View Full Version : Any advise on 600mm folders

27-Nov-2007, 06:45
A search has revealed 3 folding cameras that allow for a 600mm lens. One may not want to but I wonder if such a camera ,that can entertain a massive lens at full extension , may also be more robust and firmer at intermediate focusing distances.

Layton L-45A 65-617
Lotus rapid 85-600
Canham Traditional 76-660

Can anyone shed any light on these cameras, apart from their prices.

Ted Harris
27-Nov-2007, 07:58
I have been using a Canham for many years and it is very rigid at more modest extensions. I expect the Lotus is the same. The Layton is only a prototype, none have been manufactured and no indication when any will be available.

Allen Rumme
27-Nov-2007, 08:25
I routinely use a 24" Artar in a #3 Copal shutter on my Canham traditional 4x5/5x7. This lens and shutter combination weights quite a bit, but it is usable on the Canham. I just have to be very careful when moving the front bed extension & standard. Wind is also very much an issue with that much bellows extension.

27-Nov-2007, 08:29
Don't forget Wehman I use a 600mm fujinon on mine.

Eric Leppanen
27-Nov-2007, 13:40
Also the Ebony SV45U2 will support a 600mm lens at infinity, particularly if an extended lens board is used. I had SK Grimes build a two inch extended lens board which allowed enough bellows slack for a reasonable amount of rise/tilt/swing with my Fuji 600C lens focused at or near infinity. Without the extended lens board, infinity focus was possible but movements were too limited to be useful.

Presuming your 600mm lens has a Copal 3 shutter, some sort of supplemental support for the front standard (either a second tripod or long lens support arm) is absolutely necessary for consistently sharp photos IMO. Ideal would be a three tripod setup supporting the front and rear standards plus the camera body. Even with such a setup, even moderate winds will make sharp photos impossible to achieve unless you keep shutter speeds high (at least 1/60 of a second, preferably 1/125). This means using higher speed films (or pushing Provia two stops) and living without certain types of filtration (polarizer, orange/red/green B&W filters, etc.) in such circumstances.

Ole Tjugen
27-Nov-2007, 14:03
There are several more, and many of them are 5x7" cameras with 4x5" backs. One that isn't (and is very difficult to find) is the Carbon Infinity. Well - it folds, maybe even more than most field cameras, but it's really more like a monorail. It can hold a 300mm Symmar nicely, and focus to infinity with or without the front cell (rear cell alone is 500mm, infinity extension is 610mm). I also use a 65mm Ilex Acugon without switching to bag bellows, although I really should with that lens. On the other hand - I don't need movements, since the excess coverage is zero... ;)

John O'Connell
27-Nov-2007, 14:49
Not to quibble with your list, but is the Layton a real camera, or is it vaporware? I think that might whittle down your list a bit.

You also might want to determine if you could live with a 600mm telephoto---the lens is as heavy or heavier, but you'd have more camera options.

Ted Harris
27-Nov-2007, 22:56
See my response above, the Layton has been in 'prototype' for three years. I have actually used one of the prototypes but, you are correct that there are no production odles an no announcement of when there might be any. John is still trying .....

30-Nov-2007, 07:11
On the Layton issue, after viewing their site and assuming that the camera was available, I sent them an email. As yet no response?? Oh well. Sounded good on paper any way. So back to a whittled list.

The 600 limit was not so much to use a 600 lens necessarily but rather to allow more freedom ie closer focus with out extending boards and /or backs.