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View Full Version : Nagaoka 5X7 or Whole Plate...can't decide!?!?!??



audioexcels
26-Jul-2007, 18:21
I've just purchased a Nagaoka 5X7 w/4X5 reduction backed camera for $800. I have researched the market and the last time one was for sale, it was an older version (this one is the Model II type as I believe they had one previous to it) that sold for $750. I felt this was a fair price because sure, one can track down a Tachihara/Wista/Wisner for $800-$1300 depending on used market value and pay up the wall if purchasing any of these cameras new OR purchasing something from a higher end brand that focuses more on weight...i.e. Tach is not exactly a light camera. I didn't know what else was out there, within a reasonable price point, that weighs 3.5lbs, all original, etc. that would be the perfect price-performance ratio for a travel/field/etc. based camera. Nope, I cannot afford a Philips;):).

As many around here may know, I have an absolute love for the whole plate format due to many reasons, but film cutting and lack of film availability certainly not being one of the reasons:)!!! The problem I am having is this Nagaoka is 3.5lbs. That's 2lbs lighter than the whole plater...not "that much" of a weight difference, but it's definitely there. Of course, it is not as compact as the Nagaoka. So some things regarding weight certainly favor the Nagaoka...oh, and the Nagaoka has more of the flexibility of the Tach/Wista/etc. whereas I'd have to have a front standard modded on the WP to have more front swing, etc. etc.

Now to the things going for the WP over the Nagaoka...In spite the weight is definitely nice with the Nagaoka, I imagine my bags filled with holders/accessories/lenses/etc. to be, in the end, not much different. Of course the Nagaoka will be lighter, and much "cuter":), but it's not that much of a difference when all is tallied up.

With all this talk about weight put aside, I cannot help but love the larger contact print of the 6.5X8.5 over the 5X7. I love the many lenses available for the format, and I could actually make a 4X10 back and have this be my panoramic based camera as well. Of course I will have a 4X5 back for color work, though I will cut 8X10 color film or Aerial color film down to WP size...a pain, but it works.

Basically, what it all comes down to is this: If I go with the WP and have a spring back for both the WP and 4X5, then do a little tweeking on the front standard, and even consider a 4X10 back, if not even an 8X10 back for it, the cost gets close to the $800 I paid for the Nagaoka.

Anyone have any input on what I should do and if I over-paid on the Nagaoka??? It's such a rare camera to ever find and I just had to grab it since it has been on the top of my list (likely a big thanks to Sandy for her love of the camera), as well as others that absolutely love this treasure of a camera.

Thanks All!!!

Oren Grad
26-Jul-2007, 19:07
As you may know from other posts, I have a Nagaoka 5x7. It's a delicious camera, for sure my favorite among the 5x7 cameras I've had a chance to use. No matter how much you might have to spend, there's no "high end" camera that comes anywhere near it weight-wise, and it's so easy and pleasing to use.

But if I could have only one camera and had to choose between 5x7 and WP, I'd go with the WP camera, assuming the weight was anywhere within reason. I just like the format more. Whether that will be true for you is something you'll have to figure out for yourself.

audioexcels
26-Jul-2007, 20:25
As you may know from other posts, I have a Nagaoka 5x7. It's a delicious camera, for sure my favorite among the 5x7 cameras I've had a chance to use. No matter how much you might have to spend, there's no "high end" camera that comes anywhere near it weight-wise, and it's so easy and pleasing to use.

But if I could have only one camera and had to choose between 5x7 and WP, I'd go with the WP camera, assuming the weight was anywhere within reason. I just like the format more. Whether that will be true for you is something you'll have to figure out for yourself.

Thanks Oren and I enjoy your photos as well as your input and contribution to the forum. I agree with you about the weight of the Nagaoka being a no brainer for someone that wants to travel even lighter than using a DSLR/SLR based setup...and not knowing much out there that can come close in terms of weight. I may have to relish in the beauty of the Nagaoka for just a bit here before I go ahead and do the WP as my final setup since it does only weigh 2lbs more, isn't the same compactness, though 10X10 book folded up isn't too shabby and really only about 1-1.5"'s more than the Nagaoka folded up. I also like that many backs can be modded to the WP camera and frankly, the contact size is really special. Maybe time to have a little time these next few days to play with the Nagaoka and then put it up for sale here on the board for someone that knows the camera and will be able to enjoy it as I plan to enjoy the final version of the WP I will have modded...well...mostly factory built, but just some slight tweeks to get front standard swing, and then the backs for it.

I'm sure more suggestions or comments will come in so I'm going to see what others have to say though I think the WP is for me as well...living with compromises is ALWAYS a factor in any aspect of photography which is why we have so many different utilities to make good use of.

Bill_1856
26-Jul-2007, 23:05
If you're definitely going to contact print, then the whole plate (6.5x8.5=55 square inches) is clearly the winner. There is a size, just over 50 sq in, where the viewer can visualize the image that is envisioned by the photographer, whereas anything smaller (5x7=35 sq in) it is just looking at a picture.
If you're going to enlarge, then it doesn't really make any difference.
PS, if you do go to full plate, I'd like first dibs on your 5x7 Nagaoka. Does it take Technika boards?

Rob_5419
27-Jul-2007, 01:52
But if I could have only one camera and had to choose between 5x7 and WP, I'd go with the WP camera, assuming the weight was anywhere within reason. I just like the format more. Whether that will be true for you is something you'll have to figure out for yourself.

Ahhh - that's made my day (and the day has only begun GMT time!)

Audioexcels - the Nagaoka 5x7" is a lovely camera - very rare on these British Isles. If you want to stay with 5x7", then having the enlarger set up for 5x7" and the hardware to support 5x7" work is important. I don't think you overpaid for it (but then again, only the British overpay for anything nowadays).

If you're only doing it for pleasure, then the whole plate is the way to go. Whole plate = the personal format. Contact printing is delightful. Gone with enlarging. I don't have an enlarger for whole plate printing anymore - frankly it's not required - all of these whole plate contact prints are personal. I find it disheartening to think that I've only actually got around to shooting whole plate after I've had a career, rather than making whole plate photography into a career.

I wonder if there is enough interest from whole-plate users to set up a film cut down co-operative, so that one of us suffers 1 day cutting down bulk roll 20metre film into 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches for those who have missed the whole plate option.

audioexcels
27-Jul-2007, 03:15
Ahhh - that's made my day (and the day has only begun GMT time!)

Audioexcels - the Nagaoka 5x7" is a lovely camera - very rare on these British Isles. If you want to stay with 5x7", then having the enlarger set up for 5x7" and the hardware to support 5x7" work is important. I don't think you overpaid for it (but then again, only the British overpay for anything nowadays).

If you're only doing it for pleasure, then the whole plate is the way to go. Whole plate = the personal format. Contact printing is delightful. Gone with enlarging. I don't have an enlarger for whole plate printing anymore - frankly it's not required - all of these whole plate contact prints are personal. I find it disheartening to think that I've only actually got around to shooting whole plate after I've had a career, rather than making whole plate photography into a career.

I wonder if there is enough interest from whole-plate users to set up a film cut down co-operative, so that one of us suffers 1 day cutting down bulk roll 20metre film into 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches for those who have missed the whole plate option.

No doubt about it. I'm going to respond to Bill in just a sec here, but wanted to say that I agree with you about gathering someone to cut down some whole plate film. I've decided, at least for the long haul, that I'm going to shoot the whole plate format. It's going to be a bit more challenging, especially with what Bill had in mind with regards to the end result, by which a 5X7 can be enlarged to an enormous size and is superior for b/w enlargements than 4X5. Though on the other hand, 5X7 can better 4X5 in the color department at larger sized enlargements, for those that will not typically enlarge so big, the 4X5 would do quite well. I think the other thing about having the 5X7 with the 4X5 option is what many will mention=takes away flare due to greater bellows extension, and enables lesser priced/more flare prone lenses to be used with excellent results.

If only there was a Nagoaka weighing 4lbs or so with a Whole Plate back and the similar versatility of the 5X7 I have, boy would I be in heaven! But the Charten/India based cameras modded a little will have to do;).

It will be quite a process from modding the WP camera ever so slightly, while putting on spring based backs, getting film holders (come on Fotoman!:)), then cutting the film properly, AND finally putting it to use and getting properly exposed images. If someone else does not do it, I owe it to this excellent community to do a write-up and detailed construction process, as well as tools to use for cutting paper, and of course the images scanned in via a wet mount method to get at least a nice clean scan that can give the idea of how it is all working out. This way, it adds another article alongside those of the 5X7 and 8X10 articles, and can hopefully push the manufacturers such as Shen/Tach/Wista/Toho/etc. to produce the whole plater so those that want something all set to go without having to modify, and can have more options/controls, will indeed have that.

Ash
27-Jul-2007, 04:14
These posts make it increasingly difficult to keep to 4x5!!

Rob, check your inbox :)

audioexcels
27-Jul-2007, 04:22
If you're definitely going to contact print, then the whole plate (6.5x8.5=55 square inches) is clearly the winner. There is a size, just over 50 sq in, where the viewer can visualize the image that is envisioned by the photographer, whereas anything smaller (5x7=35 sq in) it is just looking at a picture.
If you're going to enlarge, then it doesn't really make any difference.
PS, if you do go to full plate, I'd like first dibs on your 5x7 Nagaoka. Does it take Technika boards?

Hi Bill,

Sent a PM to you and to everyone else that has emailed me. I entirely agree with you about the end purpose/point of photographic use out of the camera.

Thanks for your post Bill.

Chuck Pere
27-Jul-2007, 04:34
I have a similar Ikeda 5x7. Paid $850 so your price is great. Is that the one on Ebay that ended early? I do enlarge 5x7. I see a big difference between a 7x9ish print and a 5x7 contact. Could just be my aging eyesight. Problem with your new 5x7 is lack of bellows extension. If you want to use long non-tele lenses it may not be for you.

Ash
27-Jul-2007, 05:00
Having read through everything properly, I think you should stick with WP. You obviously love it more.

With the WP camera and your skills you can mod it to take WP/5x7/4x5/4x10 backs. I think you'll have every opportunity to use 5x7 when you wish to so long as you feel like making a 5x7 back for the camera.

Keeping the Nagaoka you lose the opportunity for WP.

Richard Kelham
27-Jul-2007, 11:30
I really don't understand this obscure/obsolete format masochism! Why not go the whole hog and get a 10x8? If 55 sq ins is so much better than 35 sq ins, just think what a great improvement you'll see with 80 sq ins!

Besides there is plenty of infrastructure there film available of the shelf in a variety of emulsions, holders that don't cost and arm and a leg, and still enlargeable if you want to cover the front of your house...



Richard

Chauncey Walden
27-Jul-2007, 14:29
Richard, true you could crop an 8x10 down to a more desirable aspect ratio like 6.5x8.5, but you would have to start with an 8x10 camera to do it. My 6.5x8.5 back fits in my 5x7 case which is 2/3 the size of my 8x10 pack. And 3 6.5x8.5 holders weigh much less than 2 8x10s. And, most of my smaller, lighter 5x7 lenses work with 6.5x8.5 which they don't with 8x10. Thanks, but for most shooting I'll stick with the 6.5x8.5.

audioexcels
27-Jul-2007, 15:42
I think 8X10 is a good option with the available accessories, but as others have said, you can use a ton of lenses that cannot be used, or cover with minimal movements on 8X10. I may consider an 8X10 back to shoot "only" with the Nikkor 120, then use the Nikkor 120 primarily with WP and other smaller formats. This way I can have a super wide for non-movement based landscape shots and fill the entire 8X10 frame, and then have a fine wide for both WP and 4X10 shots.

Nagaoka is now for sale for those interested in it.

Thanks all for your responses!!!

Rob_5419
27-Jul-2007, 15:47
I really don't understand this obscure/obsolete format masochism! Why not go the whole hog and get a 10x8? If 55 sq ins is so much better than 35 sq ins, just think what a great improvement you'll see with 80 sq ins!


;)



There's an optimal balance. Simplicity has it that 10x8 is larger than 6 1/12 x 8 1/2 inch format and therefore should be better. However by that argument, you'd be shooting a Penrose 20x24", to say nothing of its weight....:rolleyes:

History shows that 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch format is more enduring. Practice shows that 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch is more portable and convenient by design, than the weighty 10 x 8 at which point 10 x 8 also fit into book formats very clumsily.

It's not unusual for larger photographers not to get 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch format - the film limitation is not a huge one particularly if you have a darkroom. Unless you try whole plate, it can just seem like abstract nonsense!

At the end of the day, it's a personal choice which has a lot of aesthetic brownie points. Don't worry about whole plate - a lot of people don't get it....which is okay too ;)

Scott --
27-Jul-2007, 18:00
Nagaoka is now for sale for those interested in it.

Aw, man - you're not even gonna shoot the Nag?! More self restraint than I could muster... :eek:

Clay Turtle
28-Jul-2007, 10:13
I definitely think that a larger than format is better. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=26631&page=2
In my considerations on a custom build, I found that I had various ideas on easy reduction of format so I decided to go with the 8x10 format! I can easily reduce format in holder for use of more available (smaller) format (4x5) film yet if the fanatasy strikes I can move on to a larger format.

audioexcels
28-Jul-2007, 16:29
Aw, man - you're not even gonna shoot the Nag?! More self restraint than I could muster... :eek:

hehehehe:)...I will certainly put some film through it...how can't one?:):)

Rafael Garcia
28-Jul-2007, 18:19
If you like whole plate stick to it.

5x7 is my personal choice, with 4x5 as my backup for obvious reasons. I have never seen a WP negative and I just know the second I see one, what I just said would become moot.

Clay Turtle
1-Aug-2007, 05:06
I would like to apologize for being off thread but I had been reworking a 4x5 to the 5x7 format but I have been debating going to an 8x10 format so I was looking for ideas in similar threads.
For some reason when I got here it suddenly hit me . . . I could simply bevel cut a mat board to fit into the film holder using the bevel edge to fit under the edge holding the film to the horizontal center plate of the holder then make a cut to fit a 5x8 (8x10 cut in half) along the end of the holder aligning on the loading edge? Could it all be done so simply, I wondered & got excited & made some statement that was off thread.

Rob_5419
1-Aug-2007, 14:41
I could simply bevel cut a mat board to fit into the film holder Reworking a 5x7" back to accept a 4x5" film back - yes - this should be fine, as long as the thickness of the cut mat does not disturb the film plane.

using the bevel edge to fit under the edge holding the film [/QUOTE]

Where does the cut mat sit?

Are you sure the cut mat will fit into a film holder and provide a light proof seal?

I'm not sure I follow, but looking at masking frames for smaller formats from a larger format (i.e. 5x7 or 4x5 from 10x8 or whole plate); the bookform plate holders simply accepted any crude handcut reduction mask within the thickness of the bookform holder.

Double dark slides are less flexible in this regard - their thinness (or thickness) limits their utility for any purpose other than what was originally envisaged.

Not sure that helps?:confused:

audioexcels
2-Aug-2007, 00:03
I would like to apologize for being off thread but I had been reworking a 4x5 to the 5x7 format but I have been debating going to an 8x10 format so I was looking for ideas in similar threads.
For some reason when I got here it suddenly hit me . . . I could simply bevel cut a mat board to fit into the film holder using the bevel edge to fit under the edge holding the film to the horizontal center plate of the holder then make a cut to fit a 5x8 (8x10 cut in half) along the end of the holder aligning on the loading edge? Could it all be done so simply, I wondered & got excited & made some statement that was off thread.

I don't see why you couldn't use some sort of guide based thing on the GG like they use for 4X10 that masks off 1/2 the GG for your 4X10 shot. Then again, you wouldn't be centered on the GG and neither would a person shooting 4X10, though I'm sure with either, you can get around this fairly easily. I'm sure there is some way to make a 5X8 holder;)...

Clay Turtle
27-Aug-2007, 21:11
Reworking a 5x7" back to accept a 4x5" film back - yes - this should be fine,
as long as the thickness of the cut mat does not disturb the film plane.

using the bevel edge to fit under the edge holding the film

Where does the cut mat sit?

Are you sure the cut mat will fit into a film holder and provide a light proof
seal?
I'm not sure I follow, but looking at masking frames for smaller formats from a
larger format (i.e. 5x7 or 4x5 from 10x8 or whole plate); the bookform plate
holders simply accepted any crude handcut reduction mask within the thickness of
the bookform holder.
Double dark slides are less flexible in this regard - their thinness (or
thickness) limits their utility for any purpose other than what was originally
envisaged.
The mat is cut (beveled) to fit into the space used by the full sheet of 8x10 film, sliding it into the holder like you would film. The bevel allows the mat to beheld in place as it would film yet it extend above (thicker). The cut out is sized to the format desired & beveled to hold the smaller sheet film against the center divider just as the full sheet would be held in the holder.

I don't see why you couldn't use some sort of guide based thing on the GG like they use for 4X10 that masks off 1/2 the GG for your 4X10 shot. Then again, you wouldn't be centered on the GG and neither would a person shooting 4X10, though I'm sure with either, you can get around this fairly easily. I'm sure there is some way to make a 5X8 holder.. Looking at various film holders & working on an 4x5/5x7 adapter did give me a positive attitude toward manufacturing my own film holders. In fact, I seriously contended to produce a 5x8 film holder based on the 5x7 film holder dimensions but I would have to alter the 5x7 back with a movable (swing) section to accommodate the extra length in format.
The film holders (8x10, 5x7, & 4x5) have different thickness (therefore different depths to the film plane) consideration of multiple adapters to make different formats changes isn't particularly desirable (8x10=>5x7=>4x5 or 8x10=>4x5 & 8x10=>5x7). So as I worked on the problems making adapters, I thought 'Why adapt the camera (back). Why not adapt the holder itself?' The variations in depth differences become mute as you are using only one holder [size]
I also considered permanently soldering or gluing pieces to change the format but temporary formating material would allow for either 5x8 or 4x10 yet maintain the 8x10 with the few holders (2) that I currently have to use.
As the slide are still used to seal the holder fogging shouldn't be a problem.

sanking
28-Aug-2007, 13:57
Anyone have any input on what I should do and if I over-paid on the Nagaoka??? It's such a rare camera to ever find and I just had to grab it since it has been on the top of my list (likely a big thanks to Sandy for her love of the camera), as well as others that absolutely love this treasure of a camera.

Thanks All!!!


I missed this thread until now. First, thanks for the honorable mention, but I should mention that this Sandy is a he.

Second, I don't think you over paid for the 5X7 Nagaoka. It is really a unique camera in terms of the combination of weight, movements and features. No other camera that I know of comes close to it for people who want a big negative and need to keep weight and size down to a minimum. When you do the calculations I think that you will find that any whole plate camera you find will weigh at last three times as much as occupy more than 3 times the space of a Nagaoka 5X7, assuming equal number of holders and lenses. For backpacking where you will be walking long distances, or for travel abroad, the Nagaoka 5X7 is as close to perfect for me as it gets.

If size and weight are not major considerations, as they would not be for example if you were working out of your car, a heavy whole plate like the Ebony, or an 8X10 with a whole plate back woud serve one very well.

Sandy King

Oren Grad
28-Aug-2007, 18:15
When you do the calculations I think that you will find that any whole plate camera you find will weigh at last three times as much as occupy more than 3 times the space of a Nagaoka 5X7, assuming equal number of holders and lenses. For backpacking where you will be walking long distances, or for travel abroad, the Nagaoka 5X7 is as close to perfect for me as it gets.

In general that's true, but just as the Nagaoka is an outlier, there are exceptions among whole-plate cameras as well. I took my WP Century on an outing today with a handful of old Eastman wooden holders and two compact lenses. I don't think the weight of the gear was even double what a comparable kit with my Nagaoka 5x7 would have been, let alone triple, and the volume wasn't that much more either. There are pretty tight limits to what I can manage in hiking with a backpack, but by the time you take into account the weight of the pack and the tripod, the Century kit doesn't really constrain me any more than the Nagaoka kit would. Jumping to 8x10, though, even with my Phillips, would make a difference - I'm considerably less mobile with that.

YMMV, of course. My point is just that if one takes a shine to WP, with a bit of patience it is possible to assemble a kit that's as astonishingly light for that format as the Nagaoka is for 5x7.

Rob_5419
28-Aug-2007, 18:35
In general that's true, but just as the Nagaoka is an outlier, there are exceptions among whole-plate cameras as well.

That's right - Mike can tell you about those outlier whole-plate cameras which are so phenomenally light. That's what's causing Mike's indecision ;)

Oren Grad
28-Aug-2007, 18:47
I've never had one of those Chartens in hand, but they sure look Nagaoka-ish. I'll bet they're delicious to use.

Rob_5419
28-Aug-2007, 18:55
Mike can tell you - he's got one.

Mine is a bookform plate holder type (I don't do modern!!). It's design is striking compared to the British heavier cameras. Built from teak or a red-wood variant, they weather the tropical climates well however need tight locking down with the rack and pinions. Like the early field cameras, they also weren't yaw free, which meant that unofficial rear swing was possible.

Unfortunately most come with a bizarre circular tripod plate which used the old fashioned six pronged tripod screw clamps. The tripod legs are obsolete (although they could be used for digital cameras no doubt) and the conversion task requires a new baseboard cut or drilled.

I'd give the edge to the Nagaoka though. Maybe it's just that my Charten is so weathered.

The other light whole plate Frankensplatesteincamera was a Globus Ernemann that went on the auction site in your side of the world. It looked very light (but also flimsy).

sanking
28-Aug-2007, 19:06
That's right - Mike can tell you about those outlier whole-plate cameras which are so phenomenally light. That's what's causing Mike's indecision ;)

I have a very lightweight WP camera also, plus a bunch of original holders for it. No name, but obviously English in origin and probably from the 1910s or 20s.

It is about as small and light a whole plate camera as you could make.

Still, when I did the combined weight and volume for the camera and 5 holders it was quite a bit more than double the same for the Nagaoka 5X7.

Another issue is that my light whole plate, like almost all others I have seen, lacks the front swing and tilt that I have on the 5X7 Nagaoka, which is I consider highly desirable, if not essential, for my work.


Sandy King

Rob_5419
28-Aug-2007, 19:18
Sandy,

your Charten must be one of the very early ones which locked in the front lens panel into one of two positions as a front standard. The construction enabled the camera to be more stable without the front swing - obviously critical for such a lightweight camera. I don't know about the Nagaoka though....they're so rare and hard to come by that they attract a real premium. In contrast, the 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch Chartens are about 1/5th the price of a 5x7 Nagaoka and also had reducing backs to use 5x7 or 4x5" too.

Some of these Chartens had some variation in the models which enabled front tilt and locking on a front ledge, and some without. If the front of your Charten doesn't tilt, then the rear standard should tilt + or - by locking the knobs. Yeah - the legendary Sanderson Camera Co pioneered the first front tilt system in their lightweight mahogany whole plate camera (1910). Charten never caught on with this mechanism, since the patent held until Charten were already collapsing under WWII.

Overall, the Chartens were highly mobile camera for explorers with enough tilt and a few degrees of tilt and rear shift to call them 'movements'.

sanking
28-Aug-2007, 19:53
Sandy,

your Charten must be one of the very early ones which locked in the front lens panel into one of two positions as a front standard. The construction enabled the camera to be more stable without the front swing - obviously critical for such a lightweight camera. I don't know about the Nagaoka though....they're so rare and hard to come by that they attract a real premium. In contrast, the 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch Chartens are about 1/5th the price of a 5x7 Nagaoka and also had reducing backs to use 5x7 or 4x5" too.

Some of these Chartens had some variation in the models which enabled front tilt and locking on a front ledge, and some without. If the front of your Charten doesn't tilt, then the rear standard should tilt + or - by locking the knobs. Yeah - the legendary Sanderson Camera Co pioneered the first front tilt system in their lightweight mahogany whole plate camera (1910). Charten never caught on with this mechanism, since the patent held until Charten were already collapsing under WWII.

Overall, the Chartens were highly mobile camera for explorers with enough tilt and a few degrees of tilt and rear shift to call them 'movements'.


I am not sure what camera I have because when I got it, years ago, the name plate was gone. It is currently disassembled for some work, but when I set it back up I will post an image here to see if anyone recognizes it. The holders I have are actually plate holders, but all with septum adaptors for film. The only name I find anywhere is UNIVERSAL, burned into the side of the holders. Inside on the flap is burned, "Patented May 10th, 1898". But it has a very definite English look, as opposed to American look.

The camera is a very handsome piece, and now that I have sold off all the American made whole plate cameras I once had I will have to put it to use as it is all I have in the whole plate format.

Sandy King

clay harmon
28-Aug-2007, 20:01
I just thought it might be a good idea to throw a bucket of chum into the water:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gandolfi-Whole-Plate-folding-camera-with-5-4-filmback_W0QQitemZ160149520605QQihZ006QQcategoryZ11717QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD2VQQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-WHOLE-PLATE-FIELD-CAMERA-THE-CLUB-UNDERWOOD_W0QQitemZ250157836497QQihZ015QQcategoryZ4701QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD2VQQcmdZViewItem

audioexcels
28-Aug-2007, 20:13
I just thought it might be a good idea to throw a bucket of chum into the water:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gandolfi-Whole-Plate-folding-camera-with-5-4-filmback_W0QQitemZ160149520605QQihZ006QQcategoryZ11717QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD2VQQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-WHOLE-PLATE-FIELD-CAMERA-THE-CLUB-UNDERWOOD_W0QQitemZ250157836497QQihZ015QQcategoryZ4701QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD2VQQcmdZViewItem


I'm letting Rob go for the Gandolfi. I hope others around here will let him have the only shot from the forum members, though I know it's not so easy as 1-2-3. I know that I would bid on it were Rob not involved and I hope others will also leave it alone for him:).

audioexcels
28-Aug-2007, 20:23
I missed this thread until now. First, thanks for the honorable mention, but I should mention that this Sandy is a he.

Second, I don't think you over paid for the 5X7 Nagaoka. It is really a unique camera in terms of the combination of weight, movements and features. No other camera that I know of comes close to it for people who want a big negative and need to keep weight and size down to a minimum. When you do the calculations I think that you will find that any whole plate camera you find will weigh at last three times as much as occupy more than 3 times the space of a Nagaoka 5X7, assuming equal number of holders and lenses. For backpacking where you will be walking long distances, or for travel abroad, the Nagaoka 5X7 is as close to perfect for me as it gets.

If size and weight are not major considerations, as they would not be for example if you were working out of your car, a heavy whole plate like the Ebony, or an 8X10 with a whole plate back woud serve one very well.

Sandy King


Sorry Sandy for the "she" thing...At any rate, thanks again for all of your contributions. Whole plate cameras from Asia, such as the Charten is about 5lbs...it's 1.5lbs heavier than the Nagaoka. The India based one is right around 5.5-6lbs max. So again, 2.5lbs more...it's a LOT, in one sense, but in another sense, it's not at all. I think the "form factor" is what makes and breaks or breaks and makes the Nagaoka over the larger cameras since you have a "substantially" larger WP glass, you obviously just added some inches to that 7"'s or so squared 5X7 Nagaoka...the WP is suddenly a 9.5-10" square, and "almost" similar bookform thickness as the Nagaoka.

Lenses and holders depend on many things, and also how many reduction backs one plans to use. I plan to have three backs=3 different focal lengths per lens. I can use one lens, and use any sheet of film within the backs I choose to shoot with. So I can live with "only" 2 total lenses and have lengths from WIDE WIDE-Portrait based, all in one camera. If I want to travel lighter, I can reduce the 6ish max weigh of the WP and use the 5X7 and 4X5 backs instead=about a 4.5-5lb camera with the 5X7 back on which is only 1-1.5lbs difference.

Just my .02, but what do I know?

Swing? http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4498&d=1183688941

Ole Tjugen
28-Aug-2007, 21:01
I'm letting Rob go for the Gandolfi. I hope others around here will let him have the only shot from the forum members, though I know it's not so easy as 1-2-3. I know that I would bid on it were Rob not involved and I hope others will also leave it alone for him:).


Oh - all right then. I was just thinking that it looked a bit lonely, and might like the company of my 5x7" and 8x10". But I'm sure someone else can give it a good home. I'll have to fix up the full-plate back for my 8x10" instead, I guess. :p

Rob_5419
29-Aug-2007, 10:52
I'm letting Rob go for the Gandolfi. I hope others around here will let him have the only shot from the forum members, though I know it's not so easy as 1-2-3. I know that I would bid on it were Rob not involved and I hope others will also leave it alone for him.

Awwww Mike - that's so sweet. (Is it ok to say that, or that sound really gayy!!)

I didn't bid for it in the end: the seller failed to answer my emails; didn't send photos to describe the condition of the wood nor how it had been 'used' and had very little feedback.

Looking at the final price for the WP Gandolfi, it looks a little artificially inflated imho. I wouldn't expect the buyer to recuperate that cost for a used WP camera unless the market starts to inflate. Goodness knows what 'used' means from an Ebay seller of 3 feedback scores. Given that the Gandolfi has such limited movements and that there is a new Chamonix whole plate camera with an extensive range of movements and modern tooling can be had for the same cost - new - I ruled out the Gandolfi.

Still, it'll make someone very happy! Lovely camera and congrats to the winner.

audioexcels
29-Aug-2007, 21:53
Awwww Mike - that's so sweet. (Is it ok to say that, or that sound really gayy!!)

I didn't bid for it in the end: the seller failed to answer my emails; didn't send photos to describe the condition of the wood nor how it had been 'used' and had very little feedback.

Looking at the final price for the WP Gandolfi, it looks a little artificially inflated imho. I wouldn't expect the buyer to recuperate that cost for a used WP camera unless the market starts to inflate. Goodness knows what 'used' means from an Ebay seller of 3 feedback scores. Given that the Gandolfi has such limited movements and that there is a new Chamonix whole plate camera with an extensive range of movements and modern tooling can be had for the same cost - new - I ruled out the Gandolfi.

Still, it'll make someone very happy! Lovely camera and congrats to the winner.

I think us Europeans are all gay...wait, I'm from Southern Cali (N. County San Diego) back when it actually had pretty waters and about 1/20th the population...so I guess I am American...darn! I lend my second half who is from Europe to be my donor when it comes to classifying myself as European;)...heck, when I was on the train through Europe, I had girls (ahhhh...don't get me remembering TOO many of them) trying to talk to me in their foreign language, and then people here in the US asking me where I am from...can't be from US, etc...I don't remember the last time I did not meet someone, out for whatever occassion and have them ask me where I am from...

I think there is a tendency, at least the further East in Europe that one gets for their to be a nice warm and deeper nature. In the US, many very nice people, but the aroma is stale/dead...very contrasting to European "flavor" IMHO. Not to knock on US doors and steal the pride of us Americans, but plain and simply put, I'll be, along with my mega hi-end audio system, LF equipment, and my surf equipment for the times in France/Spain/Portugal in the next few years maximum as I feel "alive" and like Europe is my home whereas here, I feel that nature/animals-not to be replaced by anything but the nicest of humans is home to me...nestle me up in the giant Redwoods along the N. Cali coast near a good surf spot, or in New Zealand/Tasmania/etc. and that's not too shabby either. My "ideal" is the European flavor in a place with dense/rich nature, an ocean with multiple arrays of color, and LOTS OF FUN!!!

Wow am I on...wait...it's not even that late yet (10pm)...I thought the lucky 3am hour had set fire in me, but I think I'm just drooling over these Ebony whole plates and our newest edition to the family, our blue bi-color Ragdoll boy kitten:)!!!

I didn't check the final price on the Gando, but I'm a little afraid to look;). Rob, what is the Chamonix? If it is anything like the bliss I saw at the highest peak in Europe=Mont Chamonix on the boarder of Italy and France, then they must make some truly LUSH and IMPACTING cams:)!!!

Anyone that has not been to Mont Chamonix via the Italian side and even sat at that rest stop prior towards the road going up to the mountain with the Gondola on the left MUST GO THERE!!! I want a MASSIVE LF photo of that view...and well...a million others of the incredible aesthetic beauty of both the art/structures/buildings, and not to leave out the beautiful countryside of Italy.

audioexcels
29-Aug-2007, 21:55
Oh - all right then. I was just thinking that it looked a bit lonely, and might like the company of my 5x7" and 8x10". But I'm sure someone else can give it a good home. I'll have to fix up the full-plate back for my 8x10" instead, I guess. :p

Your country is on my mega list to go to...Norway/Sweden/etc...see below of my ideal on where to live, but we have definitely considered living up that way. Maybe you and when I venture along my way to see Rob one of these days, can teach me a few tricks that you have up your sleeves:)!

Rob_5419
30-Aug-2007, 03:07
Mike - here's the Chamonix thread:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=28357

I like the pics of the 4x5" Chamonix - it's closer to my idea of an (affordable) whole plate camera with great movements. The French Alps are fantastic in low season for hiking. You can actually cross into the Italian side of the Alps via several passes. Not done the Italian to French side yet - my Italian ain't no good, whereas I can get by in French.

We're in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bordeaux side of France for the summer hols now. It's a bit too touristified here but the wines are good if you're into a kind of drink by drive by shoot holiday. After a few glasses, the roads seem to become less straight. When I can find the wheel again, the drivers seem to be coming at me from the wrong side. Another chateau later (another glass later), the roads seem to bend back to normal. And that's just with the wife driving. It's amazing how cheap wines are from the caves of the chateaux although even the supermarkets here sell wines at substantial reduction.


My "ideal" is the European flavor in a place with dense/rich nature, an ocean with multiple arrays of color, and LOTS OF FUN!!!

Montreal!

Europeans on trains are very friendly - it's great travelling around Europe on a budget and meeting others. As long as they don't follow you home you're okay.