Page 3 of 10 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 93

Thread: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

  1. #21

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    2,676

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Like I said, I use a Crown Graphic for environmental portraiture but also own a field camera. It looks to me that you want a field camera that is the best compromise over all. I have never used one but I would take a good look at the Chamonix if I were you. There are videos on You Tube about it if you want to check them out.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    568

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Ok, so I looked it up, and the Chamonix does indeed weigh less than 4 pounds, coming in at 3.1 pounds, and costs $900, for the N2. It has only 395mm (15.5 inches) of bellows draw, which seems kind of limiting to me. How is the build quality on these cameras? How sturdy are those cameras?

    To be honest, I get rubbed the wrong way by a Chinese camera with French name, I feel tricked.

    Another option would be a used Deardorff 4x5, they are a bit heavy, but are amazing cameras, and very well built.

    Zone VI also made beautiful wooden field cameras.

    Here is the Wisner catalog: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...MonoChrome.pdf The Pocket Expedition 4x5s came in at 3.6 pounds.

    This item number: 271238980436 on that famous auction site by the bay, is currently at around $400. If you get a camera at auction, and hate it, just turn around and sell it, probably getting what you paid.

    I bought a used Gitzo 1228 tripod, I think I got it for around $300. I recommend a tripod with a hook on the bottom to improve stability, and to give yourself a place to hang your bag with gear while shooting in the field. My father-in-law fashioned a short length of chain in order to reach the loop on my fStop Tilopa backpack (terrific pack!). Works great, and the tripod is a lot less likely to topple over when you hang a weight under it.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Derbyshire, England
    Posts
    493

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Imagowan View Post
    ... I just want to find the best light weight camera...
    This illustrates the easiness of the Shen Hao TZ45-IIB.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6M4BWxwAp0

    RR

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    51

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    I have a Chamonix and I love how portable it is. That said, it takes longer to set it up than a Crown or Speed Graphic, although it also has more movements. You're going to have to work out for yourself what suits your style the best.

    As you're obviously already thinking about how you're going to be carrying whatever camera you get check out this thread to see how others carry theirs.

    Welcome to large format - I'm sure you'll love it.

  5. #25
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chillicothe Missouri USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Issy, the weight of the camera is sometimes less important than one imagines at first. My ready-to-go Inba Ikeda (similar to the Tachihara) outfit, including four lenses, four film holders, and a Tiltall tripod, weights 20 pounds, while the camera alone weighs maybe 2.5 pounds. Several pounds could be eliminated with fewer lenses and a light weight case and tripod. A press camera such as the Crown Graphic weighs maybe 5 lbs with lens but not including film holders, and can be operated without a tripod. My more versatile MPP technical camera weights two pounds more.

    A press camera with a rangefinder might suit the style of photographs on your web site better than the more versatile monorail or field camera. The image quality advantage of fine view cameras and lenses is less important than the convenience and speed of operation in grab shots. For much information on Speed Graphic cameras, study Graphic Graflex cameras by Morgan & Morgan (or Morgan and Lester in earlier editions). The 8th edition covers early Crown cameras; the 11th edition covers later models.

    Don't aim at perfection in buying your first large format camera. Rather, use it as a learning aid, and then upgrade based on your own experience. You may eventually want a variety of large format cameras to suit various applications. Over many decades I've accumulated monorail, flatbed, press, and technical cameras, and find uses for each of them. Unlike cameras, one good tripod can be a lifetime investment. Choose it well. New is not necessarily better than old. With several tripods at hand, I usually use an ancient Tiltall.

    As you gain experience in large format photography, ask more specific questions here. Some of the regulars have more practical experience in almost anything than you'll find in the library books at Yale.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    215

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    My more versatile MPP technical camera weights two pounds more.
    Ditto well worthwhile if you can get your paws on one. Try for the Mark VII or VIII you'll need a lensboard with a cone for a 90mm and remember to drop the bed (MK 7 has single drop, I believe the 8 has double drop for wider lenses) depending on the environment style of portrait a lens between 90mm to 135mm may be "best". Also a 203mm ektar is good for closer portraiture (and will fit nicely when the camera is folded up). Out of personal preference Symmars are a good buy too, as you can remove one of the cells and get a longer lens.

  7. #27
    tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    3,831

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Hi Isabel,

    I recommend the Toyo-Field 45CF for consideration: http://toyoview.com/Products/45CF/45CF.html. It's lightweight (~4.0 lbs with a 150mm or 210mm normal lens attached), has all the movements on the front standard you need (you focus with the lens standard), very sturdy (made out of carbon fiber), in production and readily available both new and used and relatively inexpensive either way, sets-up quickly, and last, but not least, it's a good looking camera!

    I have owned and used this model since it first came out - took me 3 months to get it from B&H - so I can recommend it without hesitation. For lightweight travel I use it with a Gitzo GT-0540 carbon tripod and Gitzo G-1177M ball head. Admittedly the tripod is on the light side but you don't need a heavy tripod with a 4-lb camera and lens and there is very little vibration from a Copal 0 shutter. The tripod has a hook for hanging your pack if you want.

    That said, from the images on your website I'd recommend the Pentax 645NII if you want to shoot film. The NII weighs and handles much like a 35mm except that it gives you a negative a little more than twice the size of 35mm and Pentax medium format lens are excellent. The 645 lens are very similar in size as 35mm lens. Oh, and I own this camera also it's great for street photography - being very discrete and has auto-focus!

    Thomas

  8. #28
    Imagowan
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    45

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    Thanks for coming to my defense Otto. Discouraging to see, certainly fits my own stereotypes about the threat of the jaded photographer who is too quick to make assumptions about my own relationship to photography and the camera.

    Chamonix seems to be the winner! 4x5 N1,4x5 N2, or 4x5 F1? Is there anything I should be aware of when buying it, things to make sure of?

  9. #29
    Imagowan
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    45

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    ... can't find any that are used to buy. Hmmmm

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    USA!
    Posts
    256

    Re: Need expert advice- best light weight folding field camera?

    If buying used, the first N-1 model had an issue with its placement of fresnel and ground glass introducing focus errors. Most people resolved this but you would want to check. The N2 has no issues. The new F1 design has an asymmetrical rear tilt useful for some traditional landscape subjects. Ask Hugo Zhang for details, he is the US rep.

    I would buy new from Hugo, less risk and still reasonable.

Similar Threads

  1. Light weight field camera
    By Songyun in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2013, 13:38
  2. Camera weight vs. Tripod/Accessories weight...Light field Camera enthusiasts help?
    By audioexcels in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 20-Jun-2007, 19:01
  3. Light weight 4x5 field tripod.
    By Kirk Gittings in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 30-Jun-2006, 14:47

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •