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Thread: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

  1. #71
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by B.S.Kumar View Post
    Perhaps I should have emphasized both words - Quality used. I don't think any of the cameras mentioned in this thread can be called "crap", though I could name some others. But let's not go there. Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses. My first 4x5 camera (Linhof Super Technika V) was certainly not crap. It simply wasn't the right tool for the images I wanted to create. And as for spending $1,000 when I could afford only $800, my accounting training obliges me to differ...

    Kumar
    Hold off on the purchase until you saved the $1000.

  2. #72
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    I think you could just as easily say that if someone can only afford an Intrepid 4x5 and not a Chamonix, as long as they care about the tool they've chosen, they will care about what comes out of it. You can choose to care about any of your tools, regardless of their cost/value. All I have for 4x5 is a first gen Intrepid, and I love it, in part because I won it in a competition five years ago, so I still feel like its a prize every time I use it.

    While its nice to have the best tools you can afford, it can become toxic to your creativity to tell yourself that only the ultra-expensive (insert brand name here) camera can get you where you want to go.

    I recall in an interview with Sally Mann that she stated that her favorite lenses were often the oldest, more damaged/compromised ones, because they added their own unique flavors to the work. Sally ain't no princess when it comes to tools.
    I've found that the more skin in the game a person has, the more they care how it comes out. They work harder to get better results.

  3. #73
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    If the OP could use some Linhof inspiration, here's what Roman Loranc can accomplish with his Linhof:
    https://www.romanloranc.com/

    And here's what John Sexton can do with his Linhof:
    https://shop.anseladams.com/collections/john-sexton

    To paraphrase Bernice what posted, the camera ain't the one taking the pictures so keep that in mind.

    Years ago I went out to buy a new tennis racket, knowing nothing about how tennis rackets have changed, so I asked a local tennis instructor what I should look for. He told me:
    "Find one in a color you like and get it." He told me.
    "If you like how it looks, you'll take it out more often"
    If you don't like how it looks, it'll sit in your closet, and that won't do you any good."

    It sounds like the OP likes the color of Linhof cameras.
    This works with a camera you're proud to own.

  4. #74
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Well, there you have it. Bernice has a totally different concept of an ideal "travel camera" than I do. Why would I tote a "box camera" when it's VC movements and long lens extensions I needed all along. Sinars aren't just for studios! Yeah, I supplement that system with the P67 kit and Fuji 6x9 RF's at the smaller end, but also an 8x10 folder at the upper end. Haven't even decided what I'll take out into the hills tomorrow, but it will probably be the Norma. One just needs to learn how to innovate carrying one. No need for a big metal chest or a dedicated camera pack with six pounds of rubber foam alone in it. And I've carried all the above cameras way up high peaks and ridges in all kinds of weather. If one finds that concept intolerable, well, there are always cell phone cameras, plus selfie sticks in lieu of ice axes and trekking poles. But when it comes to image quality, size does matter. Why go to all the effort and come back with compromise results? We've got it easy. Look up Vittoria Sella.

  5. #75

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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    For travel, there are other fixed lens box cameras that easily do FAR better than any view camera..

    Bernice

    After years of lugging a GREAT RB67 all over the Rockies, I am still so glad I moved on to my Toko 4x5". The RB was great, but my 4x5 is so much better -- and so much lighter, mainly because of the lenses!
    Last edited by xkaes; 26-Oct-2022 at 17:44.

  6. #76

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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I've found that the more skin in the game a person has, the more they care how it comes out. They work harder to get better results.
    I don't believe this is how ALL photographers function. I certainly don't.

  7. #77

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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by hiroh View Post
    One silly question — what is the most desirable camera in the LF world? I'd like to look at those cameras, as there is usually a reason for that.

    When I was looking for the MF camera, I ended up buying Rolleiflex 2.8F which is considered the most desirable Rolleiflex TLR, or maybe even TLR in general by many folks. I didn't know that at the time, and I purchased the camera just because I liked it, but years after I've seen many other TLRs and saw few advantages in 2.8F model. So, I can say I was lucky by choosing this camera, so with that experience, I'd like to look at the cameras that are considered most desirable in LF.
    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Bob Salomon suggested Camera West, but if its website is accurate it no longer carries Linhof although it has one used Linhof in stock.

    I can recommend Foto Care in New York City. It's an excellent dealer. Its website doesn't show any large format, but in fact it regularly carries used large format gear including lenses. Just phone.

    I agree with the earlier recommendation for Linhof Studio in the U.K., and would add Teamwork Photo in London for used gear. I've done business with, and like, both vendors. On export to the U.S. you won't pay UK VAT.

    My experience purchasing used equipment from B&H has been uniformly good. I've also had very good experiences using the classified section here.

    Hiroh,

    I'd like to add to my comment above about vendors. My impression from your post is that you give a lot of weight to how a camera feels in your hands and in use. I do myself, and I'd like to suggest that you try out more than one model of Linhof and at least one other make of camera if you're still open to other brands. It can be difficult to arrange this, but it's worth the effort. I'm sure that there are many participants in this forum who would be willing to spend an hour while you get a feel for their camera. If you live near New York, I'd be happy to show you an Arca-Swiss 4x5. Arca-Swiss only makes monorails, but there are reasons why many people, myself included, use them as field cameras. No doubt there are others who can show you Linhof bed and monorail cameras, and of course other brands such as Sinar. You could simply start a thread asking who lives in your general area and say what cameras you'd like to see.

    On specs, one really basic, but important, issue is whether the bed or rail will accommodate the shortest and longest lenses that you plan to use, and whether the camera will accommodate, inherently or via modular addition, shorter or longer focal lengths that you may want to use in the future.

    Modern technology can help reduce the weight and bulk of a large format camera, lenses and film holders. If you're prepared to scout and plan photographs in advance, a smartphone app like Artist's Viewfinder can dramatically reduce the amount of gear one carries. Alternatively, one can opt for the self-discipline of carrying one lens and adjusting to it. As I'm sure you know, that has worked quite well for some very accomplished photographers.
    Last edited by r.e.; 27-Oct-2022 at 07:04.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
    Sound Devices audio recorder, Schoeps & DPA mikes
    Mac Studio/Eizo with Capture One, Final Cut, DaVinci Resolve, Logic

  8. #78

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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Best, easiest to use LF camera I’ve had was the first one I ever owned, a Sinar A1, which was the entry level Sinar back in the early 1990s. Dumbest thing I ever did was sell it for peanuts and start looking for something better. What a mistake.

  9. #79

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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Best, easiest to use LF camera I’ve had was the first one I ever owned, a Sinar A1, which was the entry level Sinar back in the early 1990s. Dumbest thing I ever did was sell it for peanuts and start looking for something better. What a mistake.
    I can relate to that

    I purchased an Arca-Swiss Discovery as my first large format camera. There's a B&H catalogue page about it, from about 20 years ago, below. The Discovery was sold at an attractive price (US$1345 according to the catalogue), with photography students as the target market. I didn't sell it because the Arca-Swiss system is fully modular. The Discovery became the skeleton of the Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 that I have today. However, the original, simple Discovery configuration, which weighs about 6lbs/2.7kg (second photo below), will handle most of the 4x5 photography that I do. I'm quite sure that I could have stuck with this configuration without my photographic world ending.


    B&H Arca-Swiss Discovery Catalogue Page

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My Arca-Swiss Stripped Down to a Discovery
    (except that the rail carriers here are geared, not friction-based as on the Discovery)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
    Sound Devices audio recorder, Schoeps & DPA mikes
    Mac Studio/Eizo with Capture One, Final Cut, DaVinci Resolve, Logic

  10. #80
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose 4x5 camera to buy in 2022

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Kashi View Post
    Perhaps I've missed the point with all of the to-and-fro, but it seems that the OP as a new LF user initially has two decisions:

    1. Studio use only, or frequent field use away from home or a vehicle? That will affect whether to go with a lightweight, easily portable field rig or a less-portable monorail view camera.

    2. New or used? There are many excellent used cameras out there on Ebay, etc. and we all have our favorites, but for a new LF photographer may want to get a decent used camera to determine whether they want to pursue LF photography and, if so, what flavor of it?

    The finer points or one camera or another will gradually sort out for each person with increasing experience.
    I'm a new LF photographer. I bought a new camera. Who wants someone else's headache? If you buy a camera that has issues, it may turn you off completely with LF photography. It's bad enough I have to buy used lenses where the seller claims they tested the shutter speeds and they sound OK.

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