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Thread: Field Camera vs. View Camera

  1. #21

    Field Camera vs. View Camera

    Mark,

    I have a great 8x10 Burke & James Grover for sell and it is in great shape, for its age I would have to give it a 8.5 or 9 out of 10. If you have an interest let me know. It is a wood and metal monorail with a beautiful red bellows. I can post some pix for you to look at if needed.

    www.jerrygreerphotography.com

  2. #22

    Field Camera vs. View Camera

    As others have said, if you intend to wander around on foot you will find a field camera vastly more convenient than a monorail.

    Since you are asking specifically about 8x10, having a camera that supports extreme movements is less important compared to 4x5 -- if you intend to buy "reasonable" price lenses, only long ones (relative to the format diagonal) are likely to allow substantial movements. For lenses with focal lengths similar to the format diagonal, there are a few reasonable ones that will offer significant movements, e.g., the G-Clarons. For moderate wide-angles such as 200 to 210 mm, it is much harder to find light-weight, reasonable cost lenses that will allow significant movements than it is for equivalent focal lengths for 4x5. The point is that there is no technical reason to buy a camera that is capable of large movements if your lenses aren't capable of the same. (There is a cost reason -- a monorail offering extensive movements might be cheaper than a folding field camera.) So another way to think about what capabilities you want an 8x10 camera to have is to think about what lenses you might use.

    The movement that is easiest to run out of is front rise. With virtually all LF cameras you can get additional front rise with a combination of movements, by tilting the camera up and bringing both standards to plumb (vertical). While not as convenient as direct front rise, this works well if you occasionally need substantial front rise.

    Looking at the photos of Jim Cooke that you have linked, I would guess that many were done with modest movements, up to an inch or so of front rise and perhaps some front tilt for focus. There are a few that look to me as if fairly significant front rise were used, perhaps several inches, for example, some of the photos of tanks on the second page. These are landscape orientation and the rise looks to be less than half the vertical dimension, so maybe 2 or 3 inches. I would guess these to have been taken with probably with a moderate wide, perhaps with a normal focal length.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    6,716

    Field Camera vs. View Camera

    Mark,

    It sounds like either type of camera would suit your purpose. You have all kinds of options. If the 4x5 field or monorail camera you're using now is a camera you enjoy using, I'd suggest getting a like camera in the larger format since you'd already know it's modus and would be comfortable with it. OTOH, if your coming from 35, MF, or digital, get something used, inexpensive and in good condition. You'll need a sturdy tripod, a lens on a board, light meter, and film holders---spend the money you've saved on those items and on film(BTW, I certainly don't want to sound discouraging, but do you want to work in color like Jim Cooke? Have you seen the prices of color 8x10 film? Yikes!) then go out and play. If it is something you want to continue, you'll either learn to love what you have or learn what you've found lacking---then you can look for a camera that will come closer to the ideal one for you(caution: I worked with a guy once who tried to use the same line of thinking regarding his wives---not recommended!) Fortunately, the prices for used 8x10 cameras seem to be low right now, Calumets, D2s, B&J, Agfa Anscos and the like aren't much more expensive than good used 4x5s, just make sure you get one in good condition or your new learning experience can quickly become a frustrating. I hope this helps---Good Luck!
    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.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    222

    Field Camera vs. View Camera

    If money is an issue (it is for most of us) a easy packable monorail may be a better bet than trying to find a nice priced 8"x10" field/folding at the moment - they are extremely sought after. I have only used 8"x10" monorail: Sinar P/P2, but that one were very heavy (could allways see the car from where I was using that one). I sold it when I had the oportunity to buy a Sinar Norma 8"x10" conversion set at MXV in England. This set were priced inexpensively, and using the tapered Sinar bellows & Norma 4"x5" front + 20" rail it is a quite portable & very stable system. With standards slid of the rail, the 4"x5" front standard (attached to bellows) rest on the 10"x10" bellows attached to the rear standard and secured together by rubber-springs during transport = reasonably compact. Rail standing in back-pack main compartment, rail-holder permanently attached to tripod-head. Set-up time about a minute - but who is in a hurry using 8"x10" anyway? MXW ( at http://www.mxv.co.uk/ ) have several times sold the Norma 8"x10" set at niceprice. Recommended shop!

    Good luck

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