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Cameras/Old Camera - 1940's Ciroflex

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Question
What is the value of a Kodak Ciro Flex 85mm Model E

         Made by Wollensak Rochester

Answer
Hello John,

The Ciroflex wasn't made by Kodak, no relation at all, and it wasn't made by Wollensak either, who was a lens manufacturer. The Ciroflex was made by Ciro Cameras, Inc., of Ohio. It's a rather cheaply designed twin-lens-reflex camera, produced in the late 1940's, for 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inch exposures on #120 roll film. Very common, and there isn't much to commend it. However, the past couple of years it's become something of a "cult" camera, and although the market is a bit volatile, I've seen truly excellent working examples of the later versions with better lenses and shutters (the E and F) selling from as low as $60 to a high of about $120. There's no reasonable explanation for it, a few years ago you couldn't give away one of these beasts for free, but lately a new wave of camera collectors has been buying them and paying good prices. To be fair, I've used a couple examples of the Ciroflex long ago, just out of curiosity, and the results were quite nice. There are zillions of them floating around, so if your intention is to sell, do it now before the market saturates.

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization

silver@photographyhistory.com  

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David Silver

Expertise

I'm an expert on all types of antique, classic, and contemporary cameras, as well as the general history of photography. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm. I can identify and appraise them, explain how they work, and offer insights on their restoration and care. I can also provide historical background on vintage cameras and equipment, and guidelines on their purchase and sale.

Experience

I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for nearly 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

http://www.photographyhistory.com


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