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Friday, 08 January 2016


Olympus OM-D E-M10 body. It was a gift for my last birthday, but with me being the only source of income in this household...

I had lenses already, and also still use my E-PL5, sometimes even with its "kit" zoom.

Pentax Spotmatic with Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 lens. I sold the camera to buy a beautiful Italian bicycle (Atala). The bicycle was stolen, so the cost of a camera, two lenses and a bicycle. A lot of money for a student.

I bought a used M8 for about $2500, excluding lenses. Although, I think it only depreciated about $500 in the years I had it, which is remarkable. The Fujifilm X100 depreciated almost $1200 in the two years I had it before getting the X100T, which I love. So, actually that is probably a worse deal.

Apparently, my subconscious decided that ordinary photography is just too cheap so now I try to do astrophotography. I am only about $3k into that system and it is still based around a Canon 600D, not a proper cooled astronomical CCD. That's not counting the cost of remote telescope time for cloudy nights.


A Leica M4-2 body for $850, from a private party at a photo swap show.
Never again. Within 3 months bottom speeds from 1/8 to 1 second dropped out (first curtain opened, second curtain failed to travel). Another $250
Very clean cosmetics but the guts needed a bit of service.
Then trying to use it over two years time I found out I'm just not a rangefinder sort of guy, still prefer my 26 year old OM-1 to the Leica M.
Now the FP sync terminal just fell out, leaving a hole where it was. This of course destroys the resale value so I'm stuck with this thing. (Even though, worldwide, only 4 Leica M photographers still use focal plane flash bulbs and yes, this is a generous guess.) My OM on the other hand just keeps going and going with only one service in 26 years.

A used M9 for ~$4K, plus a used Cron 35mm ASPH for $1.5K (purchased several years before the M9 for my M6). Very happy with the purchase, which I have had now for over three years. Unless the camera malfunctions, I am done with buying cameras.

This might be appreciated: The Cameraholic. As far as the single most expensive I think it was the new Nikon D2x (with the rare 28/1.4 AF-D lens)... it was superb but eventually it was replaced with a lowly D80 and 35/2 that did pretty much the same thing.

I think, in context of the times, the greatest price I ever paid for a camera was for the Nikon D70 when it first came out. In retrospect, I certainly should not have bought it....I did not feel entirely comfortable with the purchase, even as I drove home with it: at the time, it represented about 4% of my annual sallary. Oddly enough, viewed in the same way, I should be coming home with a new Leica digital M that I am not to comfortable about having purchased. But then, think about all the money you waste on a daily basis......I better stop.

Most expensive: Rollei 3.5f bought new in 1961 when I was a 19 year old GI stationed in Germany. As I recall the price at the PX was about $150 (case included) and my monthly PFC pay was a bit south of $100 a month but even less when the cost of the US Saving Bond was deducted. I had to put it on layaway until it was payed off.
Best value (so far): my simple, little Canon S95.

May 2015 I bought a Kiev 88 and a set of four lenses for 200 Euros (flea market price). Camera worked like a charm. I lent it to a Argentine guy who was a friend of friend living close to me in Munich. Apparment of friends friend now happens to be empty .... we assume friend is doing fine back home in Argentine: snapping the Pampas. Return on investment very bad ... did only two rolls 6x6.

I bought a new Nikon F-100 in 1999 for $1,300. because I was convinced that digital quality had hit a plateau. Along with 3 lenses, a flash and some filters I paid $5,000. That was after using Minolta for 30 years. Now I use a Sony DSLR and two Panasonic compacts.

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