View Full Version : Reasonable price?

9-Mar-2005, 01:29
I'm looking to get into large format and, by chance, have been offered what could turn out to be quite a bargain. I need the help of someone who knows about this equipment to decide if it is or not please. The seller has basically said 'name your price', roughly, what would you estimated a reasonable price range in total for the following list? All used equipment but in near perfect condition.

Sinar F2
Sinar monorail extension
Sinar Fresnel Lens
Sinar Binocular reflex magnifier
Sinar Binocular light hood
Horseman wide angle bag bellows
Portable dark slide changing bag
17x (maybe more) Fidelity Elite 5x4 dark slides
2x 5x4 Polaroid backs
Schnieder 210mm f5.6 Apo/Symmar Lens + Lensboard
Schnieder 150mm f5.6 Apo/Symmar Lens + Lensboard
Nikkor 75mm f4.5 SW lens + Lensboard

Quite possibly more 'bits and pieces' thrown in too.

Now, I've been told to name my price but the seller did indicate that he would certainly be happy to accept somewhere around 1500 for the whole lot. Would this be an absolute bargain, reasonable or totally unreasonable?

Thanks for your time, I hope you are able to advise.


Dominique Cesari
9-Mar-2005, 02:18
A tentative pricing, assuming that everything is in mint condition or better :
Sinar F2 Sinar monorail extension Sinar Fresnel Lens 350
Sinar Binocular reflex magnifier 150
Sinar Binocular light hood 80
Horseman wide angle bag bellows 50
Portable dark slide changing bag 50 (depending on model)
17x (maybe more) Fidelity Elite 5x4 dark slides 5 each, 105
2x 5x4 Polaroid backs 40 each, 80
Schneider 210mm f5.6 Apo/Symmar Lens + Lensboard 300
Schneider 150mm f5.6 Apo/Symmar Lens + Lensboard 200
Nikkor 75mm f4.5 SW lens + Lensboard 400

So, 1765 for the total. 1500 seems good, but not a give-away price.
You may have a look at Teamwork used list to compare :
http://www.teamworkphoto.co.uk/used.html (their prices are ex-VAT)

jerry brodkey
9-Mar-2005, 05:30
It could be a bargain but it could be a dog if you don't like LF or the camera. You should really start with the basics and ask yourself what you want to photograph and why you want to do LF. If what you want is to hike around taking pictures it might be better and cheaper going with a flatbed camera and less of the extra things like reflex binocular viewers. Also what are you going to do with the negatives when you get them? Do you have a darkroom or will you depend on commercial processing. These are the kinds of questions that need to be answered before deciding on a particular camera if you have never done large format before.

9-Mar-2005, 06:17
Thanks very much for your replies. Dominique, your breakdown of prices was very helpful.

Jerald, thanks for your reply. You're correct, it's one huge beast! My intention is mainly Landscape photography, I already use 35mm but am very taken by the idea of LF and would enjoy learning the new techniques. I understand that it's not exactly 'portable' but I do live on a small island and lugging it down to a beach or similar will be about the extent of my 'hiking'. I am not exclusively landscape, I also experiment indoors when I can though of course, I do not have access to any kind of real studio. The incredible quality and possibilities for huge enlargement are my primary interests next to the curiosity of learning a whole new technique. I believe if I can put a good offer in on this equipment, and eventually find its bulk to be a hinderance, I would be able to purchase a cheap field camera for example, and use the lenses and some other equipment I get in this kit on it. My question is not so much 'should I try LF photography?' - I have already decided I'd like to. My question really is 'Is this equipment worth that amount (or quite possibly a lower offer) of money or would it be a rip-off?'. As long as it's a good deal, I'm happy. If the worst happens and for some reason I decide I don't want it, I could always sell it on with minimal loss. I honestly cannot see it happening though, I'm very keen!

I will not be developing myself. I will be using predominantly colour transparency film which I will need to have Lab processed. Scans will also be made as well as traditional lab-made prints.

Thanks again for your help.


David F. Stein
9-Mar-2005, 06:31
Maybe you could arrange a trial. It is also much easier for someone to be able to sell such a full kit at one fell swoop and that should earn you a discount. While the items are resellable, a lot of photography material of all types is, regrettably, depreciating with each year. GOOD LUCK.

Ted Harris
9-Mar-2005, 07:14
A few further thoughts. While it is a reasonably complete kit it is also way more than you need to start out. The point here is that it includes some items that you will want to question eveen after you have decided thhat LF could be right for you. Chief among them is the 75mm lens which, while a beautiful lens, is also a fairly seldom used piece of glass unless you already know that you will be doing architectural work or have a penchant for sweeping landscapes. Further, if you don't need that lens then you don' need the bag (wide angle) bellows. Then we come to the Polaroid holders .... you need to know the exact model numbers. Any variety of 545 (e.g. 545, 545i or 545 pro) is fine. The model 500 holder is much older and only works with modern sheet film with some care and caution and is not worth very much. There are also a variety of pack film holders available; the one that holds 4x5 pack film is the model 550 (think I have that right) and is ok, the model that holds smaller pack films is the 405 and it is ok too but be warned that Polaroid may have discontinued the film that is used in this holder.

Just a ffew things to think about and the conclusion, of course, is that while the price may be ok it also could easily be an expenditure of some 500 to 1000 GBP that you could spend on other items that will be more used .... simply saying that it is not always wise to start off with an entire kit of this sort unless you know that you really need/want everything in it or it is a real bargain which this is not.

9-Mar-2005, 11:44
Hey Dan, Just a viewpoint of someone who has done the same thing from almost the same direction. I too do mainly landscape, wanting a larger neg etc. I was offered an arca swiss at a great price, dark slides 3 lenses polaroid 545 back etc. I was over the moon when it first came but in just 5 months have outgrown it, in that I really struggle to get it into the hills( I live in Scotland) and so want something a little lighter. I would echo what someone else here said in making sure you know what you want to do with it...my Arca was a great price and it works great, stiff, lots of movement etc. Problem is I want to replace it as I can't always face putting the thing on my back? given hindsight I would have looked around a little more and maybe spent a little more to get what I wanted/needed. I am currently coveting a Shen Hao 54, 499 at Robert White, a lens and some film holders bought with, may not be that much more. Just a thought.