Come on, don't you know everyone is a collector in need of that model to complete their collection and are willing to pay beyond top dollar to get it?
Check http://www.keh.com/ they usually have a few bodies for reasonable prices. $200 for a body only in good condition; $400 for a body with lens in shutter that may be in need of a CLA; $600 for a body with a lens in shutter that has been recently serviced and or some accessories.
A Crown Graphic Special came with a 135mm Xenar, had Special on the lens board lock, and sold for $20 less than a Crown with a 135mm Optar when new. Ebay sellers price the Crown Graphic Special significantly higher than the regular Crown. I am not clear on whether the Xenar is a lower preforming lens than the Optar (Wollensak) or if it was offered at a lower price to Graflex as a customer getting ploy or if it was less costly to produce and import.
I paid $70 or $80 for two Speed Graphics (from the US) about 6 years ago sold as parts cameras to make one good one, only problem was when they arrived one was pre-Anniversary the other Pacemaker, no parts at all are interchageable. It appeared to have been a distasterous purchase.
However the Pre-Anniversary was modified from new as a wide angle camera and I was able to fully restore it although I left of the leatherette, I rebuilt the shutter. No costs other than some shellac (french polish) and other paints.
The Pacemaker had no shutter it had been removed the bellows were rotten, the inner rails for the focus track badly damaged, I bought two new off ebay, recovered the body after filling in the cut out for the shutter controls, patched the belows using a thin invisible mend tape, and it now looks like a Crown Graphic.
I would rebuild more if I found them, however I'm currently making a new camera based on Speed Graphic parts I bought off the LF forum, essentially a new box wider to allow a 6x17 back, I'm usinga Super Graphic front standard modified to fit which gives me far better movements on the front. I'll be posting details once I get started.
Maybe I should sell the one I have.
1 Super Speed with case, flash,film holders
1 Super Speed w/lens
1 Crown Graphic in its original packaging
1 of the smaller sized 3 x4(?) also with case ,120 film back, film holders, flash,
One of these days I will have to take them out and see if everything works on them, maybe I could finance a trip to Europe off them.
Those should be worth at least six or seven million. . . ! $$
Originally Posted by NDKodak
Hi JohnRichard: The reason for the high prices -- although $1800 is excessive -- on a Speed + Aero Ektar are a) these lenses are getting hard to find, b) the lenses are currently much desired for their shallow DOF effects, and c) a fair amount of modification is needed to mount an Aero Ektar. Jo Lommen's informative website gives the details:
An example of Aero Ektar results:
The photographer David Burnett has used the Aero Ektar to great effect.
"I was able to fully restore it although I left of the leatherette"
Folmer and Schwing cameras made from 1890 through cameras made by Folmer Graphic to 1946 were covered with XXX Moroccan leather. Cameras made by Graflex from 1947 through 1973 are covered with leatherette (naugahyde).
Cameras made from 1890 through 1923? use brass hardware plated with .0005 inch silver. Cameras made after 1923? use brass hardware that is painted gray or black.
1890-1905 Folmer and Schwing Manufacturing Company
1905 purchased by Eastman Kodak
1907-1926 Folmer and Schwing Division Eastman Kodak Co.
1917-1926 Folmer-Century Division Eastman Kodak Co. but name plate may say Folmer and Schwing Division Eastman Kodak.
1926-1927 Folmer and Schwing Department Eastman Kodak Co.
1928-1944 Folmer Graflex
1945-1973 Graflex Inc.
Self owned, Division of General Precision Corp., Division of Singer Co.
This is a great point. I've bought almost all my used gear off of APUG, and have never had a problem...it supports a great website and a great community.
Originally Posted by mwdake
And I'll chime in for the Crown Graphic -- I got one with a working rangefinder and Schneider lens. Fantastic camera for travelling -- tough, compact and travels well. And yes, those 4x5 negatives are very sweet.
Picked up my 1957 Crown with 1953 Ektar 127/4.7 some years back for a couple hundred dollars. Is quite clean with no serious flaws. I think SGs are being jacked up in price due to the whole Aero-Ektar thing - which is of course yet another "you'll never need anything else!" rathole for people to get wrapped up in.
I've personally never had a need for anything other than a Crown. Lighter too.
The advantage of a Speed Graphic is that the focal plane shutter allows the use of interesting/funky lenses in barrel.
Maybe you better come to Europe first and sell them here. You would get much more for them.
Originally Posted by NDKodak