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  1. #1
    ragc's Avatar
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    What's happening with the Speed Graphics?



    I just got my 4x5 1943 wartime black Anniversary Speed Graphic in perfect working condition with a Graphic back not two months ago for around $60.00.
    Now I look in eBay and the very few I find are being priced at more than ten times that amount! It's a very common camera and should be plentiful and cheap, as it was when I got mine! Has the supply run out? Is someone hoarding them (that was my plan..!)? What are LF newbies to use now?!

  2. #2
    David Brown's Avatar
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    I think that $60 and $600 are both extremes. They (should) go for somewhere in the middle. But Ebay is a "it depends" barometer of fair prices. You got lucky and got a bargain at $60. Others are uninformed (to put it nicely) and pay well over what something is worth.

  3. #3

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    It's Ebay. Some things go for too much. Some for not enough. I'm glancing at a lens that is already 80+% of the brand new price. This lens is likely 20 years old. If you add in a CLA plus shipping it's almost hit the brand new price. But it's got days to go still. Then some times you buy a camera and lens for half the value of the lens. If you start looking for sanity on Ebay you'll end up bald

    Plus the newbie factor I guess. Everybody used to suggest press cameras to start out with.

  4. #4
    ragc's Avatar
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    But... I am bald already! Hehe (I am)

    Yes, they still suggest press cameras for beginners. I really don't know how many stay in large format after lugging the press camera around. I sarted with a 5x7 Korona and fell in love with the process and the look of the wood. I still prefer 5x7 over 4x5, although I shoot both. The Anny I got so I could use my barrel lenses, and I am glad I found it at that price (less than a Packard shutter). It is a fantastic mechanism. I adjusted my Kalart for my 127mm Ektar and will be using it occasionally. As I said, I still prefer my much lighter woodies!

    As for the price, I know I got a good deal...I always do my best on eBay to get one. I agree $150.00 is a fair price for an Anny, but $900.00? (I saw one selling for that recently) Geez!

  5. #5
    Ole
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    I got my Anny for $56... And for the same reason, too. Add a 150 Tessar I happened to have lying around, a stack of lens boards and a small iris mount I found in a $40 box of miscellaneous "stuff" I bought for the nine cable releases that were also in it, and I have a great camera for just about any situation.

    I started with 5x7" too, but in my case it was a 13x18cm Linhof Technika. Comared to that even the 4x5" Carbon Infinity is lightweight - and so is the 8x10" Gandolfi!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #6
    ragc's Avatar
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    Ole, with that iris mount and the Anny's curtain shutter you are set! I know you have a bunch of lenses, so you must be in photo Valhalla!

  7. #7
    Ole
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    Yes, it's fun to switch from an ultra-sharp Zeiss Doppel-Amatar to a really funky Thompson casket set...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #8

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    If my B&J press camera had rear movements I think it would be a fair user camera. The problem with the press cameras is you out grow the feature set. OTOH if you can live with the features they do some things well. I wish my B&J took Linhof boards. I'd use it more.

  9. #9

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    I'm cornfused. You always have them who list prices way out of bounds for these cameras. They never get them. Something can be posted for 400 bucks all you want. The would be seller just pays the listing fee and hopes they find a sucker. I just looked at auctions ending today in LF 5x7 and under, searching on Graflex. 100 to 200 bucks for cameras with single lens only and had bids placed on them. A nice setup with two lens and case, lots of stuff to go with it, 305 bucks.

    Nothing out of the ordinary.

    You got a good deal at 60 dollars. It happens.

    Now try collecting something esoteric, like a Kalart Press Camera. You will see prices all over the place (not many I admit), and sometimes people get them. I have written to people asking them what pricing structure they use to ask 800 dollars for a non-working 3x4 press camera in only marginal shape.

    By the same token, I have one of the few working KPCs I picked up for a paltry 225.00.

    Old cameras are weird. Pick them up cheap when you can. Make outrageous offers to people who don't sell their overpriced jewels.

    tim in san jose
    Last edited by k_jupiter; 07-01-2007 at 01:57 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: speling of corse
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  10. #10
    ragc's Avatar
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    I told this story somewhere recently: Last year I bought an ultra-rare Carl Zeiss Jena Universal Palmos, in good working condition, for around $30.00. The camera is from the first year of manufacture, 1903, only 15 serial numbers after a presentation camera I saw auction for over $600.00. The eBay seller didn't know what he was selling; he advertised it as a B&J because someone had grafted a grey-painted wood 5x7 B&J back to it. I was the only bidder!

    I rebuilt the back (the original frame was there but had been modified to accept the B&J back) as a 4x5 (it was originally a 6x9, I believe) and put a nice Zeiss lens on a dial-set Compur on it, and took it out to take. It's built like a tank and weighs just as much. Otherwise I would use it a lot more.

    I've asked several people for information on the camera, including the Zeiss website people. It was probably made by Palmos for Zeiss. Strangely enough I have two Zeiss catalogs that feature the camera, but know of no other examples except for the $600.00 auction camera. It is not mentioned in any of the Zeiss collectors lists posted on the web.


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