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Thread: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

  1. #1

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    Apr 2018
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    LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    I'm interested in getting a LF camera that has geared tilt movements, I know the Sinar P series has them, but what others? I am considering buying a P2, but it is a heavy beast and I'd hate lugging it very far for landscape work. My other cameras include a Technika IV, 4x5 monorail graphic, and Calumet C1, between those I have most of the bases covered, the only thing I'm missing is the precision I'd get with geared tilt movements.

    If you know of a 4x5 or larger camera with geared movements, please let me know!
    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    Look for Toyo VX125. It's got geared rise/fall and shift on both standards. The tilt and swing are not geared. It also comes with a collapsible rail that extends to 300+mm and a very flexible bellows. It is a very nice camera. Weighs in at less than 3kg if I remember correctly.

    Beware that there's a VX125R too, and it lacks the geared rise/fall and the collapsible rail but still has geared shift. I ended up with this version by mistake when I thought I'd purchased the VX125 from Japan. The geared version has two knobs for adjusting rise and fall on each side of the standard. One is for the movement and one is for locking it in place. The R-version only has the one locking knob and that is a good way to identify the version when looking at the pictures in the listing. I didn't know this and only realized it when I got it in the mail.

    Anyway, I decided to keep it and am very happy with it. The rise and fall is very tight so it doesn't slip while composing. There are locking screws/mechanisms for all moving parts.

    Erik

    Erik

  3. #3

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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadebob View Post
    I'm interested in getting a LF camera that has geared tilt movements, I know the Sinar P series has them, but what others? I am considering buying a P2, but it is a heavy beast and I'd hate lugging it very far for landscape work.
    Yes the P is definitely a "heavy beast" but for years I carried my 8x10 P a lot farther than I should have in a not so comfortable backpack. After shooting the images, my transporting discomforts were repeated on the way back to my car. After getting back the processed 8x10 Chromes, those transporting discomforts were totally forgotten....

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    I don't see why P gearing would be any more PRECISE than manual tilts or swings under partial tension (and I do own P components); under certain circumstances it might be more CONVENIENT, especially with very heavy lenses. But once Sinar's patents matured, there were several knockoff designs less commonly encountered and equally bulky and heavy. I think Cambo and Horseman were involved. Hopefully someone lurking here is far more familiar with those than me. The Horseman would have the advantage of bellows interchangeability with Sinar; but lensboards, maybe, maybe not. I'm not including the Toyo VX, which was more of tricked-out field camera option. But as already noted, its tilts and swings are NOT geared, just rise and shift. Wisner patented a geared rear only tilt for his wooden folders, though it hardly impressed me.

    If you're talking about 4X5, then a Sinar X is likely to be a lot more affordable than a late P series one. They are quite similar, with the main difference being the lack of all those engraved position marks on the X. And there are a few more distinctions which you'd want to look into before deciding.

  5. #5

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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    The Cambo Master has geared everything, including tilt, and that's a really nice feature. I use tilt the most, but I usually don't need much, so it's nice to be able to have fine control via gearing. The Master is an "L" type monorail. The only downside to this model is the revolving back. The revolving back can't revolve since the geared tilt mechanism interferes with the rotation. This is an oopsie design defect. You can still change the back orientation, but you have to do it the old fashioned way by removing the back and reinserting it.

    Other than the revolving back screw-up, it's an excellent camera.

  6. #6

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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    That’s what I’m feeling. Some people decry the weight, but in the end, if weight was a big concern I wouldn’t be lugging a with bellows!

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    Well, I've lugged Sinars well over 15,000 miles of rugged terrain, up ice walls many times, onto high summits. I doubt anyone has ever done that with a P. As it was, my average pack weight was 85 lbs. Wish I could still handle that kind of weight at my age now, but it just ain't gonna ever happen again. The nice thing about the Sinar system is that you can configure them any way you wish, due to the component interchangeability. My P components stay indoors.

  8. #8

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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    Arca F cameras w/ micrometric orbix have geared front tilt. Arca M2 has geared tilt & swing on front and geared rise & fall on the rear. Smaller & lighter than a P, but more expensive.

  9. #9

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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    I use an Arca Swiss F-Line monorail with the Micrometric Orbix option which supports geared front tilt (no geared rear tilt) in a relatively field friendly form factor. Jack Dykinga used an Arca F-Line 4x5 as his primary field landscape camera for many years. It is an expensive camera but very solid and precise.

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: LF cameras with geared tilt movements

    Not what you are looking for most likely, but my 5x7 Eastman View No.2 has all geared movements -- it just lacks front tilt (and swing) all together.

    But I imagine if the OP wishes for precision delivered by geared movements, my 110 year old camera need not apply.
    Last edited by Vaughn; 5-Aug-2021 at 17:52.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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