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Thread: new (and first) 4x5 camera

  1. #1

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    new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Ok, i'm looking to buy my first 4x5 camera. The budget is quite low (otherwise i'd buy a chamonix, god they're beautiful) and i'm in Europe, the used market here is quite scarce and prices are waaay superior than in USA, UK, Japan.
    I will mostly do landscape photographs with some (very few) portraits, surely i won't do any table-top or studio work.
    I will put it in a backpack, not for multi-days treks but i don't want to bring along a big, heavy, bulky monorail.

    Now to the point of this post: on the new cameras i've looked for an intrepid or a stenopeika hyper-etc. On the used market i found a toyo 45cf that will cost some euros more than the stenopeika, it looks quite ok.

    What would you choose? A, B, C, none?

    I found a lot of informations about these cameras, and they are all described as great, poor, adequate [for a moderate use], flimsy, fragile, sturdy [all things considered], i think for every aspect there are both positive and negative comments on everyone of them. I cannot say i've got my mind clear...

  2. #2

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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Remember the UK left the EU so when buying an Intrepid you have to include taxes etc.
    I have an Intrepid and Chamonix and indeed the Chamonix is beautiful and great.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Last edited by Tin Can; 12-May-2021 at 06:32. Reason: add ad
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  4. #4
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Of the three, the Toyo is the steadiest of the bunch, with the Chamonix a close second.
    Toyos are overbuilt, solid and the weight is quite manageable.
    And tons of cheap accessories are regularly available on eBay and elsewhere.

  5. #5

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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    It's clear from the first post that Chamonix is out of the question.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  6. #6

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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickMarq View Post
    Remember the UK left the EU so when buying an Intrepid you have to include taxes etc.
    I have an Intrepid and Chamonix and indeed the Chamonix is beautiful and great.
    Yes, with taxes and whatnot it will cost about 400€, 200€ less than the stenopeika.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Of the three, the Toyo is the steadiest of the bunch, with the Chamonix a close second.
    Toyos are overbuilt, solid and the weight is quite manageable.
    And tons of cheap accessories are regularly available on eBay and elsewhere.
    I'm talking about the Toyo 45CF, that is the one Tin Can linked: it weighs slightly more than an intrepid, i cannot say it's overbuilt, but it probably will do the job.

  7. #7

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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    There's nothing wrong with the Intrepid-- but it does have some niggles that will make it more difficult for a novice LF photographer. There are no detents or markings for getting the film plane and front standard parallel. The front standard can swing when you don't intend it to. The back can be a little fiddly.

    Do not know the Stenopeika well. I know the one you're looking at is mostly 3D printed, which isn't a complaint. In the same price range (more or less) is the Chroma Carbon Adventurer-- a friend of mine received one, and it's a nice camera.

    The Toyo is always a good option (assuming it's in good condition).

  8. #8
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by tykos View Post
    I'm talking about the Toyo 45CF, that is the one Tin Can linked: it weighs slightly more than an intrepid, i cannot say it's overbuilt, but it probably will do the job.
    Yes, I was talking of that camera and of all Toyo cameras in general.
    They're solid and overbuilt, very tough cameras, giving you a steady platform to work from.
    All-metal, it won't flex or warp or be sensitive to the elements.

    Keep in mind, this being your first camera, no matter what you end up getting, you'll likely sell it for another camera that will be better-suited to your working methods.

  9. #9

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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grat View Post
    There's nothing wrong with the Intrepid-- but it does have some niggles that will make it more difficult for a novice LF photographer. There are no detents or markings for getting the film plane and front standard parallel. The front standard can swing when you don't intend it to. The back can be a little fiddly.

    Do not know the Stenopeika well. I know the one you're looking at is mostly 3D printed, which isn't a complaint. In the same price range (more or less) is the Chroma Carbon Adventurer-- a friend of mine received one, and it's a nice camera.

    The Toyo is always a good option (assuming it's in good condition).
    I think Stenopeika is all made of wood and metal, it's not 3d printed at all (well, maybe some knobs, i don't know).
    I looked at chroma, but the carbon adventurer costs about 600 (700€) + let's say 30% VAT&duties = 900€, it's quite higher than the other contestants here.

  10. #10
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    Re: new (and first) 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Yes, I was talking of that camera and of all Toyo cameras in general.
    They're solid and overbuilt, very tough cameras, giving you a steady platform to work from.
    All-metal, it won't flex or warp or be sensitive to the elements.
    The 45CF is not metal - the body is made of polycarbonate/glass fiber composite. There were numerous reports early on of quality control issues with the 45CF - don't know whether they ever got that under control before the camera was discontinued. It did not have a long sales life as view cameras go. I would not buy one without either being able to inspect the particular sample before committing or else having a reasonable return period.

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