Tom, I think that you misunderstood me. I am not talking about leaf shutters in general. I am talking about the particular leaf shutter that came with the Super Speed Graphic.
I have never used one. I have never checked the speed of one with my Calumet shutter speed tester. All I did was ask a question about it on Large Format Photography Forum.
What I learned from people I trust was that this particular shutter is unreliable and expensive to repair. It was just a bad design from the beginning and never as fast as claimed.
I'm a shooter, not a collecter, so i don't give a rats ass about resale value.
As large format goes, I am preferring either a Graphic View or a press camera. I've never had movements, so I won't miss them.
Quite apart from the condition of the shutter, I would love that everything else be in pristine condition, because it probably works better. A shutter CLA is no problem. I've just done that this spring on my 1948 Zeis Ikonta and it works beautifully.
I'm 55 and anything I buy will probably end up as part of my estate, so I don't give a shit about resale value.
i'll probably just give everything photographic to Laostyle17 if they ever decide to get married. I offered to pay for a week at Sandals or Hawaii, instead of a wedding:
So I guess I neither give a shit. nor a rats ass.
Given all the electronics and what I've heard is a fiddly shutter, I'd pay no more than $450 for one in good condition. For $600 I can pick up a used but still good condition field or monorail camera. I've seen very nice view cameras go for as much as that person wants for the graflex. If I wanted a portable LF camera, I'd buy a different graflex, probably a top rangefinder crown. If I wanted as much bang for my buck as possible, I'd be going for a used monorail for that $650.
Might be worth $650 to a collector. It isn't worth that to me as a user.
Looking closely, this one doesn't even seem to have the correct lens board or shutter on it, so while it may be in pristine condition, it sure isn't all original, and that would lower the collection value. So $650 is a bit much for even a collector, given the contents.
Discoman, the camera that the OP is looking at is the Super Graphic. It's the Super Speed Graphic that has the fiddly shutter.
I know it's a bit confusing. :)
You are right that you can get a much better deal on a Crown Graphic. I like the Super Graphic for the metal body and the rotating back. Of course the Crown's wooden bodies are very sturdy and a rotating back is unnecessary to a lot of people.
My point is that pristine later model Crowns go for an easy $500.00. To me it would be worth paying an extra $100.00 for the metal construction and the rotating back.
Yes, a 4x5 field or monorail would be more practical to a lot of people. I think that a Super Graphic would be great for outdoor portraiture. Robust, fast to set up, and the rotating back would be quicker then moving your tripod head.
The Super Graphic's rotating back is a poor reason to buy one instead of a Crown Graphic. This because the Crown has a tripod socket on the left side, under the strap. Original equipment straps unclip easily. This isn't just theory, its what I do to shoot my little Graphics in portrait orientation. They can be handheld in portrait orientation too, although IMO shooting handheld gives up the larger format's image quality advantage.
I've read this thread from the beginning, didn't see any mention of the Super's one huge -- IMO -- weakness relative to the Crown. Pacemaker Graphics (these came in two flavors, Pacemaker Speed Graphic with focal plane shutter, Pacemaker Crown Graphic without and with a shorter minimum flange-to-film distance) have linked inner and outer bed rails. This means that short lenses that focus to infinity with the front standard on the inner rails are easy to focus on a Pacemaker Graphic.
The Super Graphic's inner bed rails are fixed. This means that a lens short enough to focus to infinity with the front standard on the inner rails can be focused only by sliding the front standard. Clumsy, imprecise, vulnerable to small unintentional swings.
The Super's big advantage over Pacemakers is more movements.
OP, if you want a view camera get a proper view camera, not a Graphic. You should be able to get a decent 4x5 Cambo SC with international back for under $300. The difference between that price and the asking price for the Super you're looking at will buy a much better normal lens than is on the Super.
Great points, Dan!
The OP needs to do more research to determine what he needs for what he intends to shoot before buying anything. Like I said earlier, just because something is a good deal does not mean it's a good deal for you.
There is always a compromise in this situation, the best of both worlds. Graflex did make a view camera, and I thing it used a reversible, not a rotating back.
Graflex, Crown Graphic, and Speed Graphic can be used as view cameras or hand held. View cameras and monorail cameras cannot be used hand held. If one does not want to shoot hand held then get a view or monorail camera, but that does not make Graflex or Graphics bad cameras. Use the right tool for the job.
Originally Posted by ic-racer
Who is buying new nowadays?
Just a few professionals, and AFAIK the only models that are selling well are the small "architectural" cameras, like the Arca, the Silvestri, and their chinese counterparts, to be used with a digital back.
For any other type of photographic assignment, buying a new technical camera would be a nonsense, both practically and economically.
Let's face it, any professional uses digital, and most monorail equipments are sold as replacements/expansions/upgrades.
Anybody doing advertising work must spend his/her money in a new digital back, and in "digital" lenses.
If some money is left, a nice 6x9 monorail (for which there is a good choice on the second hand market) would be better, for digital use, than any other view camera.
I suspect that the majority of new expensive cameras, especially suited for film photography, are sold to rich amateurs with far more money than common sense.
BTW, modern cameras can be better engineered, but the mechanical quality of some vintage cameras (like a Linhof Bi System or a Sinar Norma) is simply not economically feasible anymore. And a Technika IV or V is almost as good as a brand new Technika.
A Technika V is still a little pricey, but the two monorails i mentioned can be had for a silly price, compared to the cost of a new model (which, i am sorry, i wouldn't exchange for my Bi System).
This is the market. Like it or not, we are in the digital era.
I am happy, as i can afford some nice equipments which were definitely out of my reach when i was younger.
Some were affordable even at that time: when i purchased my like-new Bi-System, 25 years ago, it was already cheap because there were newer models with yaw-free movements.
Very recently i have seen a complete outfit of the same camera, in spotless conditions, with two lenses and plenty of accessories, being sold for about 650 USD.
The same price for a basic camera like a Super Graphic seems a bit over-the-top for my taste. As always, YMMV.
You asked me where: on Ebay.
I am not following any Super Graphic, cause i am not interested, but i have seen a Pacemaker with Graflok back, and with a 135mm Xenar in Compur shutter, sold for about $290.
Not far from my $250 target, for a camera with NO lens!
With a little more of common sense, market price should be even lower (it was, a few years ago).
Unfortunately some buyers brought to large format the same atttude they had when they were buying their digital stuff.
LF needs a little patience, both when shooting pictures and when buying...
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