How not to purchase a Camera or anything else — or all that glitters

It is great fun to shop for vintage film cameras, especially now when the days of film are waning, but still active.  A couple of cautions come to mind however, and I will share them with this rather obvious tale.

When you are looking at the purchase of a film camera to use, and not one to display, first and foremost realize that some makes and models have value as a collectors item. These rare and pricey cameras, aside from being expensive, may be impossible to fix and maintain. This leads to having expensive paper weights as far as cameras go.

Additionally, beware of purchasing a camera for which batteries and film are impossible to get or rare. For example, 120 medium format film is widely available in color and black and white emulsions, while the related 220 film is only available in color negative. So it would be a bad choice to get a 220 Hasselblad back for example, especially in gold, but probably any Hasselblad…

In fact any of the gold cameras are probably not going to be good investments even for collectors, because interest in them is probably declining. Such as this outlandish Nikon FA – the single most failure prone Nikon ever made…

The secret of Nikon users is that FA really means fix it again .. and while you probably should stay well away from any Nikon FA, this gold one with it’s impressive price tag, will make you [probably] upset when it refuses to work.  But what about this gold FM?

I would tell you that no 35mm camera is worth what this thing would cost…  and if you scratch it up? I have several scratched up FM’s but none of them are gold plated…

nor this Leica…

 

 

 

 

 

But – hey it’s just me. I’m not sure a regular old Leica M4 is going to be in my budget. It may however be just what you want.

And don’t let my one-sided opinion keep you from getting that gold Contax on the top of this article.. But if you do buy one of these, I sincerely hope you would take it out and shoot a few rolls of film with it.. and I hope you enjoy it very much…