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Thread: hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

  1. #1

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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    Some of the old crown and speed graphics used to come with the rangefinder in the flash shoe. This would allow handheld images with a 4x5. I'm wondering if I can purchase anything like this to add to my Wista 45SP. I looked on B&H and didn't find anything. Is there other ways to take hand held images with this camera?

  2. #2

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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    The rangefinders that fit in the hot shoe are usually from 35mm cameras and are uncoupled so you would need an accurate distance scale for that to work. Even then it would be clumsy.

  3. #3
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    Some 50 years ago I learned photography shooting sports with a handheld Speed Graphic bu tthe rangefinder was a coupled Kalart mounted on the side. Wista, and Linhof of course, still make metal bodied fields with a coupled rangefinder. The Wista model is very similar to your SP.

  4. #4

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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    Ted,
    Is there someplace I can get the coupled rangefinder as an acessory to my SP?

  5. #5
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    I use an uncoupled shoe-mount rangefinder on my Voigtlander Perkeo II-- a 6x6 folder--and it's not so bad once you get used to it. I used to use it occasionally on a Linhof Tech II, and once you've made a focusing scale, it works. As noted above, though, these were not really made for 4x5" cameras. The rangefinder base is much shorter than the base of a Linhof or Kalart rangefinder.

    On old press cameras, you often see a viewfinder mounted on the accessory shoe, but not usually a rangefinder.

    I don't think you can add a coupled rangefinder to an SP. It's built into the Wista RF, or you could just get a press camera like a Crown Graphic with an adjustible rangefinder, and calibrate it to your most used lens.

  6. #6
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    I agree with David but to be absolutely sure you should ask Bob Salomon of HP Marketing, the US Distributors for Wista ... Bob chime in please. You can find Bob's contact info at their website www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

  7. #7

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    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    You can buy ultra expensive military grade rangefinders. Or Leica makes a modern electronic rangefinder for golfers. Or just buy an old Leica (or Contax or whatever) rangefinder off eBay for less than $100.

    Take Sharpie marker and focus on infinity, 50', 20', 15', etc. and mark reference points on the camera bed (tape is a good idea). Graphics and Technikas use "infinity stops" so that you pull the lens on to the rails to the same position. You need to find a reference point that won't move when you pull the lens out - think about it.

    Measure the distance with the RF and move the lens to the appropo reference mark.

    Or just buy a $200 Crown -- it's nice for a beater too.

  8. #8

    hand held images w/ 4x5 field camera

    The WISTA SP can not add a coupled rangefinder.

    If you want a camera with a coupled rangefinder then you would need the Wista RF or a Linhof Technika. The Wista RF rangefinder couples 135, 150 and 180 lenses only. The modern Linhof Technika rangefinder couples lenses from 75mm to 360mm.

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