View Full Version : Digital field or View camera
I am thinking that, when I get bored of the weight of a Sinar M + P3, I could leave the monorail and geared movements at home, and mount the lens board, bellows and rear frame/shutter all on bits of a folding camera or field camera, thus giveing movements without the weight.
What camera would I start with?
A Sinar Norma with its small tripod block and a six inch rail?
Or, the South African Pan Field if you have money... it looks like a wonderful camera, like a Toho for professionals.
My Toho (not Toyo) FC-45X is of monorail design, but it is as light as any field camera I've seen, and it comes apart readily for easy transport. It can be carried in a relatively small bag or backpack.
Badger Graphics is selling the same camera as the Badger M2 for about $850. It is an excellent choice for use in the field.
Sorry, I missed the "digital" in your question.
If you're thinking of doing LF digital (with a Sinar back, for example) in the field, you'll probably want to remember the long extension cord for the computer you'll need to take with, too. ;-)
If you're thinking more along the lines of attaching a 35mm-size digital body, similar to the Cambo Ultima design, I think I'd lean toward a junker wooden field/flatbed as a means of avoiding machine work. But, don't forget the focal-length multiplier factor that applies to many of the 35mm digitals.
Why not get a wooden field camera which does not have the international back and make an adaptor to slip on? I know that such an adaptor would be an easy thing to slip onto the back of my Tachihara.
Dick, I don't know if the Panfield mentioned above would suit your needs. I've got one and it is fine for me (note to Graeme- I've got the rear extension now and the weather is better than when you visited...) but be aware that it may be difficult to modify. Also be aware that it has no swing or tilt on the rear standard (although it does have base tilt on the rear extension ) of the basic camera, which is about the only thing I would like it to have.For what it's worth, I had mine made to take a Sinar Norma back and can go from 47mm to 450mm lenses (non tele design for the long lenses ) with the additional rear rail that is made to whatever length you want. I don't know how it compares to other light weights, because I haven't been able to make a direct comparison, but it works O.K for me. Regards-Mike
I've never actually seen a Panfield, nor talked to anyone who owned one. If you could, please tell us (at at least me) more about it, and where you got it, how much it cost, etc.?
Thanks, Frank Petronio
Frank, I got my Panfield from Andrew Meintjes who makes them in S.Africa. His e-mail is email@example.com and mobile 27 83 606 1044. He only makes a few per year, so this is not an "off the shelf" item. The camera is a lightweight monorail/field hybrid that comes in two sections. The basic camera has a permanent bag bellows that allows lenses from 47mm to 150mm to be used although it can be made to take longer lenses. The second part is a rear extension that can be made to almost whatever length you want. I had mine made so that the total extension with the front bellows fully extended is 500mm- I can't see myself needing more than this. Be aware that although the basic camera has generous rise/fall and tilt/swing on the front standard, there is only shift on the rear. The extension for the "long" camera has base tilt. Although I can't make a direct comparison to other cameras, I have found the Panfield to be a good compromise between weight and veratility. Not as compact as a folding field, but probably more versatile; not as versatile as a full on monorail, but probably more convienient in the field. Check the web site (type in "panfield+camera" to Google and youshould get a link to the site )and give Andrew a call for more info. Regards-Mike
Thank you all for your replies...
I would need rear tilt and swing, as I might be using 35mm lenses on a 5 x 4 cm digiback, and would not have the coverage for front tilt.
Would the P2 to P3 convertor kit be compatible with a Sinar Norma?
I might be able to pick up a field camera with no back, lens or bellows for very little, and stuff it in.
If I use the standard P3 bellows, I only need mechanical attachment for focusing and movements.
I am off tomorrow for a few days.
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