View Full Version : Walker Titan/XL Whole Plate [6 1/2 x 8 1/2"] Camera

25-Apr-2009, 12:17
I wonder if there are photographers using a Walker Titan, SF Field or XL type 4x5, 5x7 or 8x10 inch format camera.

If anyone is interested, Mike Walker of Walker Cameras (www.walkercameras.com) has been exceptionally gracious with his time and efforts and is willing to custom make a whole plate camera based on previous models. The whole plate version would be based on the 5x7 inch chassis with a dedicated whole plate back and bellows, procuring the weight advantages of the whole plate format over the 8x10 inch chassis.

I know little about the Walker camera XL system, apart from its provenance in the United Kingdom. If anyone has experience with the rigid rear standard of the XL series for landscape and architectural work, I'd love to hear how they have been progressing with this, particularly for perspective control and utilisation of the image circle for lenses with narrow image circles for a given format whilst relying solely on front standard movements. Being more fluent with rear movements, I wonder how photographers find working with this system, particularly for selective focus or defocussation.

Kind regards,


David Karp
25-Apr-2009, 15:43

I have a 4x5 Titan SF, so it is not like the Walker XL type cameras. As for fit and finish on my camera, it is outstanding. Everything fits together and works as it should. It is a first-class camera. I really like it a lot.

Mike is a first-class guy. Gracious is a great word. Also add straightforward, friendly, reliable, helpful and lots of other positive descriptors.

As for a WP camera without the back movements, I don't think I would be interested. I like to photograph architecture, and often use the back swing in that situation. The back movements (swing, tilt, shift) on the Titan SF were one of the selling points of that camera for me. Also, typically, the XL cameras have limited bellows draw. I like using my 450mm Fuji on my WP camera, and would probably want to use 600mm if I ever purchased a new WP camera. (Although, my arms are not long enough to do any front tilt, rise, or swing!) I imagine that Mike could take care of the extension issue more easily than the back swing/tilt/shift issue.

The plastic camera will likely be heavier than a wooden equivalent, but my Walker is very rigid, a very solid camera. I have no desire to ever have a different 4x5 field camera.

My take on this is that if Mike says he can and will do it, it will happen.

Richard Littlewood
26-Apr-2009, 09:39
Another Titan SF user, all too happy also. Ive 'decked' mine once or twice and would have been really upset had it been made from a lovely sheeny wood. The appeal of these cameras is their rugged, weather proof-ness. I sometimes think they could have been designed for army use.
I considered an XL, but I'm a fan of back movements, and long lenses.
And yes, Mike Walker is a very capiable craftsman.

2-May-2009, 15:18
David & Richard,

Thank you for your feedback on the Walker Titan/SF camera. It's striking how the unusual choice of base material confers definite advantages over the more traditional camera.

What's striking is that the non-folding XL design has marked advantages for the ultra-wide angle whole plate format photographer, not lest stability in the British climate. The relevance of rear movements for specialist large format work is undeniable, although a rotating rear design would have enabled an effect akin to cross movements which rely solely on the front standard movements. I see this feature is not present in the current generation of XL cameras, leaving the SF design more attractive for photographers requiring extensive movements.

Walker's demonstration here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3t4U78DakI) might be of some interest too. The scale of this version is an 8x10" type; with a little imagination, a whole plate version would be far handier.

Kind regards,


Whole Plate Column (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate?pli=1)