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Ulophot
31-May-2017, 17:18
My commercial days having concluded, I would like to replace my veteran Omega 45F view camera with an inexpensive, used 4x5 field camera, since I no longer need wide-angle and bag bellows capabilities or considerable movements. I do want portability, convenience, and a lighter load. I have no experience with the folding cameras, however, and the one feature I have used a great deal in portraiture (my primary subject going forward), is the raised back/dropped front combination, so that I can place the lens at eye level when desired and recompose the subject upwards in the frame. It seems to me that I may use a good 3" of displacementwith the camera level, a 210mm (my one lens now), and subjects typically 5.5-8 ft from the camera.

Field cameras lacking (generally, at least) rising backs, I recognize that on such a camera without a drop bed and, say, a maximum 1" lens fall, tilting the camera forward and bringing the back and lens to perpendicular again adds effective back rise. My concern is whether the backward tilt will be adequate to restore perpendicularity. I'm no geometer. Some models have backward tilt of only 15 degrees. Perhaps someone with experience with this kind of work (pretty straightforward, traditional portraiture) would share whether this is likely to be a restriction, given the general parameters cited above. I don't have ready access to tryout models at present.

Much obliged.

Huub
1-Jun-2017, 01:22
You should have a look at the Shen Hao HZXIIA. With 37mm front rise, 32mm front fall and 45mm back rise and a weight of 2.4 kg it fits nicely in your list of specifactions. From personal experience i can tell you that it is well build, capable and beautiful camara.

Jim Jones
1-Jun-2017, 07:47
The Pacemaker series of Speed Graphic offers a drop bed with compensating back tilt of the front standard. Unfortunately, they are landscape format only. Later Burke & James press cameras have a drop bed and rotating back, but less convenient back tilt of the front standard.

mmerig
1-Jun-2017, 08:46
The Meridian 45B may work for you. The specifications are hard to find, but this link <http://www.largeformatphotography.info/meridian/meridian.html> explains the camera quite well. I weighed mine, and without a lens it weighs 5 lbs, or 2.27 kg. I use it a lot, with lenses from 90 to 254 mm. No complaints. This was my first large format camera, and will probably be the last.

I could do some measurements (rise, fall etc.) if you need them.

David Lobato
1-Jun-2017, 09:16
My Toyo 45A has a drop bed design. And interchangeable parts with the Toyo view cameras, of which I take advantage on my Toyo 45D.

Luis-F-S
1-Jun-2017, 09:59
Define "inexpensive".

Phil_F_NM
1-Jun-2017, 10:19
Busch Pressman Model D has a drop bed and tilting front standard. It also has a rotating back BUT is not a Graflock, just a standard spring back. That said, I've wanted one since I restored my girlfriend's Pressman Model C and admired the build quality.

Phil Forrest

Peter Lewin
1-Jun-2017, 15:01
A number of you are responding with suggestions for cameras with drop beds and non-tilting backs (press cameras). Will they give the OP anywhere near the 3" of displacement he mentions? Most field cameras, with tilting front and rear standards, and using indirect displacement, are limited only by bellows flexibility and lens coverage.

Ulophot
1-Jun-2017, 16:46
Define "inexpensive".

Well, there's wish and reality, of course. I'd love to pay about what I think I can sell my 45F (revolving back and removable bellows), case, and Manfrotto 3051 legs (minus cost of used 3021B to replace them) for, which is to say, somewhere in the $500 range. I suspect that $700-800 is going to be more realistic, and I'll sell something(s) else. More than that would be hard to justify in my present circumstances. I assume most cameras allow vertical and horizontal back orientation (exception in post above noted). Since I have plenty of film holders, lupe, meter, etc., once I mount the Copal 1 in an appropriate board, I'll be ready to learn the new tool.

Thanks to all replying; very helpful. This is a wonderful place, and I'll contribute a few more images soon.

mmerig
1-Jun-2017, 18:04
A number of you are responding with suggestions for cameras with drop beds and non-tilting backs (press cameras). Will they give the OP anywhere near the 3" of displacement he mentions? Most field cameras, with tilting front and rear standards, and using indirect displacement, are limited only by bellows flexibility and lens coverage.

The OP did say he wanted a field camera, so that limits the choices. I did not say much about the Meridian 45B, but it has a 2-inch rise, about the same or more fall using the drop-bed and tilting the front standard, and the back tilts and swings about 11 degrees. Three inches of displacement is fairly high, and lens coverage may be an issue especially when the back is in portrait position, even with a 210 mm lens. But 3 inches is probably more then necessary. I tried the Meridian with a 210 lens on a portrait set-up. With the lens dropped, the front standard tilted back (not quite vertically plumb), and the back tilted so that it is vertically plumb, the center of the image is about where the bottom of a person's neck would be sitting in a chair. The camera is at eye-level. There is more tilt available on the back, but the front tilt is maxed-out.

165652

Meridians are not very common (I think only about 2000 were made), but they are not terribly expensive -- $400 to 500 if you can wait around. There is one on Ebay now http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meridian-Model-45B-large-format-Camera-Body-/252957964419?hash=item3ae5783883:g:atMAAOSwxu5ZJ0xH (I just checked to see pricing) for $299, but it is for repair. I cannot see anything wrong with it (no lens, maybe the Kalart rangefinder). I don't have anything to do with the seller, and am hardly a Meridian fanatic, but this looks like it might work out for you price- and feature-wise.

Neal Chaves
1-Jun-2017, 18:58
If your main interest is portraiture, you know how important it is to have a camera that focuses with a gear-driven rear standard. This should be a primary consideration in your choice of a folding field camera.

Jim Andrada
1-Jun-2017, 20:47
Technika??? Drop bed + tilting front (and back, if so desired.) Maximum extension around 420 - 430mm. Not particularly cheap, though. Bomb-proof - you could use it to drive tent pegs. Not light (but lighter than my Canon 5D with battery pack and 70 - 200 lens!) Front rise is geared lever activated. Super Graphic would be reasonably good - drop bed and rear tilt (and forward tilt too - a bit clumsy to use, but it's there.) No gearing on the rise. Maybe $400 - $500 for one in excellent shape. Technika depending on age - Master Technika is probably $1500 - $2k in nice shape. Crown Graphic is nice - I actually prefer it to the Super, but no front tilt. The rails inside the body are linked to the focusing mechanism so when the bed is dropped to get it out of the way of wide lenses focusing works. Probably not relevant for your requirements, though.

That's about my 2 cents worth.

Robclarke
2-Jun-2017, 00:08
the one feature I have used a great deal in portraiture (my primary subject going forward), is the raised back/dropped front combination, so that I can place the lens at eye level when desired and recompose the subject upwards in the frame.

Much obliged.

I don't think I am able to help with the original question but am intrigued by this technique that you mention. Would anyone be able to explain what is achieved by this and exactly how it is done?



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Pere Casals
2-Jun-2017, 02:19
I don't think I am able to help with the original question but am intrigued by this technique that you mention. Would anyone be able to explain what is achieved by this and exactly how it is done?


I guess it's this:

165653


Even a view camera has no raise it may be done by tilting the same both: lens plane and film plane, and correcting extension, because after a bed drop the lens plane is nearer from film.

Robclarke
2-Jun-2017, 05:27
Is this to get the eyes in the sharpest part of the lens? Presumably this wouldn't be necessary with a decent modern lens.


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Pere Casals
2-Jun-2017, 07:42
Is this to get the eyes in the sharpest part of the lens? Presumably this wouldn't be necessary with a decent modern lens.


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No...

With the view camera you use movements for some amazing reasons, one is inclinating (and also swing) the plane of focus, a common camera get things focused in a plane that's perpendicular to the front direction.

With view cameras it is common to inclinate than plane of focus. You do that with Tilt/Swing, with front or rear movements, if you tilt/swing the front then the circle of illumination can go outside of the film. It's like to handle a torch/flashlight, so you may want to rise/shift to put again the illuminated circle on film.

You may view these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JU-eHpk97Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wFjPVX6lrQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR4m70xr9mE&t=98s

Regards

Luis-F-S
2-Jun-2017, 08:13
With your requirements and budget you're probably better off to keep your current camera

Michael E
2-Jun-2017, 09:20
On my Tachihara, I often run out of front rise. That's why I usually mount my lenses higher than the center of the lens board. Of course, this can also be used to gain more front fall. I use plain 2 mm plywood instead of a Technika board, so I can reverse my lens boards.

Luis-F-S
2-Jun-2017, 11:31
On my Tachihara, I often run out of front rise. That's why I usually mount my lenses higher than the center of the lens board. Of course, this can also be used to gain more front fall. I use plain 2 mm plywood instead of a Technika board, so I can reverse my lens boards.

Not an issue with a Deardorff! I've never run out of rise or bellows.

Graham Patterson
2-Jun-2017, 11:36
I don't think I am able to help with the original question but am intrigued by this technique that you mention. Would anyone be able to explain what is achieved by this and exactly how it is done?

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Start with the camera at zero movements. Align the lens level with the subject's eyes. This will give you a framing with a lot of space above the head, and little torso.

By adjusting the movements so that the film is raised relative to the lens, which remains level and aligned with the eyes, the framing moves the top of the head closer to the edge of the frame, and includes more of the torso.

This relies on having enough covering power from the lens, and being able to achieve enough back rise/front fall while keeping the lens axis horizontal and the film plane vertical.

mmerig
2-Jun-2017, 13:25
If your main interest is portraiture, you know how important it is to have a camera that focuses with a gear-driven rear standard. This should be a primary consideration in your choice of a folding field camera.

Are there folding field cameras with a geared rear standard? Do any of them even have what would be traditionally called a standard?

Why is it necessary to focus using the back? Why not just put it in the position needed and focus as usual with the front standard?

I don't use large format for portraits, so this is new to me. Anyway, it seems like a monorail would be better for portraits than a field camera.

Jac@stafford.net
2-Jun-2017, 13:54
I wonder why you specify a field camera. Does that mean:
Lightweight? Collapsible for easy transport? Rear and/or front focus. Compliant rear rise, fall? (Front is a given.) Rugged steel construction?

My modest contribution is the Century 1 8x10 including its extended rails. It has all but rear rise/fall. It has rear standard focus. It is so super lightweight that I find it difficult to use in a breeze. It is a classic worthy of replication which has not really happened yet ... I think.

mdarnton
2-Jun-2017, 17:01
If you set the lens at eye level and then point the whole camera down, without corrections, to include some or all body, then the body keystones--the head becomes bigger relative to the small feet, and the feet, being farther away, are out of focus. If you slide the lens down, keeping film, lens and body parallel, you maintain relative proportions of the top and bottom of the body without distortion as well as maintaining focus from top to bottom.

Ulophot
2-Jun-2017, 17:03
Thanks to all of you. I shall address several pertinent issues raised.
The first is, Boy! was I off with my measurement! After another poster had said he didn't think I would need so much vertical displacement, I put pen to paper and ran a quick calculation on my lunch break, figuring that the reproduction ratio of fitting an upper-body framing comfortably within a vertical orientation -- roughly 36" of actual height reduced to perhaps 4.25" in the image -- comes to a factor of about 0.12. Multiplying even 18" of needed displacement of the actual subject by that factor results in only abut 2" of lens/film vertical displacement. (Anyone who know how to properly count and calculate is welcome to explain why my calculation is wrong, but I don't think I'll ever use it.) As soon as I got home from work, I took out my camera, found an obliging family member to sit for me, and conducted the experiment -- camera level, adjustments zeroed, lens at eye level, from about 5 feet. Only 1.25-1.5 inches of displacement was needed.
I used back rise for simplicity, in order to leave the lens where it was; with a field camera, the displacement would be accomplished with a lowered lens, or possibly a combination of fall with camera tilt and re-righting back and lens. I suspect this will be little problem with many field cameras, as long as the design allows a bit of backward tilt fore and aft.
Why specify a field camera? Yes, portability, weight, simplicity. The Omega 45 does not fold down like a Horseman studio. The hard case is nearly 20x13x15 and the weight is significant.

While the Technika must be a very fine camera indeed, I am obliged to think more modestly for my planned location portraiture future. I did pretty well without a Sinar in my architectural work; I used what I had, and the portraiture will be less demanding in this regard and more demanding of my rapport skills than a remodeled home. Adequate movements, good condition with reasonable build and solidity -- these are all I really need. I neither need nor desire the very sharpest lens; my Komura 210 is fine and has very good coverage. On the other hand, I am not obliged to compromise with a purchase of something that almost does what I want, such as the mentioned, more inexpensive cameras that don't have back tilt or a back that can be either vertical or horizontal. Thus, I staked out the price range I suggested in my OP, based on other comments I have read in this forum and postings on auction and for-sale sites.
A purchase may be some months off. I'll certainly post about it when the switch ha been made.
If others have maker/model suggestions, I remain open. Thank you.

Vaughn
2-Jun-2017, 18:11
Not a light weight at 6.5 pounds, a Wisner Techincal 4x5 seems to fit your requirements:
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/cameras/wisner-expedition-technical/WisnerCatalog300dpiMonoChrome.pdf

Though the Expedition has the same movements at 4 and a half pounds.

PS -- both have back rise.

Neal Chaves
2-Jun-2017, 18:34
With a longer than normal lens, frequently used for portraits, in a close-up situation focusing with the front changes the lens to subject distance significantly and you may find it difficult or impossible to focus quickly and accurately.

Doremus Scudder
3-Jun-2017, 01:14
Not very many field cameras have rear rise. My preference is for lighter-weight wooden folders. Of those, the Shen-Hao TZ45-IIC is one. Here are the specs from the Shen Hao website ( http://www.badgergraphic.com/opencart/index.php?route=product/product&path=2_22_98&product_id=2533 )

"Specifications:
• Material Used: Black Walnut, Aluminium Alloys
• Format: 4"X5"
• Front: Rise 23mm Fall 43mm
• Base Tilt 90 Back 35
• Front Shift: 36mm
• Swing +10 -40
• Rear: Rise 55mm
• Base Tilt 90 Back 22
• Swing +10, -10
• Back 8cm
• Bellows Draw: 75-340mm
• Weight/Exterior: 4.7 lbs./190x190x110mm"

That would certainly do the job.

There are many lighter wooden folders that have ~40mm of front fall. That may be enough for you, depending on lens and camera height.

The "point down and tilt parallel" method that you mention works fine but is a bit fiddly. If you don't mind taking the bit of extra time to set up the camera, that in conjunction with just about any amount of front fall should open up a wide assortment of cameras for consideration.

Best,

Doremus

Ulophot
3-Jun-2017, 10:39
My 45F is 11.5 pounds, so any weight reduction, plus the reduction the 3021 represents in comparison with my 3051, will be welcome. The Shen Hao and Wisner Expedition both look very good to me, if I can find one in my price range. I'll have to check specs on Tachiaras as well.

Pere Casals
3-Jun-2017, 16:43
165691

Pretty foldable, 3kg, all movements, no extension limitation, touching it is a sensorial experience, Ansel used it, it's 1948 design, it's inspiring, its a piece of gear, works perfect in the field and in the studio.

Bill_1856
3-Jun-2017, 17:39
I have, and use, Crown Graphic, Super Graphic, Busch D, and Techinka IV. None of them is really suitable, hand-held, for the raised back/dropped front situation you describe. Since a tripod will be required, you might just as well keep what you've already got.

mmerig
3-Jun-2017, 20:12
With a longer than normal lens, frequently used for portraits, in a close-up situation focusing with the front changes the lens to subject distance significantly and you may find it difficult or impossible to focus quickly and accurately.

Maybe I am missing something, but I still don't see the problem focusing with the front standard -- I have no problem focusing this way with a 210 mm lens and the subject about 5 to 7 feet away, for example.

DG 3313
3-Jun-2017, 20:35
I haven't read all of the replies but, I keep thinking "Sinar F-2"........light weight with the movements needed.

Peter Lewin
4-Jun-2017, 06:53
I haven't read all of the replies but, I keep thinking "Sinar F-2"........light weight with the movements needed.
I have owned a Sinar F, a Wista Field, and a Canham DLC. Both the Wista and the Canham, which are true field cameras, are lighter and significantly easier to pack and carry than the Sinar. The Sinar, as a monorail and part of the extensive Sonar system, has its own virtues, but that is not what the OP has asked about.

Ulophot
4-Jun-2017, 08:46
I have, and use, Crown Graphic, Super Graphic, Busch D, and Techinka IV. None of them is really suitable, hand-held, for the raised back/dropped front situation you describe. Since a tripod will be required, you might just as well keep what you've already got.

Thank you for your thought. Hand-holding any 4x5 is not something I have mentioned or envision; 35 is an old friend, my 645 is, for me, tripod land already, for the most part. I only indicated that my stalwart but weighty 3051 tripod is more than needed to support a lighter view camera, such as I have in mind, and that the 3021 will fill the bill nicely at a reasonable price used. I have been around a few years now, and hauling the equipment I used to is no longer something to which I look forward. Eventually I may end up with just the 645, whose image ratio is nearly the same as 4x5 -- perfect for my kind of portrait -- and grain in an 11x14, even with HP5, doesn't trouble me. But the movements of 4x5 and the quality is offers continue to draw me to it. For me, at this point, a field camera and lighter tripod are the ticket.

Bill_1856
4-Jun-2017, 13:50
Thank you for your thought. Hand-holding any 4x5 is not something I have mentioned or envision; 35 is an old friend, my 645 is, for me, tripod land already, for the most part. I only indicated that my stalwart but weighty 3051 tripod is more than needed to support a lighter view camera, such as I have in mind, and that the 3021 will fill the bill nicely at a reasonable price used. I have been around a few years now, and hauling the equipment I used to is no longer something to which I look forward. Eventually I may end up with just the 645, whose image ratio is nearly the same as 4x5 -- perfect for my kind of portrait -- and grain in an 11x14, even with HP5, doesn't trouble me. But the movements of 4x5 and the quality is offers continue to draw me to it. For me, at this point, a field camera and lighter tripod are the ticket.

The grass is always greener....

Jac@stafford.net
4-Jun-2017, 14:08
The grass is always greener....

With Velvia.

Alan Gales
4-Jun-2017, 17:48
With Velvia.

;)

Jim Andrada
5-Jun-2017, 23:39
Understand why the Technika isn't at the top of your list, but it has an additional tripod socket on the top of the body (under the "flash" shoe) so you can mount it upside down and get geared front fall. Very clever. Not light, not inexpensive, but very clever design.

Vaughn
6-Jun-2017, 00:05
A nice little folding field 4x5 is the Horseman Woodman. Simple (no back rise/fall), sweet, and 3.2 pounds but a limited bellows draw of 12.4 inches. I checked out a couple to our students. We also had a Tachihara and a Shen-Hao...and I have to admit that the Tachihara was prettier, the Shen-Hao fully featured, but the Woodman was a pleasure to use.

Unfortunately, they seem to be going for as much used as they did new many years ago.

tonyowen
6-Jun-2017, 02:37
165691.

Curiosity only - what is it (apart from a camera)
regards
Tony

Andrew Plume
6-Jun-2017, 03:16
Sinar Norma

Andrew