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Thread: First 4x5 camera

  1. #11

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    Nov 2009
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barter View Post
    If I could get on in good condition for around 500 would you say that was reasonable??
    Oh yeah, I paid about that (around $750 - so about 500) for mine. I started with a Sinar F2 which I had for about a year. Great camera but bulky and not exactly a walk-around camera (as much as you can have a large format walk-around camera!). After that, I bought a Cambo 4x5 monorail, which I still have although it doesn't get a lot of use these days but it weighs so little for a monorail, I've carried that around all day with me without a problem. After that, I had a Wisner Technical Field Camera - beautiful camera (someone is selling one at the moment on this forum), looks amazing but didn't "fit" me to be honest. I found myself battling with it more than I'd have liked to. It struggled with wide lenses - getting infinity focus on even a 90mm lens was a task and forget movements! But if you're interested in longer lenses, then you wouldn't have the same problem as I had with it.

    Finally, I was recommended a Toyo 45AX, which I've had for about 6 months now. I can't see myself shooting with another camera to be honest. It does everything I possibly need - it shoots wide lenses, I can use my 300mm lens on it, it's got enough movements for the kind of shooting I do (landscape, close up, some portrait but mainly "things"). And if I do need more movements for a project, I can always use my Cambo. Anyway, that's my sales pitch for the Toyo. Unless you have specific requirements, like lots of movements for architectural work perhaps, I can't imagine anyone not getting on with it.

  2. #12

    Re: First 4x5 camera

    You really need to pay special attention to how you're going to use this camera. Its the every day use that matters. So imagine yourself with your backpack or whatever and setting up the camera and lenses. Anything that is slow to set up tends to be a right PITA. This is especially true if you are moving around a bit and are setting up, taking down, moving to a new location etc etc. So it those cases, its really hard to beat a folding field camera. In my case, I bought a Chamonix 045n-2 and am very happy with it.

    Lenses are a funny thing when buying second hand. The same model can be crazy expensive in one place and much cheaper in another. Shopping around and patience is absolutely key. Personally I have gotten a few fantastic deals on LF lenses from Japan via Ebay. Just factor in the customs charges.

    Lastly, are you sure you know what you are getting yourself in for? You say you are shooting a digital full frame at the moment. Have you considered how you are going to develop and print the shots you get with your LF camera? Its going to get expensive very quickly if you are processing and printing in your own darkroom.

    Best of luck!!

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    London
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    8

    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodturner-fran View Post
    You really need to pay special attention to how you're going to use this camera. Its the every day use that matters. So imagine yourself with your backpack or whatever and setting up the camera and lenses. Anything that is slow to set up tends to be a right PITA. This is especially true if you are moving around a bit and are setting up, taking down, moving to a new location etc etc. So it those cases, its really hard to beat a folding field camera. In my case, I bought a Chamonix 045n-2 and am very happy with it.

    Lenses are a funny thing when buying second hand. The same model can be crazy expensive in one place and much cheaper in another. Shopping around and patience is absolutely key. Personally I have gotten a few fantastic deals on LF lenses from Japan via Ebay. Just factor in the customs charges.

    Lastly, are you sure you know what you are getting yourself in for? You say you are shooting a digital full frame at the moment. Have you considered how you are going to develop and print the shots you get with your LF camera? Its going to get expensive very quickly if you are processing and printing in your own darkroom.

    Best of luck!!
    Thanks Woodturner-fran,

    I have indeed considered it, I thinking shooting large format will take me out of my comfort zone and allow me to slow down my process. As for processing Whilst at LCC I can get that done for free, after that who knows I will still be following a digital process after that point so I should save a little expense there.

    Thanks again,

    Daniel

  4. #14

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    Feb 2013
    Location
    London
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Thanks for all your input guys!

    I have gone with a Shen Hao TFC45-IIB, I think it is a good fit for me and will be able to take the widest of angles when I am ready for it.

    That leaves me with only enough cast for one lens to start, I am thinking a 90mm or 75mm. I would prefer the 75mm as it is closer to the focal length I currently use for my interiors on my dslr but am I right in thinking it would need a centre filter?

    Also what sort of accessories do I need off the bat?

    In your hands as always...

    Thank you,

    Daniel

  5. #15

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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barter View Post
    Thanks for all your input guys!

    I have gone with a Shen Hao TFC45-IIB, I think it is a good fit for me and will be able to take the widest of angles when I am ready for it.

    That leaves me with only enough cast for one lens to start, I am thinking a 90mm or 75mm. I would prefer the 75mm as it is closer to the focal length I currently use for my interiors on my dslr but am I right in thinking it would need a centre filter?

    Also what sort of accessories do I need off the bat?

    In your hands as always...

    Thank you,

    Daniel
    A loupe, thick black tshirt or jacket, light meter, film holders. You should be good to go with that.

    A 75mm lens seems pretty wide on large format. Even 90mm seems wide to me.

  6. #16

    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barter View Post
    Thanks for all your input guys!

    That leaves me with only enough cast for one lens to start, I am thinking a 90mm or 75mm. I would prefer the 75mm as it is closer to the focal length I currently use for my interiors on my dslr but am I right in thinking it would need a centre filter?

    Also what sort of accessories do I need off the bat?

    In your hands as always...

    Thank you,

    Daniel
    Don't forget the tripod. It can be something reasonably small and light enough to carry in one hand. A 75mm lens will likely benefit from a CF (especially for interiors) but I find some pictures lend themselves well to a little light fall off. FWIW I use a 65mm Grandagon N, have rarely ever used the CF, but shoot landscapes mostly.
    /Frank...

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    3,326

    Re: First 4x5 camera

    For lenses, consider Schneider Symmar-S lenses. They're excellent and reasonably priced. Caltar-S II lenses are Symmar S lenses can be even more reasonably priced. Or, more recent Caltar lenses were made by Rodenstock. Another good possibility. For wide-angle, Schneider makes the Super Angulon. For lens data on their discontinued models, see the following on their website:

    https://www.schneideroptics.com/info...data/index.htm

    Some Schneider lenses (not all), have silver specs on the sides of the barrel inside the lens. (Often referred to as Schneideritis.) I'd stay away from any of these, even though Schneider claims it doesn't affect image quality.

  8. #18

    Re: First 4x5 camera

    im looking for lens too. would you mind sharing some resources when you have idea where/which to buy?

  9. #19

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    Feb 2013
    Location
    London
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Thanks once again for the information guys!!

    I ended up getting a Fuji SW 90 mm F/8 from Tokyo at what I believe was a good price...

  10. #20

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    Feb 2013
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    London
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    Re: First 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by yuexiachou29 View Post
    im looking for lens too. would you mind sharing some resources when you have idea where/which to buy?
    I just trawled Ebay to be honest. Kept to the big four manufactures like everyone suggested.

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