"Camera City View" by Seneca Camera - Complete, original boxed set

Discussion in '[Classifieds] For Sale' started by Todd Cranston-Cuebas, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Todd Cranston-Cuebas

    Todd Cranston-Cuebas Subscriber
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    At our church garage sale (proceeds to go to our Youth Group), we received a donation of a large collection of vintage photographic equipment. We are looking for offers for a complete, original boxed set for a "Camera City View" plate camera in very good condition. Comes with box, camera, extension plate, frames, original tripod, multiple lenses, etc. We had a dealer try to buy this for $125 US. Another dealer told us he was trying to take advantage of our lack of knowledge, so we thought we'd go straight to a community of knowledgeable camera enthusiasts. I don't have a way to include links to individual photos, but I am providing a link to my personal Dropbox site where I uploaded a lot of photos (Definitely not an auction site or sales site). I did upload a few photos with this ad.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Offers would also be very much welcome! I hope including the link to my Dropbox site just to give you a better look at what the box includes is acceptable: https://showcase.dropbox.com/s/Vintage-Camera-Package-for-Sale-Myv2fxP3mlMvBX6FvPX9d

    NOTE: Based on your suggestions, I have removed the Aero Ektar lens from this "kit" and will be selling it separately. The image of the Aero Ektar can be seen at the bottom of my Dropbox page. Please let me know if you have any questions. Camera City View - 1 - Edited.jpg
    Any advice, information about what we have here (we're really interested in learning about the camera!), and offers would help out our Youth Group and may be a great Christmas/Holiday present for someone in this group? :wink:

    BTW: We do have other vintage items for sale. I don't have those photos up on Dropbox yet but there are some sample photos on the link I provided.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018 at 5:57 PM
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    Have a look here, there's a catalogue section as well with quite a few Seneca catalogues. Generally they aren't worth a lot how much depends on the condition etc and there's wide variations, however a kit like you have might be of interest to a collector.

    The Aero Ektar is sort after it has nothing to do with the Seneca, it's on a Speed/Crown Graphic lens board. Maybe someone here from your area could take a look at everything and give you some advice.

    Ian
     
  3. jimjm

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    Todd -

    The camera is a Camera City View (version 1 or 2) made from 1907 to 1925, and looks to be in excellent shape. Measure the size of the ground glass on the back - it will be either 4x5", 5x7" or 8x10". If it's 4x5 or 5x7, the camera is worth maybe $200-300. If 8x10 (or larger) the camera is probably worth $400-500. This is the value of the camera alone. Here is a link to more info: http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/seneca.htm

    This camera is very similar to Eastman View cameras made around the same time period. These are still very usable, and commercial film and glass plates are still manufactured today. Don't let anyone tell you these are useless antiques that you "can't get film for anymore" and then try to lowball you. A lot of antique camera users would be interested in one that appears to be as clean as this one is.

    The brass lens is a Wollensak Vesta portrait lens, probably from about 1910-1920. Might be worth a few hundred, maybe more depending on condition. The Wollensak Velostigmat probably less than $100, also dependent on condition.
    The Aero Ektar is probably worth much more. I see current bids on eBay today around $300 for this same lens, and they're probably selling for close to $500. David Burnett recently shot the Olympics with this lens and a Speed Graphic, and probably contributed to the demand for this lens now.
    All the other bits and accessories like the film/plate holders are still valuable and worth some money. The holders go for about $20 each in good condition. If you are willing to sell things separately, you'll probably get over $1000. As a group, I wouldn't sell for less than $750, especially with that Aero Ektar lens. You may also want to try posting on the Large Format forum - definitely a lot of interested parties there.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. OP
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    Todd Cranston-Cuebas

    Todd Cranston-Cuebas Subscriber
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    Thank you so much for this information! We do have the 5x7 and the 4x5 backs. We also have one that is roughly 8 x 7 and has sliders on the back so you can expose quadrants when shooting. Not sure what that's called. Also, the Aero Ektar lens may not have been in the box with the rest of the gear. Everything else I know was in the box as it arrived.
     
  5. mitch brown

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    I have several of these cameras and they are very usable and I agree with JIMJm that you should ask for $750 plus if they are in the condition they seem to be.
    mitch
     
  6. Oren Grad

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    I would guess that the "native" format of the camera is whole plate (6 1/2" x 8 1/2"). The 5x7 and 4x5 backs, as you can see, are reducing backs. The value of the camera will be strongly affected by whether the bellows is light-tight - i.e., no cracks or holes. You can test that by extending the camera, removing the back and poking a flashlight inside.

    The lenses look pretty grimy in the pictures, though that may be affected by the lighting. Their value will be strongly affected by whether they have heavy internal haze and whether the shutters are working.

    Good luck!
     
  7. OP
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    Todd Cranston-Cuebas

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    The bellow are in excellent shape as far as I can tell. No cracks, openings, or holes. I didn't clean the lenses but they were wrapped in a soft cloth within the box. Basically, everything is in the condition it was when donated to our church. I really appreciate all of the help.
     
  8. mshchem

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    Neat. Just need to find the right new home. Lovely 'ol stuff :smile:
     
  9. OP
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    Todd Cranston-Cuebas

    Todd Cranston-Cuebas Subscriber
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    I truly appreciate your pointing me to the Large Format Forum but I was hoping that I could ask for a favor. Is anyone willing to post a link to this thread on that forum on my behalf? I joined the Large Format Forum but they have rules against posting things for sale until you've member for at least 30 days. I can wait, but I thought this might be a great Christmas present for the right camera enthusiast/professional. I'd really like to sell this to someone who would appreciate this camera.

    If someone is willing to do that, I would greatly appreciate it. If you do post the link, could you please update this thread so there won't be multiple posting?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  10. dirkfletcher

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    Gorgous camera, kinda sucks a dealer tried lowballing you! Best of luck with a sale!
     
  11. Sundowner

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    Sucks that you can't break it up; I would be interested in that Aero-Ektar. RADIATION!!!!!
     
  12. Ian Grant

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    Todd, do all the lens boards fit the Seneca, I know the Aero Ektar is on a Pacemaaker Speed/Crown Graphic lens board so doesn't - I'd suggest yo sell it separately as it's clearly not part of the kit. You'd raise more funds that way.

    To me the kit is the Seneca City View camera, backs, extension rail, tripod, film/plate holders etc, with the two decent Wollensak lenses, The brass Vesta Portrait lens and the Triple Convertible - Voltes Three Focus, The Other lenses would be a bonus. I have three 7x5 Seneca's they are nice cameras and a kit like you have is rarer these days.

    Ian
     
  13. Sundowner

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    The whole kit is very tempting, to be honest; I've been wanting to get a 5x7. Come to think of it, I'd be smarter to get that and skip the Aero.
     
  14. OP
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    Todd Cranston-Cuebas

    Todd Cranston-Cuebas Subscriber
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    Thanks... if someone wanted to make an offer for the camera plus the backs and the larger tripod, we'd certainly consider that. Totally open to selling the Aero Ektar separately. I can adjust the photos and make that happen especially if it doesn't belong (honestly, I was just guessing that it would go with the box although it was the one lens that was not originally in the box when it arrived). So... I think I'll adjust the kit and if someone wants the lens separately, please reach out.
     
  15. OP
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    Todd Cranston-Cuebas

    Todd Cranston-Cuebas Subscriber
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    Let me know what you'd want for the kit. I think I'm going to pull the Aero and sell that separately since others have said it's really not "part" of the 5 x 7 camera's normal equipment.
     
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