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Thread: 4x5 camera for long exposure

  1. #1

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    4x5 camera for long exposure

    Hi All,
    I am getting into 4x5 photography. I do mostly long exposure and I'm looking for a sturdy 4x5 camera, around the range of 1,000 or so.

    So far, I've narrowed down to Chamonix, Shen Hao and Stenopeika.

    Do any of you have an experience with any of these or recommendations in this direction?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    Don't forget to get a sturdy and heavy tripod and shoot when there is no wind. LF Cameras with the extended bellows can act as sails on a boat and catch a lot of wind.

    I have one of these Calumet CC400 that is very sturdy once on a strong tripod:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVqdFV9iprU
    Last edited by pepeguitarra; 19-Feb-2019 at 19:58.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

  3. #3

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    I recently purchased a Chamonix and must say that it is more sturdy than you might think for a camera so light. Very pleased. I agree with the post above that a monorail camera is the most sturdy, but the trade off is weight. Also, do not skip on your tripod and head. They make a tremendous difference, as well. If you are not going far from the car, a monorail is no problem. If you plan to hike, look into the Chamonix.


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  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    You cannot go wrong among your choices, but
    you should concentrate upon a good tripod.

  5. #5

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    Have you considered a metal camera? I used to use a nice wooden field camera (Wisner Technical Field), but for sturdiness I prefer my Wista 45VX. It's built like a tank and it's well under your price point.

    Mind you almost any camera, no matter how sturdy, is going to move around in the wind if your tripod/head aren't heavy and solid, or your bellows is catching the wind. In other words, the camera might not be the weak link in the chain.

  6. #6

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    Not to be Captain Obvious, but a large umbrella used as a windbreak will help long exposures with any camera. Very useful, whichever camera you choose.

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    Most stable camera I have is my Horseman 45FA, small enough not to catch a breeze, light enough to be rock solid on a decent tripod.

  8. #8

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    +1 for a metal camera. 1,000 would give you plenty of choices including a used Sinar, Arca-Swiss or Linhof as well as those mentioned. Most metal monorails or flatbeds would fit the definition of sturdy. How far do you intend to carry your camera? Obviously, weight and portability become more critical the further you plan to venture out.

    In windy conditions, bellows vibration can become a real headache. As Mark points out, sheltering the camera can be as critical as using a "sturdy" camera and heavy tripod.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    I assume that your requirements for "long exposure" means you will be shooting dim or dark subjects, or heavy filters on the lens, so beyond stability of the camera, the mounting etc, you will have to focus maybe in dim lighting and set-up the camera without full visualization, so a sturdy camera that has alternate focusing (or scale focus and framing) to not depend so much on the gg that is the heart of a view camera...

    A press type camera would fit the above bill as sturdy, can be preset for common distances, and compact for on the go use...

    You would maybe not need movements so much and need the portability more, but what is the application you are choosing LF for??? LF might help or hinder you...

    Steve K

  10. #10

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    Re: 4x5 camera for long exposure

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    I assume that your requirements for "long exposure" means you will be shooting dim or dark subjects, or heavy filters on the lens, so beyond stability of the camera, the mounting etc, you will have to focus maybe in dim lighting and set-up the camera without full visualization, so a sturdy camera that has alternate focusing (or scale focus and framing) to not depend so much on the gg that is the heart of a view camera...

    A press type camera would fit the above bill as sturdy, can be preset for common distances, and compact for on the go use...

    You would maybe not need movements so much and need the portability more, but what is the application you are choosing LF for??? LF might help or hinder you...

    Steve K
    Thanks a lot for the info to all of you. I won’t travel much with my camera, as I manly use it in the city where I live.

    I do have a heavy duty tripod and normally expose anywhere between 4 and 8 minutes.

    I don’t really need too much movement except rise and fall. I'm also planning on using mostly 75mm and 50mm lenses, and only occasionally a 120mm lens, if that makes any difference.

    Thank you
    Last edited by rpagliari; 20-Feb-2019 at 03:24.

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