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Thread: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

  1. #11

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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    This may sound surprising but keep your eye out for a 4x5 aero TECHNIKA. I've seen them come up on non-photo auctions and go for bargain prices cause no one in the audience knew what the item was. Non-photo people recognize brands like Leica, Zeiss, Hasselblad, etc. They might also recognize Linhof, but the label on top of the lens cone says "aero TECHNIKA" and not Linhof so the item's description does not include the Linhof brand info. At a multi dealer antique store in Great Barrington Massachusetts I found and bought a 5x7 super TECHNIKA V for under $200! It was labeled something like old bellows camera. A fellow photographer I knew was looking for a 5x7 field camera so passed it on too him for that same $200. Last I heard he loved and treasured the camera.
    Bob your comments?
    Greg

  2. #12
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    This may sound surprising but keep your eye out for a 4x5 aero TECHNIKA.
    Yeah, I bought two for cheap just to harvest the backs, left and right grips, its excellent sealed lens mount and 135mm Planar and the excellent wire frame finder.

    The rest went into the bin.

    Linhof aerial cameras are works of art.
    .
    Last edited by Jac@stafford.net; 24-Dec-2017 at 17:08.

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    But in a chopper? You might need a Kenro gyro stabilizer too. The Technika/gyro combination certainly worked well for my brother.

  4. #14

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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    Oren,

    Great info about the Wista RF view finder. Thinking I could do an accuracy test at infinity and use tape to mask it for my one lens. I sure appreciate you taking the time to look this up. The integral rangefinder has a certain appeal and less likely for me to damage it; seems less vulnerable that one on a shoe mount. Also I like that it is close to the center bore of the lens axis. I dont need a working rangefinder per se for distance as I will be locked on infinity. Also, I am used to watching the view unfold with both eyes open before I shoot, so an optical viewfinder would work fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Digging into my literature collection again - here's what Wista says about the 45RF finder:

    "The finder is designed to show as much as possible and also to view the field of a 120mm wide-angle lens. The magnification of this finder is 0.45x. Frames in the finder are explained below. The frame for 120mm wide-angle lens is light yellow (the outer most frame). Frames for 135mm, 150mm and 180mm lenses are marked with light yellow colored frames marked the focal lengths. In this case, the image through the finder is 100% at a distance of 6M (20') from the subject. Therefore, the field of view of the finder frame will be about 90% of the image of a subject in infinity. Accordingly, the actual image of infinity is 10% larger than the area in the finder frame."

    OK, logging off for the night now. Really.
    Wing and a prayer

  5. #15

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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    Aero Technica's are sexy. Never saw one that cheap. I have a gyro if needed. Good to know about the markings - I will search for those terms. Always coveted a Linhof. (A white Technica lol really).

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    This may sound surprising but keep your eye out for a 4x5 aero TECHNIKA. I've seen them come up on non-photo auctions and go for bargain prices cause no one in the audience knew what the item was. Non-photo people recognize brands like Leica, Zeiss, Hasselblad, etc. They might also recognize Linhof, but the label on top of the lens cone says "aero TECHNIKA" and not Linhof so the item's description does not include the Linhof brand info. At a multi dealer antique store in Great Barrington Massachusetts I found and bought a 5x7 super TECHNIKA V for under $200! It was labeled something like old bellows camera. A fellow photographer I knew was looking for a 5x7 field camera so passed it on too him for that same $200. Last I heard he loved and treasured the camera.
    Bob your comments?
    Greg
    Wing and a prayer

  6. #16

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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    I'm throwing in another vote for a Speed Graphic (if you want a focal plane shutter) or a Crown Graphic (if less weight is more important). They invented the Graflock back, so of course you can find one that comes with it (though not all models do, so be sure to check). They're cheap, rugged as hell (these were used in war zones for decades), and check all of the boxes for accessories that you require. Generally speaking, the only downsides to them are short bellows and limited movements. But if all you need is modest front rise, and don't plan on using any long lenses, then that would be my first choice. Either that, or one of the other press cameras like a Busch Pressman D. Press cameras were made for hand held shooting.

  7. #17

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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    What FL do you intend to shoot??? If you need different FL's, you would use a bellows camera (if inside the aircraft avoiding slipstream winds vs your bellows) or a camera with different solid lens cones... If for a single FL/semi wide/lower altitude, a rigid sided camera with a 4X5 back are fairly common if you look around... The shorter the FL, the less image compensation will be required, maybe none if short FL enough...

    Start with deciding the angle of view you desire, and figure out the FL that would work for you... All of the necessary tables and formulas are in one of the many aerial photography textbooks that can be had for less than a few bucks now, so get one now...

    Talk to a working or retired aerial photographer in your area... I'm sure someone will be glad to answer your questions that come up, and might have a stash of gear you might be able to obtain...

    Keep 'em flying!!!

    Steve K

  8. #18
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

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  9. #19
    SE Penna. chassis's Avatar
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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    The Toyo 45AII is solid when the movements are locked down. It has a Graflok/international style back that takes common 4x5 film holders. It can handle lenses from 47mm to about 240mm with the standard bellows and back. It has a nice leather hand strap.

    A grip could be modified/cobbled onto the rear standard, using the holes available for the leather grip. So one side could have the leather strap, the other could have a handle of your own making. Attachment holes are provided on both sides of the rear standard.

    What I would do, is use a Bogen/Manfrotto magic arm with super clamp. This would create a more tripod-like composing platform, while maintaining alot of flexibility that comes with handholding.

    The 45AII does not have a rangefinder, or a finder accessory of any type. A sports-type finder could be self fabricated and mounted on the accessory shoe.

  10. #20
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Rugged Rigidity of Various 4x5 field cameras: Wista, Toyo, Horseman

    One thing to note with the Wista RF: it will work with any lenses of FLs 135mm, 150mm and 180mm, but the RF system was optimized for use with Nikon lenses. I don't know why it would matter, but it does.
    I ran into problems and gave up on rangefinder focusing because my non-Nikon lenses made the Wista explode (figuratively).
    Fantastic camera if you use only the GG for focusing.

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