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dazedgonebye
30-Dec-2008, 06:47
...not to go here:
http://www.ebonycamera.com/cam.html


Oh baby, there's some pretty stuff over there.

Frank Petronio
30-Dec-2008, 06:53
Here is the antidote:

http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/

dazedgonebye
30-Dec-2008, 07:26
Well, that's certainly something more in the range I'd be able to afford. Very pretty as well.

Ken Lee
30-Dec-2008, 08:10
The vast migration to digital equipment, has been a boon for large format users.

You can get plenty (http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_sopZ3?_nkw=%224x5+view+camera%22&_sacat=0&_fromfsb=&_trksid=m270.l1313&_odkw=view+camera&_osacat=0) of used 4x5 cameras for less than a brand new one.

Many of them have a wider range of features. If it's wood you like, they're out there too.

Brian Ellis
30-Dec-2008, 08:30
Maybe I can help. I've owned two Ebony cameras, a 45Te and a 45Ti. I didn't care for either of them very much. Not to say they were bad cameras but for the money and from all I read here and other places I was expecting something sturdier, smoother, with a better viewing screen and without the irritating "triple knob" focusing system that sometimes required you to stop focusing, switch focusing knobs, and continue focusing with a different knob. But sometimes you get an itch for a camera and the only solution is to scratch it. So if it's an Ebony you want, go for it, they're certainly very fine cameras.

Brandon Draper
30-Dec-2008, 08:34
So true Ken. I just bought a 8x10 Deardorff with a 8x10 back & 4x5 with 4 lenses, 24 4x5 holders and a ton of un-opened film for around $900 from a funiture photographer that went digital a couple of years ago. Pretty good deal I think.

Walter Calahan
30-Dec-2008, 09:40
Or you might want to look around here for something made in the USA.

http://www.canhamcameras.com/

dazedgonebye
30-Dec-2008, 09:46
Hey, all of it is more than I can afford at the moment.
I was mostly noticing how physically beautiful, to my eye, the ebony cameras are.

seawolf66
30-Dec-2008, 10:05
You could also get Shen Hao for around 700.00 New and still have plenty of left over to buy other stuff : Happy Holidays

Steve Hamley
30-Dec-2008, 11:13
The Chamonix cameras are indeed pretty, but functionally they are not the equivalent of the Ebony IMO. The Chamonix design I've seen is a 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 and is based on Dick Phillips design, which worked fine for what it was designed for (lightweight rigid 8x10 and larger using mid-length lenses). But it isn't a very good design for using a wide range of focal lengths because the back won't move forward and the bed length is essentially fixed. This means that wide lenses can get the bed in the picture especially with the back in the vertical position. If you don't want to use very wide or long lenses with respect to the format, it's a wonderful design. BTW, I did speak with Dick about 3 years ago and discussed these topics with him, so it isn't like I dreamed this up, and the cameras do perform just like he designed them to.

Brian's comments with respect to sturdy and smooth are valid if you're expecting performance like a metal camera, but the Ebonys are the best of the wooden field cameras I've seen, at least in the smaller formats. The triple knob design is to keep the bed short enough so that very short lenses (55mm on a SV45U) can be used without getting the bed in the picture, and to accommodate very long lenses for the format (55mm to 480mm without changing bellows). The trade off is as Brian notes, complexity - the triple draw Ebonys are more complex and using the articulkated movements for wide or long lenses is a PITA, but you CAN do it. Ebony make many cmeras that are double draw rather than triple draw which eliminates the extra knob, but the range of usable lenses will be less. It just comes down to what you want to use with it.

What this means is that every design has limitations and no camera is perfect for everyone. But with respect to the OPs comment, yes they are beautiful cameras.

Cheers,

Steve

Rakesh Malik
30-Dec-2008, 11:47
The Chamonix also don't have any options like Ebony's asymmetric movements, which are like Arca's Orbix; not essential, but very convenient.

Len Eselson
30-Dec-2008, 16:46
Just to be clear, the Chamonix 045n-1 in particular, and others in the line have the ability to move the rear standard forward and backward, accomodating a wide range of focal lengths.

Len Eselson

Ole Tjugen
30-Dec-2008, 16:49
There are more dangerous links than that:

http://www.galerie-photo.com/carbon-infinity.html

Rakesh Malik
30-Dec-2008, 17:18
It seems like that would be LESS dangerous since it's so much harder to find one of those than it is an Ebony camera :)

Ole Tjugen
30-Dec-2008, 17:23
That only means the search will take more time and more money. :)

Peter J. De Smidt
30-Dec-2008, 17:27
Ole, I suppose that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That's one ugly camera! (I bet it's a joy to use, though.)

venchka
30-Dec-2008, 23:31
On a local note...

Should we warn you not to visit Richard Ritter's pages, hey?

Rakesh Malik
31-Dec-2008, 10:31
I've already visited Richard Ritter's pages... so I have a feeling that I know where my tax refund will be going ;)

Dave Jeffery
1-Jan-2009, 13:07
The Ebony 45SU is a non-folding camera that is quick to set up by just extending the bed and it has asymmetrical focusing which is also fast. You can look into asymmetrical focusing in a .pdf on the website. Once in a while I can nail the plane of focus in two moves and I'm getting better at it.

There are only two focusing knobs and no play in the bed. Lots of shift and rise, front and rear, and it's made of Ebony wood and titanium. They are more expensive but if you use one for 15-20 years it's a great investment.

Arca Swiss are also very nice. If you can find a camera store with a lot of different models you can get a better idea of the quality of the materials and workmanship.

Just another opinion.

dazedgonebye
1-Jan-2009, 13:48
The Ebony 45SU is a non-folding camera that is quick to set up by just extending the bed and it has asymmetrical focusing which is also fast. You can look into asymmetrical focusing in a .pdf on the website. Once in a while I can nail the plane of focus in two moves and I'm getting better at it.

There are only two focusing knobs and no play in the bed. Lots of shift and rise, front and rear, and it's made of Ebony wood and titanium. They are more expensive but if you use one for 15-20 years it's a great investment.

Arca Swiss are also very nice. If you can find a camera store with a lot of different models you can get a better idea of the quality of the materials and workmanship.

Just another opinion.

That's actually the model I found most interesting. Still several years down the road for me though.

AutumnJazz
2-Jan-2009, 02:09
The Carbon Infinity is beautiful in my opinion. Dream camera for me...

Ole Tjugen
12-Mar-2009, 07:37
The Carbon Infinity is beautiful in my opinion. Dream camera for me...

http://cgi.ebay.de/Sinar-Deardorff-Horseman-CARBON-INFINITY-CAMERA-5-x-4_W0QQitemZ180335430218QQcmdZViewItemQQptZDE_Elektronik_Computer_Foto_Camcorder_AnalogeKameras_PM?hash=item180335430218&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1229%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Here's an unused (!) one...

Martin Miksch
12-Mar-2009, 09:31
Ole got one from that bay 2 or 3 years ago^^

ki6mf
12-Mar-2009, 16:44
The low end, in price only, wood field cameras Tachihara, Chamonix, and Shen Hao do just about everything that the more expensive wood cameras with lots of money left over for lenses! You rarely see these for sale on E Bay which indicates what people think about them. Personal Favorite is a Shen Hao! Put your $$$ into good optics!

Mark Stahlke
12-Mar-2009, 22:38
WARNING
Do not look at this web site. (http://www.lotusviewcamera.at/)

walter23
13-Mar-2009, 01:00
So true Ken. I just bought a 8x10 Deardorff with a 8x10 back & 4x5 with 4 lenses, 24 4x5 holders and a ton of un-opened film for around $900 from a funiture photographer that went digital a couple of years ago. Pretty good deal I think.

Jesus.

Turner Reich
13-Mar-2009, 01:36
Shen Hao probably has done more to advance the use of LF photography than any other recently. The price is low, great entry user or general use, it brings LF to many who couldn't get a decent new camera. Used equipment is OK but to get a new camera that works right out of the box speaks volumes for its success. It's hard to say just how many have been sold but it's probably a very large number. If film photography is to continue it needs equipment like this. Sure a Carbon fiber camera is nice but you don't need a micrometer to do carpentry.

walter23
13-Mar-2009, 02:46
That Carbon Infinity is kind of a horrid looking thing if you ask me...

Ole Tjugen
13-Mar-2009, 02:48
... Sure a Carbon fiber camera is nice but you don't need a micrometer to do carpentry.

That's what I thought too, until I got my Carbon Infinity. The "infinite" movement capability and tuneable rotation axes make the camera truly "transparent", in that the camera never gets in the way if the image you're working on. It's like all movements are applied directly to the image on the ground glass without the camera needing to be adjusted.

Mark Sampson
13-Mar-2009, 05:25
Too bad only 50 or so Carbon Infinity cameras were ever made. Perfection... but you can't have one.

Ole Tjugen
13-Mar-2009, 05:41
There were 80 or so made, and it seems there are about 2 sold every year. Far too many of them have never been used. :(

Frank Petronio
13-Mar-2009, 06:11
I still like the classic gear better, I am always amazed that a beautifully engineered and machined Sinar or Linhof will go for a fraction of the price of some of these crazy Asian woodworker's mastubatory pieces... ;-)

Archphoto
13-Mar-2009, 10:28
Lotus.......mmmmmmmmmm.........
I love wooden camera's.

The thing with the Infinity is: how long will it last ?
Wood can be treated and preserved, alu is no problem either, but carbon.....
It is not so much the carbon itself but the resin that ages and how to stop that ???
Not that I like the looks of it: too flashy.

Peter

tim o'brien
14-Mar-2009, 00:15
Jesus.

Ditto. I picked up a V-8 with 8x10 and 4x5 backs, 191 WF Ektar, 300 Commercial Ektar, splitter rails. some odds and ends, the box.. for $1525 and thought I was getting a good deal.

Wait, Idid get a good deal.

But 900 bucks? Damn.

tim in san jose

Torsten
14-Mar-2009, 19:33
My five cents;

I owned a Technika V. Superb machinery, probably the best. Too heavy. Not "cosy" enough. Not elegant. The sturdiest field camera i owned, excellent!

Sinar P: heavy heavy, but precise. Too bulky for me.

Chamonix: I never owned one, but I touched one here in France. Excellent craftmanship, very sturdy, probably the best price/value ratio. I would by one new... if I did not have my

Ebony RW 45. Ok, it's the poor man's Ebony, but I LOVE this camera. It's a big piece of emotion. Nothing is perfect (If you want that, go for Sinar or Linhof), but the mix of wood, beautiful bellow, polished Titanium AND, most importantly, EXTREMELY straightforward movements make it my camera. This is the one I keep. I can focus my 55 Apo-Grandagon, up to 300mm Fujinon C. Unfortunately, I miss 50mm of bellow extension to use my 450 Fujinon C at infinity....well, I could buy an extension tube. AND: I opted for the mahogany version, the ebony version was too heavy (500g more).

Torsten

Peter J. De Smidt
16-Mar-2009, 22:17
Torsten,

I agree. The Ebony RW 45 is a very good camera.

Ole Tjugen
20-Mar-2009, 15:23
http://cgi.ebay.de/Sinar-Deardorff-Horseman-CARBON-INFINITY-CAMERA-5-x-4_W0QQitemZ180335430218QQcmdZViewItemQQptZDE_Elektronik_Computer_Foto_Camcorder_AnalogeKameras_PM?hash=item180335430218&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1229%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Here's an unused (!) one...

Sold, for EUR 1997. A good price for the ultimate 4x5" camera, if you ask me.

Jan Becket
29-Mar-2009, 02:42
Steve, I can echo your excellent points. In 20+ years I've gone from Crown-G to Wisner to Canham to Ebony. (It's sort of like changing wives - but not.) The Wisner is a superb camera, but I had to carry and switch between bag and regular bellows too often; if you don't need to use both wide and tele, it's a great choice. I got a Canham for for its bellows, and ended up wishing that the Canham bellows were available for the Wisner. Those weird knobs on the Canham do work loose, no matter how well they were cinched down the last time, and that occasionally ruins shots. I sometimes shoot in marginal conditions with 20+ mph wind and the Canham doesn't begin to remain steady enough for my needs. The Ebony is rock solid (like the Wisner) and accommodates my range of lenses from 75-450 with its universal bellows. The triple-knob focus design of the bed quickly becomes one of those details that one learns and then uses without thinking. I've had the SV45U for a couple of years now and have to admit that the asymmetrical tilt feature is pretty nice, even seductive. Maybe the equivalent for LF photographers of having a TV remote and easy chair ...