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What is a reasonable price for a Rolleiflex 2.8F TLR ?

Raid W. Amin , Nov 23, 2004; 09:54 p.m.

This question may have been asked many times before, but I think selling prices are changing each month it seems. In your opinion, what is a reasonable asking price in the USA (ebay or photo.net) for a clean 2.8F model these days? Is it above $600?

Responses


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Greg Chappell , Nov 23, 2004; 10:16 p.m.

In perfect mechanical condition with clean glass & no tech body adjustments like side-mounted flash bars or disabled self-timers/xm levers, and very nice looking cosmetically I'd say anywhere from the upper $600's and beyond is probably about right. $500-$600 for a somewhat worn body but working perfectly, and I do mean completely perfectly, with clean glass. As you get to clean-but-with-some-issues bodies the price would go down for me fast. They are just too expensive to have work done to pay top dollar for a body in less than optimal working condition.

Andrew Nemeth , Nov 23, 2004; 11:31 p.m.

In your opinion, what is a reasonable asking price in the USA (ebay or photo.net) for a clean 2.8F model these days? Is it above $600?

Way, way above!

A few months ago I wasted 5 weeks looking for an affordable Rollieflex 3.5F or 2.8F in good condition. The best I could find for the 3.5F was @ $US 600. Good condition 2.8F's were all $US 1300 and above.

No I'm not kidding. Add to these prices a proper CLA done by a competent "name" technician + a brighter focus screen, and you won't get much change from $US 1700 for a 2.8F. Sheesh! For that kind of money you may as well buy a mint condition Hasselblad 501 C/M kit. Which is exactly what I ended up doing :?)

eBay slaves will now rush to their keyboards and retort "Nonsense, I just saw a mint-in- box 2.8F for $13.50!". Yeah well - ALL the eBay deals I looked at in that five week period were BENT. The sellers were vague about the serial number, or else would answer Qs with "I don't know, I'm only selling it for my dad", or else they wouldn't answer at all. The pictures were all mysteriously unsharp and taken from such a great distance that you couldn't see any detail (etc.)

So I only dealt with Rollei dealers. Still had problems, but at least they were traceable and - when push came to shove - issued a refund upon return of goods. And in dealer-land, the prices were pretty much fixed: 3.5F = $650, 2.8F = $1300++.

CPeter Jørgensen , Nov 23, 2004; 11:49 p.m.

The previous poster is correct to a large extent--the really good ones go for $1000 or more and I once paid $1800 for one in the box on ebay a few years ago. Here is one worth looking at a little closer: 3855060877 on ebay with 5 days to go, so it has been just recently listed. All of the others on there at this time--and I just looked at them all--had various degrees of "problems." Beware the "as is" and the "I don't know much about cameras but my wife's uncle just diedc . . ." listings. Always look for a seller with more than 100 feedback listings to his credit which run in the 99% Positive range. (It takes a lot to get a "bad" feedback on ebay.) This is not to say that bargains do not come along and you might pick up something in great shape for $700 to $800 once in a while, but always deal with someone who will say, "Unconditional Return within 5 or 10 days if you don't like the camera." Period. If it has no problems, individual sellers will provide full return options. Watch for the guys who say, "This is an auction buddy, when it ends, you've bought it." And it once cost me $175 to get something fixed on an otherwise "perfect" Rollei to which the seller said, "Some small things which are of no consequence to us may be important to you, so be sure to ask questions before bidding." Yes, the crank which advances the film and cocks the shutter was important to me as were the missing gears behind it.

Ferdi Stutterheim , Nov 24, 2004; 07:12 a.m.

The price range for sought after cameras is set by the auction site. At the huge camera fair at Houten, Netherlands, last Sunday I was talking to a Rollei friend and collector. He comes to fairs for the fun only, not for business. He said every good and clean 2.8 F will fetch US$ 1200 at auction. Fair visitors are not prepared to pay that kind of money. Not even when they can inspect the merchandise before parting with their money. For him there is no need to sell at, say, US$ 900 when all he has to do is take the camera home and put it up for auction. Sorry Raid, that's the way it is. About US$ 1200, may be more.

bruno menilli , Nov 24, 2004; 07:42 a.m.

Ferdi I agree with most of what you say but can you tell me how ebay 'sets the price of sought after items', as, surely the bidders do that? or did you mean that the price is set 'on' ebay?

Regards

Bruno

Randall Cherry , Nov 24, 2004; 07:55 a.m.

I would say that eBay is the best place for a savvy shopper to get a good deal on Rolleflexes.

In my opinion, to get good deals on ebay, a buyer must do their homework which includes learning the prices and minimizing risk. To minimize risk, a buyer must learn how to spot bad sellers. No doubt that ebay is a riskier venue than an established camera shop no matter how much effort one puts into protecting one's self. But ebay is also where the best deals are found because most buyers don't know how to minimize their risk, and thus are willing to buy only at reduce prices.

I would also say that Rolleflexes roughly divide into two categories: collector pieces and user cameras. Collector cameras typically sell in the $1200 range and include late and/or unique models in extremely good condition. Collector Rolleiflex prices track with other collector camera prices, such as Leica. User cameras tend to sell in the $600 range and are likely to be older models and have obvious signs of use but still function perfectly well.

If a buyer want a collector's piece, then he has to pay collector's prices. If a buyer wants to buy used gear risk-free, then he has to pay premium prices. Thus, I don't think it is unwarranted that a risk-free purchase of an excellent late-model collector camera comes at a high cost.

On the other hand, if a buyer wants a user camera from a private seller, then he can get a wonderful example of a high quality picture taking machine for about the same as a used Mamiya C330 with lens at a reputable retail establishment.

Just my 0.02$

--Randall

Kai Blanke , Nov 24, 2004; 08:51 a.m.

If you look at the Rolleiflex Model F prices all one can do is to shrug and buy a Model C, D or E instead. These are about half the price and a decent looking, working, but not mint 2.8E (with meter working) will cost you at maximum USD 500, for a 3.5e in the same condition you will pay about USD 400-420. If you have to pay more just contact me and I will sell you mine for that price. Interestingly the E2 and E3 models, although as young as most F models, are not as exorbitantly priced, although still alot higher than the standard C,D and E models.

Ferdi Stutterheim , Nov 24, 2004; 08:56 a.m.

Bruno,

Yes, I meant to say the bidders on Ebay set the price. In a world wide market place there always seams to be a bidder who is willing to pay a top price. That's the way I see things. Well, I am not a marketing Guru, just a retired pharmacist.

Ferdi.

Ferdi Stutterheim , Nov 24, 2004; 09:15 a.m.

I agree with Kai that for a user camera it is best to forget about the F-models unless money is no object. In most cases the light-meter is not very accurate by modern standards or may even be unusable. If you cannot use the light-meter, you will not need an expensive F. Also the 3.5 model range instead of the 2.8 is a very realistic option. For user cameras look at the T or the 3.5 E models without light-meter or even a C. That will save lots of money and you will still have a wonderful camera.


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