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Thread: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

  1. #51
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Later Technikas still seem to fetch high prices, though not generally as much as before. Older ones, it all depends. If one doesn't need a triple extension, and can work within a moderately wide to somewhat long-normal lens range, and get by with just double extension, then the Horseman FA is another real beauty of a technical camera. I went past a gallery the other day where the elderly coastal photographer has only shot an FA his whole career, and only with a roll-film back. It's a very well built compact camera, but too lens-restrictive for me.

  2. #52

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    I agree with you. But while cameras are relatively simple, shutters are likely going to an issue. They wear out and making new ones isn't as easy as making a new camera.
    That was my point. Sooner or later someone will need to start making shutters. They won't be fully mechanical, they are too complex to make and I suspect not economically viable at small volumes, and the expertise needed to design them is disappearing. But electronic shutters might be feasible enough (think the relative complexity of mechanical watch v. a quarts one), there will be suitable electronic parts for this off the shelf, and most of the rest could be 3D printed.

  3. #53

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    The assertion of low cost view cameras such as the Intrepid has made this view camera stuff available to many Foto folks today is not an assertion that can be proven or well supported
    It's also not an assertion I made.

  4. #54

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    There are lots of fine used lenses around, and shutters can always be serviced. I can't see a big surge in new shutters any time soon. The big question to me is about disposable supplies like film and paper. Prices continue to rise, and variety of product continues to shrink. At any given time, I've got more money tied up in film and enlarging & contact printing paper than the cost of any 4x5, certainly more than the price of an Intrepid.
    Last edited by Greg Y; 19-Oct-2021 at 11:52.

  5. #55

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Very difficult to wear out a modern shutter like Copal, Prontor Pro, Compur as they were designed and built to meet the needs of working photographers burning cases of sheet film daily (over 100 sheets of film daily was common back in those days). Think tens of thousands of shutter cycles. The most common problem with shutters, the get dirty, lubricants dry out causing the shutter to slow or stuck. This is why getting lens shutters serviced is SO important.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by _tf_ View Post
    That was my point. Sooner or later someone will need to start making shutters. They won't be fully mechanical, they are too complex to make and I suspect not economically viable at small volumes, and the expertise needed to design them is disappearing. But electronic shutters might be feasible enough (think the relative complexity of mechanical watch v. a quarts one), there will be suitable electronic parts for this off the shelf, and most of the rest could be 3D printed.

  6. #56

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Once AA gained fame and notoriety, Horseman was not the only product Ansel Adams promoted. Hasselblad and other went along. This is a very common marketing practice that lives to this day.. As a marketing dude, ya gotta know this.

    Going back to the days when Ansel Adams did not have this market-brand recognition, he also had a "girl friend" named Norma:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ansel Adams, Sinar Norma.jpeg 
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Why?


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Because they gave him one with the stipulation that he would be pictured with it.

  7. #57

    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Very difficult to wear out a modern shutter like Copal, Prontor Pro, Compur as they were designed and built to meet the needs of working photographers burning cases of sheet film daily (over 100 sheets of film daily was common back in those days). Think tens of thousands of shutter cycles. The most common problem with shutters, the get dirty, lubricants dry out causing the shutter to slow or stuck. This is why getting lens shutters serviced is SO important.


    Bernice
    My specialty is Compur shutters - mostly on Kodak Retinas. I've serviced scores of pre-war Compur shutters, and unless someone has done something horrible to it, all I have ever needed to do was service it and it works like new. I own half a dozen Retina 117's and 118's, and every one of them is in excellent working order. These are 87 years old, I would like to point out - and the odds are they will be functional 87 years from now.

  8. #58

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Precisely, have Ilex and Compur shutters that are decades old, long as they are clean and properly lubricated, they work, and work and work long as they are not abused and properly serviced and cared for.

    Primary view camera shutter are three Sinar mechanicals, the are now decades old. One was used LOTs back in the working for $ days of view camera. That Sinar-Copal shutter ran many thousands of cycles, it works much the same today as it did back then. It has been clean-lubed-service twice all these decades. Just one of these shutters will out live me.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    My specialty is Compur shutters - mostly on Kodak Retinas. I've serviced scores of pre-war Compur shutters, and unless someone has done something horrible to it, all I have ever needed to do was service it and it works like new. I own half a dozen Retina 117's and 118's, and every one of them is in excellent working order. These are 87 years old, I would like to point out - and the odds are they will be functional 87 years from now.

  9. #59

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Once AA gained fame and notoriety, Horseman was not the only product Ansel Adams promoted. Hasselblad and other went along. This is a very common marketing practice that lives to this day.. As a marketing dude, ya gotta know this.

    Going back to the days when Ansel Adams did not have this market-brand recognition, he also had a "girl friend" named Norma:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ansel Adams, Sinar Norma.jpeg 
Views:	71 
Size:	65.1 KB 
ID:	220523

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Fiat-Lux-Adams-w-Sinar norma.jpg 
Views:	67 
Size:	44.2 KB 
ID:	220524


    Why?


    Bernice
    Sorry, we never did that with Minox, Rollei, LInhof, Novoflex or any of our other product lines.

  10. #60

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    My specialty is Compur shutters - mostly on Kodak Retinas. I've serviced scores of pre-war Compur shutters, and unless someone has done something horrible to it, all I have ever needed to do was service it and it works like new. I own half a dozen Retina 117's and 118's, and every one of them is in excellent working order. These are 87 years old, I would like to point out - and the odds are they will be functional 87 years from now.
    You are viewing this from the point of view of someone who already has their working shutters. It's now pretty much impossible to buy a shutter, and certainly not one in a working order, if you need to replace a shutter, you need to buy a lens with a suitable working shutter. But lenses have become harder to get than even a couple of years ago, and also more expensive. Most of the shutters I have were not working properly without a CLA (lubricants age and friction elements wear out), and also none were probably ever serviced before. Yet, there are no longer that many people who can properly service them and the cost of sending a shutter for a CLA is greater than the value of the shutter itself, which means most of the existing shutters will not be properly serviced ever again, some will be damaged by attempts at self-service, and some just thrown out. Of those that will be left many will not return back into circulation once their current owners are gone. Sure, in 90 years time there will be some Compur shutters still in working order, but will there be enough to sustain anything like e.g., the current level of interest in LF?

    My general point is that new companies manufacturing LF equipment again is a good thing, even if their initial offerings are limited and don't achieve the refinement of the equipment that the more mature practitioners of the art are used to. Without that there is no future, the entire current resurgence of film photography is living on borrowed time. Folk worry about film, but film availability is predicated on camera availability, it's all the old 35mm and MF cameras breaking down eventually we should really worry about, that's when making film for the consumer market will stop making sense (again). The current window is maybe 10 years, maybe 30 years, but it's definitely finite. On the upside, as long as medical imaging devices remain prohibitively expensive for most of the world, there will always be Foma.

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