Question about selling Crown Graphic

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by 5050chance, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. 5050chance

    5050chance Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    First let me say I shoot medium format and have never shot large format. I have a reason for my question here though.

    A friend asked if he could send me a Crown Graphic and if I could evaluate it and maybe sell it on eBay. He knows nothing about any kind of cameras. I did determine when talking to him that it had a 120 back so I figured I could at least shoot a roll of film through it. I was psyched. I was even considering buying it myself if it was nice and learning large format.

    It came UPS in the original case which was rusted. There were a lot or accessories. Two strobes. Battery pack. 120 back, polaroid film back. Even some old Kodak film from 1962.

    I soon learned you must belong to a secret society to figure out how to use this camera. It took me only an hour to figure out there was a hidden button to open the front.

    Now, comes the bad news. The smell of mildew was really strong. The bellows looked great. In fact the whole camera looked nice.

    Then I couldn't cock the shutter. I searched for another secret button. Having dealt with older photo equipment before I understood that sometimes brute strength is the answer. It seemed very scary to do that with a shutter but it worked. The lens is full of fungus. The worst I've ever seen.

    Is this even worth listing on eBay, disclosing everything of course? Would someone be able to fix it and use it?
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would throw the lens in the river, and try to clean the rest of the camera.
     
  3. 5050chance

    5050chance Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Is it possible to buy another lens? I really would like this for myself if it could work. And I could read the manual. :smile:
     
  4. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, the standard lenses for the Crowns are usually pretty inexpensive. However, make sure that the fungus hasn't spread to the other parts of the camera.
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,216
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Are
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    In the condition described, it is probably not worth the cost of shipping....at lest not the cost of shipping all of it. The camera body it self should be salvageable but it will take some work and care. The lens, may or may not be. lenses are cheap and plentiful so, don't worry too much about that.

    Is it a 4x5?
    Post some photos of the kit when you get a chance.
     
  6. 5050chance

    5050chance Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Photos

    I put the camera outside to air out early this morning and took some photos. These are snapshots. It was 30 degrees.

    They are in this gallery:

    http://www.pbase.com/kstuebin/graphic_crown

    It is password protected so the images don't show up in the recent photos. The password is graflex.

    I have not yet begun to clean the camera so these are as it is when I took it out of the case.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,523
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Looks like there's very little wrong with the camera and I wouldn't write off the lens/shutter at this point either.

    I've two Graphics there were in far worse condition when I got them both fine now in your case this one's not bad at all.

    Ian
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wouldn't be afraid of the camera (and mold) at all. Mold, like every other living organism, can be killed.
     
  9. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

    Messages:
    229
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Location:
    Outside Bost
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Being an EE, I'm interested in the Polaroid image. It appears to be of an old radar display, the X-axis is graduated in degrees of angle, while the left and right Y axes appear to be "range" at two different voltages (high power and low power?)
    The trace seems to be some kind of calibration display.

    Kinda neat.
     
  10. aleksmiesak

    aleksmiesak Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Bozeman, MT
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Looks like it's in a pretty good shape. I wouldn't get rid of it, especially with all the extras. It would be a great camera for you to get hooked on LF once you do some maintenance and get a good lens. You could also bring it to a local photo store (if there is one close to you). A lot of times the guys who work there are camera nerds and know how to show an old one some TLC to get it to it's prime condition and will also be able to help you with getting started on using it.

    Good luck!
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,229
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If I were you I'd make a modest offer and buy it.
     
  12. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,216
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Are
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The photos show a camera in much better condition than I had imagined based upon the description. Camera should clean up very nicely. Enjoy!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2012
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,970
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Looks o.k. to me. My speed Graphic is in much worse condition (and still works*).

    (* although it doesn't have a focal plane shutter any more, or a rangefinder!).


    Steve.
     
  14. 5050chance

    5050chance Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks everyone! I got it all apart this morning. I started cleaning around noon. Slow and tedious. Great news!! I took the lens apart and the fungus came right off and had not even etched the glass. I tested shutter speeds by ear which is not accurate of course but they seem pretty good too. I'm already hooked. Of course, it looks like rain right now so I hope some UV light is still getting through. I've got the 120 back and lens cleaned so far. I'm just very meticulous so it will be a while to get it all cleaned.

    @Peter Simpson: I uploaded that Polaroid photo because I thought it was really cool too. :smile:
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,523
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Your hooked :laugh:

    It's a good starter in LF so enjoy oit, and use it :smile:.

    Ian
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,970
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If one second seems about right and it does not hesitate (i.e. continuous mechanical sound) then the rest of the speeds are usually o.k.


    Steve.
     
  17. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

    Messages:
    2,577
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    san jose, ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Pacemaker 4x5, decent shape, hope the rails aren't cracked. Get some film holders and a couple sheets of paper. The shutter will need to be cleaned and adjusted... Look for pin holes in the bellows.

    Nice camera, keep looking for good examples of other lens, fuji 150 6.3 is a good one for that camera.

    Best of luck,

    tim in san jose