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Thread: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

  1. #1

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    Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    Howdy all,
    What are some of the advantages or disadvantages of metal field cameras when compared to wooden field cameras? Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    Maderas y de las antiguas.


    Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    I have a 5x7 Canham Wood that I am fond of (2 each for 30 years). If I leave it in my car during winter, the wood, walnut, changes dimension from moisture, freezing the focusing action. So I keep it in the house and everything works fine.

    Best wishes --- Allen

  4. #4

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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    My 8x10" Wehman, made from aluminium and epoxy, is out with me in the snow and light rain. The 4"3/4*6"1/2 Toyo-View has lightly rust, and I'm careful to dry it if it get wet, but I have no problem bringing my 4x5" Chamonix out to get wet. I'm more worried about shutters and lenses!

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  5. #5

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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    Wood or metal have the place depending on a LONG list of image making needs. IMO, neither is better or worst.
    This also applies to folder or monorail view camera.

    That said, what are your print image goals? From that will define lens-optics, film format size, film and print making process.
    There have been SO many discussion about not being able to use a lens on their camera of choice over the duration of LFF. For light weight folder cameras, image makers discover the wide angle or longer than normal focal length lens they wanna use becomes a nightmare to try making their lens of choice work... at all.

    That said, cameras much like Tripods and all related "gear" is much about trade offs with no ideal "gear" that will do it all.


    Bernice

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    Using anything metal with bare hands in very cold weather is a little tougher. The variety of wood field cameras and designs is larger.

    While wood does break and/or splinter, it tends to keep its shape, while metal stays intact, it tends to deform with impacts. Depending on one's skills, one might find it easier to repair one over the other...including modifications and adapting parts from other cameras...if one is so inclined.

    It's nice to be able to handle a variety and feel what is good in your hands and tripod.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7

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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    I was just wondering what makes people chose one over the other since most of them do the same, for the most part. For example, someone choosing wood over metal because it's easier on the skin during cold weather seems like a logical reason, or choosing metal because wood can splinter if they tip over onto rocks. I don't think one is better than the other either but there is something classic looking about a wood camera.

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    True...of course they all look the same when the darkcloth is over them (from both sides... )

    There are too many exceptions! Metal field cameras tend to be heavier, but my Calmet-branded Gowland PocketView (a folding metal monorail field camera) weighs 2.5 pounds with the 150mm on it. Weight is all over the place, as are features (with a close relationship between the two) with both wood and metal - and toss in composites, plastics, plys of wood and CF, etc.

    But my 110 yr old 5x7 Eastman View No.2 looks pretty cool up on the pod! Only front movement is rise/fall, but that and all the back movements are geared so it is pretty sweet to use.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vaughn in Zion Nat. Park - 2.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9

    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    Most photographers saw it will not happen to their camera. That is it on the tripod and they have the focusing cloth over the camera and a gust of wind come along and over the camera goes.

    If is metal and something breaks you are out of luck.

    If is it wood and it breaks one goes into a store and buys glue and tape and puts the camera back together.

    There is one camera maker who told me that if his camera hits the ground you will end up with a mess. And yes I have seem it happen. It was not pretty plus the camera could not be field repaired. Parts could not be straighten out with out breaking.
    Richard T Ritter
    www.lg4mat.net

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Metal vs Wood cameras - advantages/disadvantages

    I think all my metal cameras were designed for only indoor use

    Big Linhof and Horseman come to mind, Sinar lovers will argue

    All Metal Rittreck 5x7 with it's odd micro focus rear tilt was sold to Japanese as studio portrait device

    Calumer C! advertised as studio camera, I have the ads

    Richard Ritter is correct, wood is far easier to fix

    and most wood cameras are lighter than metal

    Canham goes his own way and has many buyers

    I am sure I missed some examples

    No camera I know of can support a man standing on the rails, except a Ritter, he advertises that

    I cannot balance on my 50mm heavy steel Linhof rail but even they changed to aluminum later in the production run

    I do want a Ritter camera, some day
    NO WORDS No Questions until 2022 Images Only

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