4x5 entry...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ChristopherCoy, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I've been interested in the 4x5 format, but because of the expensive nature of the film and equipment needed, I never ventured into it.

    However this morning, I was talking with our city mayor. He and his wife are photographers and we got on the subject of me shooting film. He stated that he has a full 4x5 setup including a 4x5 enlarger, a Speed Graphic, and a drum processor (which I am assuming is a Jobo because he said it was automated and rocked back and forth.)

    In his words "if I knew anyone interested he'd like to sell it for 'real cheap'." T'was about this time that I about nearly fell out my chair and startled the man by yelling "ME ME ME!"

    I don't know what his asking price will be but I told him to make a list, let me know, and I'd come and check it out.

    My questions are:

    -What should I look for on the Speed Graphic to determine condition?
    -What are the average going rates for SG's in useable condition?
    -What should I expect to pay for a 4x5 enlarger and possible Jobo processor?
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Why not just ask him what he wants out of the "kit". Anything less than $500 would cause me to snatch up the package.
     
  3. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    Well he came in at 5:45am, and he and his wife were heading out to do some shooting. At the time he was pressed to get out before the sun rose.

    Im going to talk to him about it a little further tomorrow.
     
  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Be interesting to see what he thinks "real cheap" is.
     
  5. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    He commented on how he felt it was cumbersome to deal with and that he didn't enjoy it anymore.... So I'm hoping that he just wants to offload it. I can't wait to talk to him tomorrow.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    condition ...
    do a flashlight test on the bellows ( they are probably OK )
    check to see if the rail the front standard slides out on is bent or missing teeth ( does it focus easily ? )
    check to see if the rails afixed to the box inside the camera are damaged ( was a close attempted with the focus not totally retracted ? )
    is the ground glass broken ?
    is it a graflock back or spring back ?
    was the fresnel lens removed ? ( if so the camera won't focus right )

    i know nothing about jobo processors, sorry ...

    enlarger ...
    does it have the condensers ( all 3 ? )
    what cones if any does it have?
    is it a d3v ( auto focus ) and if it is, does it have the metal tracks in back to extend and retract the bellows?
    does it come with any lenses ( and appropriate cones + tracks or just cones )
    does it have any negative carriers ?
    does it have the omegalite cold light head ?
    was it wall mounted so it no longer has the baseboard, if it has the baseboard, is it complete ?


    separately an enlarger is either a give away, or maybe 1-200$ depending on what is included with it ..
    carriers usually trade for 15-25$ depending
    omegalites, not sure ...
    the in head condensor ( variable ) for smaller than 4x5 is usually lost

    lenses for the enlarger ... anywhere from a give away to $$$ ( for like a gclaron )

    speed graphics depending on age and condition go for anywhere from 50# to 300$
    lenses, well, you see in the classifieds how much they go for ...

    as rick said anything less than $500 might be a good deal,
    unless it is all molded, moth-eaten and trashed then keep away,
    it will travel to your other equipment ...

    have fun !
    john

    ps. go to graflex.org and read stuff there, and for other LF stuff you might want to check out largeformatphotography.info
     
  7. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'd be inclined to tell him you are interested in expanding your work into large format if you could find a deal that would work for you . . . and also work for him, you would like to get started. I would probably then ask him, "What do you need for me to take this gear out of your home and put it in mine and start using it?"

    You do need to know what he has.

    My bet is Momma wants it out of her house. He wants it out of his house and it really isn't about the money. He would also like for someone to be using that which previously was his treasured equipment. Depending on what he has, I would agree that somewhere around the $500 mark could be a win/win and I'd ask him first what he needed before I made any kind of offer. If his needed number was in my comfort level, I'd agree to his price. You have to work with this guy. I don't feel obligated to negotiate a price when someone gives me one that I think is fair and in my comfort zone. I've bought and sold a bunch of photographic equipment over the past 10 or 12 years.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I too would say start at $500. Depending in model, serial number, condition ... it could vary.
    Speed Graphics are repairable if there are problems.

    There is a lot of information about Speed Graphics at www.graflex.org
     
  9. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    $500 without seeing the list sounds like a lot to this old cheapskate. The last working (but rough) Speed Graphic I bought on ebay was under $100. Some 4x5 enlargers are not worth hauling away unless they can be converted to copy stands. Others cost a small fortune when new, but can be found for very little now by a patient scrounger. Some also work well for smaller formats. My 4x5 DeJur required improvised additions to be useable for 35mm. A drum processor is a convenience, not a necessity. I gave mine away long ago and develop in trays.

    Speed Graphics vary widely in desireability. I wouldn't consider anything earlier than the Anniversary model (1940-1946). Even it has limitations for some photography. More desirable is the Pacemaker series of Crown and Speed Graphics, especially when more than one lens is used. They were made from 1947 to 1973. The most versatile for many purposes is the Super Graphic, made near the end of the company's life. The original lenses fitted to all of these cameras, if in good condition, are decent performers for general use.

    4x5 film is indeed expensive, but often a small fraction of the investment in time and travel. I sometimes spend an hour or more for just one shot, but try to make that one shot perfect. When image quality is paramount, LF photography is worth the bother.
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'm with the old cheapskate. Some people are still paying (and asking) way too much for old Graphics, enlargers, etc. I'm a patient scrounger too, but I won't bore you with the details of my past Graphic deals. But one was a fully-functioning SuperGraphic (missing the fresnel and GG) with an Omega D-2 (or II) enlarger for $100, and a fully-functioning Anny with all the accessories for $24+ shipping. :smile:
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My reason for using $500 as a starting point was that it included: a working camera and lens, a working enlarger, and a drum processor, which is possibly a Jobo. Often cameras offered are non-working, sat for years or of the "It works, I think, but I do not know anything about photography [or insert cameras, life, ...]" persuasion. This is a offer of working equipment and the seller is available for help and advice.

    Disclaimer: I do not have nor have I ever had any problems with self-named "old cheapskate(s)".
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    A processor that rocks back and forth could be a non-Jobo, like a Beseler or other.

    Not that it wouldn't serve the purpose, but might not be a goldmine.
     
  13. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    If you're not looking for movements other than front rise, the older speed graphics get you a range of shutter speeds that's greater than the newer ones. The ones with the two cranks on the side go from 1/10-1/1000, where the single crank and shutter speed window go from 1/30-1/1000. You can also make your own lensboards for the pre-anniversaries. I like both. The newer ones get more movements and a graflok back, both of which are desirable features.

    $100 typically gets you a ratty speed graphic that may work or a nice looking one that doesn't. It's worth more to have one in hand that you can see the shutter speeds work OK; a luxury you don't get with Internet purchases. You could spend $100 or hours getting it back to proper operation if it's lacking. I do agree with others, enlargers aren't valuable; sometimes the lens on the enlarger is worth more than the beastly thing, and sometimes that's not much. Dichroic enlargers are worth a little bit more if they work for the v.c. convenience. The developing stuff could be worthless or valuable...Check it out and reference ebay closed auctions. If the seller is looking to get rid of it, they should take some sub-ebay prices, otherwise, they'd have taken the time to photograph and list all the items and sell them that way.
     
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  15. zeitguy

    zeitguy Member

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    My experience

    I got a Calumet monorail view with an old Kodak uncoated lens for $70, with film holders. The bellows were like new. The lens was tack sharp but turned out to be for a 3.25 x 4.25 system and barely covered the 4x5 neg, no room for camera movement. So I had to pay over $200 for a decent lens right off. I got two Omega enlargers for under $100 combined...a Chromega medium format with the color head, and a D2 extended rail and autofocus system. The lenses were worth about $5 and I upgraded for about $70 total. The "drum processor" I got was a simple rotating drum for daylight processing of color and black and white, and I found that I needed to tray process one negative at a time to get any benefit from the zone system exposure which exploits LF to the fullest. I tried tanks and batch developing in trays but kept going back to single sheet at a time. When I picked up an Agfa/Ansco studio view 8x10 I was glad I had the patience and know how to do tray development at that point.

    So the consensus here seems to be that the lenses are the real economic issue, and I agree. Another factor, however, is that there seems to be an uptick in student interest in film and LF, which has pushed low end prices back up in the last two years. Just an unscientific impression from browsing theBay.
     
  16. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    If it was, or it's broken, keep in mind that Bob Shanebrook ('laser') here on APUG has been offering OEM replacement fresnel screens at very reasonable prices. I purchased one of them from him for my Crown and it's a beauty.

    Ken
     
  17. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    I hope I stumble upon a good deal, I'm just starting in 4x5. I am in love!!!
     
  18. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    Ok, so he finally got everything together. There is supposed to be two Omega D something or nother enlargers (apparently both 4x5), two smaller enlargers, a collection of light meters, a drum dryer, some kind of drum processor not sure which, and a 4x5 Speed Graphic complete with case and flash. He said there's also paper and chemicals, a multitude of photography books, and other odds and ends.

    Oh and there's supposed to be this Omega gizmo that you attach to the enlarger to either distort the negative or remove distortion.

    Anyway... Total asking price $385 for everything. I still have to go look at it all on my day off to ascertain its condition.

    Good deal?
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Could be. Maybe. Might not.

    It depends on condition and lenses and negative carriers and condenser lenses in the enlargers and........

    Lens for the Graphic? Filmholders?
    Lenses for the enlargers? negative holders? condition of the condensers?
    Light meters, are they working?

    Other stuff, do you need it? condition? Can you trade it?

    You didn't mention a tripod......
     
  20. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    It's supposed to be a fully working setup, and from what I know of the gentleman I'm inclined to think its been VERY well taken care of.
     
  21. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    From the sounds of it, I think it is probably an excellent deal.
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    In which case, it's probably a very good deal.
     
  23. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I'd say that it's a great deal unless the stuff is falling apart/obviously non-functional/missing major components.

    Omega D series enlargers are good enlargers, and any component they don't have that you need you can pick up pretty easily and cheaply.

    The rotary processor if it isn't a Jobo is nice, but think of it as a freebie included. If it IS a Jobo, you PROBABLY hit the jackpot. The only downside is if it is an early Jobo CPA/CPP and it starts to fail, you'll basically have to buy another one to replace it instead of fixing it.

    If the Speed Graphic is complete and working (ie has lens, film holder of some kind, and the focal plane shutter works reasonably accurately (they were never all that accurate to begin with)), you could expect to pay $300 for a good one anyway. So all that other stuff for $65? cool deal!
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That sounds great! Enjoy all of the toys.
     
  25. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I finally got over there to look at things. There are two Omega's, a Lentar, a Beseler 67c, a Majestic tripod, a Speed Graphic body for parts, and a fully functioning Speed Graphic.

    He's also selling me all of his darkroom books, tanks, trays, bottles, negative holders, a collection of light meters, safe lights, drum dryer, and a bunch if other stuff.

    The thing that sounded like a Jobo is actually a Uniroller, but I haven't a clue what it's for.

    The Speed Graphic comes with a wooden case, 7 double sided film holders, and two flashes. We tripped the shutter and the thing moved back and forth on the tracks smoothly. He said he last used it about 4 years ago. The ground glass doesn't look scratched, but I never could figure out how to see through it.

    So here are some photos. Is all this worth $385?

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351202094.804272.jpg

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351202158.686968.jpg
     
  26. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351202183.060348.jpg

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