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Thread: Suggestions for LF field camera

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    Just buy an Intrepid and put the money you saved into glass.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    320

    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    I think the problem is that still life/macro and landscape are a bit at odds with each other. The first one wants a heavy stable monorail the second one a light wood foldable camera (other options for each are possible but in general).

    One option would be to start with a camera for the type of photography OP shoots the most and forgo the other until a second camera can be afforded.

    A monorail camera like a Horseman L45 will work great for still life & macro and can be had for relatively little money.

    Light wood options for landscape are not cheap, except for the intrepid (and thatís not something I would buy, I would wait to have saved a bit more and make the jump to a better crafted one ó but thatís me).

    Trying to get one that works for both will generate compromises that only OP can decide if theyíre going to severely impact his shooting objectives.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    195

    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    He did say "non-extreme" macro. You can reach 1:1 with a 180mm lens on the Chamonix (Draw is 395, which is bonkers for such a small camera-- extending it to 510 is possible, but I think you might need guy wires at that point).

    The intrepid has 300mm draw, so 1:1 with 150mm is reachable.

    There's also the Chroma 4x5 cameras-- They're less than the Chamonix, more than the Intrepid, and while they use unusual materials, seem pretty well thought out. Bellows is "only" 280mm, so macro is limited to 140mm and below.

    Those are all new, and I knew the OP said "used". There are some very good choices for used-- Tachihara, Wista, Nagaoaka (who recently passed away, sadly), and there's a beautiful Ikeda Abna with lens on "that site" right now, and one without lens on KEH.

    My complaint with monorails is that in general (I know there are exceptions), they tend to be bulky, heavy, and awkward. Loading up for a 4x5 camera in general can be a major undertaking, and monorails exacerbate that.

  4. #14

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    Feb 2016
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    Wassenaar, NL
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    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    I wonder why a Graflok back is so special and important. If the theme of this thread is moving towards what the most photographed subjects are for OP, I wonder why you need such a back, to reduce to MF? Why would you want that if you want go LF anyway? If you want to take your time to make a photograph, why would you reduce to MF?. I’m asking because Chamonix offers a beautiful lightweight viewcamera new for less than €1000, which is about $1000. With more than enough length for 300mm lenses, up till 550mm I think. And more than enough movements for stills and macro. I don't see why this would not work as a studio camera as well as a landscape camera.

  5. #15

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    Apr 2020
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    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    As far as I know, all the Chamonix cameras have graflok compatible backs. It's nice to have the option. I use a 120 film holder with mine.

  6. #16

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    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grat View Post
    As far as I know, all the Chamonix cameras have graflok compatible backs. It's nice to have the option. I use a 120 film holder with mine.
    Thanks, I didn’t know the word Graflok, but I own a Chamonix F2 and never tried my Linhof 6x7 holder on it, I’ll try once then.

  7. #17

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    Sep 2020
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    6

    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the replies. I have a Cambo monorail which is great for home studio use and I've even taken it out a few times but it's pretty bulky. I believe someone asked what lenses I had, presently have a 75mm, 150mm, 240mm, 270mm. The reason I wanted graflok back was to try out 6x9, 6x12 medium format backs and another attachment for a DSLR, which require a graflok. I don't need a lot of bellows extension but I would like a little bit more than 12 inches in case I would like a close ups of certain flowers/plants and certain textures in the natural world. Maybe I don't even need more than 12 inches but just in case... I'm leaning towards a Wista 45 SP. I like to shoot outdoors but I'm not a big hiker so weight is not a major issue. I don't usually go much further than about a mile or so from my car.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    May 1999
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    549

    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    If you already have a monorail, I'd definitely go for a folding metal (Wista, Toyo, Linhof, MPP... ), or a extremely lightweight wooden one.
    If you don't plan to backpack intensively, a metal folder would be my choice. Fast setup, protected, compact. I'd put the maximum bellows extension and movement capability aside (there are other routes). Some models have really long bellows but at the cost of higher flimsiness, complexity or weight.
    The SP looks fine (I use a very similar 5x7" version), but I wonder if there are lighter options.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    6

    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    Quote Originally Posted by jose angel View Post
    If you already have a monorail, I'd definitely go for a folding metal (Wista, Toyo, Linhof, MPP... ), or a extremely lightweight wooden one.
    If you don't plan to backpack intensively, a metal folder would be my choice. Fast setup, protected, compact. I'd put the maximum bellows extension and movement capability aside (there are other routes). Some models have really long bellows but at the cost of higher flimsiness, complexity or weight.
    The SP looks fine (I use a very similar 5x7" version), but I wonder if there are lighter options.
    Hi Jose,
    I forgot they had a 5x7 version - The Ritterick? Hmmm, very tempting...

  10. #20
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Humboldt County, CA
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    Re: Suggestions for LF field camera

    Deardorff Special then -- 4x5 or 5x7 with the same classic camera. But under a $1000...hmmmmm
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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