The Pacemaker Speed Camera
This is a hard to answer question. It depends as usual on offer and demand . Nowadays there still are many Graflex cameras laying around in a closet or else where, waiting to be discovered and to be auctioned on Ebay. Most sellers really do not know anything of these cameras; others do and will give an -as good as possible description- of the hardware. Never the less these cameras are mostly untested for the good working of the shutter and the light tightness of the bellows. Rangefinder, cam and mirrors should be present. The mirrors inside the rangefinder should be bright. Rangefinder coupling to follow the movement of the track should be in working order and calibrated on the specific lens. If you are a handy man, you can refurbish the camera by using your technical skill as well as some specific knowledge about these classic press cameras and photography in general. A detailed overhaul instruction book will be a very good help and when get stumped, it might be a good idea to look around on my technical pages to find a helpful tip.
To be sure that you're bidding on the camera you want to get without essential missing parts, you may check the list below to find out whether you want some accessories or not. For instance, a Focus- spot is not absolutely necessary, infinity stops are however indispensable. A good working focal plane shutter is essential when using barrel lenses, but doesn't has any effect, when using an in between the lens shutter up to 1/200 sec. and having no need for faster shutter times. Pinholes in the bellows can be easily fixed with first quality black tape. However, pinholes in the focal plane shutter would be a bigger problem, as they are not so easy to repair. Parts such as, brackets, strap, infinity stops, rangefinder, focusing scales, ground glass and complete back assemblies are quite often for sale on Ebay. However that will take a lot of time and effort. Apart from that, these parts are often disproportionately expensive, so it would be better to find out if the advertised Ebay Camera has all the facilities you want, just by checking this list.
Body overall condition leather, chrome trims and brackets plus straps.
Good working focal plane shutter.
Light tight bellows.
Front standard including good working frame finder.
Pop up peep sight.
Build in release button including release cable and release assembly next to the standard.
Kalart Rangefinder complete with cam,
including top cover for focus spot.
Rangefinder encircling Bracket.
Top mounted Rangefinder including battery door.
Tubular Finder including lens barrel parallax correction and mask.
Spring back or Graflok back including viewing hood with dark slide clips.
Fresnel screen and ground glass screen.
For use with the roll film holder the Graflok back is preferable. All other type of film holders can be used with the Spring back as well. However, the special construction of the Graflok back allows a solid, not movable connection between the holder and the camera back.
The newer Speed or Crown camera has been equipped with the Graphic Top Mounted Rangefinder rather than the earlier cameras which were equipped with a Kalart side mounted Rangefinder. The principal feature of the Graphic Rangefinder is that it is instantly adaptable to any of 9 standard lenses of different focal length. This is accomplished simply by changing a small cam at the time the lens is being changed. Another advantage is that the top mounted rangefinder has a build in focus spotlight for focusing in dimmed light. A nasty disadvantage is the fact that the cams are hard to get nowadays.
The side mounted Kalart Rangefinder can be used with lenses for different focal length without cams, but it needs some technical feeling to change the Kalart Rangefinder adjusting for another lens. Apart from that, it sure will take some time to finish that job. However, personally I still would prefer the side mounted rangefinder, because of its independency of cams.
I have often seen cameras as described above with no technical problems and cosmetically good looking, equipped with Graflok back and a good lens complete with flash, case and some other accessories for By It Now prices of 800 US$ and more. On the other hand I also noticed cameras, having had a very rough time during their active live and after that stored some where in a moist basement, auctioned for less than 100 US$. That would not be a problem for the handy man who enjoys working on the camera and loves spending much of his spare time on such a project. On my pages linked below, you'll find some interesting and helpful tips about restoring and repairing these cameras. However, if you just want to use the camera and your interest is basically to take pictures with it, you should not spend your precious time on repairing or trying to operate an unreliable camera. In that case I might be of any help, as occasionally I could have one for sale.
Restoring cameras and other technical stuff
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