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papergiraffe
30-Dec-2008, 11:51
I am new to the forum and want to get started in LF. I am looking for a used 4x5 and when I try to access the for sale forum it does not show me the listings since it is private. Can anyone point me in the right direction to find a used set up? I want to shoot landscape and weight is not an issue to me. I would rather get more movements and lug around a bigger camera. Thanks all

darr
30-Dec-2008, 12:58
From the front page:


For Sale/Wanted
Use of this area is strictly at your own risk. This is a private area where LF Forum members may post for sale & wanted-to-buy ads for photographic items. Must be a member at least 30 days to gain access. No references to active external ads or auctions, please. Please prefix posts to indicate intent: "WTB", "FS" , "FT" (for trade), etc. No dealers, please.

venchka
30-Dec-2008, 13:30
There you go. Clear as mud. Read and study for a month. Buy on Feb. 1.

Good luck!

papergiraffe
30-Dec-2008, 14:03
I dont ever remember saying I was not clear on why I could not access the for sale forum. I just mentioned I was new and I could not access the for sale forums because it is private to me (and everyone else who is new). Did you guys read the rest of my thread about advice on where to find a good first camera??

papergiraffe
30-Dec-2008, 14:04
Venchka, Thanks, good advice. I have been studying since september and just now getting ready to buy.

venchka
30-Dec-2008, 15:17
You're welcome. I read it three times. I got the impression you had given up on the For Sale area here.

No worries. Be patient. Every 4x5 camera worth having and all the rest have come up for sale here in recent memory. Be ready. Know what you want. When something you want comes along, be ready to jump on it. The good stuff priced right sells in minutes.

You will also be allowed to post a Want To Buy listing. Those get good results too.

Matus Kalisky
30-Dec-2008, 16:54
Hello and welcome aboard.
Landscape camera where the weight doesnot matter? Hmm. It may come to whether you prefer a monorail or a field camera (go figure ;) ). Also the budget usually also plays an important role. Maybe you could just mention a bit more where and what you want to photograph, how much do you EXPECET (in reality it is usualy more than that :D ) to spend on the gear and so on. Keep in mind that all the accessories will cost more than the camera alone.

For the very beginning - I would advice you to try find somebody who could offer you some hands-on experience if you did not have the chance so far. That would be the most efficient introuction for you.

Be sure to browse around - this forum is a great source of information. And - the more detailed questions you ask the betters answer you will get.

Ron Marshall
30-Dec-2008, 18:09
Check KEH Camera Brokers, Midwest Photo Exchange, Badger Graphics for used gear.

See the front page on this site for reviews of various cameras.

papergiraffe
30-Dec-2008, 18:43
Yeah, Just took your advice and checked out those sites. Alot of gear for sell. Tomorrow morning I am heading out with a seasoned LF shooter and he is going to give me a lesson on LF and setting up the shot. I was told I will be doing a complete shot from start to finish and taking an exposure home with me to get processed. This will really set my mind on buying a set up or not. Thanks all!

David Karp
30-Dec-2008, 21:07
Another reference for Jim Andracki at Midwest Photo Exchange. Very helpful and a nice guy.

neil poulsen
30-Dec-2008, 21:34
Midwest: www.mpex.com
KEH: www.keh.com
Jacks Camera: www.jackscamera.com
Igor's Exchange Camera: www.igorcamera.com
Lens and Repro: www.lensandrepro.com (Expensive.)
Calumet: www.calumetphoto.com (A bit high $. Look for Used at lower left.)
Brooklyn Camera: www.brooklyncamera.com
Quality Camera: www.qualitycamera.com. (Call; website not very functional. Also, see them in View Camera ads.)
Badger Graphic: www.badgergraphic.com

I've not used Igor's Camera myself, but I've seen it get a favorable nod on this site. Others?

All the rest except Badger I've used, and I've not had a problem. Badger Graphics always gets good remarks on this site.

Check your local www.craigslist.com, if it applies. In our area, usually kind of high. At the same time, I've seen some terrific LF deals on our local Portland craigslist. I wouldn't purchase by mail from these listings. Buy only what you yourself can inspect and pick up.

And of course: www.ebay.com. Look under heading Cameras & Photo.

Check for large format cameras, large format lenses, and large format accessories. See the last under Camera Accessories/Camera Body/Large Format.

DuncanD
30-Dec-2008, 21:38
I picked up a couple of Toyo 45G monorail cameras on theBay for about $200 each. Then I added a bag bellows to one for under $100. Like you, I don't mind the weight since my "backpack" is a Honda Element. I love the cameras.

papergiraffe
30-Dec-2008, 23:02
Awesome.. Thanks guys

ljsegil
31-Dec-2008, 03:13
I don't believe APUG.org has any restriction on using the classified ads after registration and they also do have ads for LF cameras, lenses, and accessories; the ads frequently duplicate those on this site although not exclusively so. A good site in any event for browsing as well. It contains a great deal of information organized in a very different manner which may facilitate your information searches.
Best,
Larry

Kuzano
2-Jan-2009, 06:34
Remember this about using retailers as price guides....

While it's true that having a reputable dealer, with a good reputation, operating behind the sale, they also have the ideal sales situation for them. An inventory and time to sell the product. Consider offers when looking.

Also, buying a used Large Format camera is not like buying highly complicated electronics gear. If you can get to it, you can pretty much determine condition.

Case in point. One of the dealers on that long list has a used Toyo 45 AII listed for $1599. I just sold one Like New in the original box to someone here who could not also access the sales ads, for $700. I venture that the camera listed at the retail outlet was no better than the one I just shipped two days ago.

Go slowly, do your research, don't get caught up in thinking that what you are looking at is unique in any way, in terms of not being able to find it again at a different price. I agree with looking at all those listings at retailers, but they are not representative of final sales prices.

Even if you don't plan to use eBay, register there so that you can research completed listings and see actual final prices. Looking at the active auctions doesn't tell you squat about what items are selling for. Search for the items, and then jump over into the completed listings section to see the completed sale prices. eBay will also convince you that very few items are truly rare or don't show up multiple times over a period of time.

I would hate to be the guy who buys the $1599 Toyo and then set it up next to someone to shoot a grand view, to find out he bought for $700. I'd probably just break my setup down and mope back to the car with it. My deal left $899 on the table for 2 0r 3 lenses.

papergiraffe
2-Jan-2009, 14:53
Ok, I have narrowed it down to a few choices. I would like to hear your input on these cameras. I know you all have seen and even used these cameras listed below for a while now and know the pro's and con's of them. If it were you, which one would you choose and why?

1.) Shen Hao HZX-45II New
2.) Arca Swiss Discovery Used
3.) Sinar F Series Used
4.) Tachihara 45GF New

Ernest Purdum
2-Jan-2009, 15:24
I am glad to see your search is narrowing down,m lbut I'm not at all surel that buying new is a good idea. The great advantage of buying used is that you very well may find some aspects ofl the camera that you don't like. You can now sell the camera. If there is any loss involved at all, you can consider it cheap rent. With that camera sold, you can buy one that hopefully will be your lifetime camera since your first purchase educated you in what is really appropriate to your personal way of working.

Either of the two used cameras you list would be a sensible choice. Personally, I'd vote for the Sinar because of the vast system it is part of.

Gem Singer
2-Jan-2009, 15:46
All four are excellent cameras. A previously owned camera, in pristine condition, is as almost as good as new.

The Tachihara and the Shen Hoa are wooden folding flatbed field cameras. They are smaller, lighter weight, and easier to backpack. I have owned both, and i can recommend either one. The Tachi is a little lighter weight than the Shen. The Shen has a little more movement capability than the Tachi..

The Arca and the Sinar are metal monorail cameras. They do not fold, and are bulky and heavy to carry into the field. However, it can be done.

It all depends whether you need a smaller, lighter field camera or a larger heavier studio camera.

You can't go wrong with any of your four choices

venchka
2-Jan-2009, 16:02
A note on ebay completed sales: The records only go back 30 days. The sales price for large format cameras may not be very extensive.

Both the Tachihara and Shen Hao are offered here with regularity. Sometimes with lenses, holders, etc. for a complete kit. A friend and LFPF member bought a really nice Shen Hao from another member of this Forum back in August-September. I think Wes got a fair deal. He likes the camera.

Be patient!

papergiraffe
2-Jan-2009, 16:36
I dont know if this camera has a bad name on this forum, but what about the 4x5 Chamonix? I have been told this is a great camera at a good price. The guy who took the time to show me how to shoot LF mentioned it so I wanted to throw it in the line up. As for the rail cameras, I am not afraid of weight, however I think I will go with the folding camera till I decide I really need more movmonts. So I now have narrowed it down to the three listed below and I assume you all will tell me they are all great cameras. By the way, thanks for all your help in this thread. I am sure future people who find this in a search will get some use out of it.
1.)Chamonix 45N-1
2.) Shen Hao HZX-45II
3.) Tachihara 45GF

Gem Singer
2-Jan-2009, 17:17
Add the new Shen-Hao PTB to your list. You'll find it at Badgergraphic Sales. Talk to Jeff.

For the best deal on a new Tachihara, talk to Jim, at Midwest Photo Exchange.

Or, as Wayne (Venchka) suggested, place a WTB ad on this website, and someone will offer a previously owned Chamonix, Shen-Hao, or Tachihara at a reasonable price.

Each of those cameras offer more movement capability than you will be needing for a long time to come.

Bill L.
2-Jan-2009, 17:47
FWIW, I doubt that if landscapes are your primary subject, that you can go too far wrong with a good field camera instead of a monorail. Typically, the degree of movements that you use is not that incredible (your mileage may vary of course). As a former Shen-hao owner, I don't think you can go too far wrong with one, and there are enough used out there that you should be able to find one used if you keep your eyes open for a while. They're pretty solid, and have a pretty good range of movements (though I don't think I would use one as my primary architecture camera). I used up to a fuji 400 telephoto with it on the long end, and a 90 mm on the short end without any difficulty. Haven't used the Chamonix, so really can't say much about it, although it seems to enjoy a good reputation on the forum.

The advantage of buying used is that if you don't like it, you can probably sell for close to the same price you bought.

Cheers!
Bill

Frank Petronio
2-Jan-2009, 17:59
If you want more movements and can handle slightly more difficult packing the Sinar F2 (or Norma) or Arca Discovery are great. The Arca and it's accessories are more expensive and scarce. The Sinars are plentiful and inexpensive these days. As you might expect, the Arca is more compact and lighter and maybe nicer made (all metal). The Sinars are first class as well but a bit larger... of their line, the F2 is the best of the F-series because it has a more robust front standard.

Now for about the same price as an F2 you can get a Sinar Norma, which is one of the best cameras ever made. Sorry to add that to your list.

papergiraffe
2-Jan-2009, 18:19
Can one of you take a look in the for sale section of this forum and let me know if you see a chamonix or Shen-Hao? I have only been a member for a couple days and I am not allowed in that forum yet. Thanks

Bill_1856
2-Jan-2009, 18:45
For your first venture into LF photography, you don't want equipment which may give you problems, so stay away from ebay or this forum want adds, and deal with an established dealer of new/used equipment such as those mentioned above.

redrockcoulee
2-Jan-2009, 19:53
For your first venture into LF photography, you don't want equipment which may give you problems, so stay away from ebay or this forum want adds, and deal with an established dealer of new/used equipment such as those mentioned above.

I must disagree as the only problem cameras I have bought both came from dealers, one in Long Beach that sold me a 5X7 with many pinholes in the bellows and Igor's which sold me a camera advertised incorrectly and shoe polished together so it did not open without harming the bellows. On the other hand the Shen Hao I bought on ebay was mint and problem free and a bit of savings from any dealer's price.

Just do not buy real old cameras on ebay and on this forum ask lots of questions as other members will give you honest answers. As you can tell we have different views and opinions based on our past experiences and biases. Ask lots and listen.

Kirk Fry
2-Jan-2009, 20:18
A Calumet CC400 series View Camera is not a bad starter until you know what you want. You can get good ones for less than $100. K (I still have mine after 30 years.....)

papergiraffe
2-Jan-2009, 20:45
I think I am leaning towards the Chamonix.. Now I just need to find a used one.

darr
2-Jan-2009, 20:51
I think I am leaning towards the Chamonix.. Now I just need to find a used one.

There is one listed on the auction site, item 280297872383

papergiraffe
2-Jan-2009, 21:16
I cant access the site. Thats why I asked one of you fine gents to do it for me.

papergiraffe
2-Jan-2009, 21:19
OOOPPPSSSS! Sorry, I just realized you ment ebay

SamWeiss
3-Jan-2009, 16:02
1.) Shen Hao HZX-45II New
2.) Arca Swiss Discovery Used
3.) Sinar F Series Used
4.) Tachihara 45GF New

Which is pretty much the same list most people come to after they've researched this for awhile.

Having watched eBay extensively lately (as well as most other sources), I can tell you that a used Shen Hao has been going for only about $100 cheaper than a new one. Discovery prices have been all over the board, but there are a few here for sale for around $800. Sinar prices on eBay have been very irregular lately, and often the seller doesn't properly distinguish between F1 or F2, or the differences between the latest F2 and the earlier ones. The Tachis go for less than the Shens on eBay. Craigslist is hard to search (on multiple locations) and from what I've seen only the SF and LA metro areas have a good supply of LF cameras posted.

But here is the real question for you: you've listed two field camera and two monorails - are you sure you want to haul around a monorail? Heck, are you sure you want to haul around any LF camera (and the required tripod, etc.)?

D. Bryant
3-Jan-2009, 21:46
are you sure you want to haul around a monorail?

I agree. Monorail cameras for field work essentially suck. I don't know why people recommend these to beginners.

Don Bryant

CG
3-Jan-2009, 22:05
... and Igor's which sold me a camera advertised incorrectly ...

I too bought a camera that didn't come close to Igor's description. He said it was excellent. I would have described it as fair condition. It took more than one trip to repair shops to bring it to what I would call good condition. I would only buy from him again if I could see the camera in question in person. The deal overall wasn't bad, he threw in a couple of interesting items, but the camera was just not what I thought I was getting.

papergiraffe
3-Jan-2009, 22:36
guys, as mentioned in my opening post, I dont mind lugging around the weight. I am always lugging around heavy gear all day with my digital set up. And I'm a little guy, 125 lbs wet! However, if you look at my most recent reply I had narrowed it down to the chamonix. Now I just need to find one. There is one used available on ebay but it is only $75 less than a new one. If you all know anyone selling one or if there is one in the for sale forum I would appreciate the info. All your reply's have been a huge help.

Frank Petronio
4-Jan-2009, 00:13
I don't think you'll much of price difference between used and new Chamonix until production catches up with demand. Depending on the economy that could be within a year, but I am hopeful that things will pick up and you'll have to be wait listed just like everyone else to date.

For the type of camera that it is, it seems like the best of the lot. Frankly the best strategy I can think of is for you to get a cheaper monorail or $500 Shen-Hao (or whatever light tight box turns your fancy) to "learn on" and then sell it when a Chamonix turns up.

It's not a bad way to go since it gets you out photographing much sooner and you can see if this really is for you. The Chamonix may indeed be the bee's knees, but honestly there are so many other factors involved with determining whether you even like using large format film that of the cameras you've been discussing, the Chamonix is perhaps only a minor improvement -- maybe it will provide more pleasurable focusing or a more convenient movement or two? But it's not so amazingly great that it will make a significant difference in whether you stick with the format or not.

At least until they put a toaster in it. If it could heat up a Pop-Tart while you're waiting for the light to improve or for the model to change, it would be awesome.

mikebarger
4-Jan-2009, 08:30
My experience with Igor is the same as CG's. I have bought from him since, but I ALWAYS downgrade his rating by at least one level and ask lots of questions.

Mike

walter23
4-Jan-2009, 08:37
Ok, I have narrowed it down to a few choices. I would like to hear your input on these cameras. I know you all have seen and even used these cameras listed below for a while now and know the pro's and con's of them. If it were you, which one would you choose and why?

1.) Shen Hao HZX-45II New


I would choose this one because I did choose this one (which I did because I wanted a field camera with lots of movements and the Shen Hao fits the bill - I still don't have a lens that has more image circle than my shen hao can use).

Front: rise/fall, tilt, swing, base tilt, Rear: rise/fall, shift, tilt, swing.

Max extension is about 330mm (enough for all my lenses and comparable to a lot of field cameras). Lens boards are common (linhof technika style). Price was right at about $600. Bag bellows makes wide angle lens use very easy ($100 more, but worth it if you're using a 90mm or shorter lens). And it's much more compact than a monorail.

Kuzano
4-Jan-2009, 08:38
At least until they put a toaster in it. If it could heat up a Pop-Tart while you're waiting for the light to improve or for the model to change, it would be awesome.

I like the idea. Based on my experience in banking in the 70's there should be a lot of mint toasters sitting in closets around the country. So, why not go in another direction. Take a toaster and add the necessary ingredients to use it to shoot large format?

I second the very unlikely prospect of finding a bargain on a Chamonix. They are not long in the market. The people in line for either new or used resembles the line in front of a software store when Microsoft introduces a new Operating System for computers. Bring a tent and a sleeping bag.

Shen Hao has come out with, dare I say, a clone of the Chamonix, which was also a take off on Dick Phillips camera. Badger Graphics is carrying the new Shen Hao. Some say the Chamonix is built better, but those are often the things you hear from people who are already committed to a certain camera. I've seen a couple of good comments on the Shen Hao ne Chamonix. Last I looked it was $650 new at Badger, which is likely less than any discovery of a used Chamonix.

walter23
4-Jan-2009, 08:41
guys, as mentioned in my opening post, I dont mind lugging around the weight. I am always lugging around heavy gear all day with my digital set up. And I'm a little guy, 125 lbs wet! However, if you look at my most recent reply I had narrowed it down to the chamonix. Now I just need to find one. There is one used available on ebay but it is only $75 less than a new one. If you all know anyone selling one or if there is one in the for sale forum I would appreciate the info. All your reply's have been a huge help.

What you may be forgetting is that the camera is only part of the equation. I think my backpack fully loaded could well exceed 50lbs. Every little bit you can shave off of that helps. I'm a big strong guy and I know how to work (I do occasional days on a crab fishing boat), and I wouldn't want to be lugging a monorail around with all the rest of my gear. Plus it either takes up way too much room in the backpack, or it's a pain to set up (if you collapse it down and remove the standards). You need backpack space for your darkcloth, for film holders, for lenses & filters, light meter, various other odds and ends, etc. My lowepro phototrekker (a pretty big bag) is stuffed to capacity, no way I'd squeeze a monorail into it along with everything else.

Monorails are pretty versatile but I really think they are principally for studio work. Of course you can use them anywhere, and I know large format photography isn't really about convenience, but why add significant inconvenience? You'll regret it when you miss the light in that sudden unexpected opportunity because you're messing around with a cumbersome camera. A folding field camera just pops onto your tripod and in about 5 seconds (install lens board, lock down) you're ready to focus and shoot.