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ConnorR
12-Jan-2009, 20:06
Okay, so I know from experience that you hate people like me. I know little about large format and less about the cost of getting started. I've been shooting for a bit over two years and found an amazing deal on a hasselblad 500c locally and film has been my real interest recently. I self develop my own B&W in my sink and have access to a darkroom at my highschool. They don't have enlargers big enough for 4x5, however. I own an Epson 4490 which I don't think is big enough for complete 4x5 scans. I may be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time.

So my question is what is the cost for a complete large format outfit that I can use for the rest of my life? One lens is all I would need for now. I'm toying with the idea of shooting large format and I think it's something I would really enjoy. I prefer a slow workflow.

Most of my film work is on my flickr, www.flickr.com/photos/connorroelke

Thanks in advance everyone.

bspeed
12-Jan-2009, 20:25
A Nikon Cafe guy! hello there, buddy.

The Camera and lens is one thing, I see you also will have some ha$$les maybe, in developing. Do they have any 4x5 developing tanks, etc at school ?

and your local craigslist :) there is a Bessler 23c for $100....talk em down.. It might be capable of adding4x5 stuff

and for only $15, you should grab this for the display shelf:
http://nh.craigslist.org/pho/974228857.html lol. but really yes.

more darkroom:
http://nh.craigslist.org/pho/973800898.html

redrockcoulee
12-Jan-2009, 20:46
Large Format may end up less expensive that a Hasselblad system if you buy more than one lens or could be much higher if you buy several of the more expensive LF lenses.

If you have access at school for medium format you may be better off with MF and using their equipment. Lots of us use both MF and LF and since you are in high school you probably have more time than some of us to learn to use them both very effectively. Bspeed is correct in that there is a bigger difference in equipment between 35mm and LF than in 35mm and MF and if you are using a high school darkroom some of your options may be limited.

To your original question is for a used good camera that is relatively new plus a decent lens, film holders, light meter etc you could fit yourself up for 700 to 850. There are also lots of less expensive ways to go LF, my first camera was a 5X7 with lens and 4X5 reducing back for $300 and although that was years ago, someone I know got a similar type of system for approximately the same amount last year. A Crown Graphic with lens may be under 250.

Tripod needed for both formats as is a light meter. Something that is usually mentioned to a beginner is that very few stay with the first LF camera they buy and there is a lot of truth in that. Some cameras are more portable, some are better for wide angle lenses while others support longer lenses better, the metal versus wood and the field versus monorail aspects and finally in LF there are many different formats and only experience lets you know which is for you.
Prior to getting into LF read lots. Ask lots of questions but think them through first and the answers will be more useful if you do.

I have no answer as to why we would hate you, envy your youth sometimes perhaps but not sure as to the hate reference.

erie patsellis
12-Jan-2009, 20:49
maybe you'd get a better answer asking how long is a piece of string?

In all seriousness, you can spend as little or as much as you can afford (or not afford), you'll be trading sweat equity for cost, but it can be done inexpensively.

Vaughn
12-Jan-2009, 20:51
Well, it depends on what size LF you'll be happy with "for the rest of your life". For under $300 you can scratch together a Crown Graphic set-up...hand hold it or put it on a pod (I think the Busch press cameras are better than the Graphics). It would be a nice in-between camera -- allowing you to take some of the action images I saw on your site, but also to slow down and study the composition on the ground glass for those B&W images like I saw of Maine.

If you wanted to go with a full-blown field 4x5 (more movement than a press camera, but not the weight and bulkiness of a studio monorail camera), then you will have to toss in several more hundred dollars. And keep your eyes out for a 4x5 enlarger going cheap on Craig's List.

Cameras...(using ebay for examples only)

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ikeda-Anba-4x5-Field-View-Camera_W0QQitemZ190278636500QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item190278636500&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

Or this one...

http://cgi.ebay.com/NAGAOKA-4-X-5-WOODEN-FIELD-CAMERA-EXC_W0QQitemZ110317730083QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item110317730083&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

Or a metal version

http://cgi.ebay.com/TOYO-FIELD-45AII-FOLDING-4x5-FIELD-CAMERA-BODY-AS-IS_W0QQitemZ220341758062QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item220341758062&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

It would be nice to find a complete system for sale...but if one was to get only one lens, my vote is for a Caltar IIN 150mm...small inexpensive and a high quality lens. But what focal length to get is a matter of opinion...usually something between 120mm and 210mm perhaps?

It is like asking what kind of car should one buy -- so many possibilities!

Good luck! Vaughn

PS...sorry, looks like you will have to cut and paste those links.

ConnorR
12-Jan-2009, 21:06
Wow, I really appreciate the responses everyone.

The hate reference it's sometimes repetitive to read the I'm new what do I do kind of posts without much description of what the person is looking for.

I'll try my best to help.

Should be portable enough that I am willing to bring it places
Must be cheap enough that I can still afford the developing gear needed/scanner. ~$500?
Full movements would be nice
I'd like to not buy another tripod but I know enough about LF that a study tripod is essencial. I have a bogen something with a small ballhead. Is there any chance I can get away with that?

I'm thinking that I might want to stick to medium format. I don't know. I want to shoot LF for the artistic control (and i'm not one to try and replicate tilt/shift in PS) and not so much for enormous prints. I could see 16x20s but rarely anything larger and my hasselblad could handle a 16x16 well.

So, before I open my very shallow wallet, is large format for me?

I'll check out the links/posts in more detail tomorrow. It's getting late.

Edit: the for the rest of my life comment was not entirely accurate. I could go with an intro to LF type camera as well.

erie patsellis
12-Jan-2009, 21:12
well, if you're near St. Louis, I saw this last night, the price is certainly right:

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/pho/987776848.html

John Kasaian
12-Jan-2009, 22:38
Wow, I really appreciate the responses everyone.

The hate reference it's sometimes repetitive to read the I'm new what do I do kind of posts without much description of what the person is looking for.

I'll try my best to help.

Should be portable enough that I am willing to bring it places
Must be cheap enough that I can still afford the developing gear needed/scanner. ~$500?
Full movements would be nice
I'd like to not buy another tripod but I know enough about LF that a study tripod is essencial. I have a bogen something with a small ballhead. Is there any chance I can get away with that?

I'm thinking that I might want to stick to medium format. I don't know. I want to shoot LF for the artistic control (and i'm not one to try and replicate tilt/shift in PS) and not so much for enormous prints. I could see 16x20s but rarely anything larger and my hasselblad could handle a 16x16 well.

So, before I open my very shallow wallet, is large format for me?

I'll check out the links/posts in more detail tomorrow. It's getting late.

Edit: the for the rest of my life comment was not entirely accurate. I could go with an intro to LF type camera as well.

How enough is portable enough? Will you be carrying it in a back pack or in a suitcase or in the trunk of your car? You can find capable Calumet or Graphic monorails for right around $150. Add an extra $75 for an old tilt-all tripod.

Developing gear for large format can be wickedly expensive. A set of three trays from Freestyle will set you back 12 bucks and a graduate for another $10 or $12.:)

With a decent lens, I'd say you could easily be in the LF business.

bspeed
13-Jan-2009, 06:54
So, before I open my very shallow wallet, is large format for me?


Yes, because you are the future of LF :)


Conner, Look for a deal that has a good lens or two involved.....

a crappy camera with decent to good lenses is a good way to get your lenses.
I.E. a deal where the cost is so good, you could throw the camera in the trash!
and keep the lens for when you find the better camera.

it will take a while to get everything, so perhaps just make it a longer term aquisition project.

food for thought.

keith english
13-Jan-2009, 07:24
You don't really need a big expensive tripod for 4x5. I use a bogen mid-range with ball head for digital and 4x5. If you use a cable release and avoid high wind it is fine. One reason I like large format is that the pictures with long exposures are (almost) always sharp, something I haven't been able to accomplish with dslr and anything longer than about 200mm lenses, even with remote release. My slr does not have mirror lock up and I'm sure that is the problem. My next one will!

kmack
13-Jan-2009, 07:39
Let's talk about me :)

I got a beat up Korona 5x7 with a good bellows from a member here for less than $100. Add 1 week and about $30 clean and fix it it up. I had an Ilex 180/300 convertible lens in a working polaroid shutter that will cover 5x7, I got that for about $180. A Zone IV tripod (overkill) used for $80. Three used beatup 5x7 film holders cost about $50.

That covers the basics. Just add film, chemicals and some time and talent.

If only I had the talent.

Louie Powell
13-Jan-2009, 07:39
The cost is pretty much what you are willing to pay. My approach was to take baby steps, looking for economical options until I made the decision that LF is what I really wanted to do.

First, the camera and lens. You can pick up a Crown Graphic with a 135mm lens for a couple hundred dollars. It's not an ideal LF camera - movements are very limited, but it give you a larger negative and the experience of working off a ground glass. And Crowns are battleships that will last forever - even if you choose to upgrade later, you can hang onto a Crown as a second body for those situations when you might not want to use a more expensive camera.

I normally use a Tiltall tripod with my LF camera, but I've also taken a few trips when the logistics of transportation favored using a lighter weight triopd, so I used the tripod that I bought for use with my 35mm equipment. If you ever move beyond 4x5 you might want to look for something more robust. But for now, use what you have.

The third element is the enlarger - I found an Omega DII that is probably is about as old as I am, that was fully outfitted (lenses and boards/cones) for 6x6cm and 4x5" negatives. I fully expect that enlarger to last longer than I will.

So, bottom line - I think you can get yourself outfitted for 4x5 for less than $500. Eventually, you may want to spend more (GAS is almost unavoidable), and whether it will last you for the rest of your life really depends on how your vision and interests evolve.

dazedgonebye
13-Jan-2009, 07:44
That bad news is that your Epson 4490 won't scan 4x5.

nathanm
13-Jan-2009, 08:03
I hate people like ConnorR. You know the type; they know little about large format and less about the cost of getting started. They'll often shoot just over two years and find an amazing deal on a hasselblad 500c or something and get interested in it. They'll usually self develop B&W in their sinks and have access to a darkroom at their highschools. Of course they don't have enlargers big enough for 4x5! Idiots. They probably own an Epson 4490 which isn't even big enough for complete 4x5 scans.

Then they'll ask stupid questions like, "What's the cost for a complete large format outfit that I can use for the rest of my life?" and other such nonsense. They'll think, "One lens is all I would need for now." They'll toy with the idea of shooting large format and think it's something they'll really enjoy, claiming to prefer a slow workflow. Man, do I hate these kind of people. Just hate 'em! I wish they would go away and leave us alone already!

Bill_1856
13-Jan-2009, 08:08
Wow, I really appreciate the responses everyone.


I'm thinking that I might want to stick to medium format.
So, before I open my very shallow wallet, is large format for me?



I can't think of any good reason for you to even try large format.

Vaughn
13-Jan-2009, 08:16
Man, do I hate these kind of people. Just hate 'em! I wish they would go away and leave us alone already!

But Nathan, it would get awful lonely around here with just you and me...and I am not all that sure about you...:D

Vaughn

seawolf66
13-Jan-2009, 08:40
What everybody is saying is START Cheap and work your way up to better stuff if you find you do like it, My first set up was for 200.00 got a camera, camera lens and film holders, then bought some expired film to play with, was only about 6 months over exp date: and Now oh boy two cameras and a bunch of film holders and a bunch of lenses , as for Lenses. Your first lens should be in 150mm to 240mm range a good place to start with: Then find a yankee tank or a hp combo tank so you can do this at home or if the school has that stuff then your there: Good luck and enjoy it is fun :

seawolf66
13-Jan-2009, 08:43
Nathan: [Man, do I hate these kind of people. Just hate 'em! I wish they would go away and leave us alone already!] It seems someone did not get their Latte tis morning : Lauren

Jim Bradley
13-Jan-2009, 09:52
In a (failed) attempt to control my GAS I've spent less on LF than the other formats. I bought a Arca Swiss A/B/C for ~$200, light weight with full movements and a Schneider 150 mm for ~$200, 10 used film holders ~$50. Everything else (light meter, tripod, enlarger, EPSON Scanner, etc) I leveraged from my MF setup. So for less than a lens for the Hassie you're in the game. Also as you succumb to GAS (which you already appear to have:) ) you can upgrade piecemeal (eg I've gotten a Toyo 45A but still use the 150mm lens)
Have fun

JGB

Kuzano
13-Jan-2009, 10:40
At the moment, there is a Tachihara and two lenses on Portland Oregon Craigslist for $750, which looks very nice.

Furthermore, I just sold a Calument Cadet in like new condition with two lens boards and three film holders for $232.50 (plus $35 ship), in the ballistic cloth original case. (Yes, some boo/hiss the Cadet). It's a very capable starter camera.

I started with Large format with a $150 Crown Graphic/135 lens in shutter, a tripod ($50) three holders and film. Frankly, the Crown could probably handle everything I have shot to date.

Large format only has to be as expensive as your ego demands. If you're looking at a Hassy, you may also be the kind of person who simply "must own" and Ebony, Walker, or similar top of the line camera's that do little more than a Tachihara or a Toyo monorail. Not that there is anything wrong with ego-based decisions. Some refer to it as simply being a discriminating buyer. I prefer the word ego, because I am an egotist before I am anything else, and to the extent that my budget allows.

jnanian
13-Jan-2009, 16:53
connor

you don't really need an enlarger, you can make contact prints
with regular old fb or rc paper and a lamp, like what's his name did.
and then after you make your prints, you
can scan them and digi-enlarge them to whatever size you want.
small prints are kind of nice ( i like'em more than big prints ) so you might just
end up liking what you made small.
as for cost, others have suggested prices and cameras and lenses and all that stuff.
all in all for a few hundred dollars you can do very well for yourself, and for even less
you could make a large pinhole camera ( foam core and tape or a box / tin ) and make big pinhole negatives
to enlarge with your computer ..
lf isn't really that expensive, there's just a mystique around it that it is a lot harder than
it actually is ...

have fun!
john

John Kasaian
13-Jan-2009, 20:47
To add to what john just said---
Don't get wrapped up in gear. Gear alone can not expand your creative horizons. It is more about how you use the gear you have (or the gear you can afford)

Some of the best music I have heard comes from buskers----guys who play on street corners in big cities. Look at the instruments they play, certainly older and often well hammered old horns from a thrift store.

But the music---WOW! pure talent! :) I humbly submit to you that such is a path that you might want to travel.

Gear is fun, but don't let the lack of gear get in the way of your creativity. If you cannot make an interesting photograph with a Brownie Box, a new Ebony isn't going to help matters any more than piloting a 747 if you can't figure out how to land a Cessna 152.

Good luck!

tim o'brien
13-Jan-2009, 21:04
To add to what john just said---
Don't get wrapped up in gear. Gear alone can not expand your creative horizons. It is more about how you use the gear you have (or the gear you can afford)

Some of the best music I have heard comes from buskers----guys who play on street corners in big cities. Look at the instruments they play, certainly older and often well hammered old horns from a thrift store.

But the music---WOW! pure talent! :) I humbly submit to you that such is a path that you might want to travel.

Gear is fun, but don't let the lack of gear get in the way of your creativity. If you cannot make an interesting photograph with a Brownie Box, a new Ebony isn't going to help matters any more than piloting a 747 if you can't figure out how to land a Cessna 152.

Good luck!

Oh yeah, the best drummer I ever heard was playing garbage can tops and plastic buckets outside Shinjuko Station in about 1998. Jamacian kid with long hair and locks. I just looked at him, gave him a couple hundred yen and asked him what the hell was he doing there and not backing up some great jazz musician in a studio. he had no answer.

Anyhow, I would start with a 5x7 field camera with a 4x5 back. Get 210 lens with a decent shutter. You can then shoot 5x7 and contact print, or 4x5 and wait for that 45MX to drop in your lap (it will). This will get you in the groove... Don't worry about the development, just read and the correct (cheap) method will appear. I have gone through several systems, it winds up my development stuff cost less 50 bucks and I can develop anything from 2x3 to 8x10 with excellent consistency.

The thing is to start. My lifetime system didn't appear till I had been using LF for 20 years. yet I still have my first LF camera, a 4x5 Speed Graphic with a 150 fujinon lens.

tim in san jose

cjbroadbent
14-Jan-2009, 03:46
Perhaps Connor's question got lost in translation, so let me ramble on regardless:
If I lost all in a fire but my 35mm Summilux, I could happily start all over again by swapping it for 6 brown bottles, 2 trays, a tube, a printing frame, any non-itsy-bitsy 8x10, 2 holders, video legs, and a 10" lens.

Joseph O'Neil
14-Jan-2009, 05:26
You can count your chickens here a million different ways and get a million different answers, but here is how my situation stacks up.

I shoot, or have shot, 35mm, 120, large format and Digital SLR. I now do very little colour work in film, that is almost all the DSLR.

When I put EVERYTHING together - the cost of my chemistry, the cost of my ink blocks for my Xerox colour printer, the cost of my enlarger, the cost of new lenses for my digital SLR, the cost of film, the cost of a good monitor for my computer, the cost of a power supply & timer for my enlarger, the cost of a good external hard drive, and so on and so on and so on, I personally find that stand alone, that my large format photography is the LEAST expensive of all formats.

The other thing I am finding is now that I am (very slowly :D ) moving from my 4x5 into 8x10, I find my 8x10 is costing me LESS than my 4x5. My process lenses in packard shutter are less money than my 4x5 lenses, I contact print (no enlarger), and as I move up in size, I shoot less film, less prints, but my work gets better.

You mileage may and will vary, but LF photography is the cheapest route in the long run over all other format in my specific case.
good luck
joe

Kuzano
14-Jan-2009, 09:44
I just remembered that there used to be a large format camera that you built out of cardboard. It came in a box in sheets, pre-cut and you punched out the parts and assembled them (Tab A into Slot A). It was pinhole, which solved the lens question. This was about 5 years ago.

It was actually supposed to work and I recall a $50 price, but for that you had a NEW camera. I already had a 4X5 at the time, so I passed. But, if I had the same questions you pose... that's where I think I would have started. If I had, however, I might still be shooting medium format. I didn't start MF with a Holga, but that cardboard camera may just have a seasoned following of cult members, like the Holga and the Polaroid SX70 Time Zero people.

And, of course, there's always the HooverCam:

http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/~holder/hoovercam/index.html

eddie
14-Jan-2009, 16:39
what kuzano said!

get a 4x5 pinhole camera....or make one. about 75mm hole to film is a good length. you would be surprised how good the images really are. the most expensive thing for the set up will be the film and holders....and they are cheap!

try it. contact print a bit...go from there.....be careful! i ma shooting 11x14 now and would love to go bigger but can not .....too much mooola for lenses and holders for the bigger stuff......maybe i will try some big wet plate.....

ConnorR
14-Jan-2009, 20:06
Wow, I'm extremely impressed with the amount and quality of replies here. Definitely a lot to get my thinking about.

I've been looking around a lot and this is definitely affordable. I'm seriously considering it and I think my Dad might even be in for splitting the costs as he used to be a studio photographer and would love to use a 4x5.

I just picked up some 8x10 paper, most pinhole is done with photo paper right? I'd love to give that a try.

Again, thank you SO MUCH everyone.

falth j
14-Jan-2009, 22:18
ConnorR

There is good news for scanning too.

An Epson 4990 scanner isn't too expensive these days, and is quite capable of producing darn fine 4x5 scans that will work for you, if you have a fairly modern computer, decent processor speed, a couple of GB of RAM, and a decent amount of hard disc space; 500GB and 1TB drives are getting pretty affordable.

A 2.5" 300GB USB SATA internal hard drive with a $15.00 empty carrying case, can be had for about $59.00 and $15.95 respectively for the drive and case, complete with cables, that make your files easily transportable to someone with a decent printer.

Drew Bedo
15-Jan-2009, 13:02
Why not start off modestly and just get used to the process first? There is way more to LF than just the equipment. The change to LF from any hand-held format may be more different than the change from 35mm to a medium format. It might be more different than switching from a Film-SLR to a D-SLR.

We can all talk all day about what it could cost to build a low-end intro kit or a high-end dream kit. The exact selection of items could occupy a thread here for months.

My feeling is that whatever you do, a LF outfit can be put together for less money than a D-SLR set-up, including lenses strobe, memory and so on.

I would check on e-bay regularly. Often you can find a complete shooting outfit with a camera, film holders, lenses, light meter, maybe some filters and a carry bag offered as a lot.

The important thing is not to agonize over all this stuff....get out and shoot. If LF is not for your cup-of-tea, you can get out. If you really like our world, you can adjust your kit as you go.

Cheers,

ConnorR
15-Jan-2009, 13:27
I'll keep an eye on ebay for sure. I have a light meter, access to a darkroom, etc etc, so I assume I'll only need a body, lens, and film holders? Assuming the body comes with bellows? Am I missing anything?

Drew Bedo
15-Jan-2009, 18:50
Dark Cloth, magnifier (loup), cable release, a bigger-than-35mm tripod, filters (optional)....

ConnorR
15-Jan-2009, 20:30
Any idea as to the worth of the following?

Calumet Cambo 45NX
Calumet Caltar 165mm
5 Fedilty Holders
Bellows, cable, dark cloth, everything I would need + misc accessories.

I had someone offer to sell it to me, but neither of us know the price range and I'm having trouble finding anything on eBay/KEH. Any idea?

neil poulsen
15-Jan-2009, 21:17
The Calumet Cambo cameras are excellent and can be found for relatively little money for good models. I'm not sure that they fit your easy to pack criterial. They're a monorail. But, they can be excellent cameras. There are lots of reasonably priced accessories available for these models.

Two of the most reasonably priced lenses are a 180 and the 210.

aduncanson
16-Jan-2009, 05:49
The Caltar 165mm f/6.3 was made by Ilex and is a tessar meaning that it is good for 4x5, but will only offer a moderate amount of movement, 15 to 19 mm. Still that would be good for most landscape work, but probably not for tabletop or architecture. An Ilex 165mm/6.3 sold on eBay last week for $68.

sailbad
16-Jan-2009, 16:52
As a new comer I can honestly say that I have taken full advantage of the
folks who are emptying their closets and going digital. I searched all over the
net etc, for an enlarger and found one from a local source ( Prism Imaging )
who have gone totaly digital. The owner of the store gave me the Omega
complete with 5 rodenstocks and a lens turret & a ton of accessories for the
price of $100 Canadian. He also threw in all of his remaining paper stock and
anything he could find related to B&W printing.........what a score and yes it
even does 4x5, 120 6x6 6x7 6x9 6x4.5 and 35mm too!
Some of my best shots are done with an old Moskva folder that I
got on e-bay for $65, the prints may not be of the sharpness of a Fuji 690 but
it was cheap and allowed me to learn rangefinder skills and it's 6x9. My
Calumet c400 cost me $300 and came with two great lenses and a ton of
gear. Most of my stuff is 120 and you can get an old Yashica 635 for $75 and
shoot 35mm or 120 with the same camera..........and cheaply too.
Darkroom gear is all over and if you're nice you can get a mountain of
gear for a song because of the closet thing again.

Andrew O'Neill
16-Jan-2009, 17:29
Calumet Cambo 45NX
Calumet Caltar 165mm
5 Fedilty Holders
Bellows, cable, dark cloth, everything I would need + misc accessories.

The Cambo is a great studio camera. I still have mine but don't use it as I prefer a field camera that I can pack around with me. The 165mm lens is slightly longer than "normal" for 4x5. Good lens to start with. You will eventually want something wider. When you say bellows, what are you refering to? Is there an extra bellows with it? If all are in good shape, offer $500.

eddie
16-Jan-2009, 17:58
you can use paper or film for your pinhole. check out the pinhole designer to help get you going. f295.org is a great place to hang out too.

edie

ConnorR
21-Jan-2009, 15:34
Would a Tachihara + 150mm ish lens that will last me forever be a good choice? That way I can get into it relatively cheaply and will have a lens to use forever. Ken Rockwell seems to rave about them, though I don't usually assign much value to what he says. Everyone seems to like them as a lightweight field camera. Yay/nay?

The Cambo deal fell through - He was $800 firm and that was more than I wanted to pay.

Kuzano
22-Jan-2009, 10:19
Would a Tachihara + 150mm ish lens that will last me forever be a good choice? That way I can get into it relatively cheaply and will have a lens to use forever. Ken Rockwell seems to rave about them, though I don't usually assign much value to what he says. Everyone seems to like them as a lightweight field camera. Yay/nay?

The Cambo deal fell through - He was $800 firm and that was more than I wanted to pay.

This gentleman/acquaintance has been using a strict formula for well over 20 years:

A well maintained Tachihara
Three superb lenses (can't quote what they are)
Fuji Velvia
A good relationship with his processor.

He does NO post processing himself (I know because I maintain his computer.. no photo editing software of any consequence)

He visits his photo sites many times without the camera to gauge various light and composition facets before capturing an image.

But back to your query....will a Tachihara do the job. ??????

http://www.brucejacksonphotography.com/index.htm

Joseph O'Neil
23-Jan-2009, 05:33
Would a Tachihara + 150mm ish lens that will last me forever be a good choice? That way I can get into it relatively cheaply and will have a lens to use forever. Ken Rockwell seems to rave about them, though I don't usually assign much value to what he says. Everyone seems to like them as a lightweight field camera. Yay/nay?


IMO, absolutely yes. Go 135mm if you can over a 150mm, but hey, if the price is right, grab what you can. Sometimes there are some very good deals on 150mm lenses out there.

I have four, 4x5 cameras, an 8x10, and an assortment of lenses from 90mm to 600mm, but if I had to choose only one camera and one lens, it would be my Tachihara and my 135mm Sironar-N. Your mileage may vary.

No camera does every job you want or need, so at some point you just have to jump in the water and get your feet wet and do the best you can with what you ahve.

good luck
joe

Jim Galli
23-Jan-2009, 19:42
Any idea as to the worth of the following?

Calumet Cambo 45NX
Calumet Caltar 165mm
5 Fedilty Holders
Bellows, cable, dark cloth, everything I would need + misc accessories.

I had someone offer to sell it to me, but neither of us know the price range and I'm having trouble finding anything on eBay/KEH. Any idea?

I started with a Cambo. They're a rock solid place to begin and I've made some memorable pictures with a Caltar 165mm lens. That little outfit is worth about $225 I looked at your stuff on flickr. You ought to go for it. Forget about the last me forever bit. I don't have anything I started with. Nothing. That's why God made Ebay. Try it all.

ConnorR
23-Jan-2009, 20:42
This gentleman/acquaintance has been using a strict formula for well over 20 years:

A well maintained Tachihara
Three superb lenses (can't quote what they are)
Fuji Velvia
A good relationship with his processor.

He does NO post processing himself (I know because I maintain his computer.. no photo editing software of any consequence)

He visits his photo sites many times without the camera to gauge various light and composition facets before capturing an image.

But back to your query....will a Tachihara do the job. ??????

http://www.brucejacksonphotography.com/index.htm

Sent him an email regarding lenses.


Hey Connor,

I use the 90mm Rodenstock f4.5 Grandagon, 135mm Schneider Apo-symmar f5.6, Rodenstock Sironar 180mm f5.6, 210 f5.6 Schneider Symmar-S and the Fujinon 300 f8.5 C. All these lenses are outstanding. Although, I feel the 180mm is not as sharp as the others. I'm looking to replace the 180 with a Schneider Apo-symmar 180.

Hope this helps.

I think I'm going to try and find a 135 based on the recommendations made here (Joseph, thanks!). Although I still need to scrape up some more funds and actually find one for sale, I appreciate the help.