London Photo Fair 2014: Scramble for bargains
Today's London Photographica photo fair at the Royal Horticultural Halls was even busier than last year and it was mad scrum from the off at ten o'clock. Most of the real bargains had gone by then because "serious buyers" (among whom I am not numbered) were given a head start. Although determined not to buy anything, I ended up with some film, an old Olympus OM-10 in reasonable nick, a cheap Leicameter to match my M3 and a few old reference books from the 1950s. I regard historic books as an exception to my now-firm rule of digital only. It is incredibly difficult not to buy anything.
For photo enthusiasts the annual Photo Fair is a major opportunity to buy and sell gear, with the emphasis on film cameras of all ages. While the classics can cost into the thousands, a respectable film camera of humble origin can be had for as little as £10—in full working condition. Leica fans were again well catered for and several well-known dealers, including Red Dot Cameras and Aperture from London and StephensPremier of Manchester, were there with their back-shelf stuff. Leicas were to the fore on many independent stands, including Real Camera Co from Manchester, and there were temptations by the dozen. I managed to resist buying a Leica CL with a good-condition 40mm lens, marked up at £450, on the basis that the light meter wasn't working (most of them aren't) and they are now very difficult to repair.
All indoor shots in this feature taken with a Leica M and 50mm Summilux, ISO between 800-1600