By now we’re used to the celebrity effect causing price spikes to certain high-end compact cameras.
The namechecking of cameras such as the Contax T2 and T3 by the like of Kendall Jenner, rapper Drake and actor Chris Hemsworth has seen prices for these cameras soar. (As Kosmo Foto has previously reported, one London camera shop currently wants £1,900 for a T3).
Another celeb, it turns out, know their way around a film camera, and this one is a decidedly less exclusive model.
A tweet from actress Tracee Ellis Ross on Wednesday (6 February) showed Ross and Larson laughing together at an event, with Larson holding a film camera in her hand.
— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) 6 February 2019
The camera isn’t an exclusive premium compact, nor a classic rangefinder (like the Leica M3 Larson sported in recent film Kong: Skull Island). It’s a Nikon FM10, a budget-friendly all-manual SLR produced since 1995, and possibly still in production.
The interesting thing about the FM10? It’s not a Nikon at all. This entry-level SLR was designed and built by Cosina, another Japanese camera-maker best-known for models such as the CX-2 compact (the inspiration for the Lomo LC-A) and the range of “Voigtlander” rangefinders built for Leica screw and M-mount lenses. (Cosina bought the rights to the Voigtlander name in the 1990s.)
The FM10 is a mostly plastic SLR that usually gets sold with an entry-level manual zoom; it was built in reaction to an emerging Asian middle class that wanted the Nikon name but didn’t necessarily want to pay Nikon prices. Nikon cameras, after all, have often been excellent but rarely been cheap.
The FM10 can be snapped up for around £40 on eBay (little more than $50) so even if the price quadruples thanks to the hand of Larson. It’s still eminently affordable.
The appearance of the Yashica Electro 35 in 2012’s ‘Spider Man’ led to a spike in prices for this not-exactly-rare-but-quality camera (more than two million Electro 35s of various marks were made). Could Cosina’s plastic fantastic be about to enjoy the same fate?