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Daniel Casper Lohenstein
12-Feb-2018, 12:41
Hello,

we will be in Italy for a week in April, sleeping in a tent.

I would like to take a large format camera with me.

Unfortunately I have got two of them and lenses to build two systems ...

Here is a comparison:



Camera
Wista 45N
Intrepid 4x5


Wide-angle
Fujinon NW 5,6/125 (46mm filter thread)
Super Angulon 8/90


Normal lens
Fujinon A 9/180 (46mm filter thread)
Sironar-N 5.6/150


Tele lens
Apo-Ronar 9/300
G-Claron 9/210


4x5 holders
6 Riteway holders
6 Riteway holders


MF holder
Toyo 67/45 (slips under ground glass)
Horseman 6x9 (Graflok)


Tripod
Gitzo Gilux Reporter w ball head
Gitzo Gilux Reporter w ball head



The Wista combination is heavier (+1kg) than the Intrepid combination. But the Wista is sturdier and I can keep the Fujinon W 5.6/125 or the Fujinon A 9/180 mounted on the camera when storing it in my backpack.

The Toyo roll film holder just slips under the ground glass of the Wista. On the Intrepid I have to take of the ground glass to mount the roll film holder. For this reason I would take the Horseman 6x9 holder with me to honor the effort.

The Intrepid is lighter, but will it be sturdy enough to take it with me for camping / hiking? It will be wrapped in a blue Novoflex wrapping cloth that also serves as a focusing cloth. The Wista already has a focusing hood. But the Wista will be wrapped too.

Of course I could build a ultra light set: Intrepid, Fujinon W 5.6/125, Fujinon A 9/180 and the Apo-Ronar 9/300. But the Fujinon A 9/180 is the lens I love the most - I just dont want to haul it around in my bag and take it out to mount it etc. I like it more mounted on the Wista.

Another keep-it-simple option would be: the Wista with a mounted Fujinon 5.6/125 and the G-Claron 9/210. Would this be enough for landscape, macros, architecture?

It's too complicated.

What do you propose?

Pfsor
12-Feb-2018, 12:45
It's too complicated.

What do you propose?

Flip a coin.

Bob Salomon
12-Feb-2018, 13:06
Having been the Linhof, Wista and Rodenstock distributor for the USA for several decades until we closed in early 2015 I can tell you that the 3 most common lenses for 45 are the 90, the 150 and the 210mm.
That should help you make the choice and take the old Wista.

John Layton
12-Feb-2018, 13:21
Depending on the nature of both landscape and architecture...you might truly appreciate the 90. Plus... the "90 inclusive" progression you've listed is a pretty decent spread. But...given that your 180 is your "fave," you could go with a 90/125/180 combo and still have, in terms of percentage of change in angle of view, a pretty decent grouping. If you did go this route...keep in mind that you'd either need to bring two sets of filters, or step up rings for the 125 and 180.

LabRat
12-Feb-2018, 13:23
Either of the cameras are fine, but some kind of protective "shell" or case will prevent the camera and stuff from getting squashed, dusty, wet, etc...

Find out how much packing space you will have first, and narrow it down from there, starting with the essential things, and deep-six the fluff...

Why carry stuff you will not use??? And you will not be struck down by lightning if you don't have something you can work around...

Think of the stuff that can be re-purposed (multi-use) for a front-row pick/priority...

Steve K

David Lobato
12-Feb-2018, 13:42
Where in Italy? For high mountains, the Intrepid kit. For other areas, the Wista kit. Either way, leave the MF holders at home to save weight and space.

Drew Wiley
12-Feb-2018, 18:14
What gear are you most intuitively familiar with? In other words, least likely too make mistakes with in unfamiliar settings. Otherwise, keep things simple. The less gear you need to keep track of and repeatedly repack, the better.

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
13-Feb-2018, 01:12
Hello,

thanks a lot! Your answers are very helpful!

@ Pfsor: It's not easy. Flipping a coin will not solve my problem. See all those considerations below ...

@David Lobato: we're at the tuscan coast. There is a little hill (1000m) but we will stay most of time at the coast.

@Drew Wiley: I am more familiar with the Wista. It doesn't change its position when manipulating the ground glass eg. when putting the roll film holder in.

@LabRat: the Wista is 1.5kg heavier but more compact than the Intrepid in its Novoflex wrap. And it has the lens mounted while the Intrepid needs to have the lens unmounted when stored. - Your idea that "the stuff that can be re-purposed" is excellent: by taking the roll film holder to crop the image I can use the Fujinon A 9/180 as a telephoto lens for 6x7. Telephotos don't have to be enlarged too much, anyway, by reason of the viewing distance of the finished print. Perhaps the G-Claron 9/210 will help to accentuate the telephoto impression ... But then I have to take two different sets of filters with me, 46 an 49, and I can't have the lens mounted on the camera when storing.

@John Layton: working with the Super-Angulon 8/90 or with shorter lenses is one of the natural domain for the Intrepid (another domain is working with roll film holders with Graflok mount). The focusing mechanism of this camera is genial. You can focus backwards. The Wista is definitely too limited, and some recessed lens boards (Gaoersi) don't fit. - But: when doing 6x7, the Fujinon 5,6/125 would be a normal lens while it is a moderate wide angle lens when doing 4x5. - Perhaps I should buy a little Rittreck 5x7 camera one day to save weight in taking the 125 and the 180 with three different formats ...

@Bob Salomon: when doing 35mm I preferred the Nikkor 2,8/28, the Micro Nikkor 3.5/55 and the old Nikkor 1.8/85, for a long time. Your proposed set of 90 / 150 /210 seems to be the same combination. But I dont use the telephoto lens that much. I use the wide angle lens hardly ever. None of my finished prints are taken with this wide angle - perhaps it's the format of the preferred prints, 8x10 inch, that demands a more moderate normal or telephoto lens. 28mm needs an enlargement of 30x40cm. Perhaps it is the need to put some staffage into the picture to fill the foreground. This produces the same stereotypical wide angle pictures, again and again. I found that a focal length of 35mm is more convenient concerning both print size and freedom of concept, what means 125mm in 4x5.

Well, I think I take the Wista, the 125 lens, the 180 lens, and the roll film holder 6x7.

Thank you very much!

Kindly yours

BrianShaw
13-Feb-2018, 07:21
Flip a coin.

Seriously! Anything more is really overthinking the problem. :) Best two-out-of-three if you really want to be fair. :) Especially if the answer turns out to be "Wista". :)

Q: How will you secure and store all of that equipment in a tent? Even in hotels I've gone much more basic when traveling with LF. My predilection is for a Graphic Press Camera, one lens (normal - 135 or 150), a monopod, and a bunch of film holders. But when I really think about it more I often opt to take a medium format rig.

Pfsor
13-Feb-2018, 07:40
...
Q: How will you secure and store all of that equipment in a tent? Even in hotels I've gone much more basic when traveling with LF. My predilection is for a Graphic Press Camera, one lens (normal - 135 or 150), a monopod, and a bunch of film holders. But when I really think about it more I often opt to take a medium format rig.

A wise man's words.

Pere Casals
13-Feb-2018, 08:43
You have to know the kind of shots you are to take, but a tent suggests landscapes, so you may want the 90 or wider.

I would bring 90-150-210-300 and the wista, and no MF back, as those focals may limit your LF shots. Perhaps I would also take a light Nikon F80 (with excellent/cheap/light 50mm 1.8AFD and 28-80 3.3D) with with some rolls, as it's also a perfect spot photometer.

mmerig
13-Feb-2018, 11:19
....by taking the roll film holder to crop the image I can use the Fujinon A 9/180 as a telephoto lens for 6x7.

Besides saving on film, why take a roll-film holder to crop if you can crop during enlargement or a scan? The image size will be the same on a 4 by 5 as on the 6 by 7 if the same lens is used and you stand in the same place.

Regarding storing and securing the stuff:

My experience with LF photography in the mountains is to put the equipment in my pack that I leave outside the tent or bivy sack. The only "problem" I ever had was a curious bear pulled the pack around on the ground, but did not cause any damage. I take a smaller pack for carrying around my photo gear and lunch etc. for the day, and this goes in a big backpack along with the other stuff when I am moving camp. For me, the weight of my camera, compared to the lightest one available, is negligible compared to the total weight of the pack. I usually take two or three lenses. I would use Grafamatics to save space, but they don't work well with my camera back. Knowing where water is, and carrying the minimum amount of water, saves more weight than equipment choice.

I recommend some sort of case for the camera and lenses. I used to use wraps and other jury-rigged things, but the cases simplified the set-up and take-down, and protects the equipment with a minimum of space. My camera has a focus hood, but it did not work well for me, so I bring a dark cloth.

If you are not traveling very far, the weight issue hardly matters.

jnantz
13-Feb-2018, 12:46
id bring one camera and one lens. gear just becomes a distraction at a certain point.

LabRat
13-Feb-2018, 12:59
Oh, and don't forget about what you would need to change/carry sheet film...

Steve K

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
13-Feb-2018, 14:24
Hey, let me thank you sincerely for your additional answers. This thread is really stimulating!

@BrianShaw: At night I will let the camera in the car that stays outside the tent ... BTW. the new Intrepid was more expensive than the used Wista. I already thought to bring "The Brand 17" (US $90) with me. I love it. It is intuitive and built like a tank. I made a Technikardan style bellows for this camera. But "der Apparat" is a little bit too bulky because it does not fold and it does not allow to put a roll film holder in, too. - I experienced that people in northern Italy are honest and fair. You lose something, they look after you and bring it back. Especially if you are something like a "sportivo" by doing some trekking / hiking in the landscape.

@Pere Casals: Thinking about a spot metered camera - I have got a F801s - is not the worst idea. But it is distracting and heavier than the combination of a Sekonic L28c2 and L488.

@mmerig: I thought 10 frames in 6x7 are less expensive than 10 sheets 4x5, given the same material. But your idea to crop a sheet film isn't bad. I have an old Riteway holder whose dark slide is cut in two horizontal panoramic halves in 2x5 inch. I also could cut an rectangled hole in a dark slide to get two vertical halves in 4x2.5 inch and make two vertical pictures on one horizontal sheet. I don't know if this works without scratching the surface of the film, but I think I will let the roll film holder at home. Do you have experiences with this solution?

@LabRat: a light weight changing bag, 100 sheets of black and white film: Ilford FP4+ to get colours right and do some filtering in red, Rollei Ortho 25 to get some atmosphere and brighter shadows at the shore.

@jnanian: to bring one camera and one lens would mean that I should take a 135mm lens with me to get a slight wide angle effect by using the complete frame and a slight tele photo effect when cropping 6x7 out of the negative. This idea is charming, but the Fujinon A 9/180 does nearly the same without need for cropping so much. And the Fujinon NW 5.6/125 can emphasize the wide angle a little bit more. Both of them can be stored in the camera because their filter tread is 46mm. The Fujinon W 5.6/135 takes 52mm filters.

Regards

Pere Casals
13-Feb-2018, 15:05
@Pere Casals: Thinking about a spot metered camera - I have got a F801s - is not the worst idea. But it is distracting and heavier than the combination of a Sekonic L28c2 and L488.


Well, you can also bring a F65, it floats in the air, it has best meter one can dream, and it also takes shots so you may omit the MF back. This is important to me because sometimes I load a roll of same film than the sheets, so I bracket the scene and I learn if I could do things different, also as I develop roll first it helps me to determine development of the BW sheets with awesome precision. And Velvia 50 35mm slides are anyway awesome...

Also I use the SLR to frame the view camera, I've a table saying what focal I should zoom to match the lenses I have, in the vertical and horzontal position, so I can preview composition, and I know if the mountain range fits with a LF lens, when I field the view camera is because I have a shot well determitedm thanks to the SLR viewfinder, so I can also omit the binocular.

Also, as I bring a F5 brick, in case a bear attacks me I can throw the F5 to it, to kill the beast... :) (it also works killing angry elephants)

interneg
13-Feb-2018, 17:23
100 sheets of black and white film: Ilford FP4+ to get colours right and do some filtering in red, Rollei Ortho 25 to get some atmosphere and brighter shadows at the shore.

You'll have an easier time of it if you use Ilford's Ortho+ rather than the Rollei stuff - the Ilford is a normal contrast material, very like FP4+ without red sensitivity.

I'd also strongly recommend taking the simplest possible kit - a lens in the 120-135mm range & a straightforward incident meter (which you have). The rather baroque metering solutions otherwise being suggested involving 35mm cameras are far more trouble than they're worth. You can measure your contrast range rather more usefully with a handheld meter.

The less kit you haul, the better your images will be - less time spent changing lenses usually equals more time making images...

faberryman
13-Feb-2018, 17:26
It's too complicated. What do you propose?
Flip a coin and embrace the result.

mmerig
13-Feb-2018, 18:49
@mmerig: I thought 10 frames in 6x7 are less expensive than 10 sheets 4x5, given the same material. But your idea to crop a sheet film isn't bad. I have an old Riteway holder whose dark slide is cut in two horizontal panoramic halves in 2x5 inch. I also could cut an rectangled hole in a dark slide to get two vertical halves in 4x2.5 inch and make two vertical pictures on one horizontal sheet. I don't know if this works without scratching the surface of the film, but I think I will let the roll film holder at home. Do you have experiences with this solution?

Regards

I did not realize that you were "car camping" (sleeping in a tent near a parked car). So space and weight should not be that much of a concern. I'd bring anything you want, and fish it out of the trunk when you need it.

My comment on the roll-film holders assumed that space was limited. It makes sense to bring them to save on film; I would not bother with modified 4 by 5 film holders, unless you need the separate processing advantages of sheet film. Have a nice trip!

jp
13-Feb-2018, 18:57
I'd bring 2 lenses instead of 3 and use the extra room for sheet film. For B&W if you are familiar with the film and how to meter there is not need to bracket. If you're not sure how shadows are going to be for example, you are not really familiar with the film.

jnantz
13-Feb-2018, 19:23
to bring one camera and one lens would mean that I should take a 135mm lens with me to get a slight wide angle effect by using the complete frame and a slight tele photo effect when cropping 6x7 out of the negative. This idea is charming, but the Fujinon A 9/180 does nearly the same without need for cropping so much. And the Fujinon NW 5.6/125 can emphasize the wide angle a little bit more. Both of them can be stored in the camera because their filter tread is 46mm. The Fujinon W 5.6/135 takes 52mm filters.

Regards

oh well, at least the idea was charming :)
figured i would help lighten your load, decrease travel stress with a bunch of gear and have mies van der rhoe on your side ( less is more :) )
yeah i know, there are always compromises and stuffs that are necessary and important ( cropping, compostional concerns &c ) ...
im just remembering the handfuls of times i travelled ...
with too much stuff
( i mean 8mm movie camera, 110 camera, a few 35mm cameras and lenses ) or other stuff ( 35mm gear, 4x5 gear and digital camera ) or
stuff ( 3a graflex and digital camera ) or stuff ( just a graflex series d and stock lens and a brass lens named laverne, and a bunch of film )
or stuff like ( nikon dslr and maybe a teeny tiny graflex slr with a 120 roll film back (to be honest i can't remember the trip was a haze after i got sick ) and how much
easier it was on the travel to just bring 1 thing. next time its just going to be a dslr, and i will easily be able to make cyanotypes
and sun prints and silver prints from xerox shop negatives made from inverted files ... but different strokes for different folks as they say ;)

good luck with your travels ! hope you figure out what to bring ... even if it isnt as charming as 1 camera and 1 lens, and MVdR :)
john

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
14-Feb-2018, 01:06
@Pere Casals: I don't bracket much. And I do not intend to take Velvia with me. I limite myself in bw photography. I take a FM2n with me, with a Micro Nikkor 3.5/55. The 60:40-TTL and the Sekonic L28c2 give good results and it's small, too. The FM2n has a mirror lockup via its selftimer. You can see the diodes at night, it works without batteries and it seems so old and used that nobody wants to steal it. In 35mm I use the same film as in large format. But when doing large format I want to concentrate on this process. Doing 35mm is another process, it is quicker, without much concentration, often without tripod, without getting seen etc.

@interneg: I know Rollei Ortho 25 already. In Rodinal 1+100 it has a development time of 10 minutes at 20C, agitation 5 seconds every 30 seconds, first 30 seconds constantly ... I know how colors translate into zones with Y2, 023, O and X0 filters. And I have got 300 sheets of this film. It's a great film. - The Sekonic L488 has an analogue scale on its side. With this scale you can very well determine shadows and highlights. It's a little bit like the magnificent Profisix with Profispot, but smaller, lighter, sturdier.

@mmerig: The car stays next to the tent and I will hiking. I don't want to have too much gear in the car, too, because it is hot and there will not be too much place to store everything. And its a question of apply Ockhams razor.

@jp: yupp!

@jnanian: you're right. Now I have: the Wista, the little Fujinon NW 5.6/125, the little Fujinon A 9/180, 6 Riteway filmholders, the Gitzo Reporter Performance with the small Ballhead GH1781QR, the Nikon FM2n with a Micro Nikkor 3.5/55, a changing back, a loupe, a flexible metering rule, some cable releases, the Sekonic L28c2 and the L488. This isn't much gear. It fits well into my backpack. By reducing the gear I can use a little camera bag in which I store the Wista, the wide angle, the holders, the light meters and the smaller accessories. I can put this little bag into my rucksack. So I don't need the Novoflex wraps.

Super!

174767 174768 174769

Are six film holders too much? Should I take only three of them (and Alleline)?

Another question: will the card board box of the sheet films (3 instances) without the plastic pocket be light-tight and dust-proof enough to store the exposed sheets until they get developed? The question is how to store the exposed film without scratching and stressing it too much by putting it into a this flexible plastic pocket that encloses the film when unexposed ...

BrianShaw
14-Feb-2018, 04:17
6 film holders.

The 3-part box will be fine for storing film, both unexposed and exposed. Just make sure you know which box is which and don’t get them mixed up.

jp
14-Feb-2018, 05:56
Daniel, not sure if you can get them in your country, but here every sporting good store has plastic ammo boxes like
https://www.amazon.com/Plano-131250-1312-Ammo-Box/dp/B005IURN5M
for $5-10 that will hold 7 4x5 film holders and 1 pro-pack of film. Perfect for traveling and keeping things clean and protected.

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
14-Feb-2018, 07:20
@jp: This is an interesting idea. I will examine this thing. But I think getting ammunition boxes isn't easy here in Europe ... Is it heavy? Do I carry it around when I am hiking or should I let the box in the car to refill film holders in the evening? I have got some thermo bags made in China, the brand is "Big Bear", they take 6 holders each, they fit perfectly in the bag. The bags have carrying straps, I don't have to put the bags into dust or dirt to use the holders. They are light weight.

@BrianShaw: The Rollei Ortho 25 has a separator sheet between each film. Do I have to keep and reuse them? I fear putting some dust on the surfaces ...

Peter Collins
14-Feb-2018, 09:07
My $0.02: Take a 300mm. There are a surprising numbers of long views. The 300 will allow you to isolate architectural details you can't get closer to, e.g., wrought iron on balconies. The list is endless. Very, very old built environment that will stimulate your imagination!

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
14-Feb-2018, 10:49
@Peter Collins: That's the point. There are many gothic to renaissant abbeys in Tuscany, with much sculptures - we all know these wonderful black and white photographs of the fifties, of capitals in cloisters. In Siena and San Gimignano people hang their washed clothes outside the windows on wires high above the dark and narrow streets. There are many towers and so on. Not to think of the marble quarries in Carrara ... we were there last year, I always used the Micro-Nikkor 4/105 and the Nikkor 4/200 to get those details on Pan F+ ... But, I am convinced that a crop of 6x7 cm out of a 4x5 sheet, that was exposed with the Fujinon A 9/180 could be sufficent. Taking tele photos is not a question of format since tele photos should not be enlarged to much because of the viewing distance to the finished print. 8x10 inch or 20x25cm should be enough and if there is need for a greater enlargement, 40x50 cm will do it too. 180mm focal length in 6x7 is the same as 85mm focal length in 35mm. This is what I use to photograph cloisters, sculptures and tympana.

@jp: The local gun store has this ammunition box. I don't need a gun licencse ... I purchased one, just because I am curious. I can put 7 Riteway holders in the box, plus two packages of 4x5 film. Its to small to carry everything with me. So I think I will use the box to store the films in it, 20 rolls of 35mm FP4+ and four or five packages of 4x5 sheet film plus the changing bag. This will be my film container. Altough I have to have it additionally closed with a rubber band around the box.

Drew Wiley
14-Feb-2018, 11:02
3 pc film boxes generate carboard dust. Therefore, for ones intended for new film and reloading holders during travel, I take empty 3 pc boxes in good condition and spray each pc with fast-drying non-static nasty ole butylacetate print lacquer to toughen up the cardboard, then let this fully cure for several months before putting film in. You have to be careful with plastics. Vinyl outgasses, while styrene and ABS often carry residues of sulfer and mould-release compounds which need to be scrubbed off.

BrianShaw
14-Feb-2018, 12:10
3 pc film boxes generate carboard dust. Therefore, for ones intended for new film and reloading holders during travel, I take empty 3 pc boxes in good condition and spray each pc with fast-drying non-static nasty ole butylacetate print lacquer to toughen up the cardboard, then let this fully cure for several months before putting film in. You have to be careful with plastics. Vinyl outgasses, while styrene and ABS often carry residues of sulfer and mould-release compounds which need to be scrubbed off.

Interesting... I've not had that problem but can imagine how real it could be. I've always just used boxes and thrown out separators and not used any other kind of enveloping method. Your solution is novel and easy and something I think I'll do as a prophylactic measure. Thanks!

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
15-Feb-2018, 08:48
Hi, I thing water condensation could then be a problem, eg. when bringing the sealed and cold box into a warmer atmospere. Cardboard stores humidity.

chassis
24-Feb-2018, 06:06
Less is more.

Bring 2 lenses, not 3.

Bring 3 (double sided) film holders, not 6.

Don't bring the roll film holder.

Bring a light meter, didn't notice if that was in the list or not.

The result will be more thoughtful and memorable images with higher quality craftsmanship.

Steven Tribe
26-Feb-2018, 04:35
Just in case you don't know, the population of wolves in Tuscany is growing a lot in this decade. In fact, their range is growing everywhere in Europe. No danger to anyone, of course. Probably, more danger from people who drive illegal hunt and "Genocide" due to lost livestock!

Pfsor
26-Feb-2018, 09:35
Just in case you don't know, the population of wolves in Tuscany is growing a lot in this decade. In fact, their range is growing everywhere in Europe. No danger to anyone, of course. Probably, more danger from people who drive illegal hunt and "Genocide" due to lost livestock!

What has that to do with the OP's dilemma? Care to illuminate?

Steven Tribe
26-Feb-2018, 16:12
He says "sleeping in a tent".

As with bears in North America, it is nice to know what the noises outside the tent in the middle of the night are due to!
Just as harmless as bears.

Pfsor
26-Feb-2018, 16:32
Good grief!

Drew Wiley
26-Feb-2018, 19:27
What about werewolves?

BrianShaw
26-Feb-2018, 19:58
Where?

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
27-Feb-2018, 02:39
Just in case you don't know, the population of wolves in Tuscany is growing a lot in this decade. In fact, their range is growing everywhere in Europe. No danger to anyone, of course. Probably, more danger from people who drive illegal hunt and "Genocide" due to lost livestock!

@ Steven Tribe: you're right, but there are a lot of bio camping sites (agriturismo). Tuscany is not Alaska. There are 206 inhabitants per square kilometer. The wolves are quite timid and they eat a sheep or a doe, from time to time. La Mafia piuttosto pericolosa. So walking around with a shiny equipment on the tourist sites and doing some visible voodoo under a dark cloth could be - suboptimal ...