View Full Version : advice on a Cambo 4x5 SC

Greg Hill
15-Sep-2009, 08:36
Iím getting back into photography and need some advice on an offer made for a 4x5 Cambo sc.
This offer is for the camera, two lens boards, one with a 210mm len, 10 film holders, cable release, focusing lube, focusing cloth, and case.
I had been on the forum only a few days so the offer did not come from anyone thatís on the forum.
The asking price of $950.sounds a little high to me for a twenty year old student camera, but like I said Iím getting back into Photography.

Thanks for any help you can give.

15-Sep-2009, 08:41
I would suggest
camera 150
lens boards 50
film holders 50
unknown lens and shutter 200
extras 100
Total 550 + how nice it is

15-Sep-2009, 08:49
It's impossible to say without more specifics, as cowanw alludes to and I agree with his pricing (for a "good deal"). Prices have (for the most part) been dropping since 09/11/2001 with the most recent economic crash really taking its toll. Unless the system you listed is REALLY NICE I don't think it's worth their asking price... not in today's depressed market. That said... it MIGHT be worth it. Without specifics...?

brian mcweeney
15-Sep-2009, 09:08
I have a clean Cambo NX 4x5 for sale for $225. That leaves you $725 to buy a lens and some other stuff. I think $950 is a little high for the gear you mentioned.

15-Sep-2009, 09:25
Cambo's are pretty common (I have three.) The value of film holders varies greatly with age and condition.

Lens prices have dropped, particularly for common 4x5 lenses as opposed to those that cover 8x10 or larger. I just bought a very nice multi-coated 210mm Caltar II S (Schneider Symmar S) in a Copal shutter for $110, and a 150mm G-Claron apparently remounted into a Polaroid shutter for $66. I might consider those two prices to be exceptionally low, but the lens in the set you are looking at would have to be something special to value it much over $250.

Dan Fromm
15-Sep-2009, 09:46
Look at prices of goods sold on eBay to get an idea of what the going rates for the bits you've been offered are. Look at prices asked by keh.com; I have no idea whether they have a 4x5 SC, but looking is cheap. Then try to estimate how long it will take to get what you need via eBay or direct from KEH; don't fixate on what's in the package you've been offered, think about what you need.

Understand that buying via eBay can take a while.

Also, don't fixate on a Cambo, be it an SC or something newer. If what you're looking for is a 4x5 view camera with enough movements there are less expensive ones around.

In my experience, claims made on bulletin boards about prices at which one can buy right now are biased downwards, claims about prices for which one can sell are biased upwards.

15-Sep-2009, 09:52
I always check out www.KEH.com to check on prices for gear.

15-Sep-2009, 11:11
Be wary of the retail operations... they've invested in their inventory just like the rest of us but they're less likely to let things go at "current" market value if it's as depressed as it is right now. Caveat emptor...

15-Sep-2009, 13:00
KEH.com is the place to price used gear. Compare shop using their prices then decide if the local gear is priced right. I have found that e bay is always higher in cost. I have seen recent local postings, Boston Area, for a similar camera on Craig's list for as much as $1400 without to much additional gear (it was listed as in Excellent shape). Over time these usually come down in price! I bought my Cambo SC with a Fuji 210 f5.6 lens for $400 here in Boston last year so shop around for the best deal. I have found used film holders locally for $10 each if purchased in quantity.

15-Sep-2009, 14:12
I have bought and sold a number of items over the past year or so. I agree with the above posts that the price is high and KEH prices are fair.

On the other hand, if you really want that particular camera and lens, and the rest of the kit is in good shape, and it saves you the time/effort/shipping costs of piecemeal purchases, then maybe it is reasonable. Also, 210 mm lenses vary in value, but I doubt that a Cambo SC comes with an Apo-Sironar S which would justify the current price. But the 210 offered is probably not in that league.

15-Sep-2009, 14:57
KEH.com is the place to price used gear.

Yes, but only when the market is relatively smooth. In volatile times there is no source, especially a retail operation, that one can trust for pricing. It's more accurate to know how much cash one person will hand you for what you've got... horse trading. Case in point... look at HOW LONG those retailers must hold onto their items beofre they sell... look at the prices on the forum classifieds... they've crashed.

Paul Ewins
15-Sep-2009, 16:11
The point about KEH is that they are usually the cheapest of the dealers and offer a return guarantee so their price is a no-brainer "never pay more than this" when looking at equipment offered on eBay or privately.

FWIW, I'd expect to pay $300 - $400 for a 4x5 Cambo with a 210 lens if everything was working well. To buy this stuff from KEH would cost around $500 - $600 in like new condition with a good modern lens.

15-Sep-2009, 19:13
One note about Keh. I have purchased several items from them and found their bargain ratings for lenses to be superior in quantity. This does not apply to camera bodies and only to lenses.

Rodney Polden
16-Sep-2009, 12:51
You can find great buys on eeb-eh if you're patient. Research it, check the completed listings prices and be ready to pick up the complete kits of camera equipment that sometimes appear.

As an example, I bought a Cambo SC in a fitted case with both regular and bag bellows, plus a 90 Super Angulon (late 60's model) and a recent mint MC 210 Symmar-S, polaroid back, compendium lens shade, holders, meter and cable release. That lot went for under $600.

Can't beat the bay, but you need to ask the questions in advance, know what you're looking for, be patient and then be ready. It's the last minute that counts.

16-Sep-2009, 14:04
^^^ Mmm... sage advice from a true watcher of the feeBay.