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Leica historical list prices ? 2000? 2010? 2015?


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I do not know if this is the right forum because I am looking for fairly recent info. But because it is only relevant for collectors, I posted it here.

One of the fun things to watch, as a collector, is how todays market price reflects (or not) the historical prices. 
I have collected a few very old pricelists from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 90s, but I do not have a list of Leica prices for more recent products.
It does not matter to me if the List is in DM, USD or EUR because I just want to see the relative price of older products and compare to their price today.

For example, one thing that intrigues me is the relative price of R gear compared to M bodies and lenses. In general they were listed at the same price in the 90s and now there is a large difference, in particular for Leica M6 compared to say the R5/R6 or Leica Summicron 50R compared to the Summicron 50 M from the same period...

Does anyone have Leica price lists to share?
In particular price lists later than 1995 would interest me.

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You could look at a shop like theclassiccamera.com on archive.org:

https://web.archive.org/web/20240000000000*/theclassiccamera.com

The site layout changes over time, and not all pages are cached on all dates, but with a bit of digging you can find what items were selling for in the UK in a given year from early this century onwards. If you do want to compare across currencies look at historical exchange rates to the Euro and factor in the variation in UK VAT over this period. I'm sure there are other sites in the EU and elsewhere you could use the same approach with.

I suspect the differences between M and R prices today come down to the lower popularity of the R system in general (the reason it was discontinued) and the timing of its demise - secondhand prices are to some extent pegged to the new prices of equivalent items, and the R system was killed off before many of the biggest price hikes in the M system happened. R prices also didn't benefit much from the hype that tripled the price of cameras like the M6 a few years ago.

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The (much) lower prices for R gear is more in line with the price level of other analog SLR camera's and their lenses. Still beautiful and fascinating SLR gear like Canon A-1 and F1, or Nikkormat are currently being sold for really low prices. Renewed interest in analog photography in general may support these prices somewhat. of which perhaps also Leica R gear may be effected.

Lex

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, sandro said:

The (much) lower prices for R gear is more in line with the price level of other analog SLR camera's and their lenses. Still beautiful and fascinating SLR gear like Canon A-1 and F1, or Nikkormat are currently being sold for really low prices. Renewed interest in analog photography in general may support these prices somewhat. of which perhaps also Leica R gear may be effected.

Lex

I got R4 ad R3 bodies for around 35 euros each and the SL2 for 60 euros. All 100% functional.
Canon FD is sold cheaply EXCEPT some brutal brutal prices on several FD lenses: https://www.vintagelensesforvideo.com/canon-fd-price-list/

Edited by Al Brown
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7 hours ago, Anbaric said:

 

I suspect the differences between M and R prices today come down to the lower popularity of the R system in general (the reason it was discontinued) and the timing of its demise - secondhand prices are to some extent pegged to the new prices of equivalent items, and the R system was killed off before many of the biggest price hikes in the M system happened. R prices also didn't benefit much from the hype that tripled the price of cameras like the M6 a few years ago.

Some of it is due to this point and some is also due to the collectability factor which varies over time. If you look at the Collectiblend site https://collectiblend.com/Cameras/Leitz/ you will see variations as regards the slopes of the graphs which record auction results over time. These are sometimes a reflection of demand and, other times, they reflect other factors, fads and fashions

7 hours ago, dpitt said:

I do not know if this is the right forum because I am looking for fairly recent info. But because it is only relevant for collectors, I posted it here.

One of the fun things to watch, as a collector, is how todays market price reflects (or not) the historical prices. 
I have collected a few very old pricelists from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 90s, but I do not have a list of Leica prices for more recent products.
It does not matter to me if the List is in DM, USD or EUR because I just want to see the relative price of older products and compare to their price today.

For example, one thing that intrigues me is the relative price of R gear compared to M bodies and lenses. In general they were listed at the same price in the 90s and now there is a large difference, in particular for Leica M6 compared to say the R5/R6 or Leica Summicron 50R compared to the Summicron 50 M from the same period...

Does anyone have Leica price lists to share?
In particular price lists later than 1995 would interest me.

Anbaric's point applies here as well. Price initially reflects the market at the time of launch, but both collector and user prices vary over time for a number of reasons. The fun is in figuring out what are the reasons for those changes at particular points in time. 

Affordability is often mentioned, but comparing the price of cameras with wages and salaries over time is difficult, particularly as expenditure patterns and goods/services to buy vary such much over time. Likewise technology changes have an impact, as do the existence of substitutes e.g. phones instead of cameras, computers instead of darkroom gear etc .

Most Leica catalogues I have from the 1950s onwards have no prices. I believe that you will find more in period advertisements, but interpreting price movements is difficult and you really have to look at price movements over long periods of time and, usually, the longer the better.

Have fun doing this.

William 

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Posted (edited)

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11 hours ago, Anbaric said:

You could look at a shop like theclassiccamera.com on archive.org:

https://web.archive.org/web/20240000000000*/theclassiccamera.com

The site layout changes over time, and not all pages are cached on all dates, but with a bit of digging you can find what items were selling for in the UK in a given year from early this century onwards. If you do want to compare across currencies look at historical exchange rates to the Euro and factor in the variation in UK VAT over this period. I'm sure there are other sites in the EU and elsewhere you could use the same approach with.

I suspect the differences between M and R prices today come down to the lower popularity of the R system in general (the reason it was discontinued) and the timing of its demise - secondhand prices are to some extent pegged to the new prices of equivalent items, and the R system was killed off before many of the biggest price hikes in the M system happened. R prices also didn't benefit much from the hype that tripled the price of cameras like the M6 a few years ago.

Thanks. Good creative thinking!

I have visited web.archive.org years ago for other stuff but forgot about it. It seems that this way anything from 2005 on will be well covered. The British prices are helpful, but I am sure that I will have no trouble finding a nice site for the Euro zone which will be even better for me since I live in Belgium.

Thanks for giving your insights about relative R and M prices. IMO R prices are experiencing a revival because of the "R solution" that finally was available in the form of the Leica SL(601) in 2015 which was announced by Leica shortly after killing the DMR 6 years before that. What I did not expect at the time was the internet hype of some R lenses for video use. This makes it very interesting. And some other brand forgotten MF lenses experience the same.

Edited by dpitt
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3 hours ago, willeica said:

Some of it is due to this point and some is also due to the collectability factor which varies over time. If you look at the Collectiblend site https://collectiblend.com/Cameras/Leitz/ you will see variations as regards the slopes of the graphs which record auction results over time. These are sometimes a reflection of demand and, other times, they reflect other factors, fads and fashions

Anbaric's point applies here as well. Price initially reflects the market at the time of launch, but both collector and user prices vary over time for a number of reasons. The fun is in figuring out what are the reasons for those changes at particular points in time. 

Affordability is often mentioned, but comparing the price of cameras with wages and salaries over time is difficult, particularly as expenditure patterns and goods/services to buy vary such much over time. Likewise technology changes have an impact, as do the existence of substitutes e.g. phones instead of cameras, computers instead of darkroom gear etc .

Most Leica catalogues I have from the 1950s onwards have no prices. I believe that you will find more in period advertisements, but interpreting price movements is difficult and you really have to look at price movements over long periods of time and, usually, the longer the better.

Have fun doing this.

William 

Yes, collectablility is a major long term factor. I do not find it as interesting as your second comments.
When you look at prices from the early days to now, even at today's prices Leica's seem to be affordable for more people than they were 50 or more years ago.

What interests me more is trends like what @Anbaric pointed out. Hypes about some older lenses for video use for example.

And in general there are always other, slower trends in the market.
For example preferred standard FL seems to go down over time. This is happening across all makes of camera's. It started with the ubiquitous 50mm on the barnacks, then even went up a bit because of the demand of extra reach. 90 mm was far more popular than 35mm in those days.  After that, 35mm became equally as popular in the 90s , but the 50mm seems to have held its position as best compromise very strongly until very recent.

Maybe the smartphone 28mm standard has something to do with the advent of wider "standard" for FF but I think it is more the increased resolution of FF sensors compared to film that made this trend possible. Even on a M9 (18MP) you can easily crop a 35mm to 50mm. And with the M11 and Q3 (60 MP) you have a digital zoom from 28 - 90 (at a stretch) if you want to.

Sometimes film revival generation youngsters ask me for tips about good vintage 28mm and wider lenses. And they are really surprised that  35mm was not very common and things are getting really rare at 21mm and wider. Even 28mm was not very popular in the R days. OTOH longer than 90 mm has gone out of fashion, while 90mm was a 'must have' in the film days and 135mm was very common, even for the Leica M users. SLR lenses up to 200m were very popular.
Now, the iPhone generation does not have a clue about tele lenses, and I think that is perhaps one of the reasons why tele lenses have become less popular. Generation Z is used to infinite DOF which makes even 50mm on the FF quite alien to them and longer lenses even more. OTOH, an iPhone Pro user is using a 14mm ultra wide every day. Very few people ever had hands on experience with lenses this wide in the 70s or earlier.

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And this 1992 price list is also interesting

 

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Posted (edited)

In the UK you could get an M2 or M3 for about £600 around then (more for collectable cameras in fine condition), and an M6 for about £800. So here I suppose prices have about doubled for the older cameras and about tripled for the M6 over that period. But a lot of that price increase happened quite recently (prices had previously been flat for a long time, or cheaper in real terms). There was a lot of hype, particularly about the M6, on social media a few years ago (probably one of the reasons why Leica reissued the M6).

There other other interesting changes if you collect prices for a particular item over time at the same shop. At the site linked above, the price of the Leica M 50/2 shot up from £758 to £1435 between 2005 and 2010, a rise of 89%. Some of this can be explained by currency variations (the Euro rose against the pound by about 25%), but this also coincides with the time when Andreas Kaufmann stepped in to rescue a nearly bankrupt company, repositioning Leica as more of a luxury brand, raising prices accordingly, and killing off the R line. You won't see anything like this price hike for, say, a Nikon lens over the same period. At UK dealer Grays of Westminster, the price of the 50/1.4 AIS remained unchanged at £445.

Prices for bread and butter gear in the binocular range seem to have risen less steeply, perhaps because Leica has more competition at the high end from Zeiss and Swarovski, and because binoculars are still considered more as practical tools that are harder to sell at luxury prices. The Trinovid 8x20 was £245 in 2002, and is only £410 today, a 67% increase over more than 2 decades (disregarding currency fluctuations). In comparison that Leica M 50/2 is now an eye-watering £2100, 3.5x the 2002 price of £599. Very hard to justify for a 1970s design where development costs were recouped decades ago, and optically uncompetitive with a Voigtländer APO at less than half the price, but that's Leica for you!

Edited by Anbaric
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Anbaric said:

In the UK you could get an M2 or M3 for about £600 around then (more for collectable cameras in fine condition), and an M6 for about £800. So here I suppose prices have about doubled for the older cameras and about tripled for the M6 over that period. But a lot of that price increase happened quite recently (prices had previously been flat for a long time, or cheaper in real terms). There was a lot of hype, particularly about the M6, on social media a few years ago (probably one of the reasons why Leica reissued the M6).

The M6 has tripled in price since I bought one about 13 years ago. M3s have maybe gone up by a factor of 1.5 or 2 in that time. I could go on model by model, but the situation varies from one model to another and it is difficult to draw conclusions. If you want to look at a longer time period, LTM chrome models were sold new at a premium over the black lacquer models in the 1930s. Now the opposite is the case in the second hand market.

8 hours ago, dpitt said:

Yes, collectablility is a major long term factor. I do not find it as interesting as your second comments.
When you look at prices from the early days to now, even at today's prices Leica's seem to be affordable for more people than they were 50 or more years ago.

Collectability is a factor which affects some models (say M3s) more than others, but it is not the only factor. Another issue is that with rangefinders you are getting something where Leica was and still is the top of the heap, but the R is just another SLR with many great competitors from Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax etc. I always shudder when I see long term affordability tables, say with houses or cars, as there many factors other than wages v prices which need to be considered and these include changing patterns of consumer expenditure and the availability of substitutes etc, etc. It is up to yourself, but my advice would be to narrow down what you want to measure and then to reach conclusions with built-in caveats about how the figures should be read. Otherwise you will end up with just a series of anecdotes about different camera models. 

I'm just giving general advice as I am still not clear what you are trying to achieve. Using information that is historical needs to be approached with caution. You are looking at price information that was published in a world which was quite different to the one in which we live today.

William 

Edited by willeica
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30 minutes ago, willeica said:

The M6 has tripled in price since I bought one about 13 years ago. M3s have maybe gone up by a factor of 1.5 or 2 in that time. I could go on model by model, but the situation varies from one model to another and it is difficult to draw conclusions. If you want to look at a longer time period, LTM chrome models were sold new at a premium over the black lacquer models in the 1930s. Now the opposite is the case in the second hand market.

I find trends in collectability hard to fathom. Even quite recently a common black II or III had no particular premium, but they are now desirable and the prices for rare black cameras have gone through the roof. But the collector market only partially overlaps with the user market. The dealer price of a fully working chrome II, III, IIIa, IIIc or IIIf, somewhere in the £200-£400 range depending on model and condition, has been pretty static for decades, though cameras that don't need servicing are becoming harder to find. I suppose they don't have the rarity value to make them expensive to collectors, and uninitiated users find them fiddly and would rather have an M. Or maybe it's just that they haven't been pounced on by an Instagram influencer yet. Ominously, someone mentioned on one of the forums that III-series Leicas are being called 'Ripley cameras' after one was used used in the Netflix series, which might create some price hiking interest.

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1 hour ago, Anbaric said:

I find trends in collectability hard to fathom. Even quite recently a common black II or III had no particular premium, but they are now desirable and the prices for rare black cameras have gone through the roof. But the collector market only partially overlaps with the user market. The dealer price of a fully working chrome II, III, IIIa, IIIc or IIIf, somewhere in the £200-£400 range depending on model and condition, has been pretty static for decades, though cameras that don't need servicing are becoming harder to find. I suppose they don't have the rarity value to make them expensive to collectors, and uninitiated users find them fiddly and would rather have an M. Or maybe it's just that they haven't been pounced on by an Instagram influencer yet. Ominously, someone mentioned on one of the forums that III-series Leicas are being called 'Ripley cameras' after one was used used in the Netflix series, which might create some price hiking interest.

You are trying to rationalise something that has a lot of irrational elements in it. You use the term 'dealer price' but at the level of auctions there is no set price and the value lands when and where the bidding ends. last year in Wetzlar I saw somebody buy a Terry O'Neill Special Edition Leica MP camera with an Audrey Hepburn print for €200,000 at auction when the 'normal' price is about €25,000. I spoke to the guy at dinner afterwards, but I did not ask him about that purchase as, in my opinion, it was entirely his own business.  As for so-called 'dealer prices' there is also a price at which one person will sell and another one will buy. Influencers don't exist in my world, but when I occasionally stumble across them they are usually engaging in some kind of puff about the latest digital camera model. I don't see influencers having an effect on the auction market. I occasionally write about auctions, but I generally write about the historical items and only quote prices as a matter of fact https://www.macfilos.com/2024/05/15/leitz-photographica-auction-my-top-ten-favourites/ . I am approaching 75 and I am way too old to be considered an influencer 😇.

William 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, willeica said:

You are trying to rationalise something that has a lot of irrational elements in it. You use the term 'dealer price' but at the level of auctions there is no set price and the value lands when and where the bidding ends. last year in Wetzlar I saw somebody buy a Terry O'Neill Special Edition Leica MP camera with an Audrey Hepburn print for €200,000 at auction when the 'normal' price is about €25,000. I spoke to the guy at dinner afterwards, but I did not ask him about that purchase as, in my opinion, it was entirely his own business.  As for so-called 'dealer prices' there is also a price at which one person will sell and another one will buy. Influencers don't exist in my world, but when I occasionally stumble across them they are usually engaging in some kind of puff about the latest digital camera model. I don't see influencers having an effect on the auction market. I occasionally write about auctions, but I generally write about the historical items and only quote prices as a matter of fact https://www.macfilos.com/2024/05/15/leitz-photographica-auction-my-top-ten-favourites/ . I am approaching 75 and I am way too old to be considered an influencer 😇.

William 

That's really what I meant about there only being partial overlap between collectors and users. These are somewhat different worlds (though obviously there are some user-collectors - even I have a couple more LTM cameras than I really need). Users tend to buy from dealers or ebay etc. and, for better or worse, influencers can shift demand and therefore prices substantially (even for new cameras that are in short supply, like the Fuji X100V was). I wouldn't attempt to rationalise the passions of serious collectors! But it's interesting how something that used to be seen as a minor variant with no particular added value can become a much sought after and expensive item.

Edited by Anbaric
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11 hours ago, dpitt said:

For example preferred standard FL seems to go down over time. This is happening across all makes of camera's. It started with the ubiquitous 50mm on the barnacks, then even went up a bit because of the demand of extra reach. 90 mm was far more popular than 35mm in those days.  After that, 35mm became equally as popular in the 90s , but the 50mm seems to have held its position as best compromise very strongly until very recent.

Maybe the smartphone 28mm standard has something to do with the advent of wider "standard" for FF but I think it is more the increased resolution of FF sensors compared to film that made this trend possible

Portrait aesthetics have changed over time. Back in my formative years (1980s), it was common for fashion shots to be taken with a 180 or even 300/2.8. That trend was literally unhealthy, because it meant that female models had to starve themselves so they could look normal in print. They looked like Giacometti sculptures in real life! "Selfie culture" swung things in the other direction. Wide-angle closeups are commonplace, usually with a self-portrait feel.

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1 hour ago, willeica said:

. I am approaching 75 and I am way too old to be considered an influencer 😇.

William 

Don't underestimate yourself, William! 😉

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1 hour ago, willeica said:

You are trying to rationalise something that has a lot of irrational elements in it. You use the term 'dealer price' but at the level of auctions there is no set price and the value lands when and where the bidding ends. last year in Wetzlar I saw somebody buy a Terry O'Neill Special Edition Leica MP camera with an Audrey Hepburn print for €200,000 at auction when the 'normal' price is about €25,000. I spoke to the guy at dinner afterwards, but I did not ask him about that purchase as, in my opinion, it was entirely his own business.  As for so-called 'dealer prices' there is also a price at which one person will sell and another one will buy. Influencers don't exist in my world, but when I occasionally stumble across them they are usually engaging in some kind of puff about the latest digital camera model. I don't see influencers having an effect on the auction market. I occasionally write about auctions, but I generally write about the historical items and only quote prices as a matter of fact https://www.macfilos.com/2024/05/15/leitz-photographica-auction-my-top-ten-favourites/ . I am approaching 75 and I am way too old to be considered an influencer 😇.

William 

You influence me.

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