University Unloading Its Film Photography Gear At Ridiculous Prices

Clemson University is apparently ditching film photography and going digital. The public South Carolina-based school has just turned to government surplus auctions to unload its analog gear, and the equipment is being snatched up for ridiculously low prices. The lot of 9 “excellent condition” Hasselblad 500 EL/M medium format camera bodies seen above was just sold for $1,200, which comes out to about $133 for each camera (granted, there are some taxes and processing fees tacked on).

A Moon Model 500 EL/M was also sold for $260:

This lot of 9 Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 lenses did a little better, fetching $2,150 just moments ago (~$234 per lens):

The university is also auctioning off a gigantic lot of 226 rolls of miscellaneous film. The rolls are mostly Kodak and have been properly stored in a freezer. There are four days left in the auction, but no one has bid yet — the price is still at $100 (the buyer does need to pick it up in person though, so that’s a downside).

Darkrooms are being shut down in universities across the US. This is bad news for students wishing to receive a formal education in traditional processes, but great for film enthusiasts looking to find a good deal. Just keep your eyes peeled on government auction sites like GovDeals, where there are often sections dedicated to photographic equipment. You never know what might pop up!

Update: Good news: commenter awrangle from Clemson writes that it wasn’t the university’s art department that was selling the gear, and that the art department has actually been investing in analog resources as of late.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Bill!

  • Samcornwell

    We were talking about this at university today. I thought that perhaps there should be degrees dedicated to analogue photographic reproduction. Fred Ritchin for one would be in favour of a move as he says Digital photography is as far displaced from photography as the car is from the horse & carriage.

  • Sid Ceaser

    It breaks the heart to see such fine equipment being liquidated like that. I’d love to get a hold of their Hasselblad lot. Man, what a deal!

  • tttulio

    That is so stupid and lazy, just list every body and lens separately.

  • Mr.Pogi

    That IS the going price for BGN stuff in KEH/forums atleast.

  • Lisa O

    Oh my. I could make a joke about The South and intelligence, but I won’t. I’m a NE’ster and a film photographer so it wouldn’t be fair. Very sad they are closing their darkrooms and traditional film photography.

  • harumph

    If you look at the completed listings for this gear ebay, you’ll see that these prices aren’t really that much lower than the current going rates. Whoever bought those Hassys, for instance, isn’t going to be able to turn much of a profit if he sells the 8 extras. Whoever bought the lenses actually did a little better, because he can make a few bucks reselling. Still, the last one to go on ebay went for $295.00 with free shipping. Sad to say, but these aren’t “ridiculous prices” these days.

  • enero

    I was going to say the same thing. EL/M’s and these non-T 80’s dont go for much on the market. They’re even cheaper on ebay. The Fridge full of bulk film on the other hand, that should fetch a nice amount of scratch.

  • guest

    I’m sure you can find that degree in some private liberal-arts college–my friend goes to a college that specializes in like, theatre tech lol.

    at public universities where every degree but engineering isn’t being slashed, it’d be kind of difficult to squeeze in an analogue photography degree.

  • sierrarobba

    goverment sales ara cheap film cameras,cheap slr-s.And they always have tamron and vivitar lenses only.

  • guest

    every degree BUT engineering is being slashed*

  • guest

    lol it’s so weird going to a site where you can buy laptops from a city–“please make the check payable to the city of Melbourne”.

  • Mansgame

    Digital won. Get over it.

  • Nathan Blaney

    Sid, I’m sure you’ll have a chance to get your hands on that stuff – on ebay, and at a big markup…. Wish I’d known about this sooner since I’m in the market for a Hasselblad kit. Oh well…

  • ceebee

    Digital kills photography

  • Jake

    If digital won, how come all this stuff is being bought again? And how come you always have so many “dislike” votes from, presumably, film users? I mean, so many of your posts seem so antagonistic against film – what has film ever done to you?

  • harumph

    Guys, check ebay. You can get these Hassys for even cheaper. Look at the recent completed listings and you’ll see that they’ve gone for as low as $75 in just the last couple weeks. The guy who bought the lot didn’t get a deal. Those are the going rates.

  • kendon

    it is not bought again, it is still being bought. lets see for how long. if the market price for a hasselblad is130$ it cant be for too long until these are tossed around in the low two-digit range.
    as for the dislikes: haters gonna hate, its called “internet”.

  • awrangle

    I’d like to correct the record. The Clemson Department of Art is not getting rid of analog photography. The equipment in question came from another department within the university. This may say something about one hand not knowing what the other is doing at a very large institution, but it is in no way an indication of the intention and orientation of the photography program of study, which begins in the darkroom, covers large format and studio photography, and is also heavily engaged in digital photography and printing. In fact we have worked hard over the past five years to bolster all of our resources, both analog and digital, to give Clemson students a comprehensive grounding in art and photography, and to reflect the best creative and professional practice. In fact, if anyone is interested in donating medium or large format equipment, or studio and lighting equipment, please feel free to contact the department. Thank you.

  • AtlantaTerry

    Why should anyone donate medium format equipment when another department in your school is dumping it? Just ask them to transfer it to your department. Geez…

  • AtlantaTerry

    In second grade we learned to place the “$” before the numbers.