View Full Version : Large format point and shoot

1-Feb-2013, 13:57
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking for a good 4x5 fixed-back point and shoot film camera for a Schneider 47mm XL. Does anyone know if such a thing exists? I heard that Mike Walker of Walker Cameras was going to produce a 4x5 PS camera maybe later this year or next, but that will probably be a ways off. There has been discussion of a Wanderlust 45 PS too, but that is unlikely ever to really get off the ground. I normally use a Linhof TK, but for the 47mm XL, it is really a PITA to set up and focus properly; that is why I would like to have a point and shoot. Too bad there seem to be so few options.
Many thanks!

Roger Thoms
1-Feb-2013, 14:12
This might help, from the home page.



Dan Fromm
1-Feb-2013, 14:32
A 4x5 Crown Graphic will focus a 47 SA XL nearly 7 mm through infinity. Get a 4x5 Crown, drop the bed, set the Crown's infinity stops to prefocus where you think best, and don't screw around with a more expensive and limited purpose-made 4x5.

Jim Andrada
4-Feb-2013, 00:36
Good advice!


4-Feb-2013, 03:44
Since the 47Xl only just covers 4x5, it might seem just a bit excessive to carry something the size and weight of a Crown Graphic, with mostly redundant movements. If you feel the need for a smaller, lighter, purpose built camera, then go for it-

7-Feb-2013, 18:26

I purchased this camera over 4 yrs ago and it works exceptionally well. I use it with 4x5 sheet and have a Shen Hao 6x12 back for 120. I have 2 cones, one setup with a 58XL and one with the 110XL. The cone used for the 58XL will work with the 47XL less movements. This is the review that sold me (http://www.magnachrom.com/issues/MAGNAchrom.v.1.1.2.pdf) .... all the quality/ inconvenience issues that were in the review had been addressed and my copy is excellent.

8-Feb-2013, 01:12
Thanks very much for the tip and the link. I'd actually heard about the Gaoersi before but didn't really trust the workmanship. There's also another Chinese company called "Fotoman" that has a similar model. Now that I've read your positive statements about the Gaoersi, I think I might just consider one. It is a bit pricier than the Crown Graphic solution suggested by Dan, but it would have the advantage of having the fixed back etc. that is found on much pricier cameras like the Cambo Wide. Many thanks again!

Daniel Stone
8-Feb-2013, 01:48
Check out Kipp Wettstein's carbon 4x5 cameras:


Leszek Vogt
8-Feb-2013, 02:13
If I recall, Nana Sousa Dias has one...and he created himself. He does some v. nice landscapes with it.


8-Feb-2013, 09:24
funny I should run across this thread

I am in the middle of a 4x5 handheld project..and I was wondering how I was ever going to deal with the focusing thing


I remembered: the Polaroid Big Shot

it was a polaroid rangefinder w/o the rangefinder - kind of

it had a rangefinder fixed to ONE DISTABCE

get the images to line up - and it's in focus

since I'll be shooting portraits..I am thinking of butchering a big shot for the rangefinder..or an old polaroid for it's rangefinder (which I'll adjust to focus at the distance I need)


8-Feb-2013, 09:40
There is a LF photographer who uses a piece of string attached to the camera. It is set to the focus distance of the camera, about three feet. It works for him!

9-Feb-2013, 10:49
Check out Kipp Wettstein's carbon 4x5 cameras:


These look like a very promising project, but if I read the description carefully, they're limited to the 120mm focal length. I have my trusty Technikardan to use with everything in the 90mm - 350mm range, but my problem is the 47mm XL! For that super-wide, I'd like to have a P&S of some kind, and the Cambo options are just astronomically expensive. The Wanderlust type would also be good, but they're probably not going to be in production while I'm still alive and they're also limited to the 90mm f.l. At some point, I imagine, many large format photographers will be able to afford their own 3D printing machines, and then we'll see a surge in great cameras that can be made in a jiffy to the owners' specifications.

10-Feb-2013, 12:43
At some point, I imagine, many large format photographers will be able to afford their own 3D printing machines, and then we'll see a surge in great cameras that can be made in a jiffy to the owners' specifications.

A P&S is so simple to make that a competent cabinet maker could probably make you one for less than a printed version, and certainly sooner. My 4x5 P&S (http://www.digoliardi.net/super-wide-4x5-1.jpg) critical parts, the lens board and back, were planed to amazing precision by such a person. I am making another with a snap-in lens board and Linhof back for 47mm SA.

evan clarke
10-Feb-2013, 13:29
Fotoman cameras are well made..

12-Feb-2013, 00:41
I'm very impressed! But, alas, as for me, I couldn't even hammer a nail to a 6-foot square board. Absolutely no talent for handiwork of any kind :( It would be nice to see some shots of your diy camera :)

12-Feb-2013, 09:05
There is an ongoing thread of homemade LF cameras on the forum. Many camera's shown. 45 page thread... see it here:


12-Feb-2013, 20:15
Many thanks for pointing me to this DIY forum. Some of the working models are incredibly impressive; too bad I'm all thumbs when it comes to assembling things.

12-Feb-2013, 20:19
Have you every tried anything with metal or with ABS plastic? A lot of the models on the DIY forum highlighted below look like they have been assembled from many different parts from a wide variety of old cameras, sort of like the Litman guy does with Polaroid models maybe. Ideally, I'd like a DIY camera specifically for the Schneider 47mm XL along the lines of the Cambo Wide, without the Cambo price. I keep wondering how Wettstein goes about assembling his range of cameras.