PDA

View Full Version : Ebony SW410E



georgl
5-Jan-2015, 04:20
I finally got my dream camera: an Ebony SW410E !

Since information on the internet is sparse, I try to share my experiences in this thread:


why an Ebony?

I first saw it during Photokina on the Schneider Kreuznach booth and it was love at first sight... I never cared much for wood but the overall design, aesthetics and build-quality convinced me here for the first time.
It took some time to get past the price but after more than two years, I decided that it was time to invest in Ebony and Titanium...
Since there is no real specialist dealing with large format in Germany and I wanted to visit Japan anyway, I took the chance and contacted Hiromi Sakanashi to order my dream camera from the man himself.
I visited his office in October and he and his assistant were kind enough to guide me through the decision process for several hours!


why 4x10?

I shoot mainly landscape and architecture, I love the "Cinemascope"-like aspect ratio. 4x10-equipment is lighter/smaller and the lens choices IMHO more interesting due to the slightly smaller imace circle needed for 4x10. I use a Koenig Photobag Rucksack to transport the camera safely.


the camera itself

The build-quality is very good, woodwork and metal parts are simply several steps ahead of what is offered in Chinese copies like Shen Hao. It is quite rigid and the focusing is smoother than on any other wooden camera design.
It is non-foldable and therefore easy to set-up. The back end of the bellow is stiff, the front end very smooth which makes handling quite easy with short (<150mm) and long lenses (>300mm). Only the back shift is not a smooth due to the wide design. Tilt and shift are strictly separated, making adjustments simple and precise.
I ordered it without the accessory shoe and front spirit levels due to aesthetic reasons (I use separate spirit levels anyway).

I also ordered three 4x10 filmholders from Mr. Sakanashi which are beautifully and very precisely made!

what's next?

I try to acquire lenses (looking for Symmar Xl110, Sironar-S 210 and Xenar Compact 350) and some additional accessoires to make 4x10 feasible (cutting device, Jobo drum...). I hope I can justify the expenses with some adequate imagery ;-)



Any questions are welcome!

Last but not least a few Images:

http://www11.pic-upload.de/05.01.15/to364xz15bzz.jpg (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-25758420/L1007214.jpg.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/05.01.15/e5vwkhel1nza.jpg (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-25758424/L1007217.jpg.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/05.01.15/3pwgsulf3s4.jpg (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-25758456/L1007211.jpg.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/05.01.15/j5iv2c8jut58.jpg (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-25758436/L1007232.jpg.html)

koh303
5-Jan-2015, 06:11
Very nice camera.
How long did it take for them to make it for you?

Peter De Smidt
5-Jan-2015, 08:35
They are terrific cameras. I really like the non-folding versions. I look forward to seeing some of the photos that you take with it!

gmfotografie
5-Jan-2015, 11:55
great...lucky guy :-)

Rayt
5-Jan-2015, 18:07
Nice! What are your film choices in that format? Are you cutting 8x10?

chassis
5-Jan-2015, 19:18
Beautiful camera, and the film holder, too.

Randy Moe
5-Jan-2015, 19:33
Wow, Very nice indeed. Those swing levers are similar to my Studio Deardorff SC11.

Good choice not getting levels and shoe installed. Levels fail often and a shoe for what?

Non folding is a great idea, just put the thing in a box and eliminate all the collateral damage we suffer with folders.

What does it weigh?

Thanks for sharing.

Daniel Stone
6-Jan-2015, 00:12
Wow, Very nice indeed. Those swing levers are similar to my Studio Deardorff SC11.

Good choice not getting levels and shoe installed. Levels fail often and a shoe for what?

Non folding is a great idea, just put the thing in a box and eliminate all the collateral damage we suffer with folders.

What does it weigh?

Thanks for sharing.

Randy,
The 'shoe' is so you can use the Ebony lens shade(basically a small flag). You could also install a pocketwizard or other hotshoe-mounted flash trigger. This way you don't have to hang the trigger

127608

Randy Moe
6-Jan-2015, 00:15
Randy,
The 'shoe' is so you can use the Ebony lens shade(basically a small flag). You could also install a pocketwizard or other hotshoe-mounted flash trigger. This way you don't have to hang the trigger

127608

Yes, we know that, but the OP didn't want that. Maybe he shoots without flash and uses a lens mounted shade. On a wood camera they could be added at anytime.

He did say he custom ordered it this way. Just trying to be enthusiastic!

Daniel Stone
6-Jan-2015, 00:24
I'm not trying to be a downer ;), I saw a question mark, so I thought you might have been asking a genuine question, hence my answer :)

Randy Moe
6-Jan-2015, 00:26
I'm not trying to be a downer ;), I saw a question mark, so I thought you might have been asking a genuine question, hence my answer :)

I'll be more careful.

georgl
6-Jan-2015, 10:26
Thank you very much! I hope I can present some nice images this year!

I simply have no need for accessory shoe so I decided to go without it, the front spirit level is usally mounted on a piece of plastic which I didn't like. I use externe spirit levels but most of the time the ones installed on the back are sufficient due to the 0-clicks and the non-folding design.

I use Provia 100F for color, which scans fabulous and is easier to saturate in post when needed than mute Velvia down... For B/W I love TMY2 (T-Max 400 new) which is fine-grained with great tonality even at 800ASA (using Ultrafin Plus).

I use a dedicated HSM guillotine to cut them, I will equip it to cut only in one position. Still trying to figure out which Jobo drum works best for 4x10 - any suggestions?

Peter De Smidt
6-Jan-2015, 10:59
Jobo expert drum 3005.

georgl
8-Jan-2015, 12:54
Thanks, the Expert drums can use 4x10 without any modification?

Peter De Smidt
8-Jan-2015, 13:32
Sure.

Nicolasllasera
8-Jan-2015, 13:37
Thanks, the Expert drums can use 4x10 without any modification?

As said before yes. I do 4x10 on it. No problem. Just dont do two in the same slot.

gmfotografie
9-Jan-2015, 23:13
@georgl
dein postfach ist voll ;-)

Vaughn
9-Jan-2015, 23:54
A nice looking piece of machinery! Using a Ries tripod and tilt head, I could easily see using this camera for verticals! Looks like it would behave itself tilted. And I like the idea of non-folders.

Shen Hao has a nice non-folding 5x7 which would be tempting if it had a horizontal/vertical back.

georgl
10-Jan-2015, 00:47
I am definitely interested in vertical 10x4! i have to figure how to do that, currently I can only flip it in one position due to the tripod legs being in the way - still considering a geared head... Damn, it's too simple to spend money on this stuff ;-)

The Shen Hao cameras are usually copies of the Ebony design and the build-quality is mediocre, you get what you pay for... Personally I am not a fan but of course the price is tempting at first sight.

Tim Meisburger
10-Jan-2015, 01:26
Hi George. If your tripod has a column you should be able to raise it 6 inches or so and then tilt your camera 90 degrees easily, as the legs will not then be in the way.

Tim Meisburger
10-Jan-2015, 01:28
double post