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Thread: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

  1. #11

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    It's the film that gets you in the end. When the cost of film approaches more than 1 (insert currency), up to 6-7 before development, then it doesn't take long to spend the price of several cameras.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  2. #12

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Color 4x5 sheet film typically cost $4-6 each sheet or about $55 per 10 sheet box, B&W film about half that cost.
    Add film processing cost, add print making cost, add print mounting-framing cost.

    Gonna take several boxes of film to begin learning how to view camera. This film cost alone can and easily exceed the cost of a "low cost" camera.
    If the low cost "gear" produces-causes problems in the learning curve process, add LOTs more cost to gain up on the learning curve.

    As for camera.. consider this current discussion:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...77#post1618277

    Bottom line, view camera images are never "low cost" regardless of camera and related gear.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    It's the film that gets you in the end. When the cost of film approaches more than 1 (insert currency), up to 6-7 before development, then it doesn't take long to spend the price of several cameras.

  3. #13
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    I really like Sinar bellows which come off quickly and if damaged easily/cheaply replaced in a moment

    Few field cameras have that feature

  4. #14

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Re the Intrepid 4x5, I think that Nejc (pronounced Nates) Urankar's video is informative. He's a fine arts student in Slovenia who has also started a business that makes and sells dry plates and dry plate holders:


    Intrepid 4x5 After 2 Years of Use | The Good and the Bad


  5. #15

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I really like Sinar bellows which come off quickly and if damaged easily/cheaply replaced in a moment

    Few field cameras have that feature
    LInhof TK, all metal and some wood Wista all have interchangeable bellows. All go on and off quickly and easily.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Gosh, Bob, some bellows are a helluva lot easier to acquire or afford than others at this point in history. The sheer ubiquity of Sinar as the dominant studio brand for several decades makes them the easiest to acquire at decent pricing. I know you root for a different team, and a very good one, which is fine; but there are practical issues involved too. A person could probably buy several very nice Sinar monorail cameras these days for the price of a TK. And Sinar had a huuuuuge system all along - all kinds of interchangeable goodies. But Techni-Kardan is a very exclusive niche, with spare components relatively rare.

  7. #17

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Gosh, Bob, some bellows are a helluva lot easier to acquire or afford than others at this point in history. The sheer ubiquity of Sinar as the dominant studio brand for several decades makes them the easiest to acquire at decent pricing. I know you root for a different team, and a very good one, which is fine; but there are practical issues involved too. A person could probably buy several very nice Sinar monorail cameras these days for the price of a TK. And Sinar had a huuuuuge system all along - all kinds of interchangeable goodies. But Techni-Kardan is a very exclusive niche, with spare components relatively rare.
    One reason accessories for a TK are relatively rare is because so many features were built in that they weren’t necessary.
    As for bellows prices. It seems that that bellows maker in the UK makes them inexpensively.

    All that is left as add ons is a compendium, various focus aids (reflex, focus/meter bellows, fresnel), roll film backs and a w/a bellows.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Well, again Sinar made it really easy to turn a spare or even worn out standard bellows into an excellent compendium shade using a rod and couple of clips. All kind of Sinar accessories might have been obscenely overpriced back in the day, but certainly aren't anymore. One can easily afford entire spare camera just to cannibalize them of components if necessary. .... But that TK is a beauty; only, my current camera girlfriend is called "Norma" - she's real pretty too.

  9. #19
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Nobody wanted Horseman Rail cameras a few years ago

    I bought low and cannibalized some so I could make adapters

    Just saw a lot of good in Japan for Made in Japan cameras

    Yashica TLR A are opening up

  10. #20

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    Re: Inexpensive 4x5 field cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Every camera is specialized. even the cheapest

    Almost every user changes camera/lens/etc as they figure the game out

    Buy, learn, sell, repeat
    Maybe. With new(er) LF users there seems to be a carryover from small cameras especially digital... the buy/upgrade cycle... that involves shopping & changing gear. You can very easily buy a view camera.....& just use it. As an example the Toyo 45A is a professional model & although i've never owned one, a colleague has used the same one for 25+ years professionally. I used a '38 Deardorff 5x7 for at least a decade. A single box of 50 sheets of Kodak TX costs $150. Why scrimp on the camera...they are a bargain. Just buy a used pro model view camera. Jay Dusard still uses his Kodak 8x10 Masterview. Bernice Loui makes some really great points related to LF photography in general.....
    If you're on the North American continent... or further...... any problems with your Intrepid (cheap) or Gibellini (expensive) will kill you in shipping & time.
    Another upside of not buying the cheapest is that you might luck into a local sale and get more than you expected. Or you might buy a camera that appreciates....like an Ebony, (if you had bought it 10+ yrs ago) or an R.H. Phillips. Or you might stumble on a multi format camera like the Deardorff or Canham or Chamonix that will take both 5x7 and 4x5 backs. In many cases of looking for the cheapest, the old saw "pennywise, pound foolish" may apply.
    Last edited by Greg Y; 16-Oct-2021 at 13:26.

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