View Full Version : Deardorff 4x5 question

12-Jan-2015, 19:40
I am just getting into the large format world and I would like to purchase a vintage Deardorff 4x5 or 5x7/4x5 view camera. I am having difficulty trying to find a good source other than Ebay for these cameras. Does anyone within the community here know of a good website or reputable dealer that I can turn to to try and find one. I want to use this camera so it needs to be in very good condition and in working order. Any help or advice that you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

12-Jan-2015, 19:51
Your best source will probably be to wait until someone on this forum has one available. Many of the Ebay cameras are sold by people who know little about these cameras so they can't tell you if they have any issues. At least many on this forum are photographers, so they should be familiar with their cameras. I have two 4x5 Specials, one from 1952 and one from 1987 and they are almost indistinguishable. Good luck. L

12-Jan-2015, 19:54
Thank you for this advice. I kind of thought that might be the case. The few I have seen on Ebay were from people who really didn't know what they had. I guess I will just keep trying here and searching the for sale section. I just thought that there was a dealer out there someplace that would have some. I envy you with two of them!! Thanks for your help.

Alan Gales
12-Jan-2015, 20:20
You could post a WTB or want to buy in the for sale section on this forum.

Good luck to you!

12-Jan-2015, 20:59
Thank you Alan. I just figured out how to domjust that! I will what happens. Thank you.

austin granger
12-Jan-2015, 21:14
Alan beat me to it, but I would second his recommendation to post a WTB here on the forum. I did the same a few years ago and ended up with a very nice Deardorff Special that I have been using ever since. There are quite a few of them out there.

Joe Smigiel
12-Jan-2015, 21:19
PM sent re: older Deardorff 5x7 (http://smieglitz.tumblr.com/#) NFS model I'd consider selling.

12-Jan-2015, 21:22
FYI 1952 Serial #122 on left, 1987 Serial # 220X on right. The older camera has the original chromed brass knobs, the newer one original aluminum and is inscribed "Made Expressively for My Name 8/1/87" I bought this camera new in 1987 from Central Camera in Chicago for $1450 and had Jack inscribe it. It was assembled by Ken Hough. Ken refinished the 1952 one for me in 1992. He replated the parts but kept the original knobs. Both cameras have front swings.


Do a search on the forum and it will give you an idea of what cameras have sold for in the forum and when. It will help you evaluate cameras and prices. L

12-Jan-2015, 21:35
Very cool. I really love the look and design of these cameras. Thank you for sharing.

12-Jan-2015, 21:37
Thanks Austin. I appreciate it. This is big investment and I have no clue what I am doing so buying one from fellow photographer is a good idea I think. Thanks for the tip.

Alan Gales
12-Jan-2015, 22:20
With a Deardorff make sure that the 4 sections of the wooden bottom of the camera are not separating. It's an expensive repair.

With any camera make sure the bellows are light tight and in good shape. You also want something that is in good working condition where all movements work smooth like they should and all locks lock down tight.