Old view cameras aren't, for the most part, directly comparable to old 35mm or medium format cameras. View cameras are much simpler in construction, for one thing, and the parts are carpentry-precise, not machinist-precise. Just about the only part that decays over time is the bellows; you ideally want one without holes in it. New bellows can be bought and installed by anyone with rudimentary household skills. Think of it as buying old furniture instead of an old mechanical camera.

Lenses are another story; glass can be chipped or scratched, mechanical shutters can be broken. Even a working shutter can be wildly inaccurate in time. Fortunately there are a lot of experienced repair folks who can fix that stuff for you at reasonable prices.

Take the time to get informed about cameras and equipment and be a smart buyer; you'll find that large format is not as expensive or as intimidating as some may fear.