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Thread: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

  1. #81

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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellybarnett View Post
    After searching for an affordable 4x5 for a long time, I have come to the conclusion that there simply aren't many available on the market and that it’s better to wait until you can afford the camera you want.
    I imagine that a fair number of people go though the process that @abruzzi describes in the above post, but not everyone does. I decided that I wanted a monorail and purchased an Arca-Swiss Discovery as my first large format camera. This was Arca's entry-level camera, marketed at an attractive price to photography students. I've added bits and pieces to the Discovery over time, so now I can configure it for 4x5 or 8x10. The Arca has worked fine, including for travel. I've never used a field camera or felt the need to.*

    I'm just posting this to point out that sometimes one's first large format purchase works out well, not to recommend Arca's cameras in particular.


    Photo and specs for the Arca-Swiss Discovery
    from an old B&H catalogue.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My Discovery. This is stock except that I've changed out
    the Discovery function carriers, which work by friction,
    for geared ones. Friction works fine, geared is nice to have.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here, I've added an Arca leather bag bellows for use with
    wide angle lenses, in this case a 75mm Rodenstock.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    * I also have a 5x7 monorail (a Linhof Kardan Bi), but only because second-hand 5x7 parts for my Arca are hard to come by and the condition of the Linhof and price were right.
    Last edited by r.e.; 14-Jan-2022 at 12:41.

  2. #82

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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    Quote Originally Posted by fly fisher View Post
    Hi, if it's any help, I have been using a Calumet mono rail with an Ilex 8 1/2 inch lens and a Speed Graphic with a Schneider 150 mm. I am looking for a Graphlock 120 film back to fit both cameras. Of all the LF cameras out there these two are probably the least expensive. I would love to have a Swiss Arca set up, but it's way out of my price range.
    Just a quick look at EBAY right now shows THREE DOZEN Calumet 4x5 cameras starting at $100. You can't get any cheaper than that. Lenses can also be found for around the same price -- often much less!

    Then you can worry about the cost of film!

  3. #83
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    A brief glance at Facebook and the "Large Format Photo Gear B/S/T Group" showed me an $80 Calumet monorail, a $100 Omega monorail, a $225 Sinar monorail, and a plethora of lenses of varying types and prices.

    You can also simply order a new Intrepid for about $400.

    It is easy to put together a fantastic 4x5 kit with several lenses for what many pay for a mid-tier DSLR or an average inexpensive Leica 35mm camera. Unfortunately, beater Crown or Speed Graphics for $50 or so are basically a thing of the past, but even those can be found with a lens for $250 or so.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  4. #84

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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    It is easy to put together a fantastic 4x5 kit with several lenses for what many pay for a mid-tier DSLR or an average inexpensive Leica 35mm camera.
    Here's an even less expensive way:

    http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/close-up.htm

  5. #85
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    Maybe I am wrong as usual, but I read the OP Title as his standards are high

    Got a pun in there too

  6. #86

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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    ... and where is the OP with his first LF camera?

  7. #87

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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Maybe I am wrong as usual, but I read the OP Title as his standards are high

    Got a pun in there too
    I do have to raise my standards on the F to get it to fold down properly, but once its setup, I have to lower my standards, otherwise I can't get any rise out of them.

  8. #88
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Hunting for that special 4x5, my first LF camera

    Lol

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    i do have to raise my standards on the f to get it to fold down properly, but once its setup, i have to lower my standards, otherwise i can't get any rise out of them.

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