Found this thread...I must say that this is the first time I've ever become notorious over an eBay purchase.
I can report that it is indeed a beauty. Some minor scuffing on the exterior, looks like new on the inside. The locking and sliding mechanisms are so intuitive compared to the Horesman LE I've been using (which I consider well designed in terms of movements).
Yes, the seller only had ten ratings, but it was quite clear that he was a professional photographer, and he answered all my questions to my satisfaction. So, "brave," maybe a bit, but not really.
As for bidding it up from $1,800 to 4,800....you gotta be kidding me. That price jump was more likely a product of Jerald saying "I hate it when people do this when I am thinking of buying something, so I will return the favor" which started this thread and ended up having 500+ people looking at the auction
Despite this possible inflationary result, I do feel comfortable with the closing price....when in the heck would I ever be able to get a hold of this camera again?
It suits my needs to a "T." Lightweight considering its sturdiness, integrated clamshell, and range of movements. Good for my expeditions and back-country work. I can't think of another camera that fits my needs as much.
Ole, thanks for all your posts...they showed up on Google and provided me some decent background (along with Ed's comments). What's you're opinion as to how well it holds up to wind relative to other 4x5s with similar range of movements?