I've found that most eBay bidders for Canon FD gear fall into one of three categories, in order of numbers of people out there:
- New-to-Canon people that have yet to find that FD lenses won't mount on an EOS camera.
- Those who want inexpensive high-powered photography and accept film cameras as a means to this end.
I find out who is in Category 1 before I ship and cancel the transaction. People in Category 2 don't buy expensive items. Most collectors have seen so much garage-sale junk out there they they won't believe that you have good, serviceable gear in excellent condition, and in any case they won't bid anywhere near what KEH and other collectibles sites say your gear is worth. If you put things together, like a camera and a motor or a lens and a case, they want the motor or the case free. I have had bids of $99 for a really clean FD 200mm f/2.8, and one serious collector (possibly an oxymoron?) wanted the pristine case (even the Styrofoam in the lid like new!) free.
It takes a lot of time and work to put something up on eBay properly, with good photos and a short and informative blurb. The bodies I have decided need to have a video because I have had repeated questions like "Does it work?" and "Do the shutter bearings screech?" and such, adding a whole new dimension of time spent making the video and then computer work in getting it up and linked to the posting. I'm trying to get ten cents to 25 cents on the dollar but eBay seems to be really a way to work really hard to give things away.
I had a pristine Canon Booster for FT and Pellix, with big black shiny leather Canon case like the ones that Canon uses for the accessory pentaprisms for the F1 listed for $50, with two sets of batteries, a total of four Wein cells for the light meter and two 625 cells (1.5 Volt alkaline replacements for PX13) for the grain-of-wheat light. I figure the booster is worth $25, the case $20, and I know the batteries cost $20, so I listed it for $50 OBO - with no bites. I cut the price to $25 OBO and took a bid for $22, then took a hit of a few dollars for premium packing and shipping because it is a big sensitive light meter with a big floppy microammeter needle and I wanted it to work when it got there. The buyer griped because the box was too big. I would bet he threw the batteries away and didn't give the free case a second thought.
The consensus here seems to be that it isn't worth the trouble to try to sell old film camera gear. I'm coming around to the same conclusion myself for the most part but I do want to find this gear a new home as best I can. I'll look at the MFLenses forum and see what works there, and I will continue with a few items at a time on eBay, but I've given up the idea of working the listings half-time like I did for a couple of months. What I have time for, OK. But, MFLenses may be a better place than eBay for some things I have, like an 7.5 mm circular fish-eye, or an FL 85-300mm f/5. EBay may be good for some things like a FD 35mm f/2 and such.
But, what about my two A-1 bodies with motor and winder? What about my Canon F-1 with Motor Drive MD and 250 Back, Servo EE Finder and Booster Finder?
I also have a black Canon VI-T with black 50mm f/1.2 lens and black parallax-correcting viewfinder/light meter with viewing frames for three focal lengths, in like-new condition, and I just put it through a very carefully selected repair service for refurbishment of the light seals and internal cleaning and lubrication, checking the shutter speeds, etc. This magnificent 1968 camera with titanium focal plane shutter could be worth over $4K; KEH has a beater black Canon IV with silver f/1.8 lens and no finder or light meter for $3200. I think that this camera will have its own web site soon, and it won't be an eBay page. I'm putting a couple of rolls of film through it for demo shots. I have an EF 100mm f/2.8 IS macro with twin-lite that can take some devastating photos of it, and a T-90 that, with my FD 17mm f/4, can take some spectacular perspectives of it that will rival what Canon did when they advertised it internationally in 1968. I wonder what that 50mm f/1.2 would look like from the FD 7.5mm circular fisheye right in front of its magnificent front element?
EOS D5M2, T90, A-1, F-1, Pellix QL, Canonet QL 17 III, VI-T...