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Heaver
19-Sep-2011, 00:23
Good morning All (Morning in the UK),
I've had a quick look around and couldnt see many posts regardnig my question, so here goes....my first post.

I'm looking at taking the leap into Large format photography and I am looking for a camera with geared movements and portable. I'm still looking around at lenses but am hoping to use mainly wide angle len (75-90mm) for landscape photography and indoor architecture (Derelict buildings).

Because of the wide angle lenses, I'm asuming I can get away with using a shorter monorail?

Oh, and I have budgeted around 1000 for the complete set up (I have a HD tripod already)

Any sugestions?

Ps, I'm not rigid in wanting a monorail, just that I know most field cameras do not have gear movements.

banjo
19-Sep-2011, 11:49
a Calumet CC402 is great landscape photography and indoor architecture
BUT it DON'T have all the gear movements the gear movements add a lot of LBS
I don't know of a Light, Geared portable Mono!! at a good price!!!!!
maybe a ARCA SWISS

mortensen
20-Sep-2011, 15:40
as far as I know, the combination of light, geared and cheap doesn't exist.
what you want is either an Arca F-metric or a Toyo VX125... but that'll set you back for twice as much as your budget (used, that is).
A Toyo G or Sinar F (i think) will be cheap and geared, but not compact and light. A Linhof Technika IV or V will give you gears, fit your price limit if you are patient and is maybe the most portable and rugged of all LF cameras... but it will be highly limited if not unusable with ultra-wides. Go for a Master Technika or even better a Technika 2000 for wide angle usability... and pay three times as much.
A Linhof Technikardan is possible within your budget. Superb craftsmanship (as anything Linhof), very compact and versatile with wides (requires bag bellows)... but only geared focusing and not exactly light (3.5 kg).

Hmmm.... I think my best bet would be a late Linhof Color like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LINHOF-4x5-Color-Revolving-Back-5x4-/370139446951?pt=UK_Film_Cameras&hash=item562e07bea7#ht_500wt_986
(I have no affiliation with the seller whatsoever)
Less than 3 kg, takes a 65mm (with limited movements of course, but it does have a universal bellows) and features geared front rise and tilt, geared back rise and geared focusing. It won't fold down compact (I've had an earlier model), but its very fast to set up and use. Be sure to have a sturdy tripod and head, since both standards will be in front of the head when using anything wider than a 120. Not perfect, but certainly doable.

Ari
20-Sep-2011, 17:23
Are those universal bellows available anywhere, or were they made for that camera's production run only?
I'd love a UB for the Technikardan, the bag bellows seem so short.

mortensen
20-Sep-2011, 22:16
I don't know... but it won't fit a TK. The TK uses plastic frames for the bellows for easy swapping between bag and normal. I am about to order a custom bellows from... custombellows. I need something that goes from 75-ish to 250mm only (my longest is a 210). TK bag bellow will let you use a 150 with full movements - not bad!

Frank Petronio
20-Sep-2011, 23:53
Most of those cameras mentioned are not geared in all their movements. Of course, most cameras are "geared" for focusing. Some have geared rise. Only a few expensive, luxurious cameras like the Arca-Swiss with Orbix (not the standard) have fully geared movements. Also, some of the heavier studio cameras, like the Sinar P and Cambo Ultimate-something, are fully geared.

In practice, the gearing is nice but hardly an absolute requirement. 99% of the large format architectural photos you like probably were made without such niceties. Besides expense, weight and complexity and weather/dirt resistance are negatives.

Probably the most useful value is a Sinar F2 or Norma monorail with a bag bellows along with a Rodenstock 90/4.5 Sironar-N lens. That's within your budget (used of course) and a very capable camera - the 90mm being by far the most popular lens of most architectural photographers.

rdenney
21-Sep-2011, 07:28
Probably the most useful value is a Sinar F2 or Norma monorail with a bag bellows along with a Rodenstock 90/4.5 Sironar-N lens. That's within your budget (used of course) and a very capable camera - the 90mm being by far the most popular lens of most architectural photographers.

Frank, did you mean a 90mm Sironar? Seems like that would provide rather limited coverage for architectural use. And the 90mm Sironar is one of their digital lenses--new and expensive unless I'm missing something. Maybe it doesn't have coverage for 4x5 in the digital version. But I thought the standard Sironar only got as short as 105mm.

I'm thinking you meant a Grandagon. Either that or a Schneider Super Angulon are relatively inexpensive and available on the used market.

To the OP: Give up on fully geared movements if you want a relatively light and portable camera.

The standard Sinar F2 comes with a 12" rail that can be extended to arbitrarily long lengths at will using cheap extensions. The 12" rail is conveniently short for use with very short lenses--I use mine with as short as a 47mm Super Angulon. If you want even shorter and are using really short lenses, you can mount the standards on a 6" extension rather than on the base rail.

Rick "whose F2 is a lot more portable than many rail cameras" Denney