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Vintage Film Camera Prices On Ebay

Gents, whenever I want a good laugh or to have my jaw drop a bit I just go to the friendly eBay site for all the gags. Lately I have considered an older point and shoot type film camera for a bit of mucking about with Lomography and simple nostalgia. My daughter has never handled a film camera and she is a bit of a shutter/video bug and I thought it would be neat for her to try. I truly have no notion of collecting these things or finding some rare model for cheap and all that. Just a simple shooter that has the super neat retro look of the 1940/50s.

A great many cameras would fill the bill but I was taken with the looks of the Kodak Retinette non-folding models and the Kodak Signets. Particularly the Signet35 rangefinder. Well imagine my non-surprise when I head over to Laughbay and find what really amounts to flea market find cameras listed from $25 to $100 plus. And the shipping on some of some of them...well, lets not get off on a rant. The funniest one was camera shop who has Retinettes listed with all sorts of afflictions such as damaged viewfinders, foggy lenses, sticky shutters galore, missing bits of leather, etc. Yet otherwise in "excellent" condition. Honestly, some of this eBay stuff is simply too much. And for every one listed at a fairly decent start bidding price or BIN there is either incomplete information, few pictures(usually an indication of some defect hidden from view) or hilariously wrong information. At least one listing described the Retinette as a SLR camera! And you still have no idea if the ruddy thing actually works. Was P.T. Barnum right or was he? Mostly it was just another 'oi' moment. Why do I even look?

Cheers, Todd

P.S. Gents, I know there are still bargains on the Bay and I found a couple of cameras listed for good starting prices. The above was more intended as general nose thumbing at some of the silliness.
 
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I've given up on The Bay for cameras. So hit and miss.

KEH is a good place to start.

Also, you can sign up and lurk the classified section of APUG.org. Lots of analog enthusiasts selling all kinds of cameras for the price they are actually worth (because they actually KNOW what its worth). If a camera is in bad condition, the seller always is up front and prices it accordingly.
 
I've seen used lenses priced higher on Ebay than the same new lens (still available), and sold. Pretty amazing...

As stated above, KEH and APUG are the two best places for used film equipment.
 
KEH is known for very conservative condition ratings and a liberal return policy. Plus a huge inventory with lots of turnover.
 
I hear you gents. What makes me so suspicious of some of these listings is the obvious mistakes. Remember the Retinette listed as SLR? I found it. 190916937915(Mods, this is not a link, just the auction listing. If it that is not acceptable please edit it out and accept my apology.)And it is listed by a firm who sells camera gear. Super feedback rating of 100% and that is over 2350 transactions. Should be a completely safe bet you'd think. Particularly based on the description of condition and photos. But how does a camera shop make the glaring mistake of calling this a SLR? Just spooks me a bit. $40 overall with carriage included is not a bad price for just experimenting but all it takes is glitch in the shutter or the film advance mechanism and you have an attractive and expensive paperweight. I am still really taken by these beautiful little pocket cameras.

Cheers, Todd

Here is a 1A Is this thing a beauty or what?
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And the IIB This type would be the only II version I like. Simply because it still has the cursive script on the front of the camera. Most sources list the II models as the best of the lot with their built in light meter. Gorgeous cameras. For the absolute life of me I cannot understand why the big manufacturers do not introduce more digital models that look like this. With the whole retro everything trend it would sell briskly.
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Although I hear what you are saying you have targeted a fairly collectible camera model so I wouldn't expect anything different than what you are finding in general. If your daughter truly wants to experiment with film there are plenty of Canon, NIkon, Olympus etc models that can be had for cheap.

Kind of like saying, I'd like to experiment with Wet Shaving so I'll look for a NOS Cheap Gillette Toggle. Well you get my drift.
 
I was unaware these were collectible. See how much I know about cameras? My point goes more toward the ahem...junk that is being offered for sale as excellent condition. And I do agree that paying between $40-70 for a good representative piece would not really be out of hand. I just don't want to end up an "excellent" paperweight.

Cheers, Todd
 
They really aren't that expensive as far as collectible cameras are concerned. Most aren't using them to shoot with, just display. They weren't bad cameras in their day, just not the best out there. The ones with working light meters are going to bring the most.

But Like I said, I wouldn't buy this particular model just to try out shooting film. I think the results would just be disappointing and interest would be lost on what can be a great hobby.

Besides 35mm film cameras you might take a look at Medium Format cameras which are going to be a big improvement in results that are possible within this era of camera.

Good luck.
 
I honestly do not want to deal with 120 film. Any camera I get will need to be cartridge based for ease of loading. However, what do you think in particular would make these types of cameras a bit disappointing? I understand their mechanical/analogue nature could be a learning curve. Is is more they are poor shooters or just hard to use? Please, any opinion on this would be helpful. The nostalgia stuff is me. My daughter thinks I'm vintage so to her, anything like this looks old. To me, the compacts and rangefiders of the 1960s are a complete departure in aesthetics. The Minlota Hi Matic 7(thanks to some old post I saw here for introducing it to me) is a fantastic looking camera. I was just hoping for the post war, 1948 to 1960 look. I am most certainly open to other brands. I am really unsure of the German makes(well other than these German Kodaks) and freely admit no experience with them.

Cheers, Todd
 
As far as image quality and use goes, you might be better off with a Minolta Hi-Matic 7 or 9, Yashica Electro 35 GS or GSN, Canon QL17III, or for pocketable Konica C35. All are great optically, easy to use and have work arounds for the battery issues. I own and use a Hi-Matic 9, Electro 35 GSN, and a Konica C35V (scale focus, not a true rangefinder). They all have their issues, some are easier to repair than others. The Minolta is known for the lense wobbling on the body, the Yashica for having "Pad of Death" deterioration, and the Konicas having alignment issues. All are fixeable, but no all are easy to do. The worst is the Minolta lens wobble, not for even advanced ameture repair.


-Xander
 
I honestly do not want to deal with 120 film. Any camera I get will need to be cartridge based for ease of loading. However, what do you think in particular would make these types of cameras a bit disappointing? I understand their mechanical/analogue nature could be a learning curve. Is is more they are poor shooters or just hard to use? Please, any opinion on this would be helpful. The nostalgia stuff is me. My daughter thinks I'm vintage so to her, anything like this looks old. To me, the compacts and rangefiders of the 1960s are a complete departure in aesthetics. The Minlota Hi Matic 7(thanks to some old post I saw here for introducing it to me) is a fantastic looking camera. I was just hoping for the post war, 1948 to 1960 look. I am most certainly open to other brands. I am really unsure of the German makes(well other than these German Kodaks) and freely admit no experience with them.

Cheers, Todd

Well a little of both. The problem you are going to run into on these older cameras is many parts. Does the Rangefinder actually line up and is it accurate? The ones with a working Light Meter, is it accurate? The ones without require a bit of a learning curve to get exposure correct. Is the shutter speed accurate? These things have lots of springs and over time they lose there timing. Most often they all have two curtains that have to work in unison. If one is slightly off your images will show a line. Then you have the aperture blades. Do they stick? Is there any fungus on the blades which is common?

I two like the look of many of the older vintage gear for many reasons. It's often better made and it brings back memories but if it is images you are after there are plenty of other more dependable ways to go with film.

Most entry level collage photo courses start with B&W film for a reason. Kids can learn a lot about seeing the shot before they push the button rather than after looking on the cameras screen.

For me, I've had my fill of film and all the chemicals that go with the process. I don't mind displaying a nice vintage camera on my bookshelves though.
 
Dad3, good stuff. In honesty I am with you on the film thing. I cannot help but think the original users of these cameras would think us all nutters for even considering using film. And they would be right. It is like the vinyl vs cd. Many claim a big benefit of the vinyl but a well made Cd sounds almost indestinguishable to me. Same with film. Whilst film certainly has its look editing programmes can make almost any digital image look that way. Then you get the arguments that such editing makes it fake. Well photos themselves are facsimile of the subject and photographers for over 100 years have manipulated perspective, light, lens, and developer chemicals to get the effect they want. Not a lot of difference either other than speed. And expense. If not for digital I could never afford to let my girls just snap away.

This would be more of a fun way to let her snap some b&w film and see how it works. I have a nearly unused Pentax K1000 I should use for this and may yet. It just seems too new. A bit clinical. The Canon models listed seem to have shutter breakage issues according to most sites I checked but all of them will have some issue. Another option is a Pony 135. Dirt cheap, dead simple, and if it breaks you haven't lost much. We shall see.

Cheers, Todd
 
I used to restore cameras usually large format... But I have come across some amazing deals... My best that I'm gonna keep forever was a Mint hasselblad 300c with 300cm hardware... It came with three lenses... Toward the end of the 300c production they started using cm parts in the 300c.... All this for just 300 bucks... It's traveled the world with me from El Salvador to Korea! What a keeper
 
I used to restore cameras usually large format... But I have come across some amazing deals... My best that I'm gonna keep forever was a Mint hasselblad 300c with 300cm hardware... It came with three lenses... Toward the end of the 300c production they started using cm parts in the 300c.... All this for just 300 bucks... It's traveled the world with me from El Salvador to Korea! What a keeper

Now that is a deal! I admit to thinking the Hasselblads look awesome. I am thinking of the 500 models. Does that sound about right? The iconic looking boxy body with the big crank knob on the side? Wasn't the 300 similar? In any event landing a Hasselblad with lenses for $300 is the deal of a lifetime. I would most certainly be willing to learn to handle 120 film if I landed a deal like that. Well done. I also went to everyone's friend, YouTube, and checked out some Hasselblad film loading and use videos. The ingenious design of that camera is evident from the moment they started showing the film backs and how easy they are to load and change out. Mechanical music is how I would describe it. Truly a case where function blends so well with aesthetic they seem inseparable. I remember seeing these things years ago in magazines like Popular Photography and thinking they were about the coolest camera I ever saw.

Cheer, Todd
 
I have a Hasselblad 501c, best camera present and past and I'm pretty sure in future too. Makes me burn lots of 120 film, B&W and colour. It goes with me everytime I travel overseas. It's a bargain even at $1000. I got mine for $1200 with 2 lenses, mint condition.

It's a great companion to my Pentax MX and Rollei 35s.
 
I don't have a Hassy, but I do have the Pentax MX like TheChefs. My Grandfather bought it for my Mom back in 1980 or so when she was taking a photo class. A year later it was pretty much mine. Was out trying to finish my first roll of Delta 100 with it this evening.

What I do have that pertains to Phog Allen's original post is a Retina IIc with the Schneider lens. I bought this last year in March at a local antique store for too much ($70) but it's in immaculate shape and everything works. The shutter is sticky if it sits for a day or so, but that's it. I've ran one roll of Tri-X through it just to see what it could do and it was so good that it's going off to New Zealand for Chris Sherlock to work his magic.

I understand the ease and convenience of digital. I use it myself. But I don't kid myself that digital is always cheaper. I have a heck of a lot of money for me tied up in cameras, lenses, cards, computer, monitor, monitor calibration, external hard drives, and software. All that junk has to be updated or replaced every so often because it dies. More money. My MF Yashica has the potential to blow the doors off my old Nikon D200, I've seen it. One thing I like about film is the fact that the images seem to have more depth. They don't look so 2D like digital and the digital prints I've seen and done that were processed to look like film usually look, well, processed. I've take the same photo with my film and digital side by side at the same time and the film always looks more 3D. It pulls me in more. When I won our Tri-State fair photo contest in B&W this year it was with a print off my YashicaMat. You know why? Every judge could tell it was a film shot and not a digital or digital-made-to-look-like-film print.

Don't get me started on the vinyl/CD thing. If you're listening to your dirty vinyl on an old Soundesign TT with crappy speakers well what do you expect. I've heard a LOT of good vinyl rigs over the years, side by side to high end CD rigs and when the vinyl is good, clean, and hasn't been damaged by some crappy table it's every bit as good as CD and usually better in the overall dynamic range. You can hear the difference in CD players many times. There's a reason a lot of people who actually sit and listen to music, as opposed to using it for background noise, run their CD player's through a tube preamp (or hi-rez digital files through a tube DAC). Because many CD's are so compressed there are very few that have any distinction in volume through a whole song and are harsh to listen to for more than a couple of songs. They're made to be listened to in a car, IMO, same as mp3.

Here's a photo of my Retina IIc:
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and a scanned photo from it. I didn't do anything to the file except an auto-level adjust. Sunny-16 guessing on the exposure.
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