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Should I get rid of my M4P?

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Really, Eliot?


What Leica gear, with the exceptions I noted, *precisely*, are fetching higher prices than they were three years ago?


Remember, I'm not talking about Leica 'collectibles'.


I didn't characterize the 4th gen 35/2 as low-production. I said it was "high-demand." But demand is a fickle thing with, as you say, a lens that is at the top of the market. Who'd have thought several years ago that the pre-asph 35/1.4 would become a cult classic; I'm waiting to see how long until the old 90 'cron becomes the next best thing.


There're fads within the Leica market as there are in any other, as long time users (such as yourself) know.


Four years ago you couldn't touch a clean M4 for under $1100. I know because I flirted with getting one and shopped around.


Today they routinely move for well under $1000, and actually often go for what M4Ps used to, ie: $800-900.


Three years ago, SS high serial M3s in clean condition hovered around $900+. Now careful shopping will net one is the same condition for well under $800, perhaps much under (ie: $650-700)


I'll defer to any contrary evidence that you offer, but because I've been steadily selling off Leica gear, I've been paying *very* close attention to prices.


It's fascinating to see how few Leica items meet their reserves on eBay (which most often to my mind reflect those three-year-old prices), and what actually does move and at what price.





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I bought an M6 in 1990 and it is currently worth approximately sixty percent of what I paid for it. I bought an Olympus 5050 three years ago and there is really no means to know what it is worth today, but the dealer who sold it to me won't even talk about a trade-in -- even on another Olympus! Obviously the digital revolution is barely on its way, but I'll venture that in ten years the M6 will have a significant value while today's digitals will be next to worthless!
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I believe Pentax stated in their press release that they discontinued the Pentax 6x7 and 645 because the EU had outlawed the solder used to make these cameras PC boards from ending up in the land fills. It didn't make sense for Pentax to redesign the MF gear to meet the new regulations. When I read this I wondered why I had been looking for cameras in photoshops shelves if so many expensive cameras were to be found in landfills.


When the environmental regulations get arround to film chems film will suddenly die except in countries where polution is just fine. Lots of gear that required mercury batteries became less valuable and usable.

Film might fall victim to regulatory concerns.

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So what? What'll your (hypothetically speaking) HDTV be worth in four years? Would you rather keep that 12" B&W portable that Aunt Mabel gave you in 1967, because it's 'well built?'


And we can rendezvous here 10 years down the line when you finally sell that M6, and figure out what "significant" value means.


With respect to all of you, and speaking as long-time user of Leica cameras and lenses, this "buy it for future generations" line simply makes no sense to me.


I admire the craftsmanship and the pleasure of their use as much as many of you and perhaps more than some, but I also beleive that there's no rational basis for this notion that somehow they represent an "investment." Or, rather, I ask myself, why, as a dedicated, though decidedly amateur photographer, I care about this. I recognize, of course, one's interest in protecting one's economic exposure--there's value to recovering some of the cost of a piece of equipment, but I've come to believe in recent years that I'm a better photographer when I don't care about that investment--take the camera into dangerous places, throw it in the car and leave it there so that you always know where it is. What's the phrase? "Dance like there's no tomorrow."


Jerry will tell you (I hope) that the stuff he bought from me was well-tended but well used. I once lost a IIIF to rocks and a tidal pool on a little island of the coast of Maine. The images I brought back from the trip were worth it.







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<I>Why is Kodak investing so heavily in film manufacturing companies in China if film will

soon be dead?</I><P>


Please put some numbers on <i>so heavily</I> - how many western plants were closed as a

consequence. And who isn't moving manufacturing (whatever the product is) to China?

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Read my bloody post.


The exceptions I noted were: "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."


The guy's talking about an M4-P, remember?


Put a couple of dings in the barrel and wear some of the finish off it and see what it goes for, and be real, you stole it at that price when you bought it.

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"I'm amused yet again by the hubris that imagines the world needs our snapshots 100

years hence"


is it hubris, that i and my colleagues as photojournalists and documentary

photographers cover the world and history as it happens? where would our

understanding of our own history be without photography?


since 1839 and the invention of photography, we have recorded our lives and it can

even be argued that this very invention of photography marks the beginning of the

modern age, along with the telegraph, the steam train, etc.


yet there are significant gaps. the nitrate stock of the 1920s has largely crumbled to

dust, whereas the glass plates which preceded it are fine. same with early color --

kodachrome is holding well but e-3 and e-4 ektachrome of the '50s and '60s is

fading horribly -- and in the moving pictures area, vietnam and the civil rights

movement, shot on 8mm and 16mm film, looks great. however the first generation

videotape which replaced it in the '70s and '80s is collapsing wholesale.


most of my colleagues have switched to digital. as i said, i have as well for tight

deadline jobs. but a lot of my work which i believe is meaningful, such as in Iraq or

during Hurricane Katrina, I have continued to shoot on B+W film, not just for its

aesthetic qualities but because also i believe that its archival permanence is, in fact,



and that is not hubris nor gear fetishization.

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Well, as you probably know, eB-y is a seller's market. Sometimes bidders will pay more for a used item than its new price simply to win the auction. So why not try? Put your reserve at, say, $1,600. If it doesn't sell then maybe try later at a lower reserve. Can't hurt.
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Film is dying as the masses swarm to the digital products. The only future that film has is

for those die-hard photographers who put value on such silly features as quality,

reliability, artistic nuance, ability to change film stock for a totally different image

appearance and ease of archiving.


They are a dying breed too, but fortunately there are enough of them, with the

unconverted masses to secure film production through our life time. They have another

advantage in as much as the finest glass is available to them and is getting cheaper by the



There will be a resurgence in the market for film users as the peculiar character of its hand

made products become more highly prized.


The M8 will be a great success and will be bought by many film users as an optional body.

One, I add, that hopefully will still fit in the breast pocket of a shirt !

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Brad, Kodak still makes Super-8 film because there's a sizeable underground community

that still shoots the stuff. It's actually getting harder to find good working cameras now

than it is the film to put in them.


You'd be surprised how good it can look. I used to shoot Super-8mm negative stock

occasionally, and you could cut it in with 16mm footage at no risk of embarassment.


Check out this website if you're curious:



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Leicas may be tools and/or toys: IMHO, if you think of them as "investments," you will never retire rich! Whoever -- Barnack, Leitz or the young Hermann Goering -- dreamt up the sexy Leica body curves, etc., gave birth to a subtle pornography that tantalizes to this day.<div>00HA6w-30958684.jpg.b310bd92b86745f5d1aef6c9bc3665ac.jpg</div>
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You may not retire rich from investing in Leicas but if you've used them as tools they've been a viable long term business decision compared to constantly chasing the latest technology. I'm producing a pretty steady income stream from B&W negatives I shot back in the 60's and 70's. Colleges are still teaching film based B&W photography. We've lost a few B&W emulsions like Panatomic-X but gained a bunch of T-grained films.
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Forget about selling. Use it whenever, more or less, who knows. Its not worth much in todays world and you sure do not want to rebuy another next year. Some type of film to use in this camera will be available as long as you desire to buy it.
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For personal reasons (I owe a IIIg...) when a IIIg is offered on ebay I always look at final price.

Starting low and NR, final price is always near $800: this happens normally latest 3 or 4 years. Not bad for a naked pre-1960 obsolete and not-so-rare (lovely) film camera.


Ezio Gallino. Italy.

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"Film will continue in the near future to be the mainstay of photography in emergent economies...It's always amusing to me to see readily Americans assume the world marches to their sense of things."


The only one here who seems to make the assumption the world marches to their sense of things is you.


If you did in fact travel to China, India and many other places you would be embarrassed to have made such a silly assertion. There are more cellphones than landlines, more iPods than home stereos, and anywhere you do see people taking pictures they're chimping into digital cameras.

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Kevin said: "Great Al! All we need to follow your constantly repeated advise is a time-travel machine so we can all work in the 60's and 70's like you did. :-("


Ansel Adams made a handsome living printing and selling photos he exposed in the 1930's and 1940's. What's wrong with that?

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