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Thread: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

  1. #21
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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    Not familiar with either 8x10 or 38mm, but I have doubts the lens would cover it.



    Kent in SD
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  2. #22

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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    Not a chance or remote possibility the 38mm Super Angulon XL would come close to covering 8x10, but it will produce a circular image on 8x10. Point being, the 38mm SAXL can be used on a 8x10 Sinar monorail and how capable the Sinar mono rail camera system is.... Set up might not be portable or easily transported during a extended hiking trip which a light weight field camera would.

    ~Could a 38mm SAXL be used on a 8x10 field camera or similar box camera, bag bellows or not?
    Having a bag bellows available for a field camera does not imply the field camera's ability to fully exploit an extreme wide angle's lens capability.
    The other direction would be using a 1200mm f9 or similar process lens on a field camera. Could a field camera support a lens this size properly, would it have enough bellows, what about a shutter?

    *All view cameras are a trade off, this is why deciding on prints to be made first, lenses to be used second with camera last is logical-rational.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Not familiar with either 8x10 or 38mm, but I have doubts the lens would cover it.



    Kent in SD

  3. #23

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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    Monorails are a great way to start out because they are so straight forward and easy to learn on. They also have all the movements.

    Field cameras are nice because they can be lighter in weight and easier to pack for hiking.

    As recommended above, shoot what you have. After you have shot large format for a while you can better decide what camera you really want. You may even want to keep your monorail and add another camera. Some add an inexpensive press camera with limited movements and just take the monorail along when they need more movements.

    I've never shot a Chamonix but they are highly recommended. Usually, you sacrifice rigidity for lighter weight but Chamonix's are said to be very rigid. I've heard of them being favorably compared to metal field cameras even though they are made of wood.

  4. #24
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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    I've never shot a Chamonix but they are highly recommended. Usually, you sacrifice rigidity for lighter weight but Chamonix's are said to be very rigid. I've heard of them being favorably compared to metal field cameras even though they are made of wood.
    They are made of wood, aluminum, and carbon fiber.



    Kent in SD
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  5. #25
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    I've owned a Chamonix, and I've seen some recently. They are very nice cameras, much more rigid than the old woodies. But they are not as rigid/stable as the heavier metal cameras, such as a Toyo metal field or a Technika. As Bernice says, there's always trade-offs.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  6. #26

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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    This is all helpful. Thanks for continuing. Sounds like I did all right to have picked a monorail as a first camera. I've got to see what I can do to get it where it needs to go without breaking the remains of my back, hips, feet, etc. But I think this just means a Sherpa or two.... if only. Nah... what it means is splitting the load. I'm gonna weigh it, and take it from there. I'd corresponded with the Arca Swiss guy for the USA back in the spring before our move 'cause the camera has no scaling on the monorail... but listening to Graham on the Sunny 16 podcast talking with the guys on the LF Photo podcast, it sounds like there's a work-a-round for that, too.

    There are some interesting new woodies like the Intrepid and synthetic ideas like the Chroma Camera in acrylic and the Mercury in plastic... but seems to me that starting with a known item was simpler at this stage as you're basically cutting price with age and wear and tear rather than switching to new materials to hold the $'s down. Nothing wrong with the new stuff... just seems to me those options could disappoint if you don't already know what you're doing. That said, I like the modular ideas and the commitment Steve LLoyd seems to have to his customers.

    Anyway, give me another month, and I think I'll be back in business. Thanks for the help and ideas.

  7. #27

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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post

    Okay. So let me try this again: I'm just puzzled why when my Arca Swiss has two bellows - one balloon and one norm - why Chamonix would seem to build different models to do what? The same thing? Is this a field camera kind of thing?
    Just in case you missed Kent's post earlier - Chamonix offers optional bag bellows for all of its 4x5 models. You do not need a "special" Chamonix camera to use bag bellows.

    FWIW, I started with a Cambo monorail and while I assume it was great for studio work and very versatile, it was a heavy, bulky pig to transport which led me to shoot it far less often than I wanted. After upgrading to a field camera (a Chamonix in my case but it holds true for most) I actually look forward to taking it places since it's so portable.
    Trevor

  8. #28
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    I started lf with an old Crown Graphic, you can still find them for a few hundred dollars with lens and they are easy to lug around. Once you get tired of dragging the monorail around and have some mad money this is not a bad choice for a little money.

  9. #29

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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    IMO, one good way to think of a view camera is a six sided box with the lens at the front of the box, image recording device (film or digital or etc) that is flexi in the middle. All the do-dads_widgets on the outside of the box at the ends are there to support the front and rear of the box and allow adjustment that can be locked in place. This pretty much applies to a monorail or field camera or most photographic image cameras in general.

    A view camera is not a complex device, do not allow the do-dads_widgets and fancy_dancy adjusters and all that fool you, it is and always be a light tight box with add ons.

    That said, this is why learning on a monorail camera has an advantage as one can "see" the box and parts involved and watch the mechanical bits work with good access.

    It is difficult enough in the beginning of learning how to used a view camera due to operating the lens-shutter-adjusting the aperture as needed. Loading film, unloading film, dealing with possible light leaks in film holders, the mechanics and act of setting up the view camera, film exposure, storage of exposed and not exposed film and a LOT more. Then comes film processing and print making and ...... This is no simple process, with the last thing anyone beginning LF needs is added complexity or equipment that mis-behaves in any way.

    Once the basics and proficiency of using a view camera has been developed to some degree, that is when alterations to the current view camera system that has been used to learn on can be altered to gain better fit to the goals of a given image maker.


    Bernice

  10. #30
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    Re: Camera confusion: Beginner Puzzles over Chamonix et al

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    Thanks for reading and responding, but I must have garbled my question. I am firmly NOT after another camera, and actually thought I made that definitively clear.

    What I thought I was asking was a simple question regarding the multiplicity of models from one builder and puzzling as to why that would be when I can't even figure the differences. ...
    Form follows function. Check the specs out for each model for the differences. There are non-folding and folding models, differences in bellows length, weight, etc. Use your camera for awhile to get an idea of the use of the movements, how one operates the camera, and all that. If you get the chance to handle a different type of camera, check out how they differ in operation. Your question really needs experience to understand the differences.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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