West Cork-Ireland, Antibes-France
Once you resign yourself to not backpacking the thing, they are great. The pieces are plentiful and relatively inexpensive, and you really can do anything (other than go ultra-light).
The more, the merrier... Sinar Norma 13x18, borrowed lens and Copal shutter. The camera works but would need a CLA as it is a bit stiff in the joints.
Norma's rule. Chamonixes drool.
There was a really funny one on eBay the other day, someone wrapped the entire camera in tape "to protect it". I think they wanted $300 or so and it was functional but what a mess!
My advice for buying a Norma is to buy two, assemble the best from a choice of parts, and resell the pieces leftover. Avoid the ones that have tool marks on the bent controls - many students and grizzlies over-tightened the fine focusing and without adjustment, they had to wrench harder and harder over time.
Congrats to Jon for scoring the deal of a lifetime on that head ;-p The Sinar pan-tilt is integral to the camera and should be considered part of it, not an add-on.
Earlier this week. Northern michigan.
That double clamp on the 8x10 set up looks very solid. Almost the opposite of your 4x5 set up! How careful do you have to be with the small tripod?