Question about selling Crown Graphic
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?
I would throw the lens in the river, and try to clean the rest of the camera.
Is it possible to buy another lens? I really would like this for myself if it could work. And I could read the manual.
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.
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.
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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:
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.
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.
I wouldn't be afraid of the camera (and mold) at all. Mold, like every other living organism, can be killed.
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.
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.
"One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind." - Dorothea Lange