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Friday, 28 January 2011


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Oh, great...we'll all start bidding against each other! I'll have to stop lusting after that shiny new Prius now.

Christies sold a less attractive example of the same for $294 in February 2004.


And WestLicht sold one in December 2009 for €600

of course for wacky lenshoods there is always this


Jeez, I had one of these (somewhat banged up) with my equally banged up Summilux. Too bad I actually used it.

And apparently Fuji collectors are even crazier than Leica or Nikon collectors http://cgi.ebay.com/Lens-Hood-old-Fu-1-2-50mm-Mint-boxed-/230579272982

All I have to say is, man, this is one deranged hobby we share.

Do lens hoods sneak out at night to take fantastic pictures by themselves?
A round piece of metal that blocks the sun is not worth that much money.

What would it cost to have someone custom make a hood to fit the lens? The story about the $5500 hood only makes sense from a pure collectors point of view, b/c it seems like a hood could be made for a lot less that would do the same job.

Can't help it. When I read things like this my stomach turns thinking of the starving millions ...
I'm no saint but there's a limit - or is there?

But Mike, it's marked down from $735.

I see that seller, sk_photo, post on the local classifieds here all the time. The best part is, if you're short on cash you can trade in your "high-end watch" against the price. He's listed a mintish M2-R for $5400 that I'm thinking of setting my Casio against as collateral.

I always just use my hand to shade the lens...

Well, let me lay out a scenario. You're a camera collector. You started collecting Nikons when you got your first promotion. Pretty quickly, you decided to specialize, so you concentrated on Nikon rangefinders. You got into it before the prices went wild, and you made some spectacular finds over the years because you were always only the lookout--including a black paint S3 that you picked up for $15 at a pawnshop you went into just on a lark.

You've gradually amassed every single camera, camera variant, and most Nikon RF accessories. Your lens collection was complete six years ago. Since then, you've even "upgraded" several of the lenses by buying examples that were in better condition that the ones you originally had. You have hoods and cases for every single lens--except one. You're missing the fantastically rare hood for the original 2.1cm f/4 that was only made for one year while anybody who was paying any attention to Nikon was all over the new "F."

Meanwhile, your business has done great, and your net worth is now in the high-single-digit millions.

And the lens hood you need as the very last piece in your lens collection comes up on eBay.

What do you do?


it's at least possible that this Leitz Canada hood at $700 isn't so expensive after all

It might not be expensive, but it's most certainly idiotic.

Dear Alan,

I'll bid $25 for your hand!

But it better be in working condition when I get it.

pax / penurious Ctein

Price is what someone is willing to pay for something. Is that the value of it? That's a whole topic in itself.

There's an Anishnabe (Ojibway) stone carver in Ontario named Joseph Jacobs. Going from memory here, but he was raised in western society and had no real knowledge of his Native background, but when he was 24 he was involved in a construction accident that left him in the hospital for some time. His cousin brought him some tools and a few pieces of stone to keep him occupied, and he found that he both enjoyed it and had a knack for it. After a bit he received a phone call from the Royal Ontario Museum asking if they could come and see his work. He talked to his wife in advance and said, "Okay, $50 for this piece, and $75 for this piece, but we won't say anything; we'll let them make an offer." Turned out they offered something like $950 for the first piece and $975 for the second piece. He now has pieces that sell for $50K and more. There's no questioning the quality of his work, though!



(In response to Mike's comment to m3photo)

Mike, that is one seductive dream scenario you've created!

Hal - I'm sure that the ONLY reason the price was so high was because of the collectible aspect. I'm sure you could get tons of hoods for the lens machined for that much money - and they would all do the same job.

And, for that matter, so would a hat, or your hand, or a paper cone, or maybe a large rock...

And at the other extreme, there's this:

I'd put this in the same category as the items listed in this article in today's 'Independent' newspaper (UK):

(At least some of these items may benefit the people in less developed nations who produce them).

I can just see Gollum (Lord of the Rings) saying, "must have precious".

What do you do?

Erm...sell your crap, give away some of your wealth, and buy a camera you aren't worried about scratching so you can take some pictures before your life slips away from you pathetically, your final words being "lenshood" rather than "rosebud".

I thought Hasselblad was silly...

Regular brand exotica has this effect: hence the current price of an Edsel, a gt-40, a p1800 and p1800es.

Getting one made for less ? You didn't think he was actually going to use it ?

Collectors are a breed apart, and hard to figure. I used to know a Japanese collector who at that time had every modern camera and lens ever made by Leica, Hasselblad and Nikon - all in their boxes, seals intact, never opened, never touched - filling several large walk-in cupboards.

I understand the pride of possession, but not when taken to that kind of extreme.

I have a similar Nikon collection obsession. So far, I've got a D200. Business is challenging, and my net worth is in the high single digits. The parallels with your cautionary scenario are chilling...

Outside of their status as a collectable, how popular are lens hoods? Especially if they were an extra (non-included) purchase?

In 35 years, I've never bought a new lens hood - in fact it hasn't been until the last two years I've had any lens hoods.

It would be interesting to see what the production numbers are like for a lens and it's associated manufacturer's hood.

I guess it's all relative. When my youngest daughter, age 9 at the time, found out I spent $800 on a camera, she was incredulous. To me, it was a significant expenditure, but not crippling. From her nine-year-old perspective, $800 might just as well been 8 million. I'm sure we've all made purchases that left someone shaking their head.

As good as Leica lenses are, I wouldn't think they would need a lens hood.

How can people spend so much money on such trivial materials goods? With all the poverty, with all the starving people, this is too much for a lens hood. Instead of bidding for that, people ought to give their money to the poor.

However, if it were for something acceptable to me, such as a new camera---maybe the new Olympus below, then let 'em eat cake.

"How can people spend so much money on such trivial material goods? With all the poverty, with all the starving people, this is too much for a lens hood. Instead of bidding for that, people ought to give their money to the poor."

That's hard to say. How much of your money do you give to the poor? There are billions of people who live on a dollar or two a day. To them, if you have a car, a heated home, a computer, a camera, you're Warren Buffett--even if you don't consider yourself "rich" per se in our western context. So do you give a substantial amount of your wealth to the world's poor? Or to your own country's? You probably buy unnecessary things every day--a latte, a music recording, an item of clothing you don't really need-- that would keep a truly poor person fed for the day, if not the week. How is that really any different from a guy who wants a $700 lens hood?

If you volunteer at your local soup kitchen six hours a week and tithe your chosen charitable organization, please ignore the above.


Regarding the Mikes scenario;

Life must get real boring once you actually get that very last piece.

In relation to my income,I've probably spent a much higher percentage on photo gear than the type of person who can afford the collectibles
So who is the real nut now?

"Life must get real boring once you actually get that very last piece."

An interesting point. When I was a kid, the now-millionaire owner of the local gas station liked to restore cars--he worked for two or three years on an Austin-Healey 3000. Once he had it perfect, he drove it for a while, but he said he was vaguely unsatisfied. The light bulb went on when a pebble hit the windshield one day and cracked it, because he immediately thought, "Oh, goody! Now I get to replace the windshield!" He realized that what he liked was working on the cars, not owning and driving them once the work was finished. So he sold the Austin-Healey (for $3,000, which I tried desperately to raise--unsuccessfully, alas) and started another reclamation project.


"What would it cost to have someone custom make a hood to fit the lens?"

As others have noted, that's not really the point. A replica hood wouldn't have any value to a collection, and it wouldn't increase the value of the lens. A collector wouldn't be interested in this alternative at all--we're not talking about "user" gear here.


"In relation to my income,I've probably spent a much higher percentage on photo gear than the type of person who can afford the collectibles market. So who is the real nut now?"

The way I like to parse this argument is that you could have spent all that money on booze, cocaine, prostitutes and out-of-control gambling binges in Monaco or Vegas. So actually, by spending your money on cameras and photography, you are being a responsible. moral, upstanding citizen and have nothing to be ashamed of. [g]


@ Mike:

"... you could have spent all that money on booze, cocaine, prostitutes and out-of-control gambling binges in Monaco or Vegas."

Now you tell us.

Geez. I'd hate to see what the Leica Germany version sells for.

Mike, this comes up every time someone tries to compare ridiculous excess like a 100 meter yacht, to someone living a middle class lifestyle (which is indeed rich compared to someone living on a dollar a day). The point is, if the middle class sacrifice enough to make a difference, now they themselves are impoverished. The top 1% of 1% are indeed a different case, and it is ridiculous that society has allowed a few people to accumulate so much. It's not comparable in the slightest. Being able to drop 5k on a piece of plastic, or 1 million on a vehicle, is nothing like buying a latte or a piece of stereo equipment, unless you want to lump everything other than rice and water into "luxuries".

Interesting discussion. Maybe we all should read this article on Financial Times.


Of course, WHEN someone gets around to making new versions of these rare hoods, they sometimes still cost as much as a lens...

Love this mental activity that follows these stories. I just got a "deal" on a new 65 buck summi 50 hood. Hey could've had an older metal for 150. About every 8 to 12 yrs,I buy an m2,or an m3 and a 50. Half a yr ago I bought an m4. Being almost 50 I hope this beauty will ride it out with me. Cost with 50? Under 2500. 5500 for a hood? That's fabulous!

It was a 21 F4 for the Nikon Rangefinder. There are very few of them.

I remember the auction well, there is much more to the story.

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