View Full Version : 4x5 camera issue

8-Oct-2014, 12:54
EDIT: 4x5 not 5x7

Heelo. Im in the process of buying my first large format. I come from medium format photography and i work on a semipro / pro level. I did alot of reading on LF so i hope all of this is not too nooby.:)

Im considering between a sinar norma with a rodenstock geronar. 210/6,8 or a sinar f 1 (no lens)
My budget is about 600€

Combo and other manufactures are too expensive for me.

What is important to me is :

-a graflock back so i can attach a graflock polaroid back + 6x7 back -full movements (frontal forward tilt)

-rotatable back

-possibilty to sync with flash at hi speeds

-compabilty with new lenses (nikor) & accessories,

-bright focusing screen

I would prefear a non monrail, but from all i read monorails are cheaper, more compatible and werasable..

(Linhof tehnica 5 would be too expensive Super graphic is super hard to find in europe (& speed graphic dont have all frontal movements) wista is tooo expensive :)

Thanks sooo much!

8-Oct-2014, 13:03
well..you'll need a 4x5 reducing back with graflok to use the roll film holders and polaroid film backs and stuff

super graphics did not come in 5x7 and linhof hasn't made a tech 5x7 in decades

the flash sync speed is totally dependant on the shutter with the lens you end up with..it's only as fast as the shutter's top speed

8-Oct-2014, 13:06
My mistake.. Sorry. The camera is 4x5 it was a typo :)

8-Oct-2014, 13:11
My mistake.. Sorry. The camera is 4x5 it was a typo :)


ignore the first two then

Peter Lewin
8-Oct-2014, 19:46
Some quick reactions to your requirements:
1) Polaroid film is extinct, so the need to accept a graflock polaroid back is questionable. Additionally, when Polaroid was available, most of us used Polaroid holders (the 545 or 545i) which slid under the ground glass in the same manner as a film holder.
2) Similar comment for the 6x7 back; much more common was a 6x7 roll film holder (Calumet made one, which I still have) which slid under the ground glass like a film holder. So while graflock backs may have other uses, for Polaroid and 6x7, you don't need it.
3) All leaf shutters (at least modern ones, such as Copals) synch to flash at all speeds. Often the shutter's max speed isn't very high, but you rely on the shortness of the strobe flash to stop motion, rather than the shutter speed. In any event, it is a shutter issue, not a camera issue.
4) Compatibility with new lenses is basically a non-issue, almost any lens will fit on any standard lens boards, unless the lenses are very large. The camera issue is bellows draw, which limits the longest lens you can use, and bellows compression, which limits the shortest lens you can use. Virtually any 4x5 view camera will handle lenses from around 90mm through 250mm. Longer or shorter, you need to check the camera specs.

This may make your range of choices wider than you mention in your post.

Alan Gales
8-Oct-2014, 20:58
A monorail sounds more in line with your budget. I would forget about the Geronar. In the day, Geronars were budget/student lenses with less coverage. Today you can pick up an f/5.6 lens from Schneider, Rodenstock, Fujinon, Nikon and Caltar for cheap. That's what the Pros used to use!

Dan Fromm
9-Oct-2014, 04:04
If you can't afford to buy a used Cambo SC-2 (< $US 150 plus postage with patience and diligent shopping) you can't afford to shoot 4x5.

9-Oct-2014, 05:43
Now, what's the issue?

9-Oct-2014, 06:19
Thanks alot for the answers!
My budget is about 600€ (without the lens).. My issue was what is better, more compatible:
Sinar norma
Sinar f1
Or Combo

I gues the best option would be Sinar Norma, right?

9-Oct-2014, 06:47
The F1 is BY FAR better then the norma, not to mention LIGHTER.
Modern and highly versatile Cambo/Toyo/Omega/Horseman cameras etc monorails usually sell for under 300$ on Ebay, leaving plenty of room for a camera+lens+holders+international shipping+tax/duties from your 600 Euro budget.

I would disregard Peter Lewin's comments - Fuji PF100c is alive and well, and 405 backs are easier to use with a graflock back - but - can be used under the glass permitting you have enough spring. The same goes for the comment about roll film backs - in reality - graflock roll film backs are just as common or more (where i am) then cambo style backs.

Tim Meisburger
9-Oct-2014, 07:08
All of them are fine!

Peter Lewin
9-Oct-2014, 11:02
Since KOH suggested ignoring my comments about graflock backs, I feel a need to expand slightly. I was not arguing that graflock backs are a bad thing, merely that I wouldn't make that feature the limiting issue in my choice of cameras. I've owned a Sinar F, a Wista Field, and now a Canham DLC^2, and in something over 30 years of using Large Format equipment, have never used the graflock feature.

However, KOH is correct about "Polaroid." Actual Polaroid is defunct, except for the brand new and expensive "rebirth" in the form of the New55 project for 4x5; there is a new Polaroid-like 8x10 film as well. They are both designed to be used with "under the glass" holders, for New55, specifically the 545 or 545i holders. The Fuji pack instant films, which need a 405 pack film holder, are still in production, and as KOH said, the 405 holder really works best with a graflock back (it may or may not work at all "under glass" depending on the camera). So if you intend to use the Fuji pack films, yes, your desire for a graflock back is a deal-breaker.

Similarly for 6x7: I merely meant that there are non-graflock alternatives. In fact Sinar, the manufacturer you mention most, made a multi-format roll film holder, as well as single format roll film holders, and they were designed to be used under the ground glass.

Where I thought this was relevant was your comment that you might prefer a folding camera, except they didn't meet your requirements. My point was that in fact some folding cameras did, meaning that you could use a folder with non-pack Polaroid films using an under the ground glass holder, and similarly you could use a folder with 6x7 roll film. Not having KOH's experience, I can't argue that one approach or the other is better, simply that you have options.

Your other requirements, the use of modern lenses, strobe synching, and bright focussing screen don't limit you to one type of camera or another. Bellows extension, which you hint at, is a genuine deal breaker if you expect to use lenses at the extreme short- or long-end of the spectrum.

9-Oct-2014, 11:28
Actual Polaroid is defunct, except for the brand new and expensive "rebirth" in the form of the New55 project for 4x5; there is a new Polaroid-like 8x10 film as well. They are both designed to be used with "under the glass" holders, for New55, specifically the 545 or 545i holders.

New55 started selling film?

Randy/Cowan mentioned about usage of fp100c (1/4 plate?) Fuji instants as well with 4x5.

I don't know if you have access to the classifieds but there are enough good systems listed there - at quite tempting prices. (you can look up sellers feedback in the feedback forum)

9-Oct-2014, 13:28
I feel almost the same as when i was getting from analog synths into modular synths..
This transition between medium and LF. Thanks alot !

I cant see the classifieds yet :)