View Full Version : Estimating value of gear for sale

6-Feb-2007, 08:10
I hope this is an appropriate forum for this question... :) Mods, feel free to move it, if not... If this is somehow an inappropriate thread, I apologize in advance! :)

I wondering if I can get some help estimating the value of some gear I'm intending to sell?? As I mentioned in my intro thread, I inherited a large amount of camera gear from my grandfather. I'm intending to sell several items that are either duplicates or extra gear, or are things that just aren't useful or sentimental to me. I have some ideas on the lenses, but if I'm nuts, it would help to know that. The cameras, I just have no idea. Any help would be appreciated - I realize that without pictures, this could be tough, but I haven't had time to take proper shots of them (I can do that, if it will help a bunch, and I'll need them to sell the items, of course....).

I've searched on eBay, KEH, etc, to try to get some ideas about value, but... hard to get a good idea of what's a fair sale price... Pointers to good sites to research on are definitely welcome :) I realize it might be easier to ship it all to KEH or something like that, but I feel like it might be worth doing some legwork and selling it myself. Proceeds will be used to fill in the holes in the kits I received....

Linhof Technika IV 4x5 w/ a Linhof branded Schneider Symmar 150/5.6 lens & matching rangefinder cam. Has a non-Linhof GG holder w/ folding metal hood. The lens appears to be convertible to a 265/12 (remove the rear element??). Camera is in good shape with expected wear - the chrome on the viewfinder shoe on top is flaking a little bit, there are a couple of minor dings on the corners, and the leather is in reasonable shape. Glass is clear and free from fungus, scratches, etc. I've guessed at $750-1000??

Linhof Master Technika 4x5 - no lens. This camera has a couple of issues, but otherwise is in good, workable shape. The bubble level on top was repaired using a non-Linhof level and epoxy - it looks normal from the outside, but looking inside the camera, its obvious. The bellows is toast. The leather is coming up in a couple of spots, and there are a couple of scuffs in the paint in the black areas, and general "brassing" (though its not brass...) in wear areas - levers for the Graflok backs, etc. I've guessed at $750 on this one, too??

Linhof 56x72 Super Rollex for 2x3 camera - a couple of scuffs on the corners, otherwise excellent condition. ???

Graflex Crown Graphic w/ a Graflex Optar 135/4.7 lens. Camera is in good shape, but is missing some things from the outside, like maybe a handle and/or flash bracket? It's a post 1955 camera, w/ top mounted Graflex rangefinder, and a Graflex back.

Graflex Speed Graphic - no lens. Exterior is in ok shape, considering this is an old camera. I believe this is a side handle, "pre-anniversary" model (due to the curved top viewfinder). The focal plane shutter appears to work properly. The handle is intact.

3 Graflex Series B cameras - I haven't examined these much, yet. Is there even a market for these, at this point? All three have lenses (I believe all three are Kodak Ektars of various lengths).

Nikkor SW 90/4.5 - lens barrel has a couple of small marks, but no scratches down to metal. Glass is in super shape. I guess EX condition? $500 ??

Nikkor W 180/5.6 - LN shape. $300 ??

Rodenstock Sironar 180/5.6 - missing original rear lens cap. Otherwise in LN condition. $300 ??

Schneider Xenar 135/4.7 on Graflex lens board - no caps, otherwise LN condition. ???

MIke Sherck
6-Feb-2007, 09:10
First, realize that dealers (any of them!) need to make a profit. They have overhead to cover -- rent, utilities, salaries, profit! -- so given the general decline in prices of large format equipment since the digital revolution, don't expect much from them. You're going to be lucky, I think, to realize half of their selling price. On the other hand, selling to a reputable dealer should be pretty simple -- send them the stuff and after a while, they'll send you a check.

Selling on E-bay is different: you could easily end up with more money than a dealer will give you, but you'll have to work for it. Taking photos, writing the advertisement copy, posting the auctions, answering questions, taking payment, packaging and shipping... you earn your money! But a well-written ad with good photos should maximize your selling prices. So, it's up to you.

What can you expect? It's difficult to say. Whatever was paid for the stuff long, long ago is irrelevant: times have changed. Prices are down. In many cases, 'way, way down. Unless you have something which happens to be something of a fad at the moment (for example, a Petzval formula lens,) auction history from the past 30 days is a fairly accurate guide, adjusted for variables. Personally, I feel that a well-written, appealing ad combined with good quality, clear photos and a low starting price are important to maximizing selling prices on E-bay, but there are many philosophies on how to sell there (and my wife has somewhat different ideas about the stuff she sells! She does all right but then so do I.)

It's important, I think, to take a wide view when researching prices. For example, if you look at auction histories you'll see that 180mm lenses, of whatever brands, aren't terribly popular and don't seem to command any kind of premium price. $300 might be a little optomistic but a particularly well written ad or great photos might help the cause.

Good luck! I wish I could help you with the values, but my wish list is a little different at the moment, so I haven't been tracking prices on the stuff you're selling.


Dave Parker
6-Feb-2007, 09:18
I would spend some time looking through the last 30 days worth of auctions on ebay, it will be a pretty good gauge as to what the majority of the market is willing to pay, of course retail stores will be asking a bit more, but you can be assured they are paying a bit let if they are buying, but in all reality, ebay is one of the better resources to gauge what something might sell for now a days...


6-Feb-2007, 09:24
I admit, I'm not very skilled w/ the eBay site. I'll dig some more :)