Pricing Collectible Cameras

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Mitica100, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. minktaka

    minktaka TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone. I was wondering if you guys might help me with pricing this miniature Crystar camera I got at a local thrift shop. Paid 5 euro for it. It seems to be in quite good condition - the leather case looks brand new, no signs of use, the camera has some minor scratches on the metal round part on the back of it, but apart from that it seems to be in very good condition. There is a film inside and I think it might have some pictures in it, but I'm not sure. I do believe there is a part called a Film holder missing (I wonder if it has some significant influence on the performance?). The original box has some small tears here and there, but it's overall intact. There is no instruction sheet although there are some instructions printed on the box. I've looked at some listings on ebay, but the prices differ significantly from 10$ to and over 100$.
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  2. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It is probably worth double what you paid, there's only a few makes of film cameras that are worth a lot of money
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you go to the link provided at the beginning of this thread (Collectiblend) and put in the search box Crystar, you'll find a more accurate price range for your little gem. It seems to be in excellent condition, as far as I can see.
     
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  4. minktaka

    minktaka TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I did go there, but: "We don't have enough information to suggest a price at this time". I guess I'll just have to look at some more listings on ebay, unless anyone knows any other sources?
    Btw, lady at the thrift shop thought it's just a cheap souvenir or sth, not a working camera, so I hope it might be worth more that double of what I paid:)
     
  5. enzodm

    enzodm No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When looking on Ebay, be sure to look at sold items, not at current listings - often items are offered at prices that no one will pay. You will see that this camera has been sold at between 8 and 28 euros... so you've got a bargain, but you will not become rich :)
     
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  6. minktaka

    minktaka TPF Noob!

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    Well, I didn't really expect to get rich out of it, but it's good to know I got a good deal:) Maybe I'll just hold on to this tiny thing for now:)
    Thanks!
     
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  7. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Looks like what's called a 'Hit' camera. There was a brand made in Japan called the Hit, and cameras of the same style are usually now referred to as Hit cameras.

    This Hit style camera uses film that's half the size of 35mm. Yes you could take pictures with it, there's still film available (but may need to be cut, respooled etc.). These are a type of subminiature camera (which also includes 110 film format, spy cameras, etc.).

    I would leave the back of the camera closed since when it was open it exposed the film to light; some people like to develop 'found' film. Someone buying it at least would probably want the spools and backing paper. B&W film that's been in a camera for decades can still be developed although results would be iffy; even if the back was opened most of the roll of film might still be okay (as much as could be expected for old film).

    These sites show the Cristar; there's not much info. about it since it was probably a common metal camera of that era (1930s & 40s into midcentury '50s & 60s). Try the Sub Club main page, there's a swap meet page which I think is US based but might give you some info. on value and collectability.

    Collection - 17.5mm Hit Subminiature Cameras

    http://www.subclub.org/shop/175mm.htm
     
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  8. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sharon, the back has already been opened (see the pictures in the original post.)

    here's backing paper and in the next picture, you can see the window on the back of the camera for the frame number number, so that is definitely a film format that isn't produced anymore. I don't know if even Film Photography Project would respool and sell that size.
     
  9. desertrattm2r12

    desertrattm2r12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In my opinion if Joe Lunchpail bought couple of an modestly upscale cameras -- one in 1935 and another in 1955, the camera features might not be that much different and the older camera kept its value. Then all sorts of stuff happened and made those older models look antiquated. But Joe Lunchpail, his widow and daughter held to the notion that old cameras held their value and there were very upscale cameras that kept value, too. So, I believe today lots of non- or casual photographers think their old cameras are worth a bundle.
    I bought an autofocus N90 Nikon "entry level professional" camera body in the early 1990s for over $500 and now I can buy one, used, for around $25. I have two and they take fabulous photos and the olde tyme "glass" for it I can get for almost nothing. Great for art photos.
    Hard to convince people that Granddad's Exa isn't worth a lot of bucks. The flipping mirror is the flipping shutter!
     
  10. Graham Smith 51

    Graham Smith 51 TPF Noob!

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    One point no-one seems to have mentioned here - mould (mold). If there's even a tiny trace of fine fungal lines inside a compound lens, dealers won't touch it at all, and though many buyers might not notice it or actually care, it would only be fair to mention it in any eBay description, I would have thought.
    Personally I don't think it's worth trying to sell SLR equipment unless you really have to make room. What you'll get for it is mostly peanuts. Anyway, I wouldn't part with my beloved Pentax Spotmatic F for the barely-double-figures that it would raise. Actually, it looks like it's a collector's market really. I might try getting replacements for all the old stuff I used to have over 30 years ago.
     
  11. dtar3

    dtar3 TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone,

    I just recently inherited my dad's very large camera collection and was hoping someone could help me figure out how/where to get them appraised.
     
  12. BlackSheep

    BlackSheep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    dtar3, very sorry for your loss.
    Where are you (generally)located? If we know that, hopefully someone local can guide you in the right direction.

    Also, eBay is a good place to start, search the "sold" listings to get a sense of the value of each item.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

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