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Daniel Barter
26-Feb-2013, 11:56
Hi,

I am a photography student from London running on quite a tight budget. I currently shoot a full frame digital slr but I'm looking to move up to large format. I mostly shoot abandoned structures/interiors and urban landscapes but have been encouraged to change my process to achieve a more fine art end product.

I have managed to save 1000 for a camera, accessories and two lenses. I could probably push a little higher but I would rather not. I am open to suggestions on cameras and lenses, as well as other accessories. It would have to be light, have some ability for architectural movements.

I have been looking at the Shen Hao range and would probably want a wide angle 65-90mm and a more normal view 150mm.

To be honest I am in your hands guys, any help would be appreciated, I doubt I will be able to afford to upgrade what I buy any time soon.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel

cjbecker
26-Feb-2013, 13:33
I would say the best thing would to buy a monorail like a sinar f/f2. The f will save you a bit of money for the lens and everything else.

It's all a balance game between weight, speed and cost.

As for the lenses just choose between the. Big 4, schneider, rodenstock, nikkor, fuji. They all make wonderful lenses. It's more about the specs of the lens then the brand.

The normal setup would be 90 150 and 210. I find the 150 to feel wider then a 50 on a 35mm and I find it a very usable focal length.

If you goin to be packing anything in, generally slower lens weight less. Choose a 90 f8 or 90 f6.8 for the wide and a 150 f5.6 non xl for the normal lens. If your going to a lighter setup.

I'm in the process of rebuilding my 4x5 kit and I'm goin to get a rodenstock 90 f6.8 and also the rodenstock 150 5.6

Film holders. Pretty much they are the same. (I will be getting toyo)

You will need a tripod, probably a head (I don't use a head)

Dark cloth (I made my own)

Shutter release

mike rosenlof
26-Feb-2013, 13:38
If you were in the US I would suggest a monorail camera. They're priced very low here now. This would leave most of your budget for lenses, where it should be.

Sinar Alpina or A1 are dirt cheap here, even the F series are pretty low. Same for the lower-end Cambo, Calumet. A graphic-view is even lower. All you need are decent bellows and movements that still move, and the ability to find or make the lens board(s) you need.

IanG
26-Feb-2013, 14:27
I disagree with getting a monorail from experience, UK prices are much higher and there should be plenty of movements in a Shen Hao or a Chamonix but shop around.

There's some grat bargains to be had iof you're patient in the UK and you can get all you need easily with that budget, I have.

Ian

Daniel Barter
26-Feb-2013, 14:34
Thanks for the information guys, It can all be a bit overwhelming. I definitely reckon I need a light field camera as some of the locations I visit involve a fair amount of climbing to get into.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?

IanG
26-Feb-2013, 14:43
Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?

Depends on condition & price, should be OK, not quite as well made as a Wista.

Ian

welly
26-Feb-2013, 14:47
Thanks for the information guys, It can all be a bit overwhelming. I definitely reckon I need a light field camera as some of the locations I visit involve a fair amount of climbing to get into.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?

If you can find a Toyo field camera for the right price, grab one of those. They're metal but really aren't that heavy. It's a brilliant and versatile camera.

Daniel Barter
26-Feb-2013, 14:57
Depends on condition & price, should be OK, not quite as well made as a Wista.

Ian

Thanks Ian , I have seen a couple of Wista that look competitively priced.

Daniel Barter
26-Feb-2013, 14:58
If you can find a Toyo field camera for the right price, grab one of those. They're metal but really aren't that heavy. It's a brilliant and versatile camera.

If I could get on in good condition for around 500 would you say that was reasonable??

Maris Rusis
26-Feb-2013, 15:09
Thanks for the information guys, It can all be a bit overwhelming. I definitely reckon I need a light field camera as some of the locations I visit involve a fair amount of climbing to get into.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Tachihara 4x5?

I use two Tachihara 45GF cameras (and a couple of 8x10 Tachiharas as well) and they have never failed in field work. I run lenses from the 65mm and 90mm Nikkor-SW's at the wide end to a Fujinon-W 300mm and a Commercial Congo 360mm at the long end. Recessed and top-hat lens boards are used compensate for the non-interchangeable bellows. The standard Tachihara focussing screen has a built in fresnel and is as bright and contrasty as the best of them.

Overall Tachiharas are not the best camera or the worst but do the job. But they do look beautiful and attract the attention of passers by. Here's a link:http://www.netlaputa.ne.jp/~tachi-ss/

welly
26-Feb-2013, 15:29
If I could get on in good condition for around 500 would you say that was reasonable??

Oh yeah, I paid about that (around $750 - so about 500) for mine. I started with a Sinar F2 which I had for about a year. Great camera but bulky and not exactly a walk-around camera (as much as you can have a large format walk-around camera!). After that, I bought a Cambo 4x5 monorail, which I still have although it doesn't get a lot of use these days but it weighs so little for a monorail, I've carried that around all day with me without a problem. After that, I had a Wisner Technical Field Camera - beautiful camera (someone is selling one at the moment on this forum), looks amazing but didn't "fit" me to be honest. I found myself battling with it more than I'd have liked to. It struggled with wide lenses - getting infinity focus on even a 90mm lens was a task and forget movements! But if you're interested in longer lenses, then you wouldn't have the same problem as I had with it.

Finally, I was recommended a Toyo 45AX, which I've had for about 6 months now. I can't see myself shooting with another camera to be honest. It does everything I possibly need - it shoots wide lenses, I can use my 300mm lens on it, it's got enough movements for the kind of shooting I do (landscape, close up, some portrait but mainly "things"). And if I do need more movements for a project, I can always use my Cambo. Anyway, that's my sales pitch for the Toyo. Unless you have specific requirements, like lots of movements for architectural work perhaps, I can't imagine anyone not getting on with it.

Woodturner-fran
27-Feb-2013, 09:24
You really need to pay special attention to how you're going to use this camera. Its the every day use that matters. So imagine yourself with your backpack or whatever and setting up the camera and lenses. Anything that is slow to set up tends to be a right PITA. This is especially true if you are moving around a bit and are setting up, taking down, moving to a new location etc etc. So it those cases, its really hard to beat a folding field camera. In my case, I bought a Chamonix 045n-2 and am very happy with it.

Lenses are a funny thing when buying second hand. The same model can be crazy expensive in one place and much cheaper in another. Shopping around and patience is absolutely key. Personally I have gotten a few fantastic deals on LF lenses from Japan via Ebay. Just factor in the customs charges.

Lastly, are you sure you know what you are getting yourself in for? You say you are shooting a digital full frame at the moment. Have you considered how you are going to develop and print the shots you get with your LF camera? Its going to get expensive very quickly if you are processing and printing in your own darkroom.

Best of luck!!

Daniel Barter
28-Feb-2013, 01:15
You really need to pay special attention to how you're going to use this camera. Its the every day use that matters. So imagine yourself with your backpack or whatever and setting up the camera and lenses. Anything that is slow to set up tends to be a right PITA. This is especially true if you are moving around a bit and are setting up, taking down, moving to a new location etc etc. So it those cases, its really hard to beat a folding field camera. In my case, I bought a Chamonix 045n-2 and am very happy with it.

Lenses are a funny thing when buying second hand. The same model can be crazy expensive in one place and much cheaper in another. Shopping around and patience is absolutely key. Personally I have gotten a few fantastic deals on LF lenses from Japan via Ebay. Just factor in the customs charges.

Lastly, are you sure you know what you are getting yourself in for? You say you are shooting a digital full frame at the moment. Have you considered how you are going to develop and print the shots you get with your LF camera? Its going to get expensive very quickly if you are processing and printing in your own darkroom.

Best of luck!!

Thanks Woodturner-fran,

I have indeed considered it, I thinking shooting large format will take me out of my comfort zone and allow me to slow down my process. As for processing Whilst at LCC I can get that done for free, after that who knows :) I will still be following a digital process after that point so I should save a little expense there.

Thanks again,

Daniel

Daniel Barter
28-Feb-2013, 01:21
Thanks for all your input guys!

I have gone with a Shen Hao TFC45-IIB, I think it is a good fit for me and will be able to take the widest of angles when I am ready for it.

That leaves me with only enough cast for one lens to start, I am thinking a 90mm or 75mm. I would prefer the 75mm as it is closer to the focal length I currently use for my interiors on my dslr but am I right in thinking it would need a centre filter?

Also what sort of accessories do I need off the bat?

In your hands as always...

Thank you,

Daniel

welly
28-Feb-2013, 01:51
Thanks for all your input guys!

I have gone with a Shen Hao TFC45-IIB, I think it is a good fit for me and will be able to take the widest of angles when I am ready for it.

That leaves me with only enough cast for one lens to start, I am thinking a 90mm or 75mm. I would prefer the 75mm as it is closer to the focal length I currently use for my interiors on my dslr but am I right in thinking it would need a centre filter?

Also what sort of accessories do I need off the bat?

In your hands as always...

Thank you,

Daniel

A loupe, thick black tshirt or jacket, light meter, film holders. You should be good to go with that.

A 75mm lens seems pretty wide on large format. Even 90mm seems wide to me.

Former Member 27732
28-Feb-2013, 04:21
Thanks for all your input guys!

That leaves me with only enough cast for one lens to start, I am thinking a 90mm or 75mm. I would prefer the 75mm as it is closer to the focal length I currently use for my interiors on my dslr but am I right in thinking it would need a centre filter?

Also what sort of accessories do I need off the bat?

In your hands as always...

Thank you,

Daniel

Don't forget the tripod. It can be something reasonably small and light enough to carry in one hand. A 75mm lens will likely benefit from a CF (especially for interiors) but I find some pictures lend themselves well to a little light fall off. FWIW I use a 65mm Grandagon N, have rarely ever used the CF, but shoot landscapes mostly.
/Frank...

neil poulsen
28-Feb-2013, 11:36
For lenses, consider Schneider Symmar-S lenses. They're excellent and reasonably priced. Caltar-S II lenses are Symmar S lenses can be even more reasonably priced. Or, more recent Caltar lenses were made by Rodenstock. Another good possibility. For wide-angle, Schneider makes the Super Angulon. For lens data on their discontinued models, see the following on their website:

https://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/index.htm

Some Schneider lenses (not all), have silver specs on the sides of the barrel inside the lens. (Often referred to as Schneideritis.) I'd stay away from any of these, even though Schneider claims it doesn't affect image quality.

yuexiachou29
28-Feb-2013, 12:40
im looking for lens too. would you mind sharing some resources when you have idea where/which to buy?

Daniel Barter
2-Mar-2013, 07:44
Thanks once again for the information guys!!

I ended up getting a Fuji SW 90 mm F/8 from Tokyo at what I believe was a good price...

Daniel Barter
2-Mar-2013, 07:45
im looking for lens too. would you mind sharing some resources when you have idea where/which to buy?

I just trawled Ebay to be honest. Kept to the big four manufactures like everyone suggested.

Woodturner-fran
3-Mar-2013, 02:13
Nice lens, happy shooting!