When I first decided to purchase a large format camera I had no idea how many companies made them or who they were. So, I did some homework and read through hundreds of posts on this and the “other” LFP forum. It turns out there there may be nearly 40 such companies.
As I did this background research, I was struck by how frequently one fundamental question was being asked - which camera should I buy? This might very well be the most frequently asked question in these forums although the basic question is rephrased in a variety of ways:
What Large Format cameras do you recommend?
Toyo 45CX for a starter kit?
Help finding a 4x5 system for a 4x5 newbie....
tachihara vs ebony
Any 4X5 field camera to recommend?
As I read through the forums trying to decide which camera was right for me, I collected a list of the names of the camera manufacturers. Sometimes a URL was included which I also noted. For those messages that mentioned a company name but that didn’t list a URL, I tried Google and Yahoo to see if I could find a URL for a specific company. I did this because I wanted to have a look at the Web sites and figure out what my options were in terms of manufacturer, price, features, and the less tangible aspects of LF camera ownership like aesthetics and “fit.”
As you can imagine, this took me quite a while. I finally decided on a Shen-Hao since I could get a new one very inexpensively (I live in Hong Kong and bought directly from Seagull Trading Company in Shanghai) and the Shen-Hao seemed to have more to learn about in terms of movements than other low-cost cameras.
Now that I’ve bought my camera, I hate to waste the research I did on camera companies so I am posting it below for others to use. I did the same thing with a list of manufacturers of focusing screens:
and of bags and backpacks
The camera manufacturers are alphabetized below into one of three categories:
A. LF Camera manufacturers: active URL
B. LF Camera manufacturers: inactive URL
C. LF Camera manufacturers: no URL
If you know one of the missing URLs or have other contact information like an alternative URL, email address, or phone number, please leave it in your comments.
LF CAMERA MANUFACTURERS: ACTIVE URL
Artworks View Cameras
Bender (camera kits)
Bulldog (self assembly camera)
Cameramaker.com (camera plans and kits)
Calumet (also sells Zone VI camera)
Deardorff Cameras (Ken Hough Photographic Repair Service)
Specializing in the Complete restoration of Deardorff View Cameras
“My cameras are mechanically new.”
Horseman (also markets Woodman cameras)
Kozik Camera Kit (Aluminum camera kits)
Wehman Field Camera
LF CAMERA MANUFACTURERS: INACTIVE URL
More information - http://www.camerareview.com/template...?camera_id=361
More information - www.kenrockwell.com/tech/4x5.htm
LF CAMERA MANUFACTURERS: NO URL
Arca Swiss Phototechnik (Switzerland)
No company URL available, email customer Service email@example.com
Or see http://www.precisioncameraworks.com/...arca_core.html
Deardorff Photographic Products International (USA)
58 West Lincolnway, Valpariso, Indiana, 46383, (219) 464-9748
Hoffman Master View (USA)
631/694-4470 Phone number does not work, no URL
More information - shutterbug.com/equipmentreviews/ medium_large_format /0600sb_wetried
Ikeda Anba (Japan)
More information - www.thalmann.com/largeformat/anba.htm
More information - www.rarecamerainc.com/info/CamId173.htm
Nagaoka Seisakusho (Japan)
More information - www.clickondavid.com/nagaoka.jpg
More information - www.bromwellmarketing.com/osaka.htm
More information - www.cameraeccentric.com/html/sale/rajah45g.html