Well, I was bidding too. It didn't go very high--I'm surprised at that! The 4x5 version also ran/ended poorly.
In regard to the 8x10, there is a big difference between something being rare vs something highly collectible. When I spoke to the seller I was surprised to hear how high they had it priced (around $7K). I was interested in the camera but certainly not at any price like that. I forward notice of its sale on to a number of collector friends all of whom waved off the price as extremely high. I wonder if they'll reevaluate their thinking.
I had the impression that the 8x10 Gowlandlfex would be quite expensive but finding a ready buyer is the hard part. To just try to sell it outright in a week he might be doing well to get the $1000 bid he received, it will be a long time before anyone meets his $8K asking price. Perhaps a nouveau-riche Chinese collector will come along?
Too klunky to appeal to collectors, I think. And it's so unwieldy that its use-value is really narrowly restricted to a certain type of studio work. So unless they can find another pro who has an idea of how to monetize it, the price is likely to be set by amateurs who don't have a lot to spend and have gotten used to a very soft market.
That was my initial expectation as well but when I spoke with people who had either purchased one of these or had access to one for sale through private sale in the somewhat recent past the consensus was that they never went for much more then the price this auction ended at and this one isn't even a complete camera without the parallax correction bar which is actually a pretty important piece that determines a lot of the cameras value so I'm told.I had the impression that the 8x10 Gowlandlfex would be quite expensive
I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head.Too klunky to appeal to collectors, I think. And it's so unwieldy that its use-value is really narrowly restricted to a certain type of studio work. So unless they can find another pro who has an idea of how to monetize it, the price is likely to be set by amateurs who don't have a lot to spend and have gotten used to a very soft market.
Years ago I think somebody posted somewhere that Annie Leibovitz paid $10K for an 8x10 Gowlandflex and that may or may not be true, but it sounds like something a rich pretentious fashion photographer would do.
I've done a lot of 4x5 handheld shooting as well as used Rolleis for years and I'm not convinced that a large format TLR would be very advantageous. Physically I doubt anyone could manage critical focus holding it, and once it goes onto a stand then what is the point? I don't think you're going to "follow focus" any better than if you focus on the ground glass and pay attention to your subject.
However, this photo on Glennview got me excited ;-p
Maybe with a lot of practice you could make it work for you. But 8x10 would be so expensive to "practice" with.
The point is to be able to see the subject at the moment of exposure. As it stands, their target buyer is the person who's willing to pay a $6000+ premium for that. So does that person exist?