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Thread: 4x5 Camera

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    100

    4x5 Camera

    Hello.
    I am from Spain. I have some film cameras for 35mm and medium format. I am thinking to buy my first large format and I have different options I am not sure:

    - Graflex 4x5 with Ektar 152 by eBay USA
    - Wista 4x5 (with Fujinon) by eBay Japan
    - Chamonix 4x5 and a Fujinon or Nikkor (no expensive)
    - Other...

    Which one would you recommend?

    The Graflex is cheaper but is it good enough? Is it fully compatible with other lenses?

    Thank you very much for your time.

  2. #2
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    What do you want to take photos of? They are different cameras. I have a Chamonix and really like it.


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

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    100

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    What do you want to take photos of? They are different cameras. I have a Chamonix and really like it.


    Kent in SD
    I like the camera for cities/street and landscapes but I will do some portraits.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,685

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    OP, you said "Graflex." Graflex is a make (includes view cameras, press cameras and SLRs) and a model (SLR). Which did you mean? If a press camera, which version?

    If you meant Speed Graphic, these are a little hostile to wide angle lenses, their minimum extension is ~ 67 mm. If you want to use short lenses on a relatively inexpensive body that's light, a Crown Graphic (minimum extension 52.4 mm) would be preferable.

    This site has resources that you may not have used. Go up to www.largeformatphotography.info (click on the LF Home Page button at the upper left of the screen) and read the FAQs. Go to the lenses forum, click on the link in the first post in the sticky "Where to look ..." and buy one of the books on LF recommended in it.

    For most of us, the first LF camera was the wrong LF camera. The first camera served to teach us what we liked/disliked and needed.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    100

    4x5 Camera

    Yes, it is a speed graphic. I think I will use lenses upper than 67mm considering my photo needs.
    Thank you for the link.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,006

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Speed Graphics are hand holdable so they add a lot of flexibility to street photography and portraiture. A Crown Graphic Special, with the correct cam for your chosen lens, has a top mounted rangefinder which adds to the flexibility as well as being simpler (IMHO) since there is no built in shutter curtain. Check out www.graflex.org
    Maybe not so much for landscapes though.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    100

    4x5 Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Speed Graphics are hand holdable so they add a lot of flexibility to street photography and portraiture. A Crown Graphic Special, with the correct cam for your chosen lens, has a top mounted rangefinder which adds to the flexibility as well as being simpler (IMHO) since there is no built in shutter curtain. Check out www.graflex.org
    Maybe not so much for landscapes though.
    Thank you. Very interesting.
    This is the camera I have in my ebay basket, but I am not sure.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Wassenaar, NL
    Posts
    42

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    I wouldn’t be sure either if I were you. The best camera in this category is the Linhof Master Technica. I owned that one, but sold it. It has a rangefinder too and this suggests that you work quick in the field. In practice, I never work fast with LF. I’ve got my Leica for that kind of work, or whatever. The compact, folded idea is nice, but the Chamonix has that too and is very much lighter. I do not need the robustness of a heavy metal 4x5, because it’s not being used that often. Swings, tilts, etc. are limited compared to a Chamonix. The advantage of Chamonix is that it is a working factory, the brand is not that expensive, and it has.....: immense nice filmholders which are sturdy, new, and reliable (wood and carbon). I find all these plastic secondhand filmholders, if you can find them, scary; you’re never certain whether they’re closed right, etc. Other accessories for your 4x5 you later want to add are always available for your Chamonix. If something is missing on your Graflex or so you are searching endlessly on eBay

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    4,477

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro_fiz View Post
    my first large format
    As it is your first one I'll get a cheap monorail, this is 155€ plus shipping:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	s-l1600.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	40.3 KB 
ID:	195660
    https://www.ebay.es/itm/Cambo-SC-II-...kAAOSwzUVdGgSO


    A monorail has all movements so it's ideal to learn and to practice. It would also help you to understand what features you want and what limitations you would allow in a future field camera. This is a modular camera system, so you may attach several cameras inline ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592...5/27823423611/ ) for any need, you have "unlimited" bellows draw.

    A rail of the cambo can be DIY made with any 25mm square pipe, just cut the length you want. It's also sturdy, just the kind of camera you may throw downhill and all that can be broken are those stones in the camera path.


    It weights a bit more than 4kg, so it cannot be recommended for long hikes, anyway many LF practitioners want to have a monorail in his arsenal, so its a good starting point.

    Another remarkable piece of gear suitable to start in LF would be a SINAR Norma, first all metal camera ever (from 1948, IIRC), quite more refined than a CAMBO SC, but more expensive and less sturdy, see here how it handles a near 2kg lens in the front standard:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592...5/47092537484/
    Ansel Adams used (at least) the 5x7" variant, here with the 4x5 reduction back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ZCEXWdIMg

    To me best way is to start is a monorail and to get a lot of fun practicing all movements, the 155€ investment is worth because with that learning you will later make less mistakes in gear acquisition.

    ____


    The same with lenses, don't spend much money in glass until you learn what you want. A general usage lens can do all, but LF lenses (I guess) have way more nuances than in smaller formats. There are specialized glass for landscape (lightweight, hikking), architecture (large circle) or for portraiture (https://www.largeformatphotography.i...rtrait-lenses/)

    I'd start with a 150€ Symmar 150mm f/5.6 convertible to 265mm f/12 (https://www.ebay.es/itm/Schneider-Kr...IAAOSw4lNdf~3r)

    https://www.kenrockwell.com/schneider/150.htm
    https://kenrockwell.com/tech/exposure-large-format.htm

    These are two focals for 150€, it is single coated so you will learn to control flare.

    ____

    You'll have to invest in many fields, so you should keep some bugget for film, film holders, development gear, tripod, focusing loupe, meter, dark cloth, and perhaps a well equipped darkroom with enlarger, paper...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    100

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    As it is your first one I'll get a cheap monorail, this is 155 plus shipping:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	s-l1600.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	40.3 KB 
ID:	195660
    https://www.ebay.es/itm/Cambo-SC-II-...kAAOSwzUVdGgSO


    A monorail has all movements so it's ideal to learn and to practice. It would also help you to understand what features you want and what limitations you would allow in a future field camera. This is a modular camera system, so you may attach several cameras inline ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592...5/27823423611/ ) for any need, you have "unlimited" bellows draw.

    A rail of the cambo can be DIY made with any 25mm square pipe, just cut the length you want. It's also sturdy, just the kind of camera you may throw downhill and all that can be broken are those stones in the camera path.


    It weights a bit more than 4kg, so it cannot be recommended for long hikes, anyway many LF practitioners want to have a monorail in his arsenal, so its a good starting point.

    Another remarkable piece of gear suitable to start in LF would be a SINAR Norma, first all metal camera ever (from 1948, IIRC), quite more refined than a CAMBO SC, but more expensive and less sturdy, see here how it handles a near 2kg lens in the front standard:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592...5/47092537484/
    Ansel Adams used (at least) the 5x7" variant, here with the 4x5 reduction back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ZCEXWdIMg

    To me best way is to start is a monorail and to get a lot of fun practicing all movements, the 155 investment is worth because with that learning you will later make less mistakes in gear acquisition.

    ____


    The same with lenses, don't spend much money in glass until you learn what you want. A general usage lens can do all, but LF lenses (I guess) have way more nuances than in smaller formats. There are specialized glass for landscape (lightweight, hikking), architecture (large circle) or for portraiture (https://www.largeformatphotography.i...rtrait-lenses/)

    I'd start with a 150 Symmar 150mm f/5.6 convertible to 265mm f/12 (https://www.ebay.es/itm/Schneider-Kr...IAAOSw4lNdf~3r)

    https://www.kenrockwell.com/schneider/150.htm
    https://kenrockwell.com/tech/exposure-large-format.htm

    These are two focals for 150, it is single coated so you will learn to control flare.

    ____

    You'll have to invest in many fields, so you should keep some bugget for film, film holders, development gear, tripod, focusing loupe, meter, dark cloth, and perhaps a well equipped darkroom with enlarger, paper...
    Many, many thanks.
    I am going to evaluate and consider.

    Enviado desde mi ANE-LX1 mediante Tapatalk

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