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Thread: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

  1. #1

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    Smile another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    Hello!

    I'm sorry to bother with this kind of question, I browsered on the forum and saw you got plenty, but some advices would be very helpful

    I'm a student in photography, I've been using a cambo, a sinar (both very heavy) and a toyo field camera at uni, but I don't really excel in it, I try to do things too fast, and sometime screw it up.

    The fact is that I'm planning to do a project during the summer and I'd like to buy a large format camera for myself. I would like to be able to have more time to prepare for it.

    I'm mainly looking for something light, but also very cheap.

    the project I'm working on is going to be in some ice rinks and I'm thinking to buy a 90mm super angulon (would it be a good choice of lens?)

    I found a calumet N45 camera for about 250$ in very good condition with a lot of extras, and also a Gandolfi Variant (is on ebay I'm still waiting to see what the price will be) for cheap but I don't know if I could mount the 90mm lens on the field camera. Would it still work? Would I be able to straighten the lines with it?
    I will probably mainly shoot architectural stuff, but I'm a small girl and don't want to walk with a very heavy camera.

    so the main things are : light, cheap, wide angle

    I hope that some of you could help me, I would ask my tutors, but we are on spring break and I would really like to get started.

    cheers and thanks!

    p.s. I just discovered this website, and I'm speechless it's really a great resource!

  2. #2
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    The Gandolfi Variant can take lenses down to 47mm, so that will be a good camera for your use.

  3. #3

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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    thank you! Will I be able to make all the movement and the architectural lines straight with that camera?

  4. #4
    Widows and Orphans Beware
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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    I can't tell which Calumet camera you're looking at, but the Gandolfi would be an excellent choice. I've never owned or used one, but their reputation is excellent and appear to be good value for the dollar. I don't think that you'll be able to pick one up in what I would consider the "super cheap" price zone, but if you do, snap it up.

  5. #5

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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    For architecture, lenses: 47XL, (the regular 47 is for 6x7cm and not for 4x5") 58XL, 75, 90, 115/121.

    I use the 58XL, 75 and 115 for architecture.
    Any camera that has shifts for these lenses will do.
    Look for a bag-bellows aswell.

    Have fun !

    Peter

  6. #6
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    Most cameras are capable of that - I know that the Gandolfi Variant is since I have owned one, and that's how I know that it is capable of using very short lenses too.

    Yes, it has enough movements for architecture. Note that there are different models of these, called Level 1 through Level 3 as well as an older model without "level".

    The only one I could find on ebay right now has no front swing, but that is not really necessary since it has good rear swing capability.

    It's a very capable camera, and there aren't really many which are as rigid as that one, or lighter, and i know none that are both lighter and as strong and locks down as tightly.

  7. #7

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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    thank you everyone! you already have been very helpful

    I'm very interested in the Gandolfi-Variant now but I'm seeing that the price is getting higher and there still a 8 hours left. I'm looking for other ones over the internet but can't find any. I will look more and follow the auction of the one I found on ebay hoping it won't get too expensive for me.

    if anyone has any suggestion for other similar camera I would love to know more!

    p.s. what about the calumet one? I read that is a good student camera, but will I be able to find the lens board?

  8. #8
    Widows and Orphans Beware
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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    Can you be more specific on the Calumet? Is it the wood field camera?

  9. #9

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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    it's the N45. Unluckily I don't know a lot of details about it, I'm making research right now
    here there is a picture:

  10. #10
    Widows and Orphans Beware
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    Re: another newbie :) choosing the right camera.

    Ok, a rail camera. I think it's this one:

    http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/CC4020/

    I don't know what that camera weighs, but it sounds like a fair price. I'm a big fan of rail cameras in the field. The best in terms of weight and portability are the Toho and the Arca F series. There was a Toho for sale here recently. It might still be available, but it's going to cost more than you seem to want to spend. I would have picked it up myself if I could have justified another rail camera. The Arca F series costs more. You might get an older Arca without the collapsing rail for around $400 if you look hard.

    The super angulon is a nice lens and there is one for sale here at a very good price.

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