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Thread: New and need help

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Posts
    9

    New and need help

    I apologize in advance for a repetitive question. This is my first venture into the large format field. I currently shoot a full frame Nikon DSLR and dabble quite hard into film cameras including medium format Bronicas and 35mm Leicas. In the past, I have shot a baby Speed Graphic. I am interested in doing landscape photography with the LF camera. Weight is a minor concern since I am 61 and have had major back surgery. I say minor because toting my DSLR and lenses racks up quite a bit of weight.
    Currently I am considering a few monorail cameras, most notably Linhof kardan super color, Omega 45G, Sinar Alpina, and a couple of old Cambo units. I am also considering a late Linhof technika
    III. All of these come with a lens and a couple of film holders which are important to me since I know little about lenses, lens boards etc.
    I am leaning toward a monorail since it has greater movements and not much more weight. Carrying the monorail is a bit more problematic, but I have seen others do it.
    My budget is around a grand so that I can keep SWMBO(she who must be obeyed) happy.

    I am open to all suggestions, tips and help.

    PS. Having shot with a baby Speed Graphic back in the 80s, I pretty much ruled out the 4x5 version because it is very limiting.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
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    2,339

    Re: New and need help

    For a monorail, the best bet is keeping it in one of the maker's cases, as it's easy to store, get into car, hold other needed supplies as a kit, carry short distances etc... Once on site, you can transfer case to a rolling travel dolly to tug around...

    Usually easy to organize/find stuff in a case too...

    Steve K

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,167

    Re: New and need help

    Monorails are great, but they can be problematic to carry into the field. Since you're interested in doing landscapes, movement capability isn't as important as some other subjects. Have you thought about a folding wooden camera? If budget is a concern, have you looked at the Intrepid?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,510

    Re: New and need help

    Lugged a Sinar monorail outer doors for decades. Unless you're hiking and must have lowest weight with compact size, outer doors with a monorail is no where near as bad as some believes. Take the time to read this recent discussion, it's relevant.
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ar-Norma-(4x5)

    The selection priorities should be print and image goals first on top, lenses and process needed to achieve these goals with the camera and remainder playing a support role, not the starring role which belongs to the print-image goals.


    Bernice

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
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    8,415

    Re: New and need help

    Landscape work does not require the full flexibility of a rail camera, but that does not mean it is not nice to have. Field cameras are lighter weight, often exchanging some movements for reducing weight while maintaining or gaining stability. Really can not go wrong with a rail camera, giving it a try for awhile, and replacing it with more of a field camera if ease-of-transport becomes more important.

    But a sweet little wood field, like the Chamonix 45H-1, would be something I would look at. I like the non-folding style. Seems to have full movements front and back, except back fall. Probably rare used and beyond our budgets new.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    237

    Re: New and need help

    If only one lens is enough, a 90 or 105mm on 4x5 and if tilting is not required and you can do cropping after shooting, consider a Will Travel. Available on ebay.

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,167

    Re: New and need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Lugged a Sinar monorail outer doors for decades. Unless you're hiking and must have lowest weight with compact size, outer doors with a monorail is no where near as bad as some believes.
    True. At near 70 years young, I still backpack my Arca-Swiss F-Line and a complement of lenses over pretty fair distances. Add my BetterLight scanning system and the weight gets more "fun." Not saying lugging this equipment anywhere outdoors is difficult, rather saying if I'm going to trek great distances with 4x5 I'll grab the Toho FC-45X every time. Different strokes, of course...

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chillicothe Missouri USA
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    2,884

    Re: New and need help

    Start with any inexpensive view camera, and use it to determine what YOU should have as a final purchase.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,268

    Re: New and need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Start with any inexpensive view camera, and use it to determine what YOU should have as a final purchase.
    Lots of wisdom here.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    207

    Re: New and need help

    Just a note, if you decide on a monorail the Linhof Kardan series has been stupid cheap on eBay. Itís a great system but for some reason it isnít on peopleís radar like the Technikas. I have the Super Color, it folds flat after unclipping the bellows, very portable. Mint, I think it was $200.

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