your life and reduce the clutter, you might be better off without some of them. So, I would say, unless you have a compelling reason to get rid of them, keep them--and shoot them! I only have a handful of 35mm film bodies left, but I actually bought up some Bronica and Mamiya stuff for almost nothing (especially the Bronica stuff), and I have a good scanner. You just never know. . . .

  24. I got my Mamiya kit for dirt cheap. Now I'm in the process of building a darkroom, and
    I got my enlarger and other equipment for dirt cheap, as well.
  25. I don't think anyone can answer that question. Personally I do not collect things. I don't like the clutter. You may want to use the lenses. You may want a film backup. If they have a meaning for you then you know the answer.
  26. Sold the Sinar F along with the Nikkor 210mm and the Sinar 90mm lenses. Sold the Mamiya RB-67 Pro-S kit with the 50mm, 90mm, and 180mm lenses. Sold the Nikon FM2n and all my manual focus lenses. This was in 2002 when I planned to go all digitial. Actually I had an F100 with a few lenses, and I shot digital alongside my Nikon Coolpix 990. Slides were still slides, nothing else could touch them for conveinance and quality. Sold the F100 later on, bought an N80. Sold the N80 after I bought the Nikon D70. Sold the D70 later on and got an F3HP. Bought a D70s later on after that (after getting to play with a D200 and deciding that I really did like digital more than film after all). Sold the D70s when I bought a D80. Sold the D80 after I bought a D300. Sold the F3HP.

    Recently I bought a mint Nikon FM and a few lenses. I have the Nikon 28mm f2.8 AIS, the Nikon 35mm f2 AI, the Nikon 50mm f1.8 AI, the Nikon 55mm f2.8 AIS, and the Nikon 105mm f2.5 AI.

    I still enjoy shooting film, still enjoy using manual focus lenses and experiencing photography that way. Sometimes it's nice to just go outside with the FM and the 35mm f2 attached and see what happens. It's so small and lightweight, and it's somewhat retro now. It works well too.

    But the final product from the D300 does please me much much more than the final product from film. Especially if I scan the film!!

    I love looking at old slides projected on a good screen from the 1960s. I recently found an as-new Kodak slide projector purchased NEW for $437 at an estate sale for $8.00!! It included the Kodak zoom lens. My slides look so gorgeous!

    But I don't want to shoot more slides. I recently gave away a brick of Kodak E100GX slide film to an old friend who still does film work becuase I just don't want to shoot it anymore. Digital has opened up so many possibilities that just weren't there before. I couldn't have possibly have shot 740 photos a week ago in Seattle at the Maritime Festival. But I did. Granted I should edit them down a lot, there is a lot of overlap.

    But the lenses are still as good as they ever were, they will stay. And seeing as how I only paid $45 for the Nikon FM (and it's not really worth much more than that) why not just keep it? I'm keeping the old Rolleicord III I've had since 1987 when my aunt gave it to me. Maybe someday I'll shoot some film through it again.
  27. hi. keep it. someday it may be of great value. i have an f5 and d1 for this purpose. i use the every now and then. they are in great shape, lisa
  28. Robert,
    All this equipment is worthless now. I sold my equipment few years back when was still worth something and I don't regret a bit. Anything left I use now as a door stoppers or bookshelf decorations.
    Good luck!
  29. I just purchased a `new' EOS 30 (second hand), for Landscape use. Until the 5D family becomes a lot cheaper, film is still the easy way to go for extreme wide angle, especially for Nikon users (who don't have a `5D' yet...
    You might hang on to one or two of your best bodies for that, and try to sell the rest.

    Just don't sell it for less than it's worth to you, otherwise you're losing out on the deal. I have one film body I'll probably never sell. It's an `old' Miranda MS-2. Worth maybe 20 bucks to someone else, but it was my grandfather's, and you can't put a price on that.
  30. I find it hard to sell any of my stuff....besides, they are not worth much anyway. I will only sell it to someone who will make use of it. Sometimes is is a pity to sell beautiful equipment.

    I had 2 F3 and I wasnt using it much, so I sold a F3 with DA-2 and MD-14 for $350. The DA-2 would be worth that much :s
  31. I'm doing things backwards here, I started digital and am now moving into film. Medium Format to be sure. I believe that 35mm film is mostly dead, replaced by the speed and quality of digital. Shooting digital myself (canon 1d mkII) for 5+ years now and having several canon bodies and some good glass, I find I missed a lot from the film years. I don't believe digital can accurately produce black/white as good as film/silver. So I am setting up a darkroom, getting all the gear I need for dirt cheap/next to free in some cases. Learning the ropes. I've developed several rolls of b/w film and am getting the hang of spooling the film right and timings etc. Its like a giant chemistry set! Weeee. Also, looking into Medium Format Digital, I don't think the size is the same, most are 48mm x 36mm? That seems to be 1/2 of 6x7 and I just get goosebumps when I pull some 6x7 film out. I can't even comprehend 6x12! EEEK! I still shoot digital where necessary and at times I'll shoot both side by side. Today I was shooting film and digital of the same thing. The digital is like a polaroid, the film more permanent. I'll shoot digital to meter and gauge my composition, then switch to film if I like things. Film helps me to slow down too, digital is too quick, too result focused and not really process focused. I enjoy and learn from both!
  32. After a long debate with myself about to sell or not my non-used gear, I finally get rid of almost all my AF lenses and cameras that were greatly improved with newer models. About the manual focus cameras and lenses, I still keep the best ones I owned, and I get rid of the consumer, very used and older bodies. I didn`t sell them for the money (I didn`t take so much for them), just for the space needed! I must say that I`m a current user of film.

    If I were you, I would keep the F collection up to the F3 and get rid of the F4 and FE2. There is nothing you cannot do with a F3 and a DSLR. I would keep the F4 only to collect all the F line... from the F to the F6, althought that`s not for me. If so, I would collect from the F to the F3 looking for in-between models.

    About lenses, I would keep only the best Nikkor primes, just to fit their manual focus counterpart bodies. I would not keep the zooms unless they were in mint condition or very rare. Keep you non-Ai lenses for the F and F2 if they`re in very good condition.

    Let the very used or with no value gear to your childrens for play.
  33. I sold my manual bodies except for an FM2n and a Sover Wong restored F2A. These have affection value for me, their sale value is irrelevant. Half the lenses were sold, I kept a 20/3.5, 45/2.8, 105/2.5 (and non-AI lenses 35/2 and 105/2.5 for their looks). You might want to go through your collection of bodies and lenses the same way.
    Under no circumstances sell your 105/2.5 or your 180/2.8. These are some of the sharpest you can get, no DX zoom will surpass them when it comes to contrast and resolution.
    As for the keepers, be sure to test them thoroughly on your D200 - they may not perform as well on a digital as on a film body.
  34. I didn't mention, although I still have film gear, I culled my collection of cameras to an F2 and an FM3A. I sold the Hasselblad 500CM, Nikon FM2, F3HP, F4, 35Ti, and a brace of M6s (one silver, one black). I've kept all my lenses: 17/3.5 Tamron SP, Nikon 28/3.5 PC, 35/1.4 AIS, 85/1.4 AIS, and 80-200/2.8 AF-D.

    As I look back, it might have been nice to have held onto one of the M6s, but I don't shoot film enough to warrant having all that cash invested collecting dust, plus the M lenses. I'm pretty happy with my GRD2, so that eases the pain.

    The F2 works nice on a tripod with the 28/3.5 PC with it's mirror lockup and all mechanical operation. The FM3A is pretty good for documentary/street stuff.
  35. Like Simon wrote "Unless you need the money ( and I mean NEED ) I would keep them".
    I would do the following: store the camera bodies in a plastic box with tones of silica gel (don't forget to remove the batteries) and use the lenses and, if possible, flashes on DSLR bodies.
    Other possibility: a good film scanner - the Plustek Opticfilm is a very valid and cheap alternative.
    Anyway, there was never a worst period to sell film equipment like nowadays!
  36. Don't sell the lenses, the AI ones will work with your D200!

    And someday you'll upgrade to a FF DSLR and you'll want FF lenses again.

    The D3 has a good focusing screen, fine of manual lenses, and the D200 can be upgraded to a KatzEye for manual focus.

    I have a Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI that I frequently use on my D200 for weddings. And your 24/2.0 is a fantastic lens.

    And my FE2 just died. Want to sell me yours?
  37. My film gear are sentimental to me,they bring me into photography.
  38. I don't quite date back to the days of the F, but all my photo stuff is too special to me in its own way that I will never be able to get rid of it. i have developed a kind of attachment to my gear, like, I can't use anyone else's camera to take a picture, it just doesn't feel right.
  39. Keep the film stuff, I have a Canonet and continue to shoot B/W film. Its will keep your peice of mind and renind you of why you got into photography in the first place
  40. I know that when I got switched to digital I was all gung ho about getting rid of all my
    film equipment. I got rid of an F4, some lenses and a GORGEOUS barely used contax
    g1 with lens and flash. I regret it to this day. I wish I had never rid myself of all my
    film stuff. I have recently started picking up some odds and ends at flea markets and
    yard sales. At least now I am paying pennies on the dollar for the stuff. Film will
    never die for me. There is still something to be said about the look and more
    importantly the anticipation of film. Viva la Film!!!
  41. Wow! Such heart felt advice over a bunch of technologically obsolete metal, glass, and yes, even plastic. If I didn't know better I would think we were talking about old loves lost! It is all greatly appreciated. And both camps (those for selling, those for keeping) have made some excellent points in each case. I have to admit I lean towards the emotionally sentimental points. I can associate a memory with almost every item I own. Or, I can take the other road and think in terms of the classic mechanical design, the feel of the mirror/shutter as I take a picture, the sharp contrast that pops in a b&w photo taken with my 105 f/2.5 Nikkor lense or my favorite 24mm f/2.0. On the more practical side there is the fact that in today's economy selling used camera equipment, vintage or otherwise probably isn't a wise decision, at least at this time. I would say that I might as well keep the gear as in "how could it lose any more value than it has" but let's face can and probably will. So, I guess it does come down to the fact that I would probably regret selling most if not all of the equipment. I do like to shoot film, especially b&w and a nice roll of Velvia II once in a while. A film scanner would bridge the gap between the film and digital worlds. And, as it has been pointed out my D200 will let me use some of my older Nikkor lenses. So, as I am not in dire financial need and I am use to a bit of clutter in my house I will hold on to most of the gear for now. Thanks for the advice and the soul searching involved. I appreciate everyone's help.
  42. Sentimental is your sentimental. When I could see that anything I could do in digital surpassed, including B&W printing in the 135 format I sold the bodies off. Keep the glass you like, it's easy to Ai I do my own. When I do shoot film it's with LF. I have a Busch Pressman Model D and a Speed Graphic, 7 lenses mounted and all the accessories. MF never held an interest for me.

    Basically it's your's to keep or off.

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