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In a fast and furious digital world, there’s something very raw and organic about taking photographs using an analogue camera. The classic click of the shutter, the familiar scent of chemicals as the photo develops in a darkroom and the sheer joy of capturing one unique moment on film cannot be replicated digitally. Taking photos with a nostalgic mechanical device is an art form, and interestingly, one which could also have exciting investment potential. No one knows this better than Ed van Mil, one of our in-house photography experts. In 2011, he earned the European Collector of the Year title for his collection of over 1,000 Kodak cameras. And now he’s here to prove to you why you should invest in analogue. Keep reading to find out more about what makes an analogue camera so special and why you should invest in analogue cameras today.
The Magic of a Mechanical Device
“The main reason people love analogue cameras is because in order to take a good photograph, you need to know a lot about aperture and shutter speeds,” says Ed. It’s about using these skills – your knowledge of the camera and your passion for the thing you are photographing – which is so thrilling when it comes to analogue photography. “The technique is what attracts people, everything on an analogue camera still works completely mechanically. These cameras have an air of nostalgia about them and this is why collectors like to invest in them.”
A Rollei 6006 sold at our Photography auction for €2,000 in 2016
Making an Investment
Another fantastic thing about analogue cameras is that a good model will retain its value. Cameras such as Leica, Hasselblad, Nikon and Canon are still used for photographing with film today because they’re reliable, capable and timeless. In particular, the first Nikon cameras such as the Nikon M are still very valuable today, even though some are already 70 years old. You can expect to pay around €3,000 for one of these cameras. Also remember that the sharpness of pictures on film is much better than with modern digital cameras. Studies have shown that you need at least an 80 Gb camera to achieve the same result on digital as on film. When you invest in an analogue camera, you’re investing in not only the quality of your camera but the quality of the finished results.
This Nikon S2 rangefinder sold for €1,500 – 3 times the price estimated by our experts!
What to Look for When Investing
So which cameras would make a great investment? “Be sure to invest in a high value model, such as a Hasselblad, Rollei or Leica. These cameras are very sought after, because they are still very usable in the modern digital era,” Ed advises. For example, most of the lenses for these cameras are also usable on digital cameras. This means you only have to buy one type of lens for use on both your digital camera and your analogue camera. “Kodak and Agfa cameras always do well with collectors” Ed suggests. “And if you can get your hands on a Leica in excellent condition from the 1960s, there is a huge market for these cameras.”
There’s a huge market for cameras like this Leica M2 which sold for €3,500 in 2016
Analogue Cameras at Auction
Our Photography auction has seen some fantastic results when it comes to collectable analogue models. For instance, a Rollei 6006 with 4 lenses and accessories sold for an impressive €2,000 in 2016. Both buyer and seller walked away from this deal happy. A great example of a Hasselblad sale was a 1957 SWA Superwide that sold for €1,500. And an exceptional sale of a top collector’s item was a Nikon S2 Rangefinder from the 1950s. The camera sold for 3 times the estimate when the final hammer price was €1,500.
Ed advises to invest in a Hasselblad. This 1957 SWA Superwide Hasselblad sold for €1,500 at our Photography auction
With digital photography, you can take scores of pictures and simply discard the ones you dislike instantly. But with analogue cameras it’s different – it’s all about lighting, framing, and capturing that moment – and only later revealing the results when the photograph has developed. There’s something pure and incredible about this experience which cannot be replaced. Invest in your craft by exploring our Photography auctions and find your next camera.
Bid, buy and sell with just one free account – whether you’re looking to invest or cash in on an investment, you can do it easily here on Catawiki.