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Thread: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

  1. #1

    Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Hello,

    we will be in Italy for a week in April, sleeping in a tent.

    I would like to take a large format camera with me.

    Unfortunately I have got two of them and lenses to build two systems ...

    Here is a comparison:

    Camera Wista 45N Intrepid 4x5
    Wide-angle Fujinon NW 5,6/125 (46mm filter thread) Super Angulon 8/90
    Normal lens Fujinon A 9/180 (46mm filter thread) Sironar-N 5.6/150
    Tele lens Apo-Ronar 9/300 G-Claron 9/210
    4x5 holders 6 Riteway holders 6 Riteway holders
    MF holder Toyo 67/45 (slips under ground glass) Horseman 6x9 (Graflok)
    Tripod Gitzo Gilux Reporter w ball head Gitzo Gilux Reporter w ball head

    The Wista combination is heavier (+1kg) than the Intrepid combination. But the Wista is sturdier and I can keep the Fujinon W 5.6/125 or the Fujinon A 9/180 mounted on the camera when storing it in my backpack.

    The Toyo roll film holder just slips under the ground glass of the Wista. On the Intrepid I have to take of the ground glass to mount the roll film holder. For this reason I would take the Horseman 6x9 holder with me to honor the effort.

    The Intrepid is lighter, but will it be sturdy enough to take it with me for camping / hiking? It will be wrapped in a blue Novoflex wrapping cloth that also serves as a focusing cloth. The Wista already has a focusing hood. But the Wista will be wrapped too.

    Of course I could build a ultra light set: Intrepid, Fujinon W 5.6/125, Fujinon A 9/180 and the Apo-Ronar 9/300. But the Fujinon A 9/180 is the lens I love the most - I just dont want to haul it around in my bag and take it out to mount it etc. I like it more mounted on the Wista.

    Another keep-it-simple option would be: the Wista with a mounted Fujinon 5.6/125 and the G-Claron 9/210. Would this be enough for landscape, macros, architecture?

    It's too complicated.

    What do you propose?
    YAPN - Yet Another Photographer's Notebook, yapn77.wixsite.com/yapn
    4x5: Wista 45N, The Brand 17
    120: Mamiya C220, C330, RB67, RZ67, Graflex Century Graphic

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Casper Lohenstein View Post

    It's too complicated.

    What do you propose?
    Flip a coin.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Having been the Linhof, Wista and Rodenstock distributor for the USA for several decades until we closed in early 2015 I can tell you that the 3 most common lenses for 45 are the 90, the 150 and the 210mm.
    That should help you make the choice and take the old Wista.

  4. #4

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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Depending on the nature of both landscape and architecture...you might truly appreciate the 90. Plus... the "90 inclusive" progression you've listed is a pretty decent spread. But...given that your 180 is your "fave," you could go with a 90/125/180 combo and still have, in terms of percentage of change in angle of view, a pretty decent grouping. If you did go this route...keep in mind that you'd either need to bring two sets of filters, or step up rings for the 125 and 180.

  5. #5

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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Either of the cameras are fine, but some kind of protective "shell" or case will prevent the camera and stuff from getting squashed, dusty, wet, etc...

    Find out how much packing space you will have first, and narrow it down from there, starting with the essential things, and deep-six the fluff...

    Why carry stuff you will not use??? And you will not be struck down by lightning if you don't have something you can work around...

    Think of the stuff that can be re-purposed (multi-use) for a front-row pick/priority...

    Steve K

  6. #6
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Where in Italy? For high mountains, the Intrepid kit. For other areas, the Wista kit. Either way, leave the MF holders at home to save weight and space.

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    What gear are you most intuitively familiar with? In other words, least likely too make mistakes with in unfamiliar settings. Otherwise, keep things simple. The less gear you need to keep track of and repeatedly repack, the better.

  8. #8

    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Hello,

    thanks a lot! Your answers are very helpful!

    @ Pfsor: It's not easy. Flipping a coin will not solve my problem. See all those considerations below ...

    @David Lobato: we're at the tuscan coast. There is a little hill (1000m) but we will stay most of time at the coast.

    @Drew Wiley: I am more familiar with the Wista. It doesn't change its position when manipulating the ground glass eg. when putting the roll film holder in.

    @LabRat: the Wista is 1.5kg heavier but more compact than the Intrepid in its Novoflex wrap. And it has the lens mounted while the Intrepid needs to have the lens unmounted when stored. - Your idea that "the stuff that can be re-purposed" is excellent: by taking the roll film holder to crop the image I can use the Fujinon A 9/180 as a telephoto lens for 6x7. Telephotos don't have to be enlarged too much, anyway, by reason of the viewing distance of the finished print. Perhaps the G-Claron 9/210 will help to accentuate the telephoto impression ... But then I have to take two different sets of filters with me, 46 an 49, and I can't have the lens mounted on the camera when storing.

    @John Layton: working with the Super-Angulon 8/90 or with shorter lenses is one of the natural domain for the Intrepid (another domain is working with roll film holders with Graflok mount). The focusing mechanism of this camera is genial. You can focus backwards. The Wista is definitely too limited, and some recessed lens boards (Gaoersi) don't fit. - But: when doing 6x7, the Fujinon 5,6/125 would be a normal lens while it is a moderate wide angle lens when doing 4x5. - Perhaps I should buy a little Rittreck 5x7 camera one day to save weight in taking the 125 and the 180 with three different formats ...

    @Bob Salomon: when doing 35mm I preferred the Nikkor 2,8/28, the Micro Nikkor 3.5/55 and the old Nikkor 1.8/85, for a long time. Your proposed set of 90 / 150 /210 seems to be the same combination. But I dont use the telephoto lens that much. I use the wide angle lens hardly ever. None of my finished prints are taken with this wide angle - perhaps it's the format of the preferred prints, 8x10 inch, that demands a more moderate normal or telephoto lens. 28mm needs an enlargement of 30x40cm. Perhaps it is the need to put some staffage into the picture to fill the foreground. This produces the same stereotypical wide angle pictures, again and again. I found that a focal length of 35mm is more convenient concerning both print size and freedom of concept, what means 125mm in 4x5.

    Well, I think I take the Wista, the 125 lens, the 180 lens, and the roll film holder 6x7.

    Thank you very much!

    Kindly yours
    YAPN - Yet Another Photographer's Notebook, yapn77.wixsite.com/yapn
    4x5: Wista 45N, The Brand 17
    120: Mamiya C220, C330, RB67, RZ67, Graflex Century Graphic

  9. #9

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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfsor View Post
    Flip a coin.
    Seriously! Anything more is really overthinking the problem. Best two-out-of-three if you really want to be fair. Especially if the answer turns out to be "Wista".

    Q: How will you secure and store all of that equipment in a tent? Even in hotels I've gone much more basic when traveling with LF. My predilection is for a Graphic Press Camera, one lens (normal - 135 or 150), a monopod, and a bunch of film holders. But when I really think about it more I often opt to take a medium format rig.

  10. #10

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    Re: Gear question. It's too complicated. What do you propose?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    ...
    Q: How will you secure and store all of that equipment in a tent? Even in hotels I've gone much more basic when traveling with LF. My predilection is for a Graphic Press Camera, one lens (normal - 135 or 150), a monopod, and a bunch of film holders. But when I really think about it more I often opt to take a medium format rig.
    A wise man's words.

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