Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

  1. #1
    Photographer
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    16

    Question Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Hello,

    I have had a Tachihara 4x5, it was a great beauty but I had to sold it due to financial hardship. I currently own a Canon DSLR systems but I am looking to come back to 4x5 photography. Based on my experience with the Tachihara, I am looking for:

    (a) Portability
    (b) Quality
    (c) Easy of use

    In no particular order. In spite that I mostly used the Tachihara for portraits and landscapes, I am looking to work mainly portraits with the 4x5.

    In a recent survey of what is available in the market, I have found the Tachihara to be particularly expensive, and Wista and similar cameras are either expensive or in need to serious TLC.

    I have also found a Calumet Cambo, Calumet NX, Sinar F and similar rail cameras that are sold as "field" cameras. I have not experience with them but they are in my budget. In particular, the Calumet fits my budget very well.

    Could I get advise on which camera (Calumet, Sinar, Toyo View, etc.) would be the most natural transition from a Tachihara? I know that these are not apples versus apples but if I can find an affordable camera that is also portable, with a reasonable good quality and easy of use, I will consider it in lieu of a Tachihara or a Wista.

    I am already aware of differences such as:

    (a) Cherry wood versus plastic or metal
    (b) Folding versus rail
    (c) Rotating back versus fixed back
    (d) Fitting in a small backpack versus fitting in a carrying case or backpack with rails

    But I am curious about whether a Calumet Cambo, NX, Sinar F can be used as a "field" camera. I will appreciate your advice.

    Many thanks

    Regards

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    2,677

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Yes, Calumet, Cambo, Toyo and Sinar F series monorails can and are used by some photographers as field cameras. The lightest ones will weigh about 8 lbs and are a bit bulky to pack in a back pack but it can and is being done.

    Transitioning from a Tachihara to any monorail is easy. It's harder to transition from a monorail to a field camera because some of the movements on field cameras are not all that straight forward. Also on a monorail you have all the movements where I think all field cameras are compromised somewhere, especially in back movements.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    2,677

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Oh, there is a Calumet/Cambo Cadet and another brand of monorail (the name escapes me right now) that are ultralights. Finding lens boards and bag bellows for them may be a bit difficult though.

    Welcome to the Forum!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Naestved, Denmark
    Posts
    267

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Expensive as in ?.??$?
    Søren Nielsen

    Send from my Electronic Data Management Device using TWOFingerTexting

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Derbyshire, England
    Posts
    493

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrmst102 View Post
    Hello,

    I have had a Tachihara 4x5, it was a great beauty but I had to sold it due to financial hardship. I currently own a Canon DSLR systems but I am looking to come back to 4x5 photography. Based on my experience with the Tachihara, I am looking for:

    (a) Portability
    (b) Quality
    (c) Easy of use

    In no particular order. In spite that I mostly used the Tachihara for portraits and landscapes, I am looking to work mainly portraits with the 4x5.

    In a recent survey of what is available in the market, I have found the Tachihara to be particularly expensive, and Wista and similar cameras are either expensive or in need to serious TLC.

    I have also found a Calumet Cambo, Calumet NX, Sinar F and similar rail cameras that are sold as "field" cameras. I have not experience with them but they are in my budget. In particular, the Calumet fits my budget very well.

    Could I get advise on which camera (Calumet, Sinar, Toyo View, etc.) would be the most natural transition from a Tachihara? I know that these are not apples versus apples but if I can find an affordable camera that is also portable, with a reasonable good quality and easy of use, I will consider it in lieu of a Tachihara or a Wista.

    I am already aware of differences such as:

    (a) Cherry wood versus plastic or metal
    (b) Folding versus rail
    (c) Rotating back versus fixed back
    (d) Fitting in a small backpack versus fitting in a carrying case or backpack with rails

    But I am curious about whether a Calumet Cambo, NX, Sinar F can be used as a "field" camera. I will appreciate your advice.

    Many thanks

    Regards
    If you are looking to buy new then take a look at SHEN HAO PTB45B. I have it's big sister in 8x10 and it is very easy to use and built with great quality.




    Second hand and low budget but excellent see if you can source an MPP Mk VII.



    RR

  6. #6
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    McLean, Va.
    Posts
    1,729

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    You should just buy another Tachi. Does everything.

  7. #7
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,127

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    I like my Zone VI. It does whatever I want and looks great. Well made in the 1980s and still a great value for the money.

    Complete shooting kits come up on auction sites from time to time at ~$1500 or less depending on the gear it comes with. The camera itself will run <$900.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  8. #8
    smithdoor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Clovis CA
    Posts
    204

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Try Crown or Speed Graflex
    Has work great for me since 1973

    Dave
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camera.jpg  

  9. #9
    Preston Birdwell
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Columbia, CA
    Posts
    1,577

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    Interesting that the Shen-Hao PTB54B looks so similar to the Chamonix 045 series cameras. If you like the Shen-Hao PTB, then the Chamonix 045N-1, N-2, or the new F1 is certainly worth a look. I have a Chamonix 045N-2 and like it a lot.

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    10,592

    Re: Looking for a 4x5 Field Camera - Suggestions?

    You'll get a lot of conflicting answers to this kind of question because we all have personal preferences based on individual experience. You should probably first
    decide whether you want a folding full-featured camera, a semi-featured "technical" folder, or a monorail. There are lots of bargains out there, as well as a number
    of very nice new cameras. But remember that once cameras get too lightweight, unless they are very well designed, they are going to become more subject to wind
    shake and other foibles outdoors. Another initial consideration is what kinds of focal lengths and respectives angles of view do you prefer - this will affect what type
    and length of bellows you need, hence what categories of cameras you want to investigate more closely. It would be very helpful for you to look up some large
    format photographers in your area so you can see these things in actual use and form your own preference.

Similar Threads

  1. 8x10 field cameras - any suggestions?
    By welly in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2012, 12:11
  2. Suggestions for info on which 4x5 Field camera?
    By gdi in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 26-Apr-2010, 05:36
  3. 8x10 metal field camera -- suggestions?
    By chris jordan in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 4-May-2005, 09:02
  4. 4X5 field Camera suggestions
    By Andrew Couch Paynter in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 30-Jan-2002, 10:46

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
  •