Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by love4leica, Jan 31, 2011.
Are the prices dropping for Leica Film Cameras or are they increasing?
Here in the UK, the dealer price of, say, an M6 has been pretty static for several years. This is true of very few other cameras outside the purely collectable market (the Nikon FM-2 would be one exception).
Are the prices dropping for Leica Film Cameras or are they increasing?
From what I see, film M camera prices appear to be holding their own for the time being.
A nice 'user' M3/2 runs for about US$800 while an M6TTL runs as much twice that - maybe a bit less for an M6 classic. A nice clean 'user' M4 or M4-2/P can be had for around US$1,200.
M7/MP cameras can be had for no less than double that of any M6 (figure about 20% more for an MP compared to an M7).
What about collectable M cameras (special editions, mint - like new in the box, and rare production models)? Forget about it.
Prices for used Leicas always cycle up and down according to collector fashion/mob wisdom.
At one point several years ago, people were paying crazy money for the M2 and ignoring the M4. Finding a 35/f2 Summicron for less than $1000 US is now very difficult, particularly for the "best version," which seems to change month to month.
Prices for new Leicas always go up.
Prices for used Leica gear are very fickle. I have not been able to figure out just what drives the market. I sold one of three fine Leica IIIg bodies I own on eBay last year for about $800. Just a few years before, I had paid $1200 for it. It seems the Leica IIIg has all but lost its popular appeal.
New positive reviews of vintage cameras and lenses definitely cause a spike in the popularity and price of the item being reviewed, which lasts about six months. This can be frustrating if you are looking for a particular item and the going price of it suddenly shoots up. Ken Rockwell has the power to cause such a run on a particular item he praises.
Some Leica oddities and scarce accessories seem to hold their value and indeed increase over time. Some eBay sellers offer outrageous "Buy it Now" prices and are sometimes successful in selling at that price. Suffice it to say, there are some very wealthy individuals in the world for whom price is no object. Their care free buying behavior artificially drives the market up for the rest of us. One such eBay seller, "KevinCameras" seems to do quite well at selling all things Leica at inflated prices.
It would be interesting to see a chart of used Leica prices over the years.
As a trend, I would say the prices are going up over time, for vintage Leica film camera equipment, which is astonishing given the popularity of digital photography.
Except for second-hand M8s, of course: their used price is heading steadily downwards. (Here in the UK at least.)
Since the introduction of the M9 prices for M-mount lenses have risen because of the scarcity of the newer versions and their even higher list price. M series cameras seem to be rising slowly also since the introduction of the M9. Also, not only in photography but in other Art & Design areas the retro look is in & Leica never seems to go completely out of style.
There have been price increases in new Leica's, here in the US, due in part to a weakened dollar. I would say used equipment is a little depressed, from what I've seen.
In my opinion, prices are low in the US right now. Shooter grade M2/3's can be had in the $600 neighborhood. M4's are running about $800. And M6's can be had for $1000-1200. Glass is another story. A recent vintage 50 'cron, or older 50 'lux will set you back $1000-1500.
I thought it might be interesting to see a 1969 Leica price list.
"Except for second-hand M8s, of course: their used price is heading steadily downwards. (Here in the UK at least.)"Watching them on eBay in the U.S., the price dropped about 10 percent late last summer but has since recovered and a bit more.
I live in Europe (Italy) and observed the "Leica Market" from my perspective, for M7s, M6TTLs and MPs.
Normal M7s are proposed for around 1900-2200 Euros but take a long, long time to sell;
Sales of normal M7s goes easy at around 1200-1400 Euros, at higher prices they don't sell easily;
Sales of M7s with enhanced finder go for about 1600 Euro
M6 TTLs are proposed for 1000-1500 Euros, at higher prices they don't sell easily;
M6s sell easily for around 1000 Euros
All special Leicas (Betriebskameras, Flagged, test, last series, etc) have prices of their own. Normal price range is between 2000-3000Euros
It seems that there are many less M7s offered on the market than M6s, which could be explained by two facts: M7 is still in production
In shops you are offered M7s for 2000-2200 Euros and M6s for 1300-1700
in personal transactions an M6 sells easily for 900 Euros and an M7 for about 1300
Prices seem quite stable and also supply. There are not many cameras and their price is always at a level of their own.
Then there are cameras out of the market, sold for 100000Euro and more.
If you consider that an M6TTL has the same features of a Nikon FM of the 1970s and an M7 the same of a Nikon FE of the 1980s, the difference is made by the lenses.
There are very few lenses at extremely differentiated prices. Sellers in the far east blow up the price of new lenses far over the official list price of Leica. You can make some good deals in the US and recently I have seen deals made in Germany.
The issue is that the supply of new lenses is low.
It takes a lot of patience.
Hi, Afzal. I still see M6 classics around London for the same price I paid for mine six years ago. The M8 is now available for around half what I paid for mine new 4 years ago.
It does seem, if not OT, that lenses have gone up some. I think due to the digital Ms, the market for used lenses has risen some, especially given the cost of the new aspherical lenses.
My two bits' worth. I agree with Luca's assessment for the European market. Just to give an idea: I picked up one of the last M6 TTLs produced (with the 0.58 finder, which I was on the lookout for), for 1025€. It was in near mint condition. It was on the lowish side, I guess because it was a private sale on eBay, and the seller had a very good rating, but few stars.
As for the other models, I wouldn't pay more then 700-800 € for a good M4, or 500-600 € for an M2. M3s I stay away from, because of their complicated and delicate rangefinder mecanism. M4-2 and M4-P I'm not so sure: they seem to go all over the place. An M5 (IMHO a wonderful camera !!!) goes between 750 and 1000 €.
I absolutely stay away from anniversary models, special issues and other Hermes nonsense. Even the new prices don't make sense, let alone the used ones.
And Luca's entirely right about the Far East shops: they charge ludicrous prices.
Lenses are tough. I found that prices are all over the place. I steer well clear of professional sellers with "Buy now" prices on eBay: they're almost always a rip-off. Decide what you need, fix yourself a budget, and be patient. I waited a year to find a 1979 35mm f2 with both covers and shade, in near perfect condition, for 900€.
Of course, the bottom line is: Leica is an expensive addiction, and - like most addictions - very difficult to cure.
I feel like MP prices have been pretty stable over the past 4 years, maybe dropping a hair. M7 prices have definitely come down - I've seen several for below $2k, around $1800. And now that it's more public knowledge that the DX upgrade is free, you don't have to hunt down an upgraded one if you that's what you want. M6 prices have gone up since I purchased mine in 2006. There were quite a bit of them for $900 back then. Now the most common price I see is somewhere around $1100-1200.
Lens prices have gone up. The only lens which this might not be true for is the 28 Summicron. Now that all the affluent Leica shooters are on M9s and not M8s, they no longer need it. All the other used but current model lenses have seen a big price bump due to the increased list prices on those lenses. Older model lenses are about the same or a bit more.
Michael Axel is on the right track. ("weakened dollar" / inflation)
From Robert's provided list, a New M3 retailed for $288 in 1969; in the same year Gold averaged $41.28 per ounce. A little more than 6 ounces of Gold to buy that M3.
Today a New chrome Leica MP body goes for $5,000; that's just under 4 ounces of Gold.
Checking with a Leica authorized store, they claim to have the longest wait ever in Leica factory filling their order. Plus, no new Leica lenses are in their stock !
It seems today, that there are buyers who believe that new & used Leica's are still a bargain...
I wish an MP was only double the price of an M6 classic.
Over the last 8-9 years since I got my IIIa and IIf, prices for screwmount bodies have either gone up or there's only exceptional mint stuff on fleaBay, and I doubt the latter. Sadly a lot of it probably ends up in a glass case in Japan rather than being used; at least a gunged-up body can be restored with a CLA in future, I suppose.
Dealer prices are more stable, as are old lens prices - a 90mm Elmar has been about 100GBP for ages.
I can see why the IIIg might not be as high-priced as it once was; it's no better for sub-50mm lenses than any other screwmount and, frankly, it's not much of a looker compared to a IIIc or IIIf. Rarity is its only virtue.
"Rarity is its only virtue."
The IIIg viewfinder is the most important virtue compared to other LTM’s.
"I wish an MP was only double the price of an M6 classic."Point taken, but in reality there is little (if any) real difference to the user between an M6 classic and an MP, which is pushing three-times an M6 classic on the used market. MPs can be had for less, but these 'bargains' are few and far between.
Buy an M6 classic and get the finder upgraded with the Flair-resistant condenser. Compared to buying an MP, you’ll have enough to buy two back-up M6 classics.
I am sticking with my M3. The 0.91 VF rocks.
I feel like the price of lenses has increased for another reason as well: there's finally non-film cameras other than Leica's that can use them.
You can buy adapters for Sony NEX and Micro-4/3 to use M lenses (and screw mount lenses). Soon that'll also be true for the Ricoh GXR.
So there's a lot of people who, like me, slipped into the market sideways by picking up Leica-compatible lenses first for other cameras then went ahead and bought a Leica (I have an M8).
Separate names with a comma.