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Thread: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

  1. #1

    candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    Hi Folks,

    Up until now, I've been using a Mamiya 645 with a shift lens. It has worked well for years, but I'd like to get a bit more rise (the Mamiya has a max of 16mm), and a bit more film exposure (than the current 6 x 4.5).

    Most of my serious work is done on holidays, with a limited amount of time in a castle or a cathedral, etc (often with my wife sitting somewhere nearby, wondering why I'm taking so darn long).

    So I'm currently looking for something that's fairly quick to set up, and:
    1) reasonably light
    2) capable of taking a lens with a fairly wide angle of view, like 75 to 90 degrees
    3) 120 film
    4) capable of rise of 25mm or more
    5) $2,000 or less (with lens)
    6) capable of taking a lens of f/5.6 or fairly wide aperture for ease of focusing

    Anything other than rise and fall isn't really needed.

    The fotoman and sylvestri and Alpa look intriguing, but they're somewhat pricey, and even the fotoman looked a bit large when seen sitting in someone's hand. The Dayi and the Gaoersi look intriguing, but some of the existing feedback on them doesn't really inspire confidence.

    I was looking at the chamonix and Shen Hao 4x5's, but I'm wondering if there might be something in the field camera range which could be folded up without having to take off the lens (maybe with a recessed board).

    And would I automatically need something with wide angle or bag bellows? (most focusing is done on objects at least 50m away, and with a fair amount of rise). Are most field cameras foldable with wide angle or bag bellows?

    The Ebony's with the rigid backs and the short rails might be just the ticket...if I could find one for a reasonable price.


    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

    Evan

  2. #2

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    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    And the Technikardan and Technikardan S

  3. #3
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    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    Quote Originally Posted by quixoticcassandra View Post
    I was looking at the chamonix and Shen Hao 4x5's, but I'm wondering if there might be something in the field camera range which could be folded up without having to take off the lens (maybe with a recessed board).
    Look at the Shen-Hao TFC and XPO non-folding models.

  4. #4
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    I'd recommend a Linhof Technikardan S (45 or 23); for architecture, it's tough to beat. They can be had for under $2k, and there is one for sale on the forum at the moment.
    Failing that, a cheap and compact package with lots of movements is one of the Wistas: RF, VX or SP. It is a folding field camera with surprising versatility, and very tough as well.
    Both cameras are fairly precise instruments, but the Linhof is in a class of its own in every respect.

  5. #5

    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    Thanks everyone. Yes, the Linhof is mouth-watering. And I see that there is one on ebay right now for $1,500. (apparently there is a classified sub-forum on this site, but I can't seem to find it).

    The Wista RF. I didn't know that there was another rangefinder in existence. And no shortage of Wista's on ebay, either. Thanks for that.

    And the Shen Hao's do look nice.

    What has just caught my eye, though is the Ebony RSW45. Only 1.6 kg's.

  6. #6

    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    I'm leaning more and more toward the field cameras with the really, really short rail/beds. Like the Ebony RSW45 and the Shen Hao TFC45. Am I missing any others?

  7. #7

    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    Now, I'm back to equivocating between the Plaubel Proshift 69W and an Ebony/Shen Hao. If anyone wants to try and sway my decision either way, don't be shy.

  8. #8
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    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    Quote Originally Posted by quixoticcassandra View Post
    (apparently there is a classified sub-forum on this site, but I can't seem to find it)
    You can access that after you've been a member for 30 days.

  9. #9

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    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    With short lenses (required for medium format film) focused at a distance you'll want a bag bellows.

    Make sure your camera has interchangeable bellows and that someone makes an affordable/available bag bellows.

  10. #10
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: candidates for architecture and easy set-up/take-down?

    Quote Originally Posted by quixoticcassandra View Post
    I'm leaning more and more toward the field cameras with the really, really short rail/beds. Like the Ebony RSW45 and the Shen Hao TFC45. Am I missing any others?
    Yes, the Wistas also have short beds and interchangeable bellows. And you can leave it out in the rain and snow.

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