New / Mint
Lets start out with a NEW, LIKE NEW,
MINT ++ camera. This is a 100 point camera
A. It will have perfect wood, no nicks or dents.
B. The metal parts have a brushed satin finish or on 1950s vintage cameras a bright nickel plated finish.
C. The rear extension gear racks have no wear in the slots and have been lubricated with the proper lube.
D. Everything moves smoothly The front extension, the rear extension, The rear turntable riding on the rear extension does not wobble more than 1/4 in back and forth.
E. The front swing unit moves side to side smoothly. The rising front panel is not too tight. It will hold a lens from sliding down even unlocked.
F. It is a Joy to use because it has been lubed correctly.
A good user
Poor condition Deardorffs that have been or are in daily studio use often have broken parts that are worked around. They can't spare the down time to fix it. Many are 40 years old and older. Some have had accessories screwed to the wood and there are modifications that are not original. The bed is often split on the glue joint and will only worsen unless repaired or replaced. I've seen these where they have had no lubrication at all.. . Lubed? Been to the desert?
The heart of the Deardorff Camera is the camera bed. This sits on the tripod either the Round Metal Bed plate (1952 on)
or on the wood bottom of the camera. MANY beds are split on the joints. This is bad. The damage is done if the bed has split on the rear edge. A split bed there will split the rear extension cross bar and do damage to the racks and focusing shoes. If the split is on the front, it causes the focusing shoes to become tight when moving the unit forward. The bed either needs replacing or reglued. Regluing is less expensive but time consuming. The bed is separated into the 4 pieces and rehydrated. ( 2 months )
The wood shrinks the greatest along the long edge of each triangle. The parts are then resized and reglued and clamped using the most modern glues. ( 1 month ) Then the clamps are released and the bed sits. 3 months. This is to see if it wants to warp or split. Many people put a bed plate on the bed to stabilize it. This only stabilizes the bed under the plate. It is not recomended to fix a split bed. The alternative is a new bed piece at 650.00. ( includes labor to install the other bed parts)