Leica Camera Shows, a dying breed?

Nikon Kiu

New Member
Hello Folks,
This is my first post, great place you have here.
I am Nikon Kiu, I am here to make sure you Leica people behave and not bad mouth Nikon.
I am also here because yesterday I went to a camera show and Brian told me where his latest hanging spot it! Yes I caught Brian in a camera show in Virgina, both of us were early, Brian added to his collection of lenses...
It was a photorama show:
I bought a cheap old flash unit. A Nikon SB-23 for $40

My first camera show was about 30 years ago, it was held in Hyatt Bethesda, a very nice hotel in a very nice neighborhood in Washington DC suburbs. it was also a Photorama venture, they had the grand ballroom in Hyatt hotel, there were about 120-140 tables, I remember it vividly because not only it was my first show, I was looking to buy a 70-210 AF Nikkor, I was looking for the cheaper version, I didn't have money for the f2.8, I bought one with the variable aperture for $225.00, it was my first Tele-Zoom. The place was packed with people, I was even asked by one if I was a collector, I replied no, I guess the man knew it before I did.

Over the years, I attended many more camera shows, once or twice a year, they seem to be getting smaller and smaller, from big hotels closer to the city to smaller ones way outside.
Nowadays, the camera shows are no more in Maryland, Virginia is also not happening that often, this was the first one this year, one of the reasons I went, there isn't another one scheduled.
There were about 20-30 tables, not all were full! The show hours were to be between 10-3, many people were packing by the time I left around 1 pm.

I talked to Abraham, he is the owner of Photorama, a very nice man, he is Canadian but I believe lives in Chicago area, he told me he has volunteered to take over another Camera show group in Chicago area, the people didn't want to do them anymore so he is taking over their schedule. He mentioned them:
Chicago Photographic and Camera Collectors Society

I will be attending another this year, this one will be October 2nd, right after Nikon Historical Society Convention 15 in Philadelphia, this will be a week before Leica Historical Society Convention also held in the same city. It will have 60 tables, I reserved a table to have a place to sit, I may even have some stuff to sell. It was the least I could do to keep something I like doing, going to camera shows and play with a bunch of stuff I wasn't planning to buy, like for me, to touch a Leica!

Are the Camera Shows dying in your area?
Do you attend any?

What do you think?
It was great seeing you at the show- in the future I will post heads-up on the Photorama shows.

Yesterday's show was about 1/4th the number of dealer's and about 1/10th the number of buyers.

I found the cleanest Summitar, coated- that I've ever seen. Perfect glass, round aperture- spot on for $200. EX+ cosmetics easily. About 1/2 of what they sell for on Ebay.

$50 Summar, great glass- missing aperture blades. Married that to my Summar with the scratched front element- total investment, $65 for a clean-glass Summar.

$80 got a J-8, I-22, and KMZ Turret finder, 5-focal length. The lenses needed major cleaning, the Turret finder had some lubricant on the interior glass of 1 finder. 10 minutes for the latter- perfect now.

Weston Master 6 in the box, never used- $25.

LOTS of lens cases for $1 each.

I did my Part!


Top Veteran
10 -15 years ago ...maybe 20...I would go to the camera show in Anaheim. It was very busy and I bought LF stuff. the LF stuff is mostly gone now including the MF mint Rollei 2.8F (arghhh), with prism finder and just about every imaginable accessory. I think Stephen Gandy publishes whatever is left of the two LA area camera shows on his Camequest website.


Top Veteran
The Lowlands
Real Name
The bi-annual Dutch "Fotografica" fair here moved to a larger location this year. So, I guess it's actually growing.

The other fairs in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands seem to be holding steady too.

I'm looking forward to the Open-Air Fotografica Fair in Doesburg.
That's great to hear.

In this area- I think the shows will be concentrated more as a bi-annual event. They had been almost monthly if you were will to drive 200~300 miles. About 2 or 3 per year in the Washington/Northern Virginia area alone.

Nikon Kiu

New Member
That's great to hear.

In this area- I think the shows will be concentrated more as a bi-annual event. They had been almost monthly if you were will to drive 200~300 miles. About 2 or 3 per year in the Washington/Northern Virginia area alone.

You are right Brian, There are seasonal shows in Pennsylvania all the time, Chicago as well, at least when Photorama is concerned. There is also the Ohio once a year show.
I was very close in driving to one of those, I was planning to do it when the Washington show pop'd up. It was kinda of a late notice too, they had very little time leading to it, may be that's one of the reasons attendance was low.
The other alarming fact was everyone in there looked like an old timer, not many young showed up.
I think I saw a couple of pros buying a Canon lens.
But you sure did MORE than your part.
I thought just showing up was doing ones part.


New Member
Real Name
Michael Buchmeier
Unfortunately after Bill Bagnell retired and later passed away there was no one competent to promote the kind of shows that he had done during the 1980's and 1990's in Southern California. His daughter tried for a while but gave up around 2010,
and nothing worthwhile has emerged. The shows at the Sequoia Club in the 1990's were something to see. Often with two ballrooms and over 200 tables. Of course eBay is cutting into the market, but there was nothing better than inspecting the equipment in person then haggling with a dealer.

Nikon Kiu

New Member
Hello Folks!

Next camera show I am attending is...



Saturday March 3rd, 2018

Centreville Moose Lodge

3529 Chain Bridge rd

Fairfax VA. 22030

OPEN TO PUBLIC 9:30-2:30pm

Admission $6.00 / $5.00 with coupon, Students $2 with ID

Dealers 60 -6 ft tables at $75ea


I am renting tables to lighten the collection.

Come and visit!

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