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Thread: Sturdy 4x5?

  1. #11

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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    Low price, lots of features, portability, strength, vintage appearance: we want them all but there's no perfect camera.

    A Canham DLC 2 (a 4x5 metal folding camera with lots of features and true rigidity) will accommodate big lenses. It's not made of wood, but it's got everything else you're looking for I suspect, especially if you loosen up your definition of panache.

    If you don't need a lightweight folding field camera, then I second David's recommendation of the Sinar P.

  2. #12
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    There are several ways to stabilize and support a heavy lens on the Chamonix 045n.
    Want to take that direction?

  3. #13
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    But the Chamonix uses Technika-style lensboards doesn't it? They're too small for most big portrait lenses.

  4. #14

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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    There are several ways to stabilize and support a heavy lens on the Chamonix 045n.
    Want to take that direction?

    Possibly. I've been trying and got it to work by having some spacers made that allow the larger flanges to clear the front standard. Still, it's awfully heavy for the lightly built Chamonix. Of the cameras mentioned so far, the Ansco Universal type is most interesting. It has the 1900-1920s vintage styling I'm after. I had always thought that the Anscos were cheap cameras, but after reading more about them I'm finding that isn't true. These are very sturdy full featured cameras made for the pro market. They are old but still take my modern 4x5 holders. The only real downside to them is I would have to have lensboards custom made for each lens, but there are plenty of wood workers where I live that could no doubt do it. As someone said, there is no "perfect" camera. I have seen a couple of very nice 5x7 cameras on ebay that come with 4x5 back, and those are a possibility. My Epson v700 will scan them at fairly high res, and I could get some vintage 5x7 holder cheaply enough. I'm not really eager to start yet another format though, and really want to avoid the bulk and expense of 8x10! I'm in no hurry, and will continue patiently watching for a great old camera to show up, somewhere. One thing I'm starting to realize about myself is I love those big brass studio lenses but at the same time greatly prefer small & light field cameras. Not a good combination!
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  5. #15
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    One way to support the lens is with a block with a large V notched into the top. It could simply rest on the bed. Made of a nice wood it would even look good.

  6. #16
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    She also appreciates an old cameras' cat-che. (Sorry, couldn't help it) And some brass color showing in a few places.


  7. #17
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    See this for an example of large lens support.

    http://www.shuttertours.com/our-blog...1511/img_4349a

  8. #18
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    Another vote for the Norma!

    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

  9. #19

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    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lobato View Post
    Consider a 5x7 or 8x10 wooden field camera with a 4x5 reducing back. Many of those cameras have large enough lens boards, sturdy front standards, and plenty of bellows draw. Who knows, you could even try the 5x7 or 8x10 formats with those lenses.
    I agree - look for a 5x7 with a 4x5 back. More mass to the camera and a larger lensboard for your special lenses.

  10. #20

    Re: Sturdy 4x5?

    FWIW in terms of sturdy 4x5 field cameras at a rational price, the US-made Meridian B is comparable to the MPP and some Wista field cameras. It's a solid late 1940s press camera style body, entirely meta but not too heavy, and with plenty of movement, including back swings and tilts. I have one and it works nicely with modern Plasmat lenses like the Fuinon 150 NWS. The Meridian B can fold with smaller 150mm lenses mounted. Its able to use 90mm lenses without any special bellows or other wide angle accessories. The overall sense is of a US-made Linhof, just as capable although not quite as nicely finished. I don't know about current availability - I got mine as used, back in the 1980s.

    Alternatively, a 5x7 Rittreck that includes 5x7 and 4x5 backs would be a very workable, sturdy metal field camera, with higher graded cameras selling for under $500 on EBay. Rittreck later became Wista, if I recall correctly, and the visual similarity is evident, The Rittrecks are all metal folding field cameras with substantial movements and about 14 inches bellows draw. They fold but not quite as compactly as a Meridian. They will easily support a 14 inch RDA in a Copal 3 shutter although close focusing may be limited by bellows draw - a bit of tinkering with the stops on the bed and rails reduces close-focus problems with 14" lenses.

    The Rittreck's potential drawbacks are weight (about 9.5 pounds without lens or film holders) and possibly age. Some Japanese Ebay listings for a Rittreck wth 5x7 back actually include an old book-style back that will not accept standard modern 5x7 holders. Be sure which back(s) come with the camera. It's not too hard to replace worn bellows and, if you have a machinist friend, freeing up and tightening camera movements is not too frustrating,

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