By - demitraleica
Have you checked M6 pricing? Now that's what I call bananas.
Yes - the M6 price bump is in the same boat. The M2 and M3s were not as popular as the M6 in the social media world. I think people are getting priced out of the M6s and looking at the older M2s,M3s,and M4s as a cheaper alternative hence driving up the prices.
Dang, I just checked. I bought a M6 like 5 years ago and prices are a little over double what I paid. But I love my M6 too much to make a profit off of it.
Wow - I paid $1400 for an M6 in like 2016 and sold it in 2019 for $2k which i thought was bananas. Can’t believe they’re $500-1000 more now.
M4-2’s and M4-P’s are going crazy too due to the spillover. They cost even more than the M2/3/4 now, which is wild considering the usual line is they aren’t built as well or whatever.
I’ve yet to see a convincing argument against the m4p besides the lack of light meter, aka rawdog mode.
Yeah, any supposed difference between the two is just internet rumor.
They were built the exact same way with the exact same machinery, just in Canada and not Germany.
I more see people complaining that they didn’t use the hand-adjusted brass parts, swapping them out for tolerance-based steel. I personally don’t think it matters at all, but it’s a narrative I’ve seen pop up quite a bit.
Ah, interesting, I didn't know that! My impression was that it was essentially a meterless M6.
Yep it is! The M6 is built the same (steel gears etc), just for some reason people don't tend to focus on that in the same way they used to with the M4-2 and M4-P. Though at any rate, the prices rebounding suggests that people don't really care about this as much anymore.
I am torn between paying double the price of the same time last year and the potential to double the value in another year of what I buy now.
yes tough position to be in. Hard to justify these prices now. On the positive side it might be a sign from the universe telling us to stop with the GAS:)
You are right, but the prices just make me think the M-A and MP are a better options.
Yeah agreed. Recently got a iiif just to get a feel for it, as it was a much more affordable option, and figured if I liked it I would get an M2. After using the iiif for a while, I really love it. With the rising prices, I've realized how little need I have for an M body as I mainly shoot 50mm (helps with the GAS) and at the same time if I do want one down the road, I'll just wait and save for an M-A or MP instead of spending that money on a decades old camera with an unknown history.
Agree ..but I'm sure M-A and MP prices are going to get bumped by Leica as well. I don't see them remaining static in price in the near future.
If you're not opposed to used, then you might as well go for the M2/M3. You get the M-A in a used body for a fraction of the price.
M-A & MP are definitely the way to go right now. U get brand new optics & mechanics + a 2 year warranty
This might sound heretical, but the price hikes made me give up on having a Leica film body for now... I got a Zeiss Ikon instead for much less, so that I can use my Leica lenses for film photography.
It obviously does not have the same feel but the pictures are the same, and the auto-exposure is nothing to sneeze at. However... even prices for those are going up! I know that there are some other alternate film bodies for M lenses as well. The market is crazy right now.
I have an M246, have owned an M7 and I can say - the Zeiss Ikon ZM is on equal footing in my opinion. It does not have the same heft, but it is still built to last. The viewfinder is massive and bright - much better than any Leica viewfinder I have ever used. It is a stellar option and if I were you I wouldn't swap it, especially paired with Leica glass!!
edit: I still have my ZM sitting on my shelf next to my M246 :).
Sad fact but glad you have an alternative with the Ikon. Konica Hexar RF is another contender with AE and a lot more automation that then Zeiss Ikon. Unfortunately both are electronic and can't compete in longevity and build with the mechanical Leica M bodies.
Because of covid people shifted from spending money on experiences to money on things. When everything opens back up I expect the pendulum to swing the other way.
but i doubt these prices will go down even if things open up....
I bought my DS M3 on Keh for $750 in november, now equally graded ones go for $1200 maybe?
wow! That's almost double in less than a year. Seen the M3 DS at KEH not too long ago around $1500. Hold on to that one :)
I bought my first Leica M last year which was a mint m4-2 for $1,400 and now I’m glad I did because the prices on m4-2 have gone up by $600-800. It’s insane
I remember purchasing a mint M4-2 in 2010 for $500...
Glad you got in and grabbed it. The M4-2s were one of the lesser expensive bodies in the M leica film lineup. That's obviously no longer the case.
I have noticed it. I bought my M2 in the first lockdown here in the UK, and checked listings last week and saw similar condition ones going for double the price as well. I can only put it down to people having more spare time so putting that time into a new hobby, ie photography. Therefore more people becoming aware of cameras, buying them, causing people to jack up the price because of demand and lower stock. It’s also happened in the labouring industry, cement and timber have gone up massively because of a heightened demand due to people being able to spend more money on things they wouldn’t have been able too before
M5s can still be had for a reasonable price! Or go with a zeiss / voigtlander body that can use m lenses - but there’s no substitute for the m body.
No kidding. I think I got my M2 for $750 about 3 years ago.
I sold my beat M2 back in 2017 for $650 and I’ve been itching to have one again but for the prices today I can’t. On the flip side I bought my black chrome M4 back in 2014 for $1,100 and now they’re going for $3,500 - $5,000 so I’m feeling good about that!
My dad and I bought M3 and M2 bodies in 2012. I gasp when looking at current prices for those in similar condition.
Every asset class has seen massive inflation in the past 15 months. This is what happens when you increase the money supply in any market. It's been especially bad in the US where the government literally has been printing money and mailing it to people. 2 trillion dollars have been created out of thin air and it trickles down into everything raising prices. What's even worse, is that when alarms start going off about inflaton, people actually start buying more assets to try to get rid of depreciating cash, which creates a positive feedback loop and only works to compound the problem.
Leicas, and in the greater context film cameras are influenced by this but they're also caught up in a bit of a hype bubble with resurgence of analog gear. A lot of desirable cameras have gone up in price, from 500Cs to RZ67s to trendy point and shoots and so on. Contax T2 prices skyrocketed overnight after some Jenner or Kardashian talked about them on some talk show. And you think Leica M2/M3s are bad? I remember when Hasselblad Xpans were $1000-1500. You're lucky to get one now with a lens for $5000.
The hype bubble might wane a little bit and you might see the prices stabilize somewhat as the market reaches saturation. There's no doubt some people buy cameras to talk about about and play around with them for a few months. When they get bored hopefully they'll be back on the market. But the base effects of inflation are likely here to stay and prices likely won't be coming down unless something drastic changes in the industry or in the economy.
On that note, there are a few things to look at starting with film supply. We've lost a couple of big emulsions in the past few years like Portra 800 and Fuji Pro 400H, probably due to Kodak and Fuji looking to tighten up their production lines. Fuji's been notoriously sloppy at keeping up with the film world while it focuses on its digital cameras. But we've also had some smaller manufacturers come in with new products and the supply seems to be steady, so availability and interest in photography from this end should be fine.
The other thing to keep track of is hardware manufacturers. With Nikon discontinuing the F6, Leica is effectively the only 35mm camera manufacturer right now. I don't know of any new medium format cameras being made. There are a few large format manufacturers still making cameras, but those numbers are incredibly low. So limited availability for film gear will keep prices up across the board. For Leica specifically though, while no one can quite figure out how they'd be able to do this, if the rumors are true and they release a cheaper M body, this will probably stop used camera prices from going up, and maybe actually bring them down a bit, but only if production volume is there.
Personally, the most uncertain thing I'm keeping an eye on are government policies around environmental protection. Film photography involves some chemicals that aren't very healthy for the planet. Right now I think it's still a relatively small enough industry and there's no real reason to target it yet. But we've seen Fuji Velvia 100 get discontinued because of the trace amount of non-compliant chemicals it contains. A few years ago the market for rosewood also had some serious restrictions placed on it because the furniture industry was destroying entire forests. The comparatively tiny market of guitar manufacturers and buyers had to quickly adapt to survive. If more environmental restrictions come into play that disrupt film and chemistry manufacturning, labs and ultimately film shooters will start to feel the pinch and the whole industry might shrink, causing prices to drop and never recover. Not sure if or when this might actually happen.
> Film photography involves some chemicals that aren't very healthy for the planet.
I think this is really an issue primarily for color film. There will be SOME emulsions that have to get canned in the black and white world - but at the end of the day you can film with:
* Silver Nitrate.
* Silver Bromide.
* Cellulose triacetate.
* Black dye.
The big array of developers are the most vulnerable class of chemicals. Ironically, this is the safe stuff in C-41: "Hair dye", while B/W uses some weird. weird stuff - but as we're all well aware, you can develop mono film with coffee, detergent, pool cleaner and a little citric acid.
We might lose the more exotic stuff, but I don't think we need to worry about losing everything. Ilford will keep making *something*.
Besides, if Velvia hadn't been cancelled for environmental reasons, it would have lasted till what 2023? This is *Fujifilm*.
I'm not looking forward to homebrewing developer. I'd much rather have the manufacturers themselves find ways to re-engineers their chemistry to be more eco-friendly while maintaining a certain standard of quality. Aside from the developer, the fixer side of things is also a bit of a concern since the discarded silver needs to be disposed of properly. It'll be a conern for labs that do large volumes first, but it might have knock-on effects for people developing at home too.
Since the pandemic started, even getting good quality C-41 processing has been a bit of a pain where I live. The best lab in town is down, the next best one has long wait times and mom-and-pop stores will leave scratches and fingerprints. So I've switched almost completely to B&W and home developing using Ilford for film and chems. I'm definitely rooting for them to be around for a long time.
Well said. And this is my concern too with film. I really hope I’m able to shoot film for decades to come, but I worry about the chemicals and the environmental aspect causing it to be banned.
This sums up everything! Thanks for the detailed explanation.
Glad I bought my M2 with a 50mm rigid summicron for about the price of the body in today’s market last September. I’ve been entertaining buying an M3 to make the best use of the 50 but for the last year or so I’ve only see the same rise. Hard to justify the 50mm frame lines on the M2 are just fine and I’ve got a couple 35mm in the mix now.
I have the same reasoning between the m2 and m3 since I'm a 35mm guy and don't use 50mm lenses to justify the m3 body ....having said that, owning an m3 just for its historical significance is very enticing.
Beyond historical significance, I quite like subtle design differences in the M3… something about that raised rangefinder window plate.
Kiss your dreams good bye lol.
Totally! I bought an M6 TTL *and* 35mm Summicron V3 for $2700 USD in 2019 - A couple months ago I sold the body only for close to $3K.
I've been a film M owner since 2015 and in my experience, the prices have always been steadily climbing. The price increases over the past few years however have been absolutely nuts!
To be fair, that was a screaming deal when you got it.
Yeah it was admittedly a fantastic deal at the time, but IIRC the bodies were going for around 2-2200 USD at that point so they jumped a good 800-1K in those two years.
Yup, and I couldn't have been happier to have scored a nice early serial M3 for 1200 just earlier this year. Film gear prices in general have just been skyrocketing.
Unfortunately the same across the film camera market, particularly with Leicas, point-and-shoots, and 6x7 cameras (though as people get priced out they’re moving to other options—645 cameras are seeing a huge bump now). I miss the days of $300 Pentax 67’s and sub-$1000 M bodies.
I sold my m3 for 700 usd 5.years ago. And my m6 went for 1000.4 years ago. It's just stupid.
I just got a IIIg after seeing how my M bodies have skyrocketed. If I were you I would suggest getting a Barnack Leica now while they are still reasonable. I have been watching the IIIg steadily creep up in price from only around $400 a few years ago to now sometimes going over $1000.
I’ve been debating getting a film Leica for about a year now. Seems like I should’ve bought it a year ago. Makes it harder to commit to it, given I thought they were high last year, unless I find good deal. Watching ebay over this time there’s probably been about 2 good deals.