Conditions Affecting Camera Value
People value cameras in distinct and different ways. For instance,
a camera in mint cosmetic condition, but not functioning, may be perfectly
acceptable to a collector. On the other hand, a user
may not care as much about the appearance of the camera, as long as
it works really well. I believe collectible cameras should be judged
on a combination of cosmetic condition and functionality. The tables
below list my general rating categories for both cosmetic value and
functionality of used cameras.
||New in box with original warranties, or as
new, never used, with absolutely no signs of wear.
||New, everything functioning perfectly. Still
has factory warranty or seller guarantees functioning.
||Very minimal signs of wear. If it had a box,
you'd have a hard time telling it from new.
||Everything functioning well. Recently
cleaned, lubed and overhauled.
||May have signs of slight use, but not abuse.
Everything is functioning. Major functions
recently professionally tested.
||Camera is complete, but showing signs of
normal use or age. Lens is clean and clear.
||Fully functioning, but not cleaned or
overhauled recently. Accuracy of shutter speeds or meter not guaranteed.
||Complete, but showing signs of heavy use. Lens
glass may show light, inoffensive cleaning marks.
||Usable, but not fully. Shutter may stick at
slow speeds. Meter may work sporadically, or not at all.
||Restorable. Refinishing may be required or
truly necessary. Minor parts may be broken or missing.
||Not usable without repair or cleaning.
Shutter, meter and/or film advance may be jammed or broken.
||Major damage or severe abuse evident. Consider
major restoration effort only if rare or hard-to-find.
||Major damage, non-functioning. Probably not
worth repair. Toss, or use for service parts only.
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