WHAT IS THAT OLD FILM CAMERA WORTH?
In the days before the camera went digital, there was a broad consensus of opinion about the value used in specific models. This judgment was perpetuated in various publications, known collectively as Blue Books, which were normally updated annually, and aimed at traders who could be prohibitively expensive to purchase.
McKeown is one of the most respected Blue Books. The last edition was published in 2005/2006 and a used copy can be bought on Amazon for around £400 in hardback (I told you it was expensive). There are smaller Blue Books, for example, Raised International once published an annual price guide, but as these volumes are no longer updated, any price guide will be at least ten years old and used (pre-owned), so the selection available will change accordingly. , when you are looking for such items.
THE CASUAL CAMERA PICKER
As a tool for the casual camera picker, the Blue Book is generally pretty useless. The pages are populated with details of blurry Tele cameras; stuff I’ve never heard of, will probably never meet, and wouldn’t want to handle in any way. For example, turning to a random page in my Elevated International Blue Book (Millennium Edition) I am confronted with an Elope Camerawork Flans burg Elsa II from 1950 One of these is unknown to me. In contrast, many co-productions and their models may not exist at all. For example, in my book, there are only three entries for Fuji/Fujisan, who started making Tele cameras in 1948 and sold many different models.
More than that, the information about the telecamera valued ten – or more – a few years ago is now completely outdated This is more a result of changes in popular culture than inflation. The short, old Blue Book is about as useful today as the 127 film telecamera. They might be interesting, but they certainly won’t tell you what the average film camera is worth today. Although at first glance it would appear to be a dead-end solution, it is not yet. One thing is for sure: the starting price of an item is not necessarily an indication of the camera’s value. However, auction sites can still provide a reasonable representation of the camera’s current value.
BUYING AND SELLING Camera:
eBay – a major player in the buying and selling of vintage cameras – can be used to explore what buyers are actually paying. eBay has two search options at the bottom of the search filter menu on the left-hand side of their web pages: show completed schedule only, and show sold schedule only. This is another option in the progress search menu if you can’t locate them. Clicking on the “sold schedule” checkbox returns those items that sold within the last few weeks (kind of obvious isn’t it?) while the “completed schedule” option includes items that failed to sell, apparently because the original price was too high.
The answer to the question – “what is the value of my telecamera” – is there: it just takes a little effort to collect data. If someone wants something pretty badly, they may decide to pay more. If two people (or more) really want something, then you have an auction, and something can happen. But, this means that prices can change from day to day and from week to week, so sellers and buyers have to choose their moment to get a good price or grab a bargain. There are, as always, exceptions. Some cameras have rarity (and I use the word in its broadest sense) and desirability that guarantee a fairly consistent selling price, but most cameras have none.
Of course, the condition is always a factor unless it’s one of those rare models where owning one in bad condition is sometimes the only option. In summary, buying and selling vintage film cameras is a bit of a lottery, sometimes you get lucky and others you don’t.