Hey all, my name is Brooks. I have been a photographer for quite a while now, having cut my teeth on 35mm before going digital and "upgrading" to a Nikon D40. After obsessively shooting with my D40, I couldn't manage to find what I was looking for, so I went back to film in the purchase of a Nikon FG-20. I've shot the heck out of that thing, but began feeling the need for something more "manual" or "old school" or something... So I picked up a Yashica A TLR and have shot quite a bit through it as well. I love both my FG-20 and my Yashica, but am seriously considering selling my entire D40 kit.

So here I am today, pondering another upgrade, this time to a Large Format camera. I've tried to do quite a bit of research on the topic, I've read a ton on the Bender and Bulldog kits, I've learned (I think) the difference between a field camera and a monorail, etc... So I am asking for some purchase advice. My budget is limited, as in I would like to be able to buy my entire LF outfit for what I could sell the D40 kit for. (50% of retail value would get me about $750, but if I find an eager buyer, I could likely get more)

Here is what I know that I want:

* Folder/Field camera, not a monorail.

* Ability to shoot at a rather wide angle. I really like landscape and nature photography and will likely focus almost solely on the "wide view" of things.

* I prefer the "look" of the wood cameras, but that isn't a necessity.

* Reasonably compact, as in I would like to be able to take it hiking/camping with me.

* Decent movement abilities. However, keeping my LF experience level in mind, even a very modest amount of movements will likely befuddle, bewitch and delight me for a long time to come.

That's really about all I've got for my criteria so far. I have no problem (and would in fact prefer, given my budget) to buy used.

I know these types of posts are very common on any hobby forum, and I've fielded quite a few of them myself on a digital photography forum I frequent, so I hope I have made this informative enough to warrant a response, instead of the typical "So, which LF camera is the bestest EVER?!" type post which I assume must pop up here on occasion.

Thanks so much in advance for any responses and help! This looks like it's going to be a great place to learn and grow in the LF hobby.