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geoffbillett
14-Apr-2011, 14:59
Hi all

Am getting older and haven't used this dear camera now for a number of years and I am thinking of selling it. Can anybody advise what's a ball park figure?.. Its approx 60 years old, I assume mahogony and is well used ( with a little split in the baseboard that hasn't changed in the 6 years or so Ive owned it. And also whats the best way to sell it? I assume Ebay!! I live in the UK.

Thanks for all your suggestions

ps I will keep my Gandolfi half plate with 5x7 back and Canham 7x5. Cant sell all the crown jewels :-)

Emil Schildt
15-Apr-2011, 10:20
pictures would be good....

a guy from Italy has twice tried to sell an 8x10 (older than the traditional, but with modern 8x10 back) on the bay for 1000$ without luck...

But Gandolfi rocks! So it should be possible to get a decent price....

I need pictures!

geoffbillett
16-Apr-2011, 00:59
Ok Pictures enclosed. Strange how the memory plays tricks. I havent looked at this camera for 2 years and in memory a split in the baseboaed when there is none. Bellows are fairly new. Condition of wood not too bad at all. And my affection for it returns. Needs a good clean....To sell or not to sell?? And best value?

Emil Schildt
16-Apr-2011, 02:53
nice!

I have a similar one (looks slightly different at the front).

I paid a LOT for that back in the early 90's.. (about 4500$....) but with several front plates - a nice lens in shutter - a 4x5 reducing back and a really sturdy travelling bag...

Do you have front plates?

I have seen Gandolfi's on the bay (and bought some - I have 6) and they tend to start/sell at about 1000$, whether it is 4x5 - 5x7 and lately the 8x10 that didn't sell...

Personally I think the 8x10 is worth more.... but how much I don't really know..

where are you located?
In the states the Deardorf seem to rule - and getting higher prices than Gandolfi (which I can't understand), but as the camera is European, then maybe it is held higher over here?

I'd love to have it, but I already have one, so I cant really justify that....

Emil Schildt
16-Apr-2011, 03:08
just noticed a mint Gandolfi 8x10 (with gandolfi tripod and two lenses) for sale in UK...

(could be mine, but isn't..)

asking price:Price: 3,495.00 / $5,717.82 !!! (that's steep I think....)

geoffbillett
16-Apr-2011, 07:17
Thanks for positive comments Gandolfi and the ball park figure.

I live in south west England, in a town called Taunton, between Bristol and Exeter. It is approx 150 miles from London.

I developed a consistent interest in monochrome photography early in my 20s and slowly worked my way up to 8x10 but never really mastered large format. I have got 8x10, 5x7 and 4x5 cameras and de vere 8x10 and 5x7 enlargers and tried really hard to develop the skills for 3-4 years but, where I was confident with medium format, large format is an entirely different paradigm. I work in mental health and this takes it out of me now I am older and the large format stuff went on the back burner. I went to a Tilmann Crane workshop on Orkney approx 5 years ago and it didnt work out particularly well either. I retire next March ( aged 55 ) and I am considering applying for the Documentary photography Degree Course at Newport in Wales next September where film shooting and developing/printing skills would definitely be encouraged. My son is currently on this course and he is encouraging me to apply.

I definitely want to return to large format work in some way. 8x10 might be too heavy though. I am explaining this to give some context as to the decision I need to make. I have also had 4 exhibitions of monochrome work on medium format in the 3 main art centres ( all different towns ) in Somerset, the last being of a pilgrimage from Seville to el Rocio in Andalucia shot on a Mamiya 6 2 years ago.

I have been concentrating on digital capture since then and am currently loving colour per se. I am developing a nascent website ( www.geoffreybillettphotography.com ) to reflect my travels and interests. Some monochrome stuff is on there too. When I retire it should be fully functional with work for sale. It just seems easier right now to get in front of a pc screen than climb into a darkroom though I have retained most of my darkroom gear, though am just selling a 3004 and 3010 expert drum on ebay.

Regarding the Gandolfi, all I have is what you see, plus a lens board made by Eddie Hill about 6 years ago. I went to his house ( where he had a little workshop attached which seemed to be the main place of manufacture/repair for the cameras) in a small village near Shaftsbury in Dorset and he was very courteous and made my lens board. Even then though there seemed little energy behind the Gandolfi brand and I got the sense of a dying marque. I have read that the exchange rate with the American markets was the reason for the decline but I also felt there was no advertising for Gandolfi of any sort at the time and Eddie was often difficult to get hold of due to other business interests. Other british cameras have succeeded ( eg Walker ) and of course now no more Gandolfi cameras are being produced but their website (not been really updated since I bought my Gandolfi ) says they still repair them. It strikes me as very sad.

I have not seen a Deardoff but cannot comment. I also have a black half plate Gandolfi with a 5x7 back bought 3-4 years ago. My investment ( like yours ) has been significant. I use modern lenses though ( Nikon and Fuji ) which have served me well. Of course selling the 8x10 will also mean possibly selling the enlarger and all the accessories ie 10 dds etc. And I do like using the 5x7 Canham ( lighter, more modern and easier to carry for the environmental/documentary landscapes i would like to shoot ) and it would seem sensible to focus on only 1 LF size. Decisions decisions!!

Ok enough of wandering conversations. A fair price would start at $1000 ( approx 650 - 700 pounds ), ebay is the obvious starting place ( though my original post has resulted in 2 pm enquiries ) and your advice is to value the camera ( as a photographic tool and piece of photographic history) and not give it away. Thank you very much for your comments.

I am also aware of your interesting, stimulating and challenging work and enjoy its painterly feel. Its been a pleasure having this discussion.

Geoff.

cdholden
16-Apr-2011, 08:18
I went to a Tilmann Crane workshop on Orkney approx 5 years ago and it didnt work out particularly well either.

If you don't mind me asking, why were the results of this workshop not beneficial? It looks like he'll be in Orkney again in June. I've never taken a formal photography related workshop, but any workshop I've ever done has given me some new information that made the time and effort worthwhile. I've contemplated signing up for one of Mr. Crane's workshops and would appreciate any insight/experience.

Chris

Steven Tribe
16-Apr-2011, 08:44
Could have been the wind and rain!
West of Scotland, Faroes, Orkney and Shetlands can be not suitable for outdoor work if the Atlantic depressions just roll in from the west.

Ole Tjugen
16-Apr-2011, 09:02
That looks just like my own Gandolfi 10x8" "Precision"! And it's a "Precision", not a "Traditional". The name was changed when Eddie Hill took over the brand, as he didn't feel a wooden camera could defend the old name. The Gandolfi brothers called it Precision, and from the way all the slots in the screw heads are perfectly aligned this is definitely made by the brothers.

I have an old 5x4" "Universal" too, and I can see why they named the new model "Precision". Oh - and I have a black 7x5" Traditional too. Great cameras, you won't find a better one.

E. von Hoegh
16-Apr-2011, 09:13
Goeff, that's a very very nice camera. Don't sell it, it's a piece of history parallel to the American Deardorff. Instead, send it to me and I will give it a loving home and sometimes make pictures with it. I'll pay the shipping. :)
Seriously, that's a lovely piece of work.

john biskupski
16-Apr-2011, 09:22
Geoff, obvious question, have you thought of posting it on the UK website www.lf-photo.org.uk? Or Apug? 10x8 Gandolfis have appeared for sale there on occasion, in the 1,000-1,200 range. For US market, that probably means the same in $$'s. Also, Eddie Hill at Gandolfi Cameras had a very good condition Traditional 10x8 with factory mod front swing which sold c. 1,800 last year. For USA based folk, these are still referred to as 10x8's over here in Europe, and not 8x10's. Old customs don't change here quickly.

John Powers
16-Apr-2011, 09:43
Geoff,

As a 71 year old I wish to register complaint that I feel insulted that you would lay claim at 54 to being “older”. You haven’t even entered the gate yet. With that in mind I would say that you have a beautiful camera, wonderful experience, and should not give up yet.

A thread you might look at is http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=10281&highlight=Jogger
Mine is the 12th post showing the baby jogger I use to carry either 8x10 or 7x17. By having a method to carry the camera and gear you can use your talent and the hobby you have enjoyed for many years to come. You may even turn it into a profitable second profession.

John

geoffbillett
17-Apr-2011, 13:40
Thanks for all your replies. In order :

Chris. Tilman and I didnt start very well. I arrived in a beat up old van in a stormy October week not particularly organised and pretty stressed, having driven 700 odd miles in 24 hours and needing to sleep rough in the van as i couldnt afford bed and breakfast.. At the first night critique where work is shown I presented a book of photographs I had personally financed and published ( I think still available on Amazon called From Earth to Air ) detailing documentary type shots of a nmber of trips to Andalucia, concentrating especially on gypsy lifestyle, flamenco and graveyards, and quoting extensively from the murdered poet Lorca. For some reason Tilman took exception to this book and was extremely critical, finding little redeeming features about it. I was quite shocked having paid fair money to join the workshop and receiving a tirade of criticism on my first night. There were only several others on the workshop and I think others were surpised too. I think, on reflection, Tilman realised that he had been somewhat overbearing and was really nice to me for the rest of the workshop. I think we ended up having some mutual respect but it did not start well. I certainly wouldnt like to get in his bad books.

Steven yes Orkney lived up to its reputation re the weather, but a wonderful and magical place, full of the haunting whispers of history. I would go back tomorrow if I had the chance ( and join Tilman there too !)

Ole, thanks for the wise up on the name. Interesting that Eddie changed the name out of some respect for his engineering background. Yes I was aware I was buying into photographic heritage with both the Traditional ( Precision ) and the half plate. I also bought a tripod too but it was ungainly heavy and impractical so sold it. How many Gandolfis have you got?

E von. Cool. I'll wrap it and send it tomorrow!! As I say I am aware of its heritage. The convenience and coldness of the digital age sometimes refracts ones vision and it needs to be restored from time to time.

John B thanks for the wise up re Apug. I used to be a paying member but have lapsed for 3-4 years. Might rejoin soon.

John P Sorry to you and other people above 50. I shouldn't categorise everybody with the same degree of lassitude and lack of stamina as I have. Mmmm food for thought. Keeping the 8x10 might extend my life by keeping me fitter. And the idea of a little wheeled buggy sounds ideal. I will also check that thread.

As I said earlier I have had private expressions of interest. I will explore those and it will come down to a final decision based on money I guess. The money will help fund a 35mm L lens so it will not be wasted. But the alternative cost appears to be a little bit of photographic history and better photographic karma.

Thanks for all your contributions.

Geoff

Ole Tjugen
17-Apr-2011, 13:50
Geoff, I have only the three Gandolfi's mentioned - and two tripods. I agree that the tripods are somewhat cumbersome, but due to weight and bulk I think it's cheaper to keep them than to sell one (or both)! The local market is a bit limited. On the other hand the tripods are extremely good at what they are made for, to keep the camera absolutely and perfectly steady.;)

John Powers
17-Apr-2011, 15:25
Thanks for all your replies. In order :
John P Sorry to you and other people above 50. I shouldn't categorise everybody with the same degree of lassitude and lack of stamina as I have. Mmmm food for thought. Keeping the 8x10 might extend my life by keeping me fitter. And the idea of a little wheeled buggy sounds ideal. I will also check that thread.

As I said earlier I have had private expressions of interest. I will explore those and it will come down to a final decision based on money I guess. The money will help fund a 35mm L lens so it will not be wasted. But the alternative cost appears to be a little bit of photographic history and better photographic karma.

Thanks for all your contributions.

Geoff

"same degree of lassitude and lack of stamina" A couple of Labrador Retrievers has helped with that for me. Get out, breath, hike, enjoy the beauty around us. Walk a few miles several times a week. All of a sudden you have stamina again.

John P

James B. McCourtney
18-Apr-2011, 12:01
Geoff - Just came on the forum for the first time today. Saw your post.

I went to Exeter College of Art and Medway College of Design in the late 60's and early 70's. Met with Fred Gandolfi and he custom built two formats for me - the 5x4 and the 10x8. Damn good cameras. I use my 10x8 often and would hate to see you give it up because of size. I'm sixty and still shooting with it.

Andrew Plume
19-Apr-2011, 00:49
Geoff

my few cents worth - do not sell - my view is that Gandolfi's will certainly not depreciate in value particularly in the format that you own

said 10x8 with two lenses which Emil mentioned is probably on the high side but the guys who are selling are fairly canny.................

and fwiw I've never really hankered after a Gandolfi as the movements are not as extensive as I would wish for - certainly unless Emil, Ole or John can put me right on this, I've always believed that there are no swings, which there are on some Deardorff's and swing is pretty important to me

regards

andrew

Ole Tjugen
19-Apr-2011, 03:12
Andrew, there is rear swing through the "slotted rails".

The front lensboard movements also allow a lot of movement, since you can apply lots of rise or shift without scrunching the bellows with short focal lengths.

If you really NEED more movements than a Gandolfi Traditional offers, then I think a monorail camera is your only choise.

Andrew Plume
19-Apr-2011, 05:54
Andrew, there is rear swing through the "slotted rails".

The front lensboard movements also allow a lot of movement, since you can apply lots of rise or shift without scrunching the bellows with short focal lengths.

If you really NEED more movements than a Gandolfi Traditional offers, then I think a monorail camera is your only choise.

thx Ole, grateful

andrew

tim o'brien
19-Apr-2011, 08:49
Funny we all go separate ways.
I am 54, been involved in photography for 35 years or so, mostly as a hobby... yet I am getting rid of all the smaller format items from my collection and keeping the V-8 Deardorff. It has 5x7 and 4x5 backs so I will still be covered, but for smaller formats, they just don't appeal. I have a fondness for 3x4 cameras but they never get taken out any more. The MF stuff is going away and the 135... digital makes image recording on 135 a non-starter.

You are as old as you feel. At 54 I have the most complex and interesting job I have ever had, have a GF I need to keep happy, am busy raising two teen age daughters, spend a fair amount of my time with my hobbies, and spend way too much time in airports. Look around. You only live once. At 64 you will regret the things you didn't do at 54. Not I. No Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda's for me.

Keep the damned 10x8 and take some pictures. There is a whole bunch of photography I am sure you have forgotten. Re-acquaint yourself with your art.

tim in san jose

Andrew Plume
19-Apr-2011, 09:21
..........Keep the damned 10x8 and take some pictures. There is a whole bunch of photography I am sure you have forgotten. Re-acquaint yourself with your art........


......and there's also the possibility of cropping to whole plate size plus down to 4x10 too


andrew

geoffbillett
19-Apr-2011, 11:24
Hi Tim

I have decided to sell the Gandolfi 8x10, my Ebony 4x5 and 8x10 Toyo studio. I will though maintain 2 7x5 cameras ( Gandolfi and Canham ). One will be for me and one will be for my son. It will just be easier to carry around and simpler to rationalise equipment.

I am selling only 3 out of 5 large format cameras. But the Gandolfi is the one with the most history and heritage and the loss I will feel the most.

But why am I justifying myself?

Hell Weston and Adams shot 6x6 when they were older!!

Get a life man :-)

Geoff

ps I have a girlfriend too :-)

Ole Tjugen
19-Apr-2011, 12:04
Or you could do it the other way - get a 5x7" back for the Gandolfi!

The 10x8" isn't that much larger than the 7x5" - I know, I have both. I also have 5x7" and 4x5" backs for the 10x8" camera. Great with a bit of extra size when I pop the 360mm Symmar on - besides, not many smaller cameras have lensboards large enough for a #5 Compound shutter!

Emil Schildt
19-Apr-2011, 12:42
Or you could do it the other way - get a 5x7" back for the Gandolfi!

The 10x8" isn't that much larger than the 7x5" - I know, I have both. I also have 5x7" and 4x5" backs for the 10x8" camera. Great with a bit of extra size when I pop the 360mm Symmar on - besides, not many smaller cameras have lensboards large enough for a #5 Compound shutter!

I agree, BUT the (my) Gandolfi 10x8 is much heavier than the 5x7!

So I understand that arguement. I bought the 5x7 for the same reason.....

Sal Santamaura
19-Apr-2011, 13:58
...I have an old 5x4" "Universal" too, and I can see why they named the new model "Precision". Oh - and I have a black 7x5" Traditional too...


...I also have 5x7" and 4x5" backs...I really admire you multilingual Europeans. :)

Ole Tjugen
19-Apr-2011, 14:58
Sal, I named the cameras by their given names, and the backs by their nominal film size.

To me, they would be 20x25cm, 13x18cm and 10x12.5cm...

geoffbillett
19-Apr-2011, 16:18
This is bizarre and is like men comparing their xxxx sizes.

There are other practical advantages to downsizing too. Film costs will be halved, paper and chemical costs will be less, framing costs will be less, costs of platinum and palladium learning will be less, taking a large format camera abroad will be easier, carrying it up mountains will be a possibility, using it on inclement days will be more possible.

Aesthetically the 5x7 size contact print is pleasing and if I want to enlarge the 5x7 enlarger will be smaller than the 8x10, giving more space to a currently overcrowded darkroom. Lenses are smaller and cheaper and plentiful. Changing slides in a changing bag is easier. Downsides are less film choices and darkslides are harder to come by. I have only used llford and Efke film and these remain available.

No the loss will be primarily emotional backed up by overwhelming practical advantages.

For a long time though I longed for an ULF camera but not now.

And as for chasing ones art, that is another matter independent of film and camera type and size. Chasing it is the dream, labouring for it is the nightmare. I am chasing it plenty currently shooting FF digital and exploring the joys of colour after a lifetime of monochrome. Life is very good.....

geoffbillett
19-Apr-2011, 16:20
PS Thank you Gandolfi for your comment. And I do deeply admire your art.

Emil Schildt
20-Apr-2011, 03:42
Downsides are less film choices and darkslides are harder to come by. I have only used llford and Efke film and these remain available.

Life is very good.....

Geoff: try Fomapan! get some 13x18 cassettes (easy on #bay - especially the german one), and use FOMA(100 iso).

Fine film! and much cheaper than Ilford.
I always use FOMA! 9x12 - 4x5" - 13x18 - 18x24 and 8x10"... saves a lot!!

"Life is very good....." - so true!

geoffbillett
21-Apr-2011, 05:52
Hi Everybody

Thank you all for your kind and considered input. I am not wholly surprised at the passion and interest generated; out of all my 'old' and randomly acquired kit it is this camera that provides me with something intangible which is close to what I perceive to be the true spirit of photography. Making a decision to sell it has been akin to Bilbo Baggins deciding to give up his ring; something that tears at the very fabric of the soul.

That a camera can have this impact is refreshing in an age where most things have a built in obsolescence and affiliations are often shallow and fleeting.

It is now on ebay at a reasonable price. It is a shame I will never get to experience Ole's 5 compound shutter, Andrew's suggestion of trying 4x10, and Tim's frenetic lifestyle is surely too much for me. I am sorry I upset John and it was great to hear of James' studies at Exeter university, just an hours drive from me. And Chris I really would recommend spending time with Tilman in Orkey, he is a great teacher and Orkney is stunning. Great to bring so many disparate people together. Lastly thanks to Gandolf who did really grasp what I was saying and I will try that film.

Lets now hope it sells; going through this again will be too much!!

Emil Schildt
21-Apr-2011, 07:36
It is now on ebay at a reasonable price.

you set your add as if you only sell in UK - which means it doesn't show on .com....

on purpose?

geoffbillett
21-Apr-2011, 13:30
Dear Gandolfi

Thank you for both messages. I'm pretty inexperienced in selling things. I mostly accumulate. I am more than happy to sell internationally if there was interest. I need to change something in ebay somewhere. I will try to search and find what I have to change but if anyone knows I would be grateful for the wise up.

Cheers
Geoff

geoffbillett
21-Apr-2011, 13:44
Postage updated. That was easy :-)

Emil Schildt
22-Apr-2011, 10:16
and sold!

that was quick!
congrats.

John Schneider
22-Apr-2011, 15:28
you set your add as if you only sell in UK - which means it doesn't show on .com....

on purpose?

Yep, I tried to snipe on the 3004 drum and my bid was refused :( because I'm outside the UK (and my bid was quite a bit more than the winning price). And, dang it, I actually had enough in my Paypal account to cover the total cost (a rare occurrence these days). :(

geoffbillett
23-Apr-2011, 05:01
Sorry John. There is a sharp learning curve to selling on ebay, and its so much easier to buy :D I am too parochial and must develop a more international perspective.

Yes sold. Quickly. I am offering to deliver the camera rather than risk posting - only London so it will be a nice drive up past Stonehenge - always a pleasure and I will take a flask and have a cup of tea there. In reality it will be almost as quick to deliver rather than spending 2-3 hours packing and waiting in a queue in some forlorn post office. Seems to have more merit to hand over custodionship face to face.

Well guys thanks for everything. Pity I can give you all a little cut but, well, I might be altruistic but I'm not stupid:D

You all take care

Geoff

Solliste13
24-Apr-2011, 06:53
wooh! I'm interested !

Andrew Plume
23-May-2011, 07:03
just noticed a mint Gandolfi 8x10 (with gandolfi tripod and two lenses) for sale in UK...

(could be mine, but isn't..)

asking price:Price: 3,495.00 / $5,717.82 !!! (that's steep I think....)


it's still unsold by mwclassic or at least it was when I saw it just over 24 hours ago - from what I could see it's in excellent shape but perhaps not mint

andrew