yes, a speed or crown graphic (difference: crown lacks rear shutter you never use anyway) is an excellent beginner choice. Cheap -- under $300 with a good lens and shutter, built like a tank (finest straight grain mahogany under that leather cover) and has enough swings and tilts for a beginner to play with.
also readily marketable if you decide you don't like it after all.
advantages: build like a brick and has three separate viewing systems so the camera is actually hand-holdable. virtually indestructable. Old Ektar lenses on most of them are really really good glass. Maybe not as good as modern new lenses, but some of the greatest photos of the 1940s and 1950s were shot with those old lenses. Really, they're very good.
bad points -- it's isn't ideal for landscape but it will do in a pinch -- consider it an investment in learning -- if after 6 months you decide you like 4 by 5 work, and feel cramped by the graphic, sell it for what you paid for it and buy something better.
Last edited by summicron1; 01-29-2013 at 07:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.