The 35th ICS World Used Camera Fair Report


by Bellamy /

3 min read

The camera fair was a success….
Though this time a little bit more sublime. It was another early start for me, but I came out of it with some very very interesting results.

As some of you may know, I like to punish myself by getting up absurdly early to go to these camera fairs. I do it because I love it and I like the challenge of getting something rare. But it is not easy. It seems like people are arriving earlier each and every time. And this time was no different.
I thought to myself that it is the middle of February and brass monkeys outside, so people will be a bit later arriving, so I shouldn’t have to get there ultra early. I was wrong. I arrived at about 4.30am and I was already number 19 in the queue! There were a number of familiar faces at the front and I chatted to a couple of them. It turns out that the people who arrived first had been camping out since 9pm the previous evening! That is bonkers, it is a camera fair, not a Playstation announcement.
As a consequence, the ICS group have announced a new system this time. The first 20 people will be allowed to select one item that they want, in order. You would only be allowed one item and then you would be able to join the regular fray for the other bits. Of course the guys in first place went for the rare Leica lenses and bodies. As I was number 19 I wasn’t expecting to be able to get anything. But, it seems my luck was in. Because everyone else was completely focused on the Leica bits, I was able to snag myself something very pretty indeed.

The Nikkor N 50mm f/1.1 S-Mount
This lens was my goal for the show, so I was pretty happy once I had got my hands on it. The pressure was now off and I was able to take my time and find the really nice bits. It is a mad scramble as soon as everyone gets in, and after a while it gets to the point that you cannot even get close to the stands. Sharpen your elbows, Gentlemen, for we are going in.
Watching people going crazy over items was quite funny really. I am glad that I don’t have to sweep everything up, it would be very stressful.
I was starting to flag by this point, as I had been on my feet for a while, but there were still a couple of items that I needed to pick up. At this point I went to a stall which many people overlook and who don’t have often tell people what is available.
I am glad that I went.

Because they had this. A completely unused, mint in the box, with original wrapping paper Leica M4. Yeah, exactly. You just don’t see stuff like this anywhere. I picked this beauty up. And as I did I spotted something. Something really special. Something that just blew my socks off.

Yeah, so what, right? It is just a Nikon F. No, this is not just any Nikon F. This is number 77. Just let that settle for a minute and digest it.
This is the 77th Nikon F that was ever made, out of 860,000+ Nikon F cameras. That makes this one pretty damned special. And it is a black one too. Oo la la. I will write a piece about this camera soon, as it is too good to miss.
Well, after that I had to have a sit down and have some lunch. I managed to get everything I wanted and more. It was a pretty amazing feeling to know that I was holding one of the earliest Nikon F cameras ever made. A piece of photographic history.

The show is still on and there are still a few bargains to be found. It will end on Monday, so now is the time to get something special. Let me know if you want me to pick anything up for you and I will see what we can find.


11 comments on “The 35th ICS World Used Camera Fair Report”

    Kieran February 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm / Reply

    I do not have anywhere near the amounts of money that I’m sure would be required for that beautiful F, but you can totally have my soul for it. Hardly tarnished, low mileage, ultra collectible.

    Olivier Sylvestre February 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm / Reply

    How do you feel when you buy a camera sealed in its box? How are you sure you’re not buying a simple brick in a beautiful box? Must be quite special…

      Richard Carle February 23, 2013 at 12:57 am /

      You can probably sell it sealed and the collector who buys it isn’t gonna open it either so maybe no one is going to look inside for the next couple of decades. Still the price of something no one ever has laid eyes on still goes up and up.

      ZDP-189 February 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm /

      I’d laugh if three owners later he opens it up and finds a solitary red brick

    Paul Coates February 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm / Reply

    I’m in Tokyo for the weekend and half of next week, heading to the fair tomorrow!

    Jason Zeis February 23, 2013 at 9:21 am / Reply

    Hey Bellamy!

    Awesome finds there! That show would be a treat to go to, looks like so much fun!

    I was wondering if you had seen any Mamiya Super 23’s or the such there?

    Thanks and Cheers!

    Roberto February 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm / Reply

    Goodluck JCH,
    that F is gorgeus! Especially with the rare standard prismfinder.

    ZDP-189 February 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm / Reply

    Tell us more about the 50/1.1

    jeff February 25, 2013 at 12:45 am / Reply

    Great time I am sure. Maybe next year..but camping out at this time of year? Bit to cold IMHO..but then again if you can walk away with a rarity it just might be worth it.

    luca February 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm / Reply

    heaven!!!! but I should visit without cash, credit card, atm card, nothing!!!!
    Btw intersting the point regarding the box with a M4 inside.
    Somebody can pay some money for a box maybe with a Leica inside?
    It is a lottery, nice take the risk

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