Post by larrywseale on Sept 28, 2012 13:04:34 GMT -5
I picked up a couple of old Auto Graflex cameras earlier in the week. The one I wanted for resale works & is in pretty good condition. The other one was an afterthought that I didn't pay much attention to - until this morning.
It's the bedless, fixed lens mount 4x5 Auto Graflex in lousy cosmetic condition & very dirty. It's complete & it actually works but I can't get an image on the screen so the mirror may be shot.
Here's the kicker - the lens is a Voightländer Heliar 6.5cm f4.5 in really good condition.
I'm retired & not really a collector, I mostly buy to resale, but I do have a little sense of history so it's crossed my mind to have the camera restored just because of the lens.
Perhaps the wrong forum but how much do you think it would cost for a good restoration? Parts aren't a problem because I always have the other one I could use or there are any number for sale on eBay for a couple of hundred or less.
The problem with just using the lens on the other camera - it's a folding bed 4x5 & takes a lens board plus the Kodak lens is too large for for the bedless camera.
Finally, how much is the Heliar actually worth? I found a 1903 ad & this lens was (wow) $45 back then. People are asking $1000 & up for the early 20th century Heliar lens - do they really sell at that price?
Post by luvantique on Sept 30, 2012 20:59:38 GMT -5
I doubt it's worth the trouble. First, I would very definitely not take apart a good camera to restore a junk camera. The Heliar has a spotty record. The right lens can bring $500 or more (I saw no $1000 asking prices for old versions), but far more went unsold with $300 asking prices (or less) than sold for more. For the record, and for my own part, I'm not sure what the attraction is. The only big Heliar I ever had was on an 8x10 studio camera, and it was quite possibly the worst optic I've ever owned. It would not focus an image at infinity wide open, but had to stopped down substantially, and then was still fuzzy. If it was supposed to be soft-focus, it abused that term horrendously.