Crown Graphic Special

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Changeling1, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    What does the "special" mean in this camera's name? Is there anyplace where I can find information on this particular model? Has anyone ever used a 65mm Super Angulon 8.0 on this camera? Thanks.
     
  2. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You might start here:
    http://www.graflex.org/
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,219
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I don't know for sure but, the examples I've seen left me thinking there was not really any difference between the "Special" and the ordinary Crown Graphic. I may be totally wrong, but I think it was a marketing gimick.
     
  4. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,135
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    less expensive
     
  5. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks everyone- I did check the Graflex site. On this camera, the word "Special" appears only on the lensboard that the 135mm Schneider Exenar is mounted on. The other lensboard with a Schneider SA 65mm doesn't have "Special" written on it. I did read somewhere that these Schneider lenses reduced the cost of the camera some $20.00 "back in the day" so Dan From's reply is correct, albeit a somewhat strange marketing ploy on Graflex's part.
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Special was indeed the bargain version of the Crown Graphic.

    Twenty bucks, not all that long ago, was a lot of money.

    And, not that long ago, Schneider was not the 'super premium' brand it is today. It always made good stuff, and the Xenar is fine, but the best glass was made in Rochester and it was expensive, whether it said Optar, Raptar, or Ektar.

    When the 4x5 market was slowing, and costs had to be cut, lensmaking was shipped offshore, from Rochester to Germany, to Schneider and Rodenstock. Like many things, perception shapes our performance. I've seen folks literally throw out a mint Ektar and pay a premium for a Xenar... just out of ignorance.

    Anybody out there know how Joseph Schneider became a lensmaker ? :tongue:


    .
     
  7. vysk

    vysk Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Cana
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Ha, so "Special" does not mean "special". It means "less expensive"
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,584
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does the same apply if your mother called you "Special"? :whistling:
     
  9. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio River V
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I know he started out as a brewer, here in the US and went back to Germany to start the lens business.
     
  10. pramaglia

    pramaglia Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    Highland, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh boy. Now all those bargain lenses I've been buying on ebay are going to double in price when everybody finds out that old Rochester glass is better than old German glass.
     
  11. HTF III

    HTF III Member

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is a very old thread I arrived at through a search engine. Seems like every where I look these days I end up at APUG. That's OK. So, I've got this pristine, right-out-of-the-box Crown Graphic Pacemaker with the top mounted rangefinder with light. I'd say, 1960 maybe? Marked "Special" on the lensboard with a Schneider 135 in a Compur shutter. I've treasured and protected it from the least little handling mark, even have the wood block. For at least the last 25 years I've believed I had something, and here some of you guys say the Schneider lens is 2nd-rate? Well they used Schneider lenses on Rolleiflexes way before this Crown was made. So by the logic I see on this thread, Rolleiflexes are junk too.
    I find it nearly impossible to believe that the Wollensak Optar is better glass than this. Ektar, maybe. But then I learn something new every day on this APUG. But this tidbit is mighty hard to swallow. Any learned input would be appreciated. I'll mark this thread for possible reply. If it turns out my Crown is not as hot as I always thought, then it's out the door. I've still got my Pacemaker Crown with Kalart I can go out an d use it, because it's in nice shape, but I don't protect it like an egg. Thanks.
     
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,726
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If it is original, and is in mint condition, I seriously doubt that the fact that it was an economy version at one time will be a concern. In fact, in some cases these economy versions end up being worth more if there are fewer of them out there. However, it would certainly be worth finding out just how much it may be worth.
     
  13. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,279
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format