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Thread: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

  1. #1

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    Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    Hi everyone

    I've been lurking here for a while but haven't posted much, have to say thanks to everyone for all of the information I've taken in.

    I'm in the market for a new camera for shooting architecture on 4x5 and with a 6x7 roll film back. The 4x5 will be mostly for my personal work, the 6x7 for commercial work which I'll continue to do some on digital (Canon outfit) and some on film. I currently have a Toyo 45A, which has been great but won't play nicely with the super wides + rise/shifts. I also want this to be as compact as possible, I'm hoping to cram the camera, film holders (either 2x roll film or 5x sheet, not all at the same time), 5 lenses (45, 55, 75, 90, 120), Canon 5D, 17 TSE, and 24 TSE, in to a carry on backpack.

    At the moment the two cameras that look the goods are the Arca F Field C and Technikardan, but I'm leaning towards the Arca since I should be able to store it sideways, saving a heap of space.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on which way to go, or am I completely missing anything?

  2. #2

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    You mean the Tk since that folds and stores sideways and opens into a 20" monorail camera..

  3. #3

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    how?

    Quote Originally Posted by artcorr View Post

    I'm in the market for a new camera for shooting architecture on 4x5 and with a 6x7 roll film back. The 4x5 will be mostly for my personal work, the 6x7 for commercial work which I'll continue to do some on digital (Canon outfit) and some on film. I currently have a Toyo 45A, which has been great but won't play nicely with the super wides + rise/shifts.

    I also want this to be as compact as possible, I'm hoping to cram the camera, film holders (either 2x roll film or 5x sheet, not all at the same time), 5 lenses (45, 55, 75, 90, 120), Canon 5D, 17 TSE, and 24 TSE, in to a carry on backpack.
    Personally, I don't see how all of that will easily fit into a backpack. And don't forget you will need a light meter, filters, tripod, dark cloth, loupe, cable release, stopwatch, level, notebook, etc. that will need to be transported as well.
    Last edited by AtlantaTerry; 1-Aug-2017 at 22:07. Reason: Cleaning up my prose.

  4. #4

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    You mean the Tk since that folds and stores sideways and opens into a 20" monorail camera..
    by sideways i mean arca with the rail across the width of the bag, standards on their sides

  5. #5

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    Quote Originally Posted by artcorr View Post
    by sideways i mean arca with the rail across the width of the bag, standards on their sides
    You had best look at the TK. It easily fits in a backpack when folded and is about the size of a hard back novel. Opens into a 20" view camera in seconds.

  6. #6

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    What about a Toyo VX125? I guess it really depends on how much you want to spend on a camera that won't earn you any money (or at least not directly). The Toyo would have the advantage that it would share some compatability with your 45a and is rather cheaper than the TK - although still not cheap.

  7. #7

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    Depends...

    What focal length lenses do you want to use??? If you just want to shoot WA, the camera only needs a little front rise, as the lens will cut off quickly and the distortion/light fall-off looks most natural with the lens nearly on-axis... If you also shoot longer FL's, a range of movements will help, but will also require a more advanced camera that will be harder to backpack around...

    Steve K

  8. #8
    Foamer
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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    I don't see how you're going to get a wide enough lens on a 4x5 to shoot wide angle with a 120 back? Wouldn't something like the Fuji 680 work better?


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  9. #9

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I don't see how you're going to get a wide enough lens on a 4x5 to shoot wide angle with a 120 back? Wouldn't something like the Fuji 680 work better?


    Kent in SD
    You can easily use a 35mm Apo Grandagon on the TK.

  10. #10

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    Re: Best compact 4x5/rollfilm camera for architecture?

    If your intent is to use 4x5 format for your architectural work, then look at the 120mm Angulon (not Super Angulon) lens, available used at reasonable prices. It's much more compact than lenses with a larger angle of view, but provides a lot of movement with 4x5. You might find it works well enough with your 45A. Its compact size means there's not much lens behind the lensboard to interfere with movements.

    If you're intent is to use 6x7 for architectural work you'd probably be better off with a 6x9 view camera especially if you're looking for wide angle lenses.

    There's just so much compromise you can get in trying to cover two different formats with the same camera. Definitely you should consider a camera with bag bellows for a 4x5 when using wide angle lenses for 6x7.

    Maybe you could find a used Calumet 4x5 with wide angle bellows--it's like their standard 4x5, but a shorter rail, and pleated bellows to permit more movement with wide angle lenses. The front standard is mounted closer to the back standard so recessed lensboards aren't needed.

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