gold or rare cameras?

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions
paulhofseth
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gold or rare cameras?
Apr 15, 2013

I noticed today's news on speculators selling off their gold bars.

With one golden bar by design  not any different from another, no one would keep them for their individuality.

Not much practical use either, apart from as doorstops and paperweights. No interest accrues and no use.

Products from Angenieux, Astro, Kilfit, Kinoptic, Leitz, Oude Delft, Pignons, Spectros, SOM, Voigtländer,Zeiss, Zunow etc. may also prove excellent as doorstops or paperweights, but they do have  an extra attribute: they may be used.

So in the longer term, speculators with less knowledge than money may gain or lose on the hedging carousel , while some knowledgeable currency-refugees, from China, Cypros, Italy,Japan, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela and the US, may choose to combine relative security with pleasure.

Even in a poorer, inflationary world, there will always be some excentric collectors and users around with sufficient funds to continue the chain, and it is the relative value preservation that counts.

The old parable of the two men chased by a lion comes to mind; the first one says, "we cannot outrun the lion", the other replies," but I can outrun you".

Opinions?

p.

BSweeney
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to paulhofseth, Apr 15, 2013

Classic lenses seem to command a premium these days, thanks to mirrorless cameras and new offerings from Leica. Used lens prices seem to be up 5-fold in the last few years.

I miss the days of $50 J-3's, $70 collapsible Summicrons, $70 Canon 50/1.5's, $95 Nikkor5cm F1.4's, and $150 wartime Sonnars in LTM...

But on the other hand, they paid for the M9 and M Monochrom.

To add- I would go with lenses over classic film cameras. The latter has lost ground in the last 10 years. I have some 60 or so Nikon cameras, 14 of them RF's. I use the RF's more than the SLR's. Used to have a rule- walk into a shop and find a nice camera with lens for $100 or so, grab it. Most of the near-mint ones, would fetch a premium. But EX to user-grade, I've given more than have sold.

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bosjohn21
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to paulhofseth, Apr 15, 2013

paulhofseth wrote:

I noticed today's news on speculators selling off their gold bars.

With one golden bar by design  not any different from another, no one would keep them for their individuality.

Not much practical use either, apart from as doorstops and paperweights. No interest accrues and no use.

Products from Angenieux, Astro, Kilfit, Kinoptic, Leitz, Oude Delft, Pignons, Spectros, SOM, Voigtländer,Zeiss, Zunow etc. may also prove excellent as doorstops or paperweights, but they do have  an extra attribute: they may be used.

So in the longer term, speculators with less knowledge than money may gain or lose on the hedging carousel , while some knowledgeable currency-refugees, from China, Cypros, Italy,Japan, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela and the US, may choose to combine relative security with pleasure.

Even in a poorer, inflationary world, there will always be some excentric collectors and users around with sufficient funds to continue the chain, and it is the relative value preservation that counts.

The old parable of the two men chased by a lion comes to mind; the first one says, "we cannot outrun the lion", the other replies," but I can outrun you".

Opinions?

p.

I had a table at phsne boston show for many years during the late nineties up to six years ago. The lenses today are as others point out firm in pricing but regular bodies took a dive. they seem to be rebounding now as they are getting harder to find nice ones.  I long for the day I could buy and almost mint 3f red dial with a nice collapsible summicron for three hundred.

The rare collectables are a crap shoot.  The price can vary wildly and depends on how badly some one wants the piece.I recently sold a 72 for fifteen grand but christies had appraised it at 22 grand eight years earlier. It was Canadian but the seriel number indicated it to have been the first seriel number alloted to Canadian production so during the hayday of collectable leica prices in the late nineties I might have got the Christies apprasial price.  On the other hand I was able to sell a mint M2rrecently  for more than the asking price.

as an investment in the last twenty years the best performance with minimal risk when done right is the stock market. But you cant take one of your stocks out and obsess over how beautifully it is made or shoot a roll of film with it.

I used to collect and buy and sell just for the love of it, Didnt really make a lot of money out of it. When I sold the last of my collectibles I was able to get an M9 and make a substantial deposit into a brokerage account, but I miss the fun of the phsne show and the haggling.

John aka bosjohn21

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ADSinger
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to bosjohn21, Apr 15, 2013

My name is Alan and I'm an addict.

I collect tin German mechanical toys.

I collect vintage European motorcycles.

I have other collectibles as well.

They give me pleasure. I can use and play with my collectibles.

You cannot play with stocks and bonds - though I suppose playing with one's gold would be nice.

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BSweeney
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to paulhofseth, Apr 15, 2013

Thirty-Five years ago, I collected old computer manuals. Surplus, or dirt cheap. In 1980 I attended a computer talk given by Grace Hopper. "Where the hell did you get this" was the response that she gave when I asked her to autograph the manual to the IBM Mark I. She wrote it in 1946. I need to have it appraised and donate it to the Smithsonian. They have the computer, but not the manual.

I also have some rare cameras, like two Nikon F2's from the trial production batch. Most F2's have plastic tips for the lever advance- these are all metal. A Nikon M "No-Sync", and a Nikon M w sync. The latter was $30 at an antique mall.

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l_objectif
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D
In reply to BSweeney, Apr 15, 2013

BSweeney wrote:

Thirty-Five years ago, I collected old computer manuals. Surplus, or dirt cheap. In 1980 I attended a computer talk given by Grace Hopper. "Where the hell did you get this" was the response that she gave when I asked her to autograph the manual to the IBM Mark I. She wrote it in 1946. I need to have it appraised and donate it to the Smithsonian. They have the computer, but not the manual.

I also have some rare cameras, like two Nikon F2's from the trial production batch. Most F2's have plastic tips for the lever advance- these are all metal. A Nikon M "No-Sync", and a Nikon M w sync. The latter was $30 at an antique mall.

Hi D,

Since you are in the collectors world, if you know anyone who would be interested in a Angenieux 35-70mm zoom, F/2.5 with Nikon mount, let me know. I have this rare and like a new superb glass that I am not using at all!

Best,

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BSweeney
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Re: D
In reply to l_objectif, Apr 16, 2013

It's a beauty!

I've been mostly collecting Sonnar lenses of late, and lenses that were not designed with the aid of a computer... I told that to an optical engineer that has since retired and his answer... "Brian, computers really did make it easier for us". My "Pride of the pack" is a 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, all surfaces coated. It had never been opened, cleaned up beautifully. I did not realize the inner surfaces were coated until disassembling it- covered with haze. That's the fun of collecting, finding the pony in the bucket.

Brian

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l_objectif
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Re: Brian
In reply to BSweeney, Apr 16, 2013

BSweeney wrote:

It's a beauty!

I've been mostly collecting Sonnar lenses of late, and lenses that were not designed with the aid of a computer... I told that to an optical engineer that has since retired and his answer... "Brian, computers really did make it easier for us".

Sorry Brian; I don't know why I called you D!.... But I noticed I am not the only one who gets confused with your name!

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BSweeney
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Re: Brian
In reply to l_objectif, Apr 16, 2013

I had a "Brian Sweeney" account with dpreview years ago- lost the password and Email was obsolete. So had to create a new account with the new Email. Then, I remembered the old Password...

On RFF I used "Brian Sweeney", on small forum- just "Brian".

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bosjohn21
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Re: D
In reply to BSweeney, Apr 16, 2013

BSweeney wrote:

It's a beauty!

I've been mostly collecting Sonnar lenses of late, and lenses that were not designed with the aid of a computer... I told that to an optical engineer that has since retired and his answer... "Brian, computers really did make it easier for us". My "Pride of the pack" is a 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, all surfaces coated. It had never been opened, cleaned up beautifully. I did not realize the inner surfaces were coated until disassembling it- covered with haze. That's the fun of collecting, finding the pony in the bucket.

Brian

yub and it will get worse in the future with more stuff in the air. It is though a terrific lens I loved mine I had brifly very sharp in the middle.

John aka bosjohn

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Reg Ister
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to ADSinger, Apr 16, 2013

ADSinger wrote:

My name is Alan and I'm an addict.

I collect tin German mechanical toys.

I collect vintage European motorcycles.

I have other collectibles as well.

They give me pleasure. I can use and play with my collectibles.

You cannot play with stocks and bonds - though I suppose playing with one's gold would be nice.

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Wow, the Viking run... !   (and the nice pictures that were made ! )

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John Knuhtsen
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to paulhofseth, Apr 17, 2013

Well, I learned something. Never heard of Kilfitt and Zunow before (but I knew the Robot). I own a Nex6 and legacy lenses are great fun. I have made a collection of about 15 now after Newyear. They are certainly not useless. But maybe my wife think so. The Zunow is more costly than Leica ! Alpa (Kern) also. I remember I visited Science Museum of London about 20 years ago. They had a very big collection of camera lenses and cameras. I hope not they are selling out.

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jedinstvo
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It's a matter of taste
In reply to paulhofseth, Apr 17, 2013

In 1971 I looked at Rolex watches at Zurich airport. I wanted to buy a Daytona Chronograph and the price was $172. Today that same watch, in mint condition, sells for around $100,000 on eBay.

There are certain Leicas which command high prices. But some of the "collectable" ones sell for less than the equivalent non-collectable. It's important to remember what the archeologists say: "What is common becomes rare, and what is rare becomes common." With the passage of time everyday items fade away. The treasured valuables are preserved.

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ADSinger
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Re: gold or rare cameras?
In reply to Reg Ister, Apr 17, 2013

Reg Ister wrote:

Wow, the Viking run... !   (and the nice pictures that were made ! )

Thank you! It was a great ride.

Alan.

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BSweeney
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Re: D
In reply to bosjohn21, Apr 17, 2013

bosjohn21 wrote:

BSweeney wrote:

It's a beauty!

I've been mostly collecting Sonnar lenses of late, and lenses that were not designed with the aid of a computer... I told that to an optical engineer that has since retired and his answer... "Brian, computers really did make it easier for us". My "Pride of the pack" is a 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, all surfaces coated. It had never been opened, cleaned up beautifully. I did not realize the inner surfaces were coated until disassembling it- covered with haze. That's the fun of collecting, finding the pony in the bucket.

Brian

yub and it will get worse in the future with more stuff in the air. It is though a terrific lens I loved mine I had brifly very sharp in the middle.

John aka bosjohn

Interior haze seems to be worse on either side of the aperture blades- and I believe is mostly the lubricants evaporating. If oil flows onto the lens surface, it will eat off the coating and even etch some types of glass. I was lucky on this Sonnar, in more ways than one. An RFF member sent a message stating that the vapor deposition equipment had been set up about the time this lens was made, and that there was a record of another lens in the same batch, slightly lower SN, that was also factory coated. When the lens turns 80 I will have to report back to Zeiss with the results of the life-test of lens coating. It is probably practical, as is approaching the life-span of the average buyer...

I have a 1967 transistorized  calculator with core memory, a Wang 360, that cost as much as a Shelby Cobra GT500 when new. Anybody want to trade?

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bosjohn21
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Re: D
In reply to BSweeney, Apr 17, 2013

BSweeney wrote:

bosjohn21 wrote:

BSweeney wrote:

It's a beauty!

I've been mostly collecting Sonnar lenses of late, and lenses that were not designed with the aid of a computer... I told that to an optical engineer that has since retired and his answer... "Brian, computers really did make it easier for us". My "Pride of the pack" is a 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, all surfaces coated. It had never been opened, cleaned up beautifully. I did not realize the inner surfaces were coated until disassembling it- covered with haze. That's the fun of collecting, finding the pony in the bucket.

Brian

yub and it will get worse in the future with more stuff in the air. It is though a terrific lens I loved mine I had brifly very sharp in the middle.

John aka bosjohn

Interior haze seems to be worse on either side of the aperture blades- and I believe is mostly the lubricants evaporating. If oil flows onto the lens surface, it will eat off the coating and even etch some types of glass. I was lucky on this Sonnar, in more ways than one. An RFF member sent a message stating that the vapor deposition equipment had been set up about the time this lens was made, and that there was a record of another lens in the same batch, slightly lower SN, that was also factory coated. When the lens turns 80 I will have to report back to Zeiss with the results of the life-test of lens coating. It is probably practical, as is approaching the life-span of the average buyer...

I have a 1967 transistorized  calculator with core memory, a Wang 360, that cost as much as a Shelby Cobra GT500 when new. Anybody want to trade?

also the aperture ring and blades is also a point of air infiltration. I had briefly a contax IIa very nice mush more refined than the Nikon S but the shutter in the Zeiss is a nightmare. If memory serves it was how Zeiss got around the leitz pattens on thier shutter, but with the sonars it was a fine machine.

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John aka bosjohn21

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BSweeney
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Re: D
In reply to bosjohn21, Apr 17, 2013

I replace the lubricants with a spot of vacuum pump grease, figure it is better with regard to outgassing. At this point, i suspect these lenses are going to outlast me.

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bosjohn21
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Re: D
In reply to BSweeney, Apr 17, 2013

BSweeney wrote:

I replace the lubricants with a spot of vacuum pump grease, figure it is better with regard to outgassing. At this point, i suspect these lenses are going to outlast me.

Ha thats easy for me I am 71

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John aka bosjohn21 almost everything I have will out last me hehehhe

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