Leica market value...

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by luigi v, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. I have been noticing, in the last year or so, a steady decline in market value for some of
    the more "common" Leica items, such as the M6s and M6 TTLs bodies (I think that's
    probably due to many users switching to MPs and M7s) and a wide array of M lenses, for
    instance the Summicron 2/35 asph or the current Elmarit 90/2.8 and the 24/2.8 Elmarit
    ASPH to name some...They are selling today for 20% or so less than what these items were
    fetching about a year ago.
    On the contrary, rare or less common items seem to be holding on their value fairly well...
    I wonder if, with many users switching to digital, prices on "users" Leica are destined to
    fall even further...
    I really hope not, owning a pretty large collection of Leica stuff...!
    I would love to hear some opinions from other members of this forum, especially those
    who use but also collect Leica...
  2. Luigi - without doubt, there is some oversupply from the sellers currently - but when you look at traditional film equipment, then I am confident Leica holds the value the very best.. then ev. Hassi, Nikon etc...
    What worries me a bit is the span between used and brand new equipment - if it is growing to far, then Leica sales will have a even higher burden....
  3. I just checked EBAY and M6 TTLs are selling from $1250 to $1450.Same as a year ago when i bought mine, I watched for 2 months a year ago before buying one.
  4. Hmmm... Interesting...

    Roaming through the big auction site and other used-gear stores I haven't notice anything like a drop in price, but rather a steady rise. However, this particular time of the year isn't the best to make this kind of diagnostic statements: usually January and February are the months in which boards like this are full of sales, probably because people are clearing out their shelves (getting ready for their new year's future purchases or to pay credit card bills). Take a peek at stores like KEH and Ritz Collectibles, among others, to see how Leicas are selling now for a bit more than a year ago.

    Remember, there were two price increases last year (IIRC), so that makes sellers raise their own prices.

    Oddly enough... I have seen M3 prices go down a little, while M4 still sell comparatively high (at times, almost at as much as any old M6).

    BTW, I don't collect Leica stuff. I use it, and that's why I keep looking at prices of things I'd like to add to my inventory, or just to be aware for future reference.
  5. Glenn, I bought a beautiful conditions M6 TTL .58 Silver (Mint/Like new/with warranty) in
    October 2004 in Arlington, MA, during a
    trip to the States and I paid 1800 USD for it...and on ebay those days (that's 16 months ago)
    they were not going for much less...16 months later they are going for USD 1250-1450...is it
    not 20% less?
  6. I agree with the declination of leica prices. I have 2 M6TTL bodies, both I acquired second hand, both have a 27x serial number, both are boxed and papered and look like new.

    My first body I bought in June 2004 for 1700� my second body I bought in November 2005 for which I paid 1750� but included a 35mm Summicron (4th)

    As for lenses .... anything non-asph. you can pick up really cheap nowadays. I bought a 50mm elmar 2.8 6 months old, chrome for 370�, Summilux 50mm for 620� Summicron 90mm for 635� all as new and boxed...

    They are offered more expensively but if one is not in a hurry and has the time and stamina to wait a bargain will come along ....

    On the other hand I have been looking out for a Ig or perhaps a If in perfect condition for quite a while now, these seem to stay expensive.
  7. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I think M6's are dropping about 10% a year over the last three. The next couple of years will be really intresting as even less people will be shooting film. The lemming drop will begin and a flood of film bodies will be on the used market, much like how medium format plunged a couple years ago. If i was collecting common pieces for monetary reasons, I'd be selling.
  8. Well, I just all mine. Don't care what $ value it now has, cos I ain't sellin!

    I use it. It works. What more can I ask?
  9. IMO experience, prices have increased. Eighteen months ago I had the opportunity to buy a mint 75mm/f1.4 from a forum member for $1250. I passed. At around the same time frame I bought a mint used M7 for $1400. I don't think either of these prices could be met today.
  10. If M6 & M6ttl prices are dropping, I think it's due to DIGITAL not M7's or MP's
  11. "...I wonder if ...prices on ムuserメ Leicas are destined to fall even further..."

    IMO, most definitely, yes. Leica cameras are like Hotels - Only the second or third owner is likely to make any money. If you've recently purchased a new Leica (with a Passport warranty), I wouldn't expect you would be able to make money on a sale for quite some time; rather, you should expect to take a (one-time) 20-30% hit. At that point, the continued price increases should ensure your value should remain stable as long as the condition remains like new.

    A mint M3/2 will still fetch as much, or more, as it ever has. The thing holding up Leica prices now is collectors and fondlers who are after the rare and mint items (which also increase in rarity with age).

    However, user M3/2 prices have dropped by about 30% over the last year. As digital continues to crowd out film cameras, user Leica cameras will continue to depreciate (but not as fast as most other film cameras will).
  12. Well, we have hard times at the moment. Some first users are growing old and digital might be another reason. Pricy gear isn't very valuable during hard times. I've heared of a Rolleiflex sold for a sack of potatoes once.

    Surely the user camera bodys will fall further, but less than others.

    When the digital M arrives lens values might shift a bit according to their performance on the digital, but I won't worry about the lenses.

    BTW what can you do? - Start shooting your mint collector's items because you have to sell the users now, to keep most of your investment? - Strange idea.
  13. I haven't noticed anything of the kind. In fact M6s and M6TTLs have increased in price over what they were a few years ago. [probably because of the rising price of the M7 and MP]. The premise is wrong.
  14. The premise is wrong.
    Don't tell me.....what? I agree with Eliot on something?
    Yes, prices on the whole have gone up on Leica stuff the past few years. Value is at the very least holding its own.
  15. ... So, let's see. If you're in the market to buy you plant a thread like this and get everybody believing it?
  16. I buy most of my stuff from KEH and can say M prices have been steady over the last couple of years. More desirable focal lengths such as 21mm, 35mm, and 50mm will always be steady as they are the staples of any M kit. The 75mm Summilux and also the 90mm are a bit weak due to the new 75mm Summicron. I wouldn't rely on ebay prices as a benchmark. When I sell I just want to unload and not to make money.
  17. Prices are down, unless I'm looking to buy something. Then they're up.

    They've been up every time I've looked over the past few years. This includes a lot of R
    gear that I thought I'd get for a song. Wrong. I've been outbid repeatedly on e-bay (last
    one was for a 50/1.4 E-60 that I max bid $1,600. on and was slaughtered by other
    bidders who took it way past what I'd pay for that lens). The only reasonable deal I've
    gotten on R gear was from a forum member. Every piece of R gear I sold some time ago, is
    the same price or more today.

    Same with the MF myth, at least for Hasselblad gear. CFE/CFi lenses are high as hell. Sure,
    you can get a CF in nice shape for a good price, because the CFis are now on the used
    market. It's always been that way. New version A-24 backs and PME finders are the same
    price they were 2 years ago. I've been outbid repeatedly on that stuff also.

    I've spent over a year putting together missing pieces of systems I use for work. Only a
    couple of bargains despite daily searches.
  18. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Same with the MF myth..."

    What do you mean Marc? RZ's, RB's, 645, Broni's...all plummeted in price, except 'blad not as much, over the last few years. Maybe you should buy here, in CAD,


    and sell there?
  19. Like some of the posters above, I haven't noticed a noticable decline in prices at all the past year on used Leica as they have basically held there own. I was in a camera shop today and saw used Nikon F5's for between $400-$500 and F100's for Under that. I was joking with the store owner about how it wasn't that long ago that you were paying that for a good point and shoot film camera.

    But as far as Leica goes, I've been a power seller on the bay for 7 years now and have not noticed a decline in the prices I've received on my Leica pieces at all. They've held steady while the other manufacturers prices have dropped like anvils.

    I loved the comment above about downgrading prices when your in the buying mode to get better deals although I'm not saying that was the reason for the post but it reminded me of guys on the trading floor who use to bash particicular stocks or spread bad news rumors only to be the one's buying the stock up for $10 cheaper while everyone else was dumping theirs on the bad news rumors. Not a bad racket.
  20. leica is more than just a camera, it is an additive drug, and the number of victim just
    increasing each year.
  21. I too, have seen a decline in prices in the 15- 20% range for used Leica bodies. I've been buying and selling over the past year, so i think I have a good feel for it. I can't speak of the lenses, since I haven't been in the market for any used ones in a while.

    The reason HAS to be the digital migration. One would think that with the price of new Leicas going up and up that the used prices would also creep up slightly, that's what has happened historically. There's no reasonable explanation IMO, that prices should actually go down.

    How else would you explain that I just purchased from a reputable store, an as new black M7,in box, with papers, six month warranty, etc. for a bit more than $1900? When the new advertised prices are what, $3300?
  22. I paid $1,500 (US) for my M6 body almost 4 years ago, complete with a 5 year passport waranty. Now it's still worth close to what I paid, but not more. Well in 1985 I bought a K-1000, I happen to remember the price: $137 (inculding a 50mm f2.0 SMC Pentax lens, case, and strap). Since it's still in pretty decent shape I bet I could get about $150.

    So as far as return on investment, the K-1000 wins.
  23. I agree that Leicas hold their value better than most others, but what experiences we've had 5,4,3, years ago, or even 6 months ago really doesn't have any bearing on the present or the future. The pace of change is happening so fast (with all the mergers, and the companies dropping out of the film and film camera business in droves) that NO ONE can say how much that M6 will be worth next year. Maybe $1500, maybe $500, you can't predict anything in the camera business any longer. If anyone IS worried about their "investments", then sell NOW.

    I also think you'd be hard pressed to find a buyer for the K1000 at $150, but even at $100, all in all not a bad depreciation of hardware, is it?
  24. Well I was offered $150 for it...

    But even though my point was slightly in jest, I have to ask, wouldn't it be great if a clean used M6 cost $500? Heck I'd buy one tomorrow!

    I bet no one would complain if $45,000 Mercedes were available for $15,000.
  25. Thanks for the link Eric. I assume those are Canadian dollars so the Flexbody on that sight
    is a decent price, but not a "gotta have it" bargain. As I noted in the "Myth" post, I was
    primarily referencing Hasselblad.

    I refuse to sell the RZ system because the bottom did drop out of that one ... primarily due
    to digital backs creating such a huge lens X factor and Mamiya's failure to produce the
    43mm promised over 2 years ago. We'll see where MF sensors will go now that the
    theoretical meg count limit is being approached with-in 645 sized sensors. Perhaps a 6x6
    or 6X7 sensor? Perhaps it'll happen, or perhaps I'll have an extensive paper-weight
    collection ; -) In the meantime I'm filling the freezer with films I can process myself and
    taking a strong look at a Imacon 646 Scanner.
  26. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Yes, CAD amount, Marc. It's my local classifieds that's online now. Ebay sure been a ballast for prices now, not much different. It used to be saturated and fairly low here.
  27. "They've been up every time I've looked over the past few years."

    Well, I guess it depends on where you look. My local camera store has a couple of Leica M3 cameras on the shelf (7-8 condition) for $995 (US) each. Based on the prevailing wisdom expressed here, from those arguing prices have continued to increase, this would seem to imply they are correct. However, these cameras have been on the shelf for months while cameras in similar condition are closing on eBay (where I look) in 7-day auctions for about $600-700 (US). Plus, if you are into doing such things, some of the camera dealers referred to in this thread can be negotiated down to a price very close (within about 10%) to auction prices.

    Within about the last 36-48 months dealers were easily getting these "higher" prices, but not today (at least not "easily").

    After all, a "market" price for any given item is whatever a buyer and seller will typically agree to.
  28. Three years ago I sold an M3 so I could buy an Oly 5050. Guess what I could get for the Oly now! The dealer I bought it from laughed when I suggested I trade it in on the latest model. Yet if I wanted another M3 what do you think it would cost? Comparing relative costs is futile unless the amortization from use is taken into account. In over sixty odd years I have never sold or traded Leica stuff at a loss!
  29. "Comparing relative costs is futile unless the amortization from use is taken into account. In over sixty odd years I have never sold or traded Leica stuff at a loss!"

    Absolutely well said. However, this thread is about where used Leica prices have gone in the last year or two. And we haven't even addressed where used Leica R prices have gone over the last 24 months. DOWN, Down, down...

    Ironically, new Leica prices have been up, Up, UP. And how many system cameras (on Passport) do you suppose are sold these days? But I digress...

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