View Full Version : Does this dream camera exsist?

11-Mar-2007, 02:54
A handholdable 6x7+ rangefinder coupled, helicoid focusing, shiftable LF lens with interchangeable film/digital backs exsist?

Closest so far:

Alpa sw12
Silvestri bicam
mamiya 7
linhof 2000
wica weltzar

But so far none of these cameras have all the features lm looking for.
Thanks in advance.


Walter Calahan
11-Mar-2007, 05:32
Why not build one from various parts?

Bob Salomon
11-Mar-2007, 06:27
Linhof discontinued it several decades ago as it did not sell. The Linhof Technical Press

Steven Barall
11-Mar-2007, 07:04
I want a pony.

Kevin Crisp
11-Mar-2007, 07:20
No, Steven, you have to build one.

11-Mar-2007, 10:06
Can you get shift lenses for the mamiya rangefinder?

I guess that wouldn't make much sense. Nevermind.

George Stewart
11-Mar-2007, 10:46
When I become rich and powerful, I'm going to have the best minstrels in the world working for me. I'll hire mechanical engineers and machinists to build one-of-a-kind view cameras made from the most exotic materials. Forget aluminum, magnesium and titanium; how about scandium alloy. Before machining, I'd have all the parts spun-cast for the lightest weight.

Of course, perhaps I could save a little and just have some folks to carry the equipment I already have, but it's fun to dream.

Gordon Moat
11-Mar-2007, 11:43

Just to add to the others already mentioned. However, if you add an accessory rangefinder you can be better at judging distance. With a little practice, it is actually quite easy to do; focus the rangefinder, read the distance off the scale, set the distance on the lens. Some really good ones were made by Präzisa and Voigtlander. There is also a new accessory rangefinder made by Fotoman.


Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Kevin Crisp
11-Mar-2007, 12:10
Why shift on a handheld camera? Or did you mean rise? In which case I still am curious.

David Karp
11-Mar-2007, 12:12
Speed Graphic with a roll film back.

domenico Foschi
11-Mar-2007, 13:42
Speed Graphic with a roll film back.

It would be nice if someone with money and courage would start production of a modern Speed graphic like camera, with more robust front standard to hold those heavy petzvals that nowaday everybody is using without risking of having the lens axis and the film plane misiligned(not that it would matter much with a petzval).
A little more movements would be nice too....

Jim Jones
11-Mar-2007, 14:07
Speed Graphic with a roll film back.

I agree. The only feature on Oman's list that a Century Graphic lacks is the helicoid focusing, and the rack-and-pinion focusing is far more versatile. So is the lens interchangeability, the big ground glass, and even the sports finder. The front standard can be modified for better swings and tilts. Despite these advantages, a Century outfit can be much cheaper than newer cameras.

11-Mar-2007, 15:09
I bought a used Silvestri shift view finder with replaceable masks for use with my Gaoersi 4x5. I use it with 6x12 and 6x9 Horseman rollfilm backs, 75mm Rodenstock Grandagon N to get handheld shift photos without looking at the groundglass. It really works, but it isn't for the faint of heart either (you definitely need to keep your head on straight in order to not screw up your photos). All told, I spent about $1000 for the Gaoersi with various cones and accessories and about $350 for the used Silvestri shift viewfinder.

Pmail me at editor "at" magnachrom "dot" com if you'd like to see photos of the camera together with the Silvestri viewfinder. Note: in the future I plan to have S.K. Grimes modify the Silverstri viewfinder mount to allow enough room for vertical shift -- currently the setup only works "perfectly" in horizontal mode as the rollfilm darkslide interferes with the Silvestri viewfinder in vertical mode.

Brian C. Miller
12-Mar-2007, 09:37
Anybody thought about adding a range finder to the Toyo-View 45CF?

12-Mar-2007, 15:18
Such a monster camera doesn't exists because of the inherent technical difficulties in coupling a rangefinder to a helicoid focused lens with shift and the consequent difficulties with a viewfinder. Technically it's a nonsense with great disadvantages in the real use.

Don Wallace
14-Mar-2007, 10:54
The suggestion of a Century Graphic is interesting. The problem I have with Graphics is that I think the rangefinder focus can sometimes be a little inaccurate, at close distances. I have used both a Crown and Super Graphic, hand-held, by the way, and for the most part the focus was ok., but close... not always. Right now, I use an RB67 for medium format, but the idea of a lightweight Century with a roll film back.... hmmmmmmm, sounds interesting. Does anyone have any experience with this? How is the focus?

Kevin Crisp
14-Mar-2007, 11:52
If you follow the factory instructions to the letter, including adjusting for parallax when setting the close focus, a working Kalart can be very, very accurate. The temptation is to cut a corner on the close setting, since by the time you get there you think you understand how it works and you're impatient. If you don't do the last one right, it will be off. Each first pass adjustment has a little effect on the others. Repeat/recheck after the first time and it should be fine at all distances. There is a screw with a backwards thread (labeled on the side of the rangefinder with the cover off) but this is so counterintuitive you can do it wrong and strip it and then you have problems.

JW Dewdney
14-Mar-2007, 11:54
I want a pony.

My bid for funniest comment of the year.

23-Mar-2007, 01:45
Thanks for the advice, especially Michael at Magnachrom, for the rest of you who just found my post amusing or stupid, well you can f_ _ ck off to put it nicely, in the meentime l'll go and buy a Wica Wetzlar 6X9, better than a alpa handsdown, if l can find one!

Ted Harris
23-Mar-2007, 06:14
What's also nicer than an Alpa, if you can find one, is a Plaubel Proshift.

23-Mar-2007, 07:46
Yes, l agree ted, l played around with a plaubel 69proshift a while back, great bloody camera!

Ted Harris
23-Mar-2007, 09:59
If I ever found a Plaubel Proshift 69 for well under $2K I'd buy it in a second ....

QT Luong
23-Mar-2007, 10:33
Why shift on a handheld camera? Or did you mean rise? In which case I still am curious.

For some curious reasons not all places allow photography on a tripod.