While not new to large format on a tripod, I have been intrigued by going handhe ld in 4x5 for some time. When I asked some time ago about experiences with the Gran View 4x5, most of the folks here talked me out of that and suggested going with a Speed or Crown Graphic instead.
And so I have. I just picked up a very nice late production Crown Graphic Specia l with Graflok back, top-mounted rangefinder, and 135mm/f4.7 Schneider Xenar in a Copal #0 shutter. It's what I hoped for and I'm grateful for the recommendatio n.
Now I'm trying to figure out some things that will allow me to do the things I w ant with this setup. I've been all through the posts here and the entire www.gra flex.org site (which is very helpful and a great resource), but I haven't yet fo und the answers to several questions. I hope you can help.
1. I would like to use one of my shoe-mount electronic flash units with the cam era. Is there a good way to mount a cold-shoe bracket on the body somehow? I'v e got some spare cold shoes from Stroboframe brackets, but I haven't puzzled out how or where to attach one. The right-hand flash bracket still is attached to my camera (without flash gun attachment, of course). It's got some different si ze holes on the "outer bracket", some on the "inner bracket", and of course the holes into the body from the inner bracket. I'm just hoping there's a time-test ed approach that Graphic users have already figured out.
2. While I know from the graflex.org site how short and long a lens I can use o n the body, I'd like to find a list of modern lenses in the 75mm-210mm range tha t are both narrow enough and shallow enough to fit inside the focusing rails and allow the body to close with the lens mounted. I can test any that I would buy locally, of course. And I can figure out which ones are pretty good candidates based on published specs about filter size, etc. (small lenses like Schneider G -Clarons, Fuji-A 180mm, or the 200mm Nikkor-M, for example, seem like they might work). But is there a definitive list of modern lenses that fit so that I won' t be mailing one back in disappointment? I'm most interested in a 75mm, like a R odenstock Grandagon f6.8, and something longer in the 200-210mm range like the N ikkor 200mm or G-Claron 210mm.
3. For purposes of calibrating the cams that my top-RF takes, is one particular focal length lens the same as any other lens of the same focal length? In othe r words, if I were to substitute a new Rodenstock Sironar 135mm lens for the 135 mm Xenar now on the camera, would the rangefinder still be set up properly or wo uld it need adjustment for accurate focusing? While they are both the same foca l length, I wondered whether lens design differences would lead to a different f ocus point.
Thanks for all your help for my Graphic newbie questions.