Japanese classic camera market shrinking

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Classic mechnical cameras have always been very popular in Japan. For example, a good condition Leica M3 could usually fetch over ¥200,000. There has been a renaissance of mechanical cameras as well in the past ten years, with cameras such as the Nikon F, Nikon SP, and Leica M3 leading the way.

However, I've recently noticed that the Japanese classic camera market appears to be shrinking rapidly with prices falling quickly. Many stores are now listing "good" condition M3s for about Y90,000 which is around $900. This is about the same price as american used prices. Nikon F prices have plumettted. The only camera that appears to be resistant to falling is the Nikon SP rangefinder, which is still listing for about Y1,000,000 in black/excellent condition (about $10,000).

If falling prices aren't enough, many stores are also shrinking. Leica retailer Lemon Camera has recently closed its two stores in the Osaka area. The used camera division of Camera no Kimura in Shinjuku has retreated to a smaller store located further away from the station.

These are all bad signs. People are moving rapidly to digital and dumping their classic mechanical cameras while they still have value. Now's a good time to buy (if you just want to use the cameras), but a terrible time to sell.

1 Comments




3 Comments:


Gen Kanai said...

Karen, I'm thinking of getting out of my AF Nikon and Nikkors. Is this a bad time to get out of that stuff as well? (F5, associated AF Nikkors, etc.)

8:34 PM



nasukaren said...

The F5 still has good value at the Tokyo/Osaka stores I've been checking (Map, Planet, etc.). If anything, the F6 has driven excitement about the pro-F line. So right now would be the IDEAL time to sell your F5. Waiting would be a bad idea.As I mentioned, F/F2 prices have dropped, which makes me sad as an F owner. But they've dropped to reasonable levels, previously the F was a bit overvalued as a user camera, IMHO. The prices made it a collectible, which to me is not very interesting. Last I checked, Fujiya camera had TONs of EOS-3s as well as a growing collection of EOS 1Vs and other high-end EOS cameras. I doubt they would take in a used pro-EOS with a reasonable trade-in value. They also have a growing stock of EOS 1D cameras, as pros move to the 1Ds/1D Mk IIs. They don't have a whole lot of Nikons yet. (BTW, while Fujiya is a good place to buy, that makes it a bad place to sell: I recommend Map or Kimura or Lemonsha instead).

12:02 AM



nasukaren said...

Used prices of the F5 seem to be about Y120,000 to 130,000 and falling slowly.F100s seem to be going for about Y70,000 and under.These are Map Camera selling prices. Trade-ins usually only get about 50-75% of this price.

4:47 PM




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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on December 28, 2004 3:15 PM.

Tokyo Millenario was the previous entry in this blog.

Zeiss-Ikon (Cosina) M-Mount lenses vs. Leica's latest Summicrons is the next entry in this blog.

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