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  1. #1

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    My amazing Craigslist Speed Graphic find (sorry, pic heavy)

    I've been looking for a Speed Graphic off and on for a few months, taking my time looking for a good one at a good price while reading and learning more about them. I've only checked Craigslist once or twice and there were never any local, just ads up in Los Angeles for them but I was poking around on eBay and a few other sites and figured I'd check CL too. I'm so glad I did, two hours before I checked someone posted an ad for one local to me listed as being nearly new in box. I contacted him immediately and we made an appointment to meet so he could show me the camera.

    I went over to his studio this morning to take a look and there was no way I wasn't walking out with this. The Speed was in it's original box with all of the original paperwork and (for some odd reason) what looks like a brand new baby Speed film holder (this is a 4x5 SG) and came with a box of three brand new 4x5 holders, a brand new Graflite Reflector, a flash (not new) and a some bulbs (both blue and clear).

    The focal plane shutter works smoothly at all speeds and looks/sounds accurate but I'll test it later. The lens is a Kodak 127mm f4.7 in a Syncro-Compur shutter, it's going to need a CLA because it's sticky in all of the slow speeds.

    He said he's owned it for about 12-13 years and got it from a friend who worked at a small college. The college was cleaning out old storerooms and throwing everything away when they found a couple of boxes of photo equipment. His friend knew he was a photographer and called him and asked if he wanted any of it. He said he went over and took a look but most of it was junk except for the Speed. He only took it and the accessories here and has owned it since. It appeared to be brand new when he got it and he's never actually used it other than to unpack it and fire the shutter on the lens to see if it worked.

    Sorry, not the greatest photos, I was excitedly opening and taking quick shots when I got home. I can't wait to get this out and give it a go!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20140410_ND4_0145.jpg   20140410_ND4_0146.jpg   20140410_ND4_0147.jpg   20140410_ND4_0148.jpg   20140410_ND4_0149.jpg  

    20140410_ND4_0150.jpg   20140410_ND4_0151.jpg   20140410_ND4_0152.jpg   20140410_ND4_0153.jpg   20140410_ND4_0154.jpg  

    20140410_ND4_0155.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Mar 2011
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    Portland, OR
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    Nice score!

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Monroe, WA, USA
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    I really, really understand!

    My Crown is the same vintage and was a similar deal. After purchasing a semi-beater just to confirm I'd like it, I waited for a nice one. It magically appeared on That Auction Site in the form of an original owner sale. He had bought it new for his son, who used it once or twice, then decided it wasn't for him. He wanted a Hasselblad instead. So it got packed up and sat in a closet just waiting for me.

    Everything on it is still shiny brand new and silky smooth. I had the Optar shutter serviced by Carol Flutot, who said it was one of the cleanest low mileage ones she had ever seen. I now treat this camera like it's made of gold. If it ever gets a scratch I'll just cry.

    It's the best out-in-the-open street camera you'll ever use. Strangers just love it. People still sometimes get upset, but only if I don't approach them for their picture. Use it with the flashbulbs, and eager worshipful subjects will appear out of nowhere and do whatever you ask...



    I'm now hoping against hope that the New55 Film people can actually make that happen. I've pledged, and subsequently upped my pledge amount. I've also purchased a near-mint Polaroid 545 holder as a sign of cosmic faith. I can't imagine a more unique street portrait setup.

    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  4. #4

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    Sep 2007
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    Richmond VA.
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    A great find!

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Axle's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    Milton, ON
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    Sweet Score! That Ektar Lens will not let you down.

    Lens is from '56 if you care :P
    Canadian Correspondent for the Film Photography Podcast
    A bi-monthly podcast for people who love to shoot film!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axle View Post
    Sweet Score! That Ektar Lens will not let you down.

    Lens is from '56 if you care :P
    I'm going to have to get it repaired, anything under 1/25 the shutter sticks open. The glass is pristine so I'll definitely have it repaired or the shutter replaced.

  7. #7
    shutterfinger's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    Mid Peninsula, Ca.
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    What is the serial number of the camera?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by shutterfinger View Post
    What is the serial number of the camera?
    926533

  9. #9
    shutterfinger's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    926533 is #3 of an order of 2200 listed to be built in late August 1957. Possibly made September to November 1957, lens is most likely original.

    While the FPS may be running smoothly it would be a good idea to inject some fresh medium weight graphite grease into the hole in the center of the curtain roller bushings or remove the bushings, clean them out, lube, and reinstall them. They are the chrome things on the left (handle) side of the body, they unscrew from the body.
    Service manual: http://www.southbristolviews.com/pic...vicemanual.pdf
    Last edited by shutterfinger; 04-10-2014 at 03:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Great find! You really lucked out! Finds like these are so rare, it's nice to see the original packaging. Happy shooting!

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