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Thread: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

  1. #1
    Director @ Images Argentiques sultanofcognac's Avatar
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    Cool Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    "Gooood Eeevening"

    Hello to anyone who might harbour some sort of twisted interest in a sad, old, crotchety, cantankerous miscreant who pops little children's balloons and spittles out dour comments about the way young kids today dress!

    . . . and hi to everyone who could possibly provide assistance to a newbie to LF (I'm MF from day one) and who just bought an A-S model C and is searching for info on which lenses and film backs to purchase.

    I'm located in southern France about 12 km from the town of Cognac <hic, schkyuzze mi> but circulate to and from our place in Switzerland where I've lived for the past ten years.

    Day job is Editor/Art director for an international defence equipment technology magazine that's read in 183 countries. My vocation though is video production (20 years of that'll make your eye sockets square). I am also the Media Director for a small multimedia publishing company - we publish dual-language books, translations in Czech/German/French/English and provide literary research in Russian/Spanish (we, HA! - I mean my wife!), photography, desktop publishing design & layout. . . too many irons in the fire really.

    Anyway, so much for the cantankerous/dour comment bit.

    I'm looking for info on how to bring my new A-S up to speed and get out on the street with it.

    Thanks for allowing me to join this cool group (I've used the forum as research before buying my A-S, by the way).

    Cheers (insert here a few generic demeaning comments),

    Johnny

  2. #2

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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    welcome aboard... there are plenty of other experienced eccentrics here already. (I'm only in training for that myself).

  3. #3
    Director @ Images Argentiques sultanofcognac's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Thanks Mark,

    But I'm not an eccentric. . . just ask me!

  4. #4

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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Welcome!
    Pour a glass of cognac and click on the LF Home Page on the blue banner at the top of the page---that will get you on the fast track. Steve Simmons' "Using The View Camera" is about as good a primer on the subject I've come across.
    Are you shooting color or b&w?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  5. #5
    Director @ Images Argentiques sultanofcognac's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Thanks John,

    I actually have that book - well, had. I also had a (now ex) friend stay here in Switzerland and France with us for a year. He had two Sinar P2s that he didn't know how to use but did a lot of bragging about. He 'accidentally' took the book with him when he returned to the USA last year. My problem now, but I will look around the site for info specific to my camera.

  6. #6

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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by sultanofcognac View Post
    is searching for info on which lenses and film backs to purchase.

    I'm looking for info on how to bring my new A-S up to speed and get out on the street with it.
    "Sultan": lenses are generic (i.e. nothing unique about Arca-Swiss use) and film backs (assuming you mean "roll film") are also fairly generic. If you could provide an idea of what you are most interested in photographing, you will get better suggestions, rather than each of us posting about our own favorite lenses and backs. That said, to start the "my favorites" postings, my own three most-used lenses are all very standard in their focal lengths: Schneider 80SSXL, Rodenstock 150-S, Schneider 210 Symmar-S (an old lens, I think something like "Apo-L" is the current version). But depending on your own interests, you might end up wider, longer, or different in some other way. I also have an old Calumet 6x7 rollfilm back (slides under the GG like an ordinary holder) which works well, but which I hardly ever use any more, prefering regular 4x5 sheet film. I also remember that Kerry Thallman has an article on "classic lenses" (meaning modern lenses which he feels will become classics) somewhere around here, I should have found it before writing this post!

  7. #7
    Director @ Images Argentiques sultanofcognac's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Peter. . . about that 6x7 roll film back. If you're not using it any longer I'd be interested to know what you require in return (er. . .money - I quit the sexual favours business years ago).

    Johnny

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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by sultanofcognac View Post
    Peter. . . about that 6x7 roll film back. If you're not using it any longer I'd be interested to know what you require in return...Johnny
    Johnny: If I was into barter, I would trade for cognac, but more seriously... I'm hanging onto mine, because the used value is really so low that it makes more sense to keep, even if used rarely. I did take a quick look over on eBay, since the backs aren't particularly rare. Currently I saw 5 for sale: 2 with "buy now" prices of $164, one with a "buy now" of $120, and two which were pure auctions. Calumet still lists the "C2" 6x7 back new for $550, and a 6x12 version for $870. That should give you some idea of the values. Incidentally, they're made in Holland by Cambo, you might even find them more cheaply in Europe!

  9. #9
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings Earthlings – take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    ... That said, to start the "my favorites" postings, my own three most-used lenses are all very standard in their focal lengths: Schneider 80SSXL, Rodenstock 150-S, Schneider 210 Symmar-S (an old lens, I think something like "Apo-L" is the current version). ...
    Continuing on the same theme, I prefer (on 4x5") a 3 1/4" WA Rectilinear 8almost prehistoric), a 90mm f:6.8 Angulon (1954), a 120mm Heliar (1934), 150mm Apo-Lanthar (1971), 210mm f:-61 Xenar(1999), and 180, 240, 300 and 360mm Symmar (1960's). Unless I'm using an 1890's casket set, of course...

    in other words: one of the things I find really attractive about LF is the almost total intercompatibility, where 19th century lenses and 21st century cameras work together just as well as vice versa!

    Oh drat! I'm out of Cognac! Well - then I will have to survive on Armagnac.

  10. #10

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    Re: Greetings Earthlings take me to your Arca Swiss leaders

    Hi Johnny,

    Here are some decision points:

    1. What kind of photography do you want to do? Studio, landscapes, flowers, portraits, street, handheld, action/sports (this is quite hard with LF)?

    2. Do you want to go backpacking with the LF kit? I mean would you be carrying tent, clothes, food, etc. in addition to the LF kit? Or would you go for daytrips with the LF system? Or would you shoot next to your car?

    Since you have been using your medium format for a while, the equivalent focal lengths of the lenses you use on that camera might be the starting point for your choice of lenses in 4x5.

    Here are some relatively compact and lightweight MODERN lenses:

    If you are into wide angle phtography, one could start with:
    APO Grandagon 75mm - APO Symmar 120mm - Nikkor-M 200mm - Nikkor-M 300mm

    OR

    APO Grandagon 90mm - APO Sironar-S 135mm - Nikkor-M 200mm - Nikkor-M 300mm

    If you use longer focal lengths, here are some choices

    APO Sironar-S 135mm - Nikkor-M 200mm - Nikkor-M 300mm - Fujinon-C 450mm

    The Nikkors have been discontiued in the last 3-4 years.

    There quite a few lens choices for each focal length I mentioned above.

    My suggestion would be to pick a couple of used lenses and play with them for few months to get an idea of what focal lengths you really like. These are likely to be in the same ballpark as your equivalent MF lenses but could be different because of different in the aspect ratio of LF. Finally when you decide and if your pocket permits, get modern and multi-coated lenses.

    Welcome to LF and Good Luck.


    // Atul

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