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Thread: 4x5 camera thoughts

  1. #1

    4x5 camera thoughts

    Hi LF!

    So I'm new to LF photography, I've worked a lot with 35mm and 120mm in the past and recently did a wet plate workshop which has completely reignited my hunger for photography.

    While I would love to jump in and start pouring 8x10 plates I've read a large number of threads on here and realise that the sensible place to start is 4x5.

    Budget - 800 or $1000

    I'll be shooting almost exclusively wet plate and my interest lies in portraiture and some still life, but mainly portraiture.
    What do you think is a good camera/lens combination to start me off?

    I've found a Sinar P2 coupled with a Rodenstock 180mm f/5.6 that falls within budget or I could have a 4x5 tailboard camera made up for around 600?

    Are there any big advantages to having a monorail over a tailboard camera?

    Thank you all in advance!

  2. #2
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 camera thoughts

    In many parts of the World a good tailboard 4x5 (or 5x7 with a 4x5 back) and a decent lens should cost much less than your budget, and leave money for supplies and for upgrading your first outfit after you have plenty of experience. A monorail camera may be better fr most photography, but less portable.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: 4x5 camera thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    In many parts of the World a good tailboard 4x5 (or 5x7 with a 4x5 back) and a decent lens should cost much less than your budget, and leave money for supplies and for upgrading your first outfit after you have plenty of experience. A monorail camera may be better fr most photography, but less portable.
    Depends on the monorail camera. Some are just as portable!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Madisonville, LA
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    Re: 4x5 camera thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    In many parts of the World a good tailboard 4x5 (or 5x7 with a 4x5 back) and a decent lens should cost much less than your budget, and leave money for supplies and for upgrading your first outfit after you have plenty of experience. A monorail camera may be better fr most photography, but less portable.
    +1. I'd sure look at an F2 over a P2 if you're going to use it outside the studio! L

  5. #5

    Re: 4x5 camera thoughts

    Depending on the camera, the monorail may give you a broader array of movements, which could give you more creative control over your still life photography. Also, keep in mind that some of the collodion mixture with silver nitrate in it will probably, eventually come into contact with the rear standard during normal handling and loading of your plate holders. This is likely to stain the finish on a wooden tailboard camera, but not a non-wooden studio camera.

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