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Thread: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

  1. #1

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    Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    There is an ocean of cheap monorail cameras on the used market but it is hard to get info about them. I am looking for one that will let me use a 47/58 (flange distance = 70mm) on a flat board. I have large fingers and old eyes, and life is too short to use dental mirrors to set lenses. I would like more precision and rigidity than the Shen-Hao, and am willing to deal with the weight. Cheap would be really nice, but is not essential. I am not looking at the Fotoman yet because I would like something to use my 90 on as well, and it really needs a lot of movement.

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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    Ed,
    with the price of Sinars these days, I'd consider a sinar F with a bag bellows.

    erie

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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    Erie,

    Do you know the minimum bellows extension for the Sinar F with the bag bellows? BH lists it as 60mm for the F2, but I cannot find any info for the F1.

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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    Erie,

    Do you know the minimum bellows extension for the Sinar F with the bag bellows? BH lists it as 60mm for the F2, but I cannot find any info for the F1.
    From the Sinar Bron site (link below) the minimum extension of the F2 is 1.5 inches or 38mm. From another site, the F1 is also 38mm.

    From this site http://www.pandemonia.com/pandemonia.../sinar-a1.html

    The A1 is the SInar F1 in all but name, rail, and rail attachments. Minimum extension is a function of lens rear element size when using the wide angle bellows.

    http://www.sinarbron.com/sinar/conventional/f2.php
    Last edited by Ron Marshall; 30-Sep-2006 at 09:11.

  5. #5

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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    Ron,

    From what I can tell, the 38mm is with a really deep recessed lens board. But 60mm is fine for anything I want to do, and it sounds like the A1/F1/F2 have about the same specs - that is very helpful.

  6. #6
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    One of the best cameras I have found for really, really wide lenses is an old German rear-focussing "Reisekamera". Even my 24x30cm camera can focus a 45mm lens at infinity on a flat board. With plate reduction inserts it can shoot any size film from 6.5x9cm to the full 24x30cm. Movements on the lens board are +/- 6cm rise and +/- 6cm shift. Rear has 10 degrees swing and tilt.

    For modern 4x5" cameras, I believe the Carrbon Infinity may still be unmatched - 30mm to 550mm on flat boards.

  7. #7
    Seattle photographer Photomax's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    There seems to be a buyers market for the Sinar F1 or F2 these days. They are nice cameras. Full movements and they get you into the full Sinar line. There is a lot of used Sinar accessories out there these days. Maker sure to get the bag bellows. The Sinar kit is a HUGE system. Get the catalog and laugh at all the insane prices for buying all this stuff new - and then go find what you need used at a fraction of the new price.

    I have the Sinar F1, high end Sinar travel case, 210, 90, 65 lenses, bag bellows, extension rails, reflex binocular viewer, fresnal screan etc.

    The P2 is a better camera but you pay for it. Some guys will buy the F1 and then look for the rear standard from a F2 camera. Its a slight upgrade.

    I am pretty happy with my choice. The F1 is not a field camera. I went hiking with it once: never again. Its a great all round monorail camera suitable for studio, location, architecture and field work if you can drive the car up to the tripod setting. Its a deep system, maybe the deepest and there is a lot of it out there used nowadays.

    Cheers,

    Max

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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    Max,

    Is the hiking problem that it is bulky and heavy, or are you worried about crud getting into the mechanism in the field? I am not much of a hiker, but I do work in the field, usually carrying the camera on the tripod over my shoulder.

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    Seattle photographer Photomax's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    It was more about the size and the lack of creating a good softer travel bag than anything else. I have moved into a different direction for doing personal field photography: using a 6x17 panoramic camera with a 90mm/6.8 Grandagon lens. The camera film, viewer, light meter and a bunch of more convenient 120 film all fits into a small shoulder bag. I like the shape of this format and I think I will use it more than the 4x5.

    Max
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gaoersi_camera.jpg  
    Last edited by Photomax; 30-Sep-2006 at 10:20.

  10. #10

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    Re: Recommendations for a cheap monorail for wide angles?

    I use my Gowland with a bag bellows, together they cost something less than $500 on the 'Bay.

    I believe that just about any monorail plus a bag bellows should do the trick for you, so that you can base your choice upon other matters like cost, availability, features, etc. A Gowland is a good choice in terms of super light and compact ease of travel, while the various Sinars are good choices for ease of use and precision. Others may chime in with options that fall somewhere in between?

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