"Some photographers are the poets of purple mountains' majesty. Some are the poets of the placid suburbs. Weegee is the poet of small-timers who died face down on a city pavement at 3 a.m. in a pool of their own blood."
— Richard Lacayo, Photography: Dames! Stiffs! Mugs!, Time Magazine, January 12, 1998
Those should be worth at least six or seven million. . . ! $$
Or you could look at the other extreme. 3 or the 4 Graphics I have were given to me for free, $0.00.
I have found this to be true about old photography equipment there is always someone wanting a ridiculous amount of money for a item with the Buy Now/Bid option on Ebay and no ever bids because it over priced. Then there is the group of people that say you can have it for free, local pick up only. They just want the stuff gone out of their basement or garage. I recently scored 3 Alpa 35mm bodies with their fancy German and French lens, 3 LF Graphic cameras, Kowa MF system, enlarger, lights and more, just because I was willing to remove it from their property. The old lady said."Once it leaves it doesn't come back".
As I have started up doing film photography again my goal was to set up my darkroom using only free equipment. Now I have several enlargers, bunches of trays and developing tanks. I will most likely wait till I find someone worthy and gift them a darkroom set up and hopefully help keep film photography alive.
A Graphic is the perfect camera for a dunderhead like me to develop blank film. After 47 years since I got my first Instamatic 104, and all the photographic knowledge I have; it is my very nature of my knucklehead boob negligence to leave the rear shutter closed, or let it get that way unintentionally.
I am keeping my eye on the 'bay constantly for a cheap Crown Graphic. I don't even need it to have a lens and the bellows can be shot since I have practically new Crown Graphic bellows here that I will more likely use in my own build because I won't wait for years to start shooting 4x5. Unfortunately, even the moldy, lensless ones are quite highly priced and some even marketed as in working order. And living in the middle of nowhere means no Craigslist for me. I don't know if I have said it in this forum before but the analog gear aftermarket here is pretty much Smenas and Zenits going for hundreds of Euros. Sold by old ladies as relics from the Soviet occupation.
When I bought my first 4x5 Anniversary Speed through Ebay, some 5 or 6 years ago, there were a half dozen or so that sold the same day, virtually indistinguishable from one another by description. They varied in sales price from $75 to $450. The passion engendered in a bidding war sometimes makes people a bit crazy. Patience and shopping/prospecting locally seems to be the more fruitful path, at least around a city like Boston.
I purchased a 1955 Speed Graphic with the 135 mm standard lens and the Fresnel ground glass back one year ago for $209 shipped.
It is in excellent condition, all working and the shutters are accurate.
I use it with the RH/8 back and medium format lenses.
After a lifetime using slr, I find it difficult to operate especially hand held, I usually mess up some shots per roll by incorrectly sequencing shutter dark slide and film winder
here it is with a Computar 105 ~150 mm variable focal lens which is adapted via a home machined lens board