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StianSvendsen
14-Mar-2018, 09:50
Hi everybody.
In the near future I plan on stepping down from my 8x10 monorail to a 4x5 field camera.
I don't know much about what's out there, so I am looking for some suggestions.

I want it to be high quality and lightweight.
About 1200 USD is probably my top dollar for camera only, but if it's cheaper that's great.

I appreciate any suggestions!
Thanks!

faberryman
14-Mar-2018, 10:32
I tried several wooden and metal field cameras and found they were finicky and lacked a full range of movements. I settled on a Technikardan. It is not much bigger and certainly more versatile. If you are used to the versatility of a monorail, it is something you should consider.

StianSvendsen
14-Mar-2018, 10:48
The Technikardan looks really nice, but I don't think it's what I'm looking for.
If I have decent movements on the front standard, I'm a happy camper.

Jmarmck
14-Mar-2018, 10:57
This is one of my thread from a few years back when I also was shopping. The comments may be helpful.
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/archive/index.php/t-111563.html
I ended up with a Zone VI which I did not get to use much before I managed to damage it. It goes to Richard Ritter in then next week or two.
I ended up hauling around a 4x5 Horseman monorail on my last trip after the Zone VI was damaged. There was a large advantage of full and geared movements on the Horseman as apposed to the slip and miss of a wooden field camera. Though the price is bulk and weight. I was not going hiking with a full metal 4x5 monorail.
Good luck on your search.

bgh
14-Mar-2018, 11:05
I've been using the Shen-Has HZX 4x5 camera for about eight years, and have been very pleased. Sturdy, fairly lightweight, with a nice range of movements. I do a lot of documentation projects, with locations that often pose a bit of a challenge, and it has withstood the rigors with aplomb. From what I see on Badger Graphic's website, it is now listed at just under $1100, which is a pretty good rise since I bought mine in 2010.

Bruce

Peter Collins
14-Mar-2018, 11:34
I have been using the latest model 45N-2 from Chamonix and I am quite pleased with its operation and its weight. 1550 grams on my scale plus or minus 2 grams.

AJ Edmondson
14-Mar-2018, 11:55
Wista 45SP is (despite its' limitations) a pretty versatile and sturdy field camera. Not great with lenses less than 90mm unless you use the optional bag bellows and the maximum focal length (in standard configuration) is around 300mm which will get you to about 12 feet. These comments notwithstanding it is quick to set up, has good movements ( rise on front, tilt, swing and shift as well; tilt and swing with "micro-swing" on rear. The VX is essentially the same camera without the micro-swing feature. Movements lock down well and are convenient to use. The Toyo AX series is fairly similar though with somewhat less movement range. Available with rotating back (the Wista also has this) which I personally am not a fan of. I used wooden folders for many years but don't consider them great despite the fact that there are some good ones available. I used a Canham DLC for a long time and it is perhaps the most versatile 4x5 I ever owned - never had any problems with the "unsteadiness" that some complain about - but I now use only the Wista and a couple of lenses that I am really fond of. If you search, the Wista has a lot of options but (1) they are pretty expensive, (2) they can be very cumbersome and time-consuming to use and (3) are difficult to find used (unlike the cameras which seem to be plentiful).
Joel

Bob Salomon
14-Mar-2018, 11:59
Wista 45SP is (despite its' limitations) a pretty versatile and sturdy field camera. Not great with lenses less than 90mm unless you use the optional bag bellows and the maximum focal length (in standard configuration) is around 300mm which will get you to about 12 feet. These comments notwithstanding it is quick to set up, has good movements ( rise on front, tilt, swing and shift as well; tilt and swing with "micro-swing" on rear. The VX is essentially the same camera without the micro-swing feature. Movements lock down well and are convenient to use. The Toyo AX series is fairly similar though with somewhat less movement range. Available with rotating back (the Wista also has this) which I personally am not a fan of. I used wooden folders for many years but don't consider them great despite the fact that there are some good ones available. I used a Canham DLC for a long time and it is perhaps the most versatile 4x5 I ever owned - never had any problems with the "unsteadiness" that some complain about - but I now use only the Wista and a couple of lenses that I am really fond of. If you search, the Wista has a lot of options but (1) they are pretty expensive, (2) they can be very cumbersome and time-consuming to use and (3) are difficult to find used (unlike the cameras which seem to be plentiful).
Joel

If you add the longer rails to a Wista the maximum lens is much longer then a 300mm.

Ken Lee
14-Mar-2018, 12:10
How much bellows extension do you need ?

EdSawyer
14-Mar-2018, 13:21
Crown or speed graphic, Meridian 45, and the Canham DLC all come to mind, in addition to what's mentioned above.

Jim Noel
14-Mar-2018, 15:07
The Chamonix is hard to beat. It certainly surpasses graphic style cameras, as well as most of the wooden field cameras.

angusparker
14-Mar-2018, 15:10
I have been using the latest model 45N-2 from Chamonix and I am quite pleased with its operation and its weight. 1550 grams on my scale plus or minus 2 grams.

+1 for one of the Chamonix 4x5 models - Ive used the 45N1 and F1 and liked both. Id go with a folding version for portability sake.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

StianSvendsen
15-Mar-2018, 13:41
Thanks for all the tips everybody!
I'm gonna do some research on these recommendations.

Corran
15-Mar-2018, 14:17
+1 on the Chamonix. I've hiked mine hundreds of miles and it just works.

A Almulla
17-Mar-2018, 05:00
+1 Chamonix

I'm new to LF so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

I got the Chamonix F2. (The F1 got replaced by the F2).
The F2 has asymmetric tilt of the rear standard, the N2 doesn't have it. Price difference about $100 and if I use the camera for the next 5 years I considered the difference to be non-significant.

I can't compare it to other large format cameras as I have no other.

Alan Gales
17-Mar-2018, 09:20
What is light weight to you?

Metal Wistas and Toyos are very sturdy and weigh just over 6 pounds. I flipped a Wista once and a good friend of mine owns a Toyo. If you want lighter weight you can save 2-3 pounds with a Chamonix depending on which model you choose. I hear that Chamonix's are pretty sturdy but I have never handled one.

tgtaylor
17-Mar-2018, 09:44
Toyo 45CF: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/257305-REG/Toyo_View_180_106_4x5_45CF_Field_Camera.html

B&H (where I bought mine when the CF first came out) says they're discontinued but you can easily find them used. Lightweight - great for backpacking or bicycle touring - and you don't need a heavy tripod. I use a series 0 Gitzo with Wimberley Arca style head w/QR (not this one but similar: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1328226-REG/gitzo_gk0545t_82tqdus_traveler_tripod_kit_gt0545t.html?sts=pi.

Thomas

Alex95
20-Mar-2018, 07:06
The Technikardan is so nice