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Thread: First 4x5 camera

  1. #1

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    First 4x5 camera

    Hi,

    I am a photography student from London running on quite a tight budget. I currently shoot a full frame digital slr but I'm looking to move up to large format. I mostly shoot abandoned structures/interiors and urban landscapes but have been encouraged to change my process to achieve a more fine art end product.

    I have managed to save 1000 for a camera, accessories and two lenses. I could probably push a little higher but I would rather not. I am open to suggestions on cameras and lenses, as well as other accessories. It would have to be light, have some ability for architectural movements.

    I have been looking at the Shen Hao range and would probably want a wide angle 65-90mm and a more normal view 150mm.

    To be honest I am in your hands guys, any help would be appreciated, I doubt I will be able to afford to upgrade what I buy any time soon.

    Thanks in advance,

    Daniel

  2. #2

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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    I would say the best thing would to buy a monorail like a sinar f/f2. The f will save you a bit of money for the lens and everything else.

    It's all a balance game between weight, speed and cost.

    As for the lenses just choose between the. Big 4, schneider, rodenstock, nikkor, fuji. They all make wonderful lenses. It's more about the specs of the lens then the brand.

    The normal setup would be 90 150 and 210. I find the 150 to feel wider then a 50 on a 35mm and I find it a very usable focal length.

    If you goin to be packing anything in, generally slower lens weight less. Choose a 90 f8 or 90 f6.8 for the wide and a 150 f5.6 non xl for the normal lens. If your going to a lighter setup.

    I'm in the process of rebuilding my 4x5 kit and I'm goin to get a rodenstock 90 f6.8 and also the rodenstock 150 5.6

    Film holders. Pretty much they are the same. (I will be getting toyo)

    You will need a tripod, probably a head (I don't use a head)

    Dark cloth (I made my own)

    Shutter release

  3. #3
    Lost mike rosenlof's Avatar
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    If you were in the US I would suggest a monorail camera. They're priced very low here now. This would leave most of your budget for lenses, where it should be.

    Sinar Alpina or A1 are dirt cheap here, even the F series are pretty low. Same for the lower-end Cambo, Calumet. A graphic-view is even lower. All you need are decent bellows and movements that still move, and the ability to find or make the lens board(s) you need.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    I disagree with getting a monorail from experience, UK prices are much higher and there should be plenty of movements in a Shen Hao or a Chamonix but shop around.

    There's some grat bargains to be had iof you're patient in the UK and you can get all you need easily with that budget, I have.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Thanks for the information guys, It can all be a bit overwhelming. I definitely reckon I need a light field camera as some of the locations I visit involve a fair amount of climbing to get into.

    Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?

  6. #6
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barter View Post

    Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?
    Depends on condition & price, should be OK, not quite as well made as a Wista.

    Ian

  7. #7

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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barter View Post
    Thanks for the information guys, It can all be a bit overwhelming. I definitely reckon I need a light field camera as some of the locations I visit involve a fair amount of climbing to get into.

    Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?
    If you can find a Toyo field camera for the right price, grab one of those. They're metal but really aren't that heavy. It's a brilliant and versatile camera.

  8. #8

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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    Depends on condition & price, should be OK, not quite as well made as a Wista.

    Ian
    Thanks Ian , I have seen a couple of Wista that look competitively priced.

  9. #9

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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by welly View Post
    If you can find a Toyo field camera for the right price, grab one of those. They're metal but really aren't that heavy. It's a brilliant and versatile camera.
    If I could get on in good condition for around 500 would you say that was reasonable??

  10. #10
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barter View Post
    Thanks for the information guys, It can all be a bit overwhelming. I definitely reckon I need a light field camera as some of the locations I visit involve a fair amount of climbing to get into.

    Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?
    I use two Tachihara 45GF cameras (and a couple of 8x10 Tachiharas as well) and they have never failed in field work. I run lenses from the 65mm and 90mm Nikkor-SW's at the wide end to a Fujinon-W 300mm and a Commercial Congo 360mm at the long end. Recessed and top-hat lens boards are used compensate for the non-interchangeable bellows. The standard Tachihara focussing screen has a built in fresnel and is as bright and contrasty as the best of them.

    Overall Tachiharas are not the best camera or the worst but do the job. But they do look beautiful and attract the attention of passers by. Here's a link:http://www.netlaputa.ne.jp/~tachi-ss/
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

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