View Full Version : Learning set-up for newbie?

matthew blais
1-Nov-2003, 19:21
Hello and thanks in advance. I'm new to LF (have not used one yet) and have been gathering all the info I can to make a "best-as-I-can" informed purchase of what I think I'll use and need. However, a 4 x 5 outfit has "dropped" in my hands for no cost, which I think will be useful to play with, learn something before I spend the bucks.

Info: The camera is a Newton New-Vue model VC2 rail camera, somewhat small, lightweight, excellent condition, red bellows, several film holders (plastic and wood), extra rail extenders, Rotating back, and has a Acme-Ilex 163mm Paragon Anastigmat lens that appears clean. Shutter seems ok at most speeds, but i couldn't thread my cable release I use with med. format in it (?).

My question(s):

(1) I haven't found any info on these cameras other than they are somewhat similar in looks (excepting the dual rail) to the Graphic View. Does anyone have info?

(2) I've seen a few Q&A's regarding the Ilex shutters, but nothing on the paragon lens. Again, any info? Worth fixing (if needed) with Mr. Grimes?

(3) Now for the perhaps stupid question...the viewing glass (plastic?) as seen from back measures close to 3 3/4" x 4 3/4". What is the actual exposed area on a 4 x 5 sheet? I ask because someone had a (guts only) New-Vue on Ebay and listed it as a 3 1/4 by 4 1/4 camera.

(4) Last question, is this even worth messing with to learn on? Camera has front rise/fall, tilt, shift and swings. Back has some swing and rise. Front standard just pushes out (locks) and focus knob is for rear standard.

I appreciate any help and even though I'm not having to purchase it, I essentially inquire as mentioned, about it's usefullness in learning.

Ernest Purdum
1-Nov-2003, 20:48
Your camera is less limiting than the lens. You might consider selling the lens and purchasing something with a larger image circle. One I think represents great value for the money is the 203mm, f7.5 Graflex Optar, but there are many others. If you send me your address, I will send you a booklet on choosing a view camera lens.

The dimensions you list are reasonably close to actual image size on 4" X 5".

Your camera is one of several metal cameras which came on the market after WWII. It was made by Newton Photo Products in Los Angeles. After the war, many former aircraft companies had suddenly unused capabilities. I think this accounts for the appearance of this and similaaarly constructed cameras.

The coarse front and fine rear focusing is a very workable arrangement. The movements are quite sufficient to give you lots of worthwhile experince.

I probably have a cable release that will work on your shutter. I'll look.

Jeremy Moore
1-Nov-2003, 21:02
as to your cable release woes: I silicon glued one of the $10 L cable release adaptors into an old LF lens with a stripped cable release insert. Works great!

John D Gerndt
1-Nov-2003, 22:04
You should have fun with your rig as is. I have a Paragon 254 f4.5 on my 8x10 and though it is soft in the corners wide open it is a well made lens. You will find much depends on how much you wish to enlarge your results and how picky you are about those enlargements. At 3X or 11x14 you should be happy with what you've got. DO keep an eye out to a 203mm or any number of other fine and cheap lenses for experimenting with. Wollensak lenses can be quite good as are the Kodak lenses with the circled "L" and will cost very little. Light leaks need to be checked for in the camera and film holders. You can use paper in the film holders for checking, that is cheaper. Use a pen light in a dark room to check the bellows and the fit of the lens board and camera back. pin holes can be filled (from the inside) with black Rustolium Paint. It is a good flexible patch for cheap. Concentrate on light tight, locked down and well focused first. Practice. Have fun!


2-Nov-2003, 07:31
I've got an older shutter that is too small for some release cables. I need to take it to the store to measure. The shutter can't be that old because I think my lens dates to 1965.

I'd suggest just going out and using the camera. While it might not be the worlds greatest camera that doesn't mean it's not more then good enough to get started on. Spend enough time with the camera until you figure out what you really hate about it and what you really like about it. Then you can decide if you want something different and what you want to change. It may turn out the camera is exactly what you want.

matthew blais
2-Nov-2003, 15:41
Thanks everyone for the info and to Ernest for the offer. My adventure is just beginning... Regards