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Should I get rid of my M4P?

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YES...you should get rid of it very fast before it is totally worthless. Feel free to contact me directly and I will be happy to take it off your hands at no cost to me, except I will help pay your shipping charges. I use these for paper weights and office decorations. I'm into vintage mechanical artifacts. I will also send you a very nice, and framable, "Thank You" note, and will, of course, put a positive comment on the Photo.net Feedback. Waiting to hear from you very soon. (^O^)
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Pantelis, Matt was correct: cameras don't make good investments. Very rarely does a camera keep or increase its value - even a Leica. Cameras are almost like cars in that on average they depreciate steadily and cost money to use. End of story.


You could get a good price for your M4P. But what about your lenses? You may want to keep those in case you buy a digital M body. But really, if you're happy with the M - or you don't need the money - then keep it. If you prefer digital then sell it. Simple. ;-)

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If you have to ask the question of others, then you already know you should get rid of it and just want validation. Lose your investment???? User cameras aren't an investment...they're tools of a trade, toys for boys, and many other things...but not an investment. If you don't want to lose any more money than its current value, then you should sell it, plain and simple because people continue to shift to the fashionable digital cameras.
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I hope a lot of guys feel the way you do I would love to get a late model M7 for half its current price when the M8 digital comes out. A lot of folks will be dumping their film gear once they realize that they are mostly using their new toy the M8 digital. Couple that the film gear is getting little or no use with the fact that film M will be going down in value at an excellerated rate it will make a lot of owners want to sell before the film gear drops further in value. This is what happened to the Nikon F5 which originally sold when it came out for $3k and now its used for $700. The F5 was the best 35mm SLR ever made just as Leicas are the top RF but digital fast results and lower long term operating costs brought down this fine cameras value.

Another point is that Leica film owners will also realize that selling their old M film cameras will fund Photoshop, color photo printers, large high def color monitors and lots of flash memory and disk drives.

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Al, think about it. Film will continue in the near future to be the mainstay of photography in emergent economies. We're an extraordinarily wealthy nation and can afford the new technologies--American consumers can afford on the whole--if so inclined--to buy digital. The growth market in China automobile sales is in vehicles that cost ca. $5K USD, which is doubtless about what the digital M will sell for. What's the market in the US for $5K mini-autos? These are the Model-T's of the countryside. Film in China, in this context, just as it was in the US generations ago (remember Instamatics?) still represents photography for the masses. All power to them.


It's always amusing to me to see readily Americans assume the world marches to their sense of things.


As to the M4-P: prices are steadily dropping. My advice, if you don;t want to hang on to it, is to sell *now*.







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Blown highlights, back focusing, errrrrrror messages, calibration of both camera body and lenses by the factory, errrrrrror messages, unpredicatable flash exposures, errrrrrror messages, banding issues, errrrror messages .....

Hurry up and sell that paper weight and join the digital revolution. Film is dead, long live film ....

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we are fast approaching the moment when film users will be professionals going for a

certain look, or advanced amateurs interested in do-it-yourself crafts. That being

said, i do believe that both these groups, small though they may be, will stabilize at

some point, and the niche-marketing will re-arrange the consumer enviornment.

Current film factories and processing were all geared towards high volume. The

future will see much lower volume, higher costs, but also specific products for highly

specialized users.


shooting film has become a choice. you can make this choice, or not. if you do, be

comfortable doing so. create and seek the approach that fits for you. Spending

thousands of dollars on computers, hard drives, printers, and so on may not make

much sense when you can buy an enlarger and darkroom set-up for nothing, and

make fiber based prints that are proven in quality and longevity. does this matter to

you? if it does, then you learn, as many generations did, from the ground up. it's

easier for the typical consumer to be a decent Photoshop operator than to become a

master printer...but there's a reason why good printing holds up over time.


For the non-professional advanced amateur who already has high-end equipment

and proven workflow, it makes little sense to go digital for your serious work. you

have no deadlines to meet. you have no clients demanding this or that. for years you

have already taught yourself techniques that give you results that you are pleased

with. why get all worked up about it all? get a digital point-and-shoot for your family

snapshots and fun, and continue using your Leica for what you always used it for.


You shoot slides? Fine. Great. Even Kodachrome 64 is still around, and may be for a

while yet. E-6 certainly isn't going to die before Kodachrome! You have,

conservatively, at least five or ten more years of E-6 before it may get too expensive.


So yes, in the short and medium term, used film cameras will continue to get cheaper.

However there is a breaking point, what are you going to buy for the $800 or $1000

you'll get for your M4-P? a new computer? a couple of hard drives? a few tickets to

the opera? some much need car repair? a month's rent?


It's a buyer's market all right. There are plenty of photographers who will buy your

camera. Maybe they know something, like the value of well-made equipment. Maybe

they are more willing to spend time, energy, and money to keep film alive, and

continue to achieve the photographs that they know they can make with film.

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M4-Ps going for $800-1000? What're you smoking?


With the exception of a single daft exception (an M4-P with a recent CLA), clean user M4-Ps are going on eBay for $500-600.


I wonder how many folk who go on about the resale value of Leica gear (except for the safe-deposit-box fetishists) are actually trying to sell it in the current market.


Unless your gear is dead mint (as in fashion accessory, Luigi half-case, 12 rolls of film a year) condition, you're going to take a hit, and values, except for a few low production lenses (pre-asph 35 'crons, Nocti's and unused recent issues), continue to drop.


I'm talking about stuff we use, not the stuff that appeals to knob polishers and collectors.


Just look at eBay. The guy you want to sell it to has.





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Which is great news for us actual users! I bought a lot of stuff 30 or 40 years ago when it was "The Great SLR Revolution" and everybody was dumping their obsolete worthless rangefinder Leicas that "nobody wanted". I wish I'd bought more. There are times to buy and there are times to sell.
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chandos, even better then! sure, it's been a while since i looked at current prices,

since i already have all the gear that i need. and let those prices continue to drop.


and don't worry if you paid a lot more a year or two or three or five ago. you've been

using the equipment.


i have done the math again and again, and if you optimize your workflow it remains

cheaper to shoot film than it does to continuously invest in digital. being a working

photographer i have to keep one late-model digital SLR on hand, along with a bank of

hard drives, two computers, lenses that i use only for digital, and a lot of flash cards.

All of that has cost me far more than equivalent film equipment.


and i have been finding to my pleasant surprise, that as everybody else goes digital,

editors are often pleased that i shoot film for all except the really tight deadline jobs.


sell me your record collection, too. i'll give you an iPod.

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I'll keep my tube audio gear, my highly tweaked TT, my custom made (by me) EV 12TRXB speakers, and some 1200+ lps, thank you; but you're blowing smoke if you think that the 'romance' of film is sufficient to keep it, or used Leica prices, afloat in the coming years.


What I've saved in the cost of film and processing over the past two years has paid for my Olympus E1, and as a 30+ year user of Leica gear, I'm not too torn up to leave it behind.


I stopped doing my own printing years ago, for a variety of reasons, and never printed much color, but I sure as hell know what a fine art print looks like, and I'm perfectly satisfied with the production of my digital work flow.


As to permanence, I'm amused yet again by the hubris that imagines the world needs our snapshots 100 years hence, and, in any event, I've sorted through enough waning chemical prints to know that all glory is fleeting--even setting aside the extraordinary strides digital's making in archival permanence.


I'm not hostile to film. I've kept a couple of Leicas for sentimental reasons, but these vaporish appeals to the cosmic 'rightness' of film- based photography leave me, at least, unmoved.


As to 'cost' of computers, etc: they're an appliance to me. I build my own to cutting edge specs every four or five years, and use it for work, and a host of other things. I'm running CS2 on a four-year old dual Pentium that still runs circles around anything else I see, and I expect to get a couple of more years from it.


The guy asked about selling his M4-P. I've sold three of them in the last several months--as well as a half-dozen M lenses; as Jerry kindly said, I think I know what I'm talking about.


Prices, with the exceptions noted, are dropping; gear is aging (as are the users), and Leica made a *lot* of stuff. Perhaps fewer people will pay higher prices for a shrinking pool of top-shape gear, but where's Sherry Krauter or Don Goldberg's successors to take care of it?


There'll always be a niche market for Leica, but user quality gear is going nowhere but down.

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Chandos, I don't know where you get the information you are posting. Prices on used Leica items are higher than they were two or three years ago. Prices on new Leica items have gone up, and the market for used items has followed. Repeating the same thing two or three times doesn't make it so.


In addition, the pre-ASPH 4th generation 35 mm Summicron is not a low production lens. This item was made in reasonably substantial quantities from 1980 to 1993 or so. In no way is it rare or even scarce.

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