Should I go for it? (Speed Graphic)

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bl1nd, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. bl1nd

    bl1nd Member

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    I recently found a Speed Graphic selling for $400. The outfit includes:

    -Speed Graphic Graflex
    -Kodak Ektar Lens F:4.7 127mm
    -Hugo Meyer Range Finder
    -Graflex Flash with 2 flash reflectors
    -Kodak Filter #85C Daylight type F color films
    -Series VI Wratten Series K2
    -Series VII Wratten filter A
    -Kodak Series VI Telek Lens 4
    -Kodak Series VII 38mm Adapter Ring 1 & 1/2"
    -Federal Anastigmat F4.5 3.5*...3& 1/2" Lens
    -2 Film Pack Adaptor Graflex No.1275
    -Unused Film Pack
    -Graflex Plate Holder 3& 1/4" X 4& 1/4"
    -Poloroid Difusser

    The seller also mentions some cables, but does not know they are for.
    Is this a good deal?
     

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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Depends what you want to do with it. Sounds as if it's a 3¼x4¼ model, films rare and only to special order so expensive

    Things like the film pack adaptors are obsolete as you can't get film to fit them, the unused pack will be quite old. It's the least desirable range-finder as it's dedicated to one focal length, and can't be adjusted.

    As an entry to LF it's the wrong choice, at best it would be OK with a roll film adaptor and there are plenty of 5x4 Speed graphics for less than that, also other LF cameras that offer far more movements than a Speed Graphic and movements are what LF is really useful for.

    Ian
     
  3. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Quite Enticing !

    I would certainly be tempted to go take a look at the quality,
    and condition of the equipment. It definitely reads like a good deal.
    The Visual Verification Will Set You, And Some Ben Franklins' Free.

    Ron

    From The Long Island Of New York

    .
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The cables are for connecting the flash
    It's not an especially good deal IMO. I've seen mint 4x5's in their original boxes selling for that kind of money, but average used ones generally sell for much less.
    3 1/4 x 4 1/4 film isn't common, so getting film and holders will be a bit of a challenge.
    The unused film pack is very old as film packs haven't been made for quite a while. Hence the film pack adaptors don't have much value.
    The filters can be useful if they are in good shape, but not worth more than a few dollars.
    If the flash is the Star Wars lightsaber type, it can be valuable because of that, but as a useful photographic device, not so much, unless you want to explore using flash bulbs.
     
  5. bl1nd

    bl1nd Member

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    It's a silvery pipe sort of thing... that does resemble a lightsaber. I suppose that's what you mean? Thanks for the advice though!
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    When we say film for that camera isn't common we mean there only Ilford's yearly ULF film run of FP4 & HP5, and you have to order what you need for a complete year a few weeks in advance. It's not stocked on a dealers shelf.

    Ian
     
  7. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Is it an Anniversary or a Pacemaker? Does it have a Graphic back (spring back) or a Graflok back? Graflok back is much more versatile. Factor in some money for potential repairs or a CLA unless you really know how to work on antique shutters. Half of that price would be a much more reasonable figure. Remember that condition has a big effect on value.

    Just my two cents worth. By the way, I own and use a Pacemaker Speed Graphic and an Anniversary Speed Graphic in 3-1/4x4-1/4.:smile:
     
  8. bl1nd

    bl1nd Member

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    I uploaded two of the sellers pictures. I honestly cannot tell.
     
  9. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I would recommend the Graflex 4x5 but then have you figured out a way to make prints?
     
  10. DLawson

    DLawson Subscriber

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    Freestyle also lists Efke PL25 and PL100, but they look to cost more than 4x5 film. I have a 3x4 Graphic on the shelf because I though it would be cool to get one in each format, but I have doubts as to whether it'll ever see any use.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a 3¼x4¼ Anniversary Speed graphic, so no Graflok back.


    Well I have an 1890's Quarter plate camera and I'm just making an adaptor to use a Gafles RH/10 back with it, so things can be done.

    people convert the 3¼x4¼ to take a sawn down 5x4 back as well, but it's shame to cannibalism a camera like the one in question here

    Ian
     
  12. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    That is an Anniversary Speed Graphic in 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 format. Most of these had Graphic backs(also called spring back). Only a few were retofitted with Graflok backs at a later date. It would be difficult to use this camera with most roll film backs. Value of this camera should be $100-150. The flash included is a Graflex flash that the St#r Wart fans want to get their hands on. Value is $125-150.

    Condition seems to be relatively good.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I would suggest going with a 4x5, and there are better deals out there. This kit has a lot of "stuff" that will never be used.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a collectors not users kit, for display.

    Ian
     
  15. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Ian,
    I would tend to agree, but I own one just like it and I use mine occasionally. A 4x5 Speed would be a much more practical choice.

    Dave
     
  16. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    3 1/4 x 4 1/4 film is still being made by Efke and Ilford make some during their ULF run if there is demand but it is very expensive.
    You can also cut down 4x5 film; something I do for my 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Graflex RB. Although I have a couple of boxes of the Efke stuff in the freezer.

    If I were you I would hold out for a 4x5 model unless you can get this at a much better price.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I will have 300 sheets of 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Ilford film delivered in September. You can buy some from me if you want. I just made the annual cutoff this year.

    Steve
     
  18. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Having owned my fair share of Graphics, I'd stay away from the 3x4's which I have owned and get a top rangefinder mounted 4x5. Pickup a choice lens as it all comes down to the lens, the body is just a box. Make sure the bellows is light tight. Also, I'd stay away from the Graflok backs which make the camera heavier. Shooting a rollfilm back is annoying after the first or second time so stick with film holders. There's plenty of bodies around so shop it and don't get caught up in the got to have it now bs. Also consider you choice in lenses. Compare your favorite FL in whatever format to a chart for 4x5 film. Remember, what one would consider a wide FL in 4x5 is still a long FL in 35mm so depth of field is shorter. Personally a 135-150 Fuji would be a nice all around cheaper lens. 210mm minimum for portraits. Don't acquire all that crap in a kit. A modern lens takes normal filters and most often will not need an expensive shutter CLA, and forget a flash.
     
  19. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    $400 is a lousy price for that camera.
    3x4 graphics go for much less than 4x5's, and you can easily get a 4x5 for less than $400.

    I'm sure someone here can set you up with a 4x5 graphic kit with lens, holders, etc, for about the same price.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Wayne, I would put top mounted range finders on the "do not buy" list as they have a nasty habit of "loosing their marbles". See postings on graflex.org

    Steve
     
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  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Half-wit :D Anyone with a brain would know if you put your marbles on the top range-finder they'll fall of when you move the camera :smile:

    Sorry Steve couldn't resist that.

    Although the top mounted range-finder was introduced in 1955 Graflex still old Graphics with side mounted range-finders one of ines early 60's.

    The top mounted range-finder was on the MPP MicroPress first, much earlier (not the same make range-finder) but the MicroPress is a Speed Graphic at heart - same front standard, focus rails, shutter, bellows, lens boards, shutter release, just a different wooden box, back & door made in the UK.

    Ian
     
  22. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I sure wish someone would find a quick and easy way to use standard Polaroid film in those cameras.
     
  23. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Etsy is not a good place for deals (yes I saw it there too)- unless the seller is really clueless. Look on EBay and KEH instead. KEH has some great deals on modern lens that make Ebay prices look laughable.
     
  24. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Haven't been over in Graflex.org for a long time, but I repair Graphics and there's nothing about them that I can't unless it's machine work, but parts are available. The reason I say top mounted too is that the side mounted just picks up one lens, and not well on both extremes, and alot of people strip it off anyways for weight savings. My Graphics are all stripped of side mounts which come in varying degrees of crapiness; Mirrors, stripped screws, corrosion.
    Btw, OP, I have a friend that I met recently that has a top mounted with 127mm with what seemed like good shutter speeds for sale. Pretty clean body, good leather. If interested I could call him and put you in touch.
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I figured to use the side range finder for one lens and the ground glass for any others. With either a wide angle or telephoto, I want to see exactly what is in the field of view and the details of the depth of field.

    Steve