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Looking For A Light Weight LF Camera

by katcons
Is there a "light weight" large format camera, preferably 8-10kg including the lens, holders, and tripod? :)

I'd like to explore some options, as I hope to travel a lot in 2010 for work and hopefully insert some R&R time in between. During these trips, I prefer not to be chauffered around/accompanied when possible (I don't want to impose on the local representatives who will do the escorting, and I will be occupying their weekends, the only time they can really rest), and discover nice spots on my own when I can.

However, I hope to do some portraits with it as well, but I guess this will depend on the lens already. Understandably, with the weight considerations, I'll be exploring the 4x5 or 5x7s first.

Something light and all-around. Is this possible? :) I've been walking around my province more and realizing the need to go large already.

Been reading up on Shenhao cameras here:

http://www.kgcphoto.com/Reviews_&_Tutorials/shen-hao_and_lf_lenses.htm (http://www.kgcphoto.com/Reviews_&_Tutorials/shen-hao_and_lf_lenses.htm)

And Speed/Crown Graphic:

http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/which-model.html

Still, I'd like to ask your opinion and recommendations. Many thanks, and Happy New Year!

  • With a 4x5 field camera and a medium grade carbon-fiber tripod you can put together a kit under 10kg but you need to watch the ounces. The Shen Hao is not particularly light; I would consider something really light, like a Nagoaka or Toho, and then it will not need as heavy a tripod to support it.
    - Sam Crater, 4 years ago
  • Get a "near mint top rangefinder 4x5 Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a cammed 135mm f/4.7 Schneider Xenar in a Synchro-Compur shutter with the narrow chrome speed adjustment dial" for between $275-$350 USD on eBay. Don't settle for less, this was the best version of the Crown Graphic. If the rangefinder or shutter need service, Fred Lustig or "the Camera Wiz" provide excellent service.

    Get a Harrison Pup-Tent changing tent, ten Fidelity or Lisco plastic film holders, a Toyo Hood Loupe. And a #2 or 3-series Gitzo tripod or a Leitz Tiltall or other medium sized quality tripod.

    And just shoot a lot of film.
    - Frank Petronio, 4 years ago
  • If 4x5 is big enough for you, my lightest outfit is hard to beat: Toho (1.1 kg/2.4 lb), old MPP wooden tripod (1.1 kg/2.4 lb with head), 120/6.8 Angulon c. 300g/10 oz in panel, Grafmatic holders (6 shots) about 450g/1 lb each. Carry six, that's 36 shots, 2.7 kg/6 lb. Camera, lens, tripod, holders, under 6 kg/13 lb the lot. Of course you then need/want meter, hood, filters, bag, dark cloth, focusing loupe...

    Shenhaos are heavy and fairly crude; Graphics, very limited.

    Cheers,

    R.
    - Roger Hicks, 4 years ago
  • If you are looking for a lightweight camera don't consider a Speed Graphic unless you are prepared to do the surgery to remove the focal plane shutter. Consider only the Crown Graphics.

    A nice wooden field cameras will have noticeably more movements than a press camera and some are lighter. Back in the '70s and '80s there were models from Ikeda (rare) and Nagaoka (more common) that were extremely light.

    I had an Ikeda for some 20 years and it served well. I had one of the last Schneider 90 Angulons (very modern shutter and good modern coatings) that complimented the like Ikeda well. Angulons have slightly less coverage (~5 degrees less) than the more modern Super Angulon but weigh only a fraction as much, hardly more than an empty shutter, and have more even illumination across the field. Paired with my Nikkor-W 180mm f/5.6 I made a nice kit that would fit in a rather large waist bag with room for meter, focusing cloth, magnifier, and 6 film holders or so.
    - Dwig, 4 years ago
  • I've traveled internationally with a Anniversary Graphic and a Super Graphic (one or the other, never both at the same time). Both are a tad heavier than a Crown but it really isn't a problem... unless one is a real weakling.
    - Gumby, 4 years ago
  • You should consider: Horseman HD - full front movements, no rear movements. Lightweight at 3.75 lbs. & compact. Folds into a box with lenses such as Rodenstock 135N attached.

    The FA also has rear movements but is slightly heavier (2 kg.)

    I have just returned from a trip to Colorado with a Busch Pressman and three lenses, and a Graphmatic. Worked fine. I put the camera body in the checked bag and carried the lenses in my carry-on bag.

    The Horseman would have saved me about 1 lb.
    - besk, 4 years ago
  • They don't come much lighter than the Toho which has excellent movements.

    However, I prefer a press type camera for speed of setup and the fact that it folds into it's own "box."
    - besk, 4 years ago
  • Angulons have slightly less coverage (~5 degrees less) than the more modern Super Angulon but weigh only a fraction as much, hardly more than an empty shutter, and have more even illumination across the field.

    ...and Angulons need to be used at f/11 or less, preferably f/16 or less -- f/6.8 is for focusing only -- while Super Angulons can be used at full aperture. I have both, and have had other examples of both. I find the 120 Angulon vastly more useful than the 90. Again, I have both.

    (I'm not arguing with you, just pointing out that there are other good reasons besides coverage why Angulons are smaller and cheaper).

    Cheers,

    R.
    - Roger Hicks, 4 years ago
  • In the quest for lightweight, small, compact, sharp enough to make you bleed lenses...

    Fuji 125mm/5.6 in a Copal #0 shutter
    Kodak 127mm Ektar in a Kodak shutter
    Kodak 203mm Ektar in a Kodak shutter

    Shop carefully and you can buy 2 of the three for less than $400. A lot less if you pick both Kodak lenses. The Fuji offers a bit more image circle.

    Good luck! Like Frank said, shoot a ton of film.
    - venchka, 4 years ago
  • I love my Canham 810. The Crown Graphic is super light as Frank says. I used one with the RF removed and a ground glass for years.
    - sepiareverb, 4 years ago
  • It's not the lightest weight, but the Toyo 45A is very compact, a field design with enough movements for everything but exacting architectural work. It is also pretty much bullet proof in terms of durability. It's just over 6lbs, so would cut down on the rest of the kit, but the sturdiness and rigidity.

    I own a Zone VI (wooden) tripod which is way too heavy, so I am considering something much lighter. I'm going to have a look at the new Vanguard tripods as well as the usual suspects.

    There are lots of good lens suggestions. Fujinons are also good choices. I have the 90 & 150, but am very interested in the 340, which is very small and light by LF lens standards. It would likely become my choice for one-lens travel, but the 150 is not huge or heavy.

    Edit: There's also the Toyo 45CF (http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45CF/45CF.html), a carbon fibre model that has more movements and is not expensive as many other 4X5s bought new.
    - Trius, 4 years ago
  • Is there a "light weight" large format camera, preferably 8-10kg including the lens, holders, and tripod? :)

    I'd like to explore some options, as I hope to travel a lot in 2010 for work and hopefully insert some R&R time in between. During these trips, I prefer not to be chauffered around/accompanied when possible (I don't want to impose on the local representatives who will do the escorting, and I will be occupying their weekends, the only time they can really rest), and discover nice spots on my own when I can.

    However, I hope to do some portraits with it as well, but I guess this will depend on the lens already. Understandably, with the weight considerations, I'll be exploring the 4x5 or 5x7s first.

    Something light and all-around. Is this possible? :) I've been walking around my province more and realizing the need to go large already.

    Been reading up on Shenhao cameras here:

    http://www.kgcphoto.com/Reviews_&_Tutorials/shen-hao_and_lf_lenses.htm (http://www.kgcphoto.com/Reviews_&_Tutorials/shen-hao_and_lf_lenses.htm)

    And Speed/Crown Graphic:

    http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/which-model.html

    Still, I'd like to ask your opinion and recommendations. Many thanks, and Happy New Year!

    I used to use a Wista 45DX with a Fujinon 180mm f/9 (APO) lens. The lens is very compact and it and the camera made a great combination. The lens has enough coverage for the camera movements and can focus 1:1 if you are into macro things (in addition to which it is corrected for close distances).

    Didn't weigh it at the time, but it would have to be one of the lighter combinations you could find if 4x5 is big enough.
    - Tom Diaz, 4 years ago
  • Got this one my self, light, enough moments and was lucky to get it 2nd hand for a fair price, 1.4 kg ain´t bad either

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/45.html

    But if price is more important get a Graflex and spend the rest of the money on a good 150/180mm or 135mm if you prefer more wide angle.
    Have my chamonix, 180 nikkor with board, lightmeter and a loupe in a Lowepro Omni sport, just add a tripod and some filmholders and your ready to go :)

    vha
    - vha, 4 years ago
  • Thank you so much, everyone, for your responses. :) I'll look into each of those options.

    However, has anyone used this:

    http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~razzle/Three_new_Razzles_2.jpg

    http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~razzle/Three_new_Razzles_3.jpg


    Razzle Dog (http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~razzle/)
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Those are quite different than a true view camera. Depends on what your needs are, what you want to do.
    - Trius, 4 years ago
  • If you want the smallest, most portable 4x5 system, wouldn't a modified Polaroid Land Camera fit the bill (assuming you don't want movements)?
    - Morca007, 4 years ago
  • Thanks, Trius and Morca007. I saw that there were no knobs for movement, so I may just go for the view camera in the meantime, and if weight will still be an issue, I might get these or the Polaroid Land.
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Yet another vote for Crown Graphic. Do some research and I think you will find it's a rocking Rangefinder and fine field view camera. Best part is that it's priced really reasonably compared to some of the alternatives. The Kodak glass is most excellent, though you can find some better but at a much higher price point.

    B2 (;->
    - BillBingham2, 4 years ago
  • I saw one being sold at the marketplace for $700. I wonder why it hasn't sold yet.

    Thanks, everyone! Keep em coming!
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • I'm surprised no one has suggested Peter
    Gowland's cameras. His pocket view camera
    gives you 4x5 in about three pounds:

    http://petergowland.com/camera/index.html

    Peter is still alive and making cameras -- buying
    one of these cameras is investing in a legend.
    - Sanders McNew, 4 years ago
  • Sanders... you beat me by 2 minutes +/-

    Yeh, same question.
    - newspaperguy, 4 years ago
  • Yeah, but ya gotta have really big pockets ...
    - Trius, 4 years ago
  • You may want to check this out: http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45CF/45CF.html

    I have just started using the Toyo Field 45 AII and am impressed with the Toyo system.

    Best regards,

    Bob
    - rpsawin, 4 years ago
  • I have both a speed graphic and an Alpenhaus polaroid conversion. Very different beasts ...

    I am starting to prefer the polaroid, it has a coincident rangefinder and viewfinder, much more like a leica .... The one that I got made does have some minimal movements, but I have never used them. I have two grafmatic backs, and when loaded, I can shoot them almost like a roll film.

    While the Speed could be used the same way like WeeGee, I have just not got the range finder dialed in. However, with the 210mm Schnider, it's amazing! Much different pace .... Do a search for a my posts, and some images will pop up. I'll get off my laurels as I have about 10 more to put up on my site.

    Dave
    - djonesii, 4 years ago
  • Thanks, everyone.:) For those who recommmended the crown/speed graphics, how often do you "move" it? Since if the polaroids and its equivalents are light anyway, I might as well be the one doing the moving. :)
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Like a lot of others, I sing the praises of a 4x5 Crown Graphic. Light, and folds up to a very small and compact package. Marvels of simplicity and engineering, and darn cheap too. Furnish w/ the lens of your choice, although I am partial to the Heliars. I use a Polaroid reflex viewer w/ mine since I don't like focusing under a dark cloth, or the upside down image in the ground glass w/o one. My tripods of choice are cheap and old, but they're fine. A Tiltall is great and will set you back only $80 or so used. Get the original that's made by the Marchioni brothers in New Jersey. About 6 lbs w/ the head. Usually I like an even lighter tripod and go w/ a Star D (not the heavy ones w/ center columns) that is about half that weight.
    - Steve M., 4 years ago
  • You can handhold and rangefinder focus the modified Razzledog and Alpenhaus (and other) Polaroids, as well as the Crown and Speed Graphics. There are also these cameras called Linhof Technicas that are quite wonderful and Leica-like -- but $$$.

    To use movements, you generally have to tripod mount the camera and work with the ground glass rather than the rangefinder. In which case the limited range of movements offered by the Polaroids and Graphics may be frustrating, but sometimes all you need is a little pinch.

    But if you intend to use movements and tripod mounting, then a monorail camera like a Sinar F2 or Cambos or a Toyo G or dozens of others would be more useful, at the expense of bulk and weight.

    If you value wood and lighter weight over metal and precision, then get a folding wooden field camera like a Shen-Hao or Chamonix or Ebony or Deardorff. If you want something solid but but compact, a metal field or technical camera will work best... and so on -- there are probably a hundred good options that are all good, it really depends on your needs. Many people buy and sell and swap and trade to see what works for them.

    That said, a Crown Graphic is probably the best value and a good camera to learn from. The metal studio-type monorails are also quite a good bargain because all the hobby outdoor photographers have been conditioned into thinking they need a pretty wooden camera to make a nature picture ;-)

    I've had two of the converted Polaroids. Razzledog is a great guy to deal with but they are not general purpose cameras, I think they make a good second alternative 4x5. I am not a fan of the Polaroid rangefinder itself.
    - Frank Petronio, 4 years ago
  • Ken says....

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/tachihara.htm

    ;)
    - wakarimasen, 4 years ago
  • Get a "near mint top rangefinder 4x5 Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a cammed 135mm f/4.7 Schneider Xenar in a Synchro-Compur shutter with the narrow chrome speed adjustment dial" for between $275-$350 USD on eBay. Don't settle for less, this was the best version of the Crown Graphic. If the rangefinder or shutter need service, Fred Lustig or "the Camera Wiz" provide excellent service.

    Get a Harrison Pup-Tent changing tent, ten Fidelity or Lisco plastic film holders, a Toyo Hood Loupe. And a #2 or 3-series Gitzo tripod or a Leitz Tiltall or other medium sized quality tripod.

    And just shoot a lot of film.

    Best advice! The Ektars on the Graphics are also not bad, the 127mm I've got is a really nice lens. The Graphics are on the heavier side, but I couldn't live without the range-finder: a helpful tool!
    - Roger Vadim, 4 years ago
  • For absolute minimum size, a KW Patent-Etui 9x12cm - that is just slightly less than 4x5", and these were pocket cameras indeed. Smaller than a 4x5 holder in width, length and edge height, and tapering from a 35mm lens bulge at the centre. The best versions came with a Tessar and Compur shutter good enough by current standards. 20's vintage metal holders are tiny too - however, they are quite surprisingly heavy.
    - sevo, 4 years ago
  • Canham DLC. Lightweight, metal 4X5 that is a kind-of hybrid between a folding and rail design. I use mine with lenses between 65mm and 450mm, with the standard bellows, which is almost unheard of in the LF world.

    This is not the most precise view camera (get a Sinar for precision), but it will lock down plenty tight and, with a hand-held level, give you enough control and movments for most any work. And Keith Canham will provide the best customer support out there.
    - HMFriedman, 4 years ago
  • I'm going to jump on the Crown Graphic train, even though I own one of the Nagoakas in 5x7 (the 4x5 would be a nice choice). I would go with Frank's exact setup-- truly amazing what you will be able to accomplish without destroying the bank. As Wayne pointed out, a Kodak 127mm would also be a nice pairing.

    I own a Super Graphic that I got for a great price and have paired it with the 135mm Xenar and the Kodak 203mm. The added fun of this setup is the portability -- I now bring it along on business trips with just a few holders and a Gitzo traveler, a great way to unwind and re-focus after a long day of meetings. This sort of ultimate portability would certainly be possible with a regular field camera, but the Graphic makes it effortless.

    Good luck,

    JT
    - JCT, 4 years ago
  • Thanks, everyone. :) Looks like the Crown Graphics are winning, and I'll still read up some more. Hoping I get a good deal on evilbay. Or maybe even Keh.
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Be careful ebay. Some sellers have no clue what they are selling. Don't buy without a return policy. Lightleaks in the bellows are a deal killer. It usually costs more to fix than the camera is worth. A faulty shutter is a $50-$75 fix.

    Too bad you aren't a member of the Large Format Photography Forum. There is a great MPP camera & lens for sale now for only $400. The English version of a Linhof Technika for a LOT less money.
    - venchka, 4 years ago
  • Thank you, Venchka. :) I will be signing up there now.
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • You have to be a member for 30 days before you gain access to the for sale listings.
    - venchka, 4 years ago
  • For absolute minimum size, a KW Patent-Etui 9x12cm - that is just slightly less than 4x5", and these were pocket cameras indeed. Smaller than a 4x5 holder in width, length and edge height, and tapering from a 35mm lens bulge at the centre. The best versions came with a Tessar and Compur shutter good enough by current standards. 20's vintage metal holders are tiny too - however, they are quite surprisingly heavy.

    I have only seen that camera on ebay, but I have been tempted to buy more than once. It is indeed small.

    I was going to recommend 9x12 for consideration myself. There are others as well that still aren't that heavy. Just a tad smaller than 4x5, but a lot easier to carry, and some good lenses as well. I think there might have been a couple of them with full movements at the front standard. Certainly some had rise and fall as well as shift, and side tilt wasn't uncommon, which can be used sideways for forward and back tilt.

    The down side is getting one with a good shutter (figure on some time with lighter fluid), and worse, finding film holders. They are out there, just hard to find.

    However, using them is fun, and they are light to carry, and hand holdable/usable.

    If you are insisting on 4x5, you might want to consider Cambos. I don't recall the model number, but they had a monrail that was very light.
    - oftheherd, 4 years ago
  • You might want to check the availability of 9x12 film or at least gauge your desire to cut 4x5 down.
    - Frank Petronio, 4 years ago
  • If you want the lightest, it's hard to beat a Nagaoka 4x5 at 2 pounds 11 ounces without a lens. (Yes, 2lb 11oz!)

    And check this page (http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/lightwei.htm) for good reviews of lightweight lenses.
    - ChrisN, 4 years ago
  • The MPP is sold. The good stuff never lasts long. It wasn't light.
    - venchka, 4 years ago
  • The MPP is sold. The good stuff never lasts long. It wasn't light.

    Oh, drat! :) This is the reason why I shouldn't go offline anymore! I think I need more research still anyway, and I will log on there soon.

    Thanks, Chris, Frank, oftheherd. :) All of your comments are really helpful.
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • You might want to check the availability of 9x12 film or at least gauge your desire to cut 4x5 down.

    That is a good point I forgot to mention. I think it is available from a couple of places, but when I want to use 9x12, I just cut down 4x5. As much as I like 9x12, it isn't the only thing I ever use, nor even the most used. It is a good alternative to 4x5 when weight is a consideration.
    - oftheherd, 4 years ago
  • Hi, guys, thanks. :) However, I don't have the cojones to cut film, may just mess it up!

    I think I have to narrow down my search to 4x5s or 5x7s in the meantime.
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Got this one my self, light, enough moments and was lucky to get it 2nd hand for a fair price, 1.4 kg ain´t bad either

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/45.html

    But if price is more important get a Graflex and spend the rest of the money on a good 150/180mm or 135mm if you prefer more wide angle.
    Have my chamonix, 180 nikkor with board, lightmeter and a loupe in a Lowepro Omni sport, just add a tripod and some filmholders and your ready to go :)

    vha
    How do you like the Chamonix, vha? Which model do you have? Imressions, opinions? I'm really curious to try one. I shoot with a Toyo 45 field right now (AII- but I'd switch to the A's reversible back to save weight), but I'm interested in something lighter. The CF is indeed light weight, but you sacrifce some movements and from my experience with the camera, some rigidity and build quality, too. If you shoot with wider lenses, perhaps a Walker camera would serve.

    Lots of talk about the Graphics in this thread, and Polaroid conversions like razzle dog appear, but as someone else pointed out, these are very different beasts. Be sure whether you want a view camera to mount on a tripod, or a large format camera to shoot in a similar way to your smaller cameras (i.e. handheld) and choose accordingly. I'd love to have at least one of each type, but as we probably all know, collecting cameras gets in the way. Anyway, that's another thread...
    - drewbarb, 4 years ago
  • I vote for the chamonix 45 as the lightest weight "no compramise" general purpose feild camera. I went from a Nagaoka (same as the anba ikeda) which weighed much less to a wista 45 (same as the tachihara) to the chamonix. The nagaoka weighed less but was flimsy and limited lens choices and was a pain to use 'real world'. Only consider this camera if your the type who goes backpacking and cuts up your toothbrush to save weight. The wista was overall a much better sturdier camera untill i tried the chamonix. The chamonix weighs about the same (maybe a little heavier) but is rocksolid when locked down, is more adaptable (graflok back/interchangable bellows) longer bellows (for those longer lenses you'll need for portraits) which it handles very well. Movements are 10x easier to deploy than the wista. The general footprint of both cameras are about the same. I bought my wista for $500 used (and sold it for the same amount) while i bought my chamonix new for a bit more. If you compare to the shen hao i would still go with the chamonix (weight savings, solidity, dosen't have useless feild movements).

    Now thats a general lightweight feild camera. If you think your tastes go more towards portraits then i would go with a speed graphic with a functional focal plane shutter. But the ultimate portrait camera in LF (personally) would be the Sinar p2. It weighs a ton but it'll blow all other cameras out of the water period.
    - stompyq, 4 years ago
  • Toyo vx125 - field monorail camera light and just fantastic to use...
    - spkennedy3000, 4 years ago
  • There seems to be some controversy over where the Fresnel gets placed by the Chamonix factory -- I haven't followed it but it's not good PR for what otherwise looks like a popular camera. It got a lot of hype when it first came out but now there are a few threads on the LF Photo forum of why people ditched theirs.

    There is no perfect all-around view camera, if you haven't figured that out yet ;-)

    The nice thing about the internet is that you can buy one, try it, then try a different style, and pretty much break even with every trade so that you are merely "renting". Once you know what you like, then you can keep it. I tell young women this advice all the time too, I get some queer looks but the smart ones do exactly that!
    - Frank Petronio, 4 years ago
  • Hi, guys, thanks. :) However, I don't have the cojones to cut film, may just mess it up!

    I think I have to narrow down my search to 4x5s or 5x7s in the meantime.

    Indeed you should only do what you are comfortable with. But trying new things is fun in itself, and cutting film with a small paper cutter is rather easy. As to the 9x12, it isn't the be all end all any more that 4x5 cameras are, but all photography is full of trade offs. Again, if you aren't comfortable with it, you won't use it, and your idea will be of no value.
    - oftheherd, 4 years ago
  • Be careful ebay. Some sellers have no clue what they are selling. Don't buy without a return policy. Lightleaks in the bellows are a deal killer. It usually costs more to fix than the camera is worth. A faulty shutter is a $50-$75 fix.


    Although it's often a problem on other field/monorail cameras, the bellows on the Crowns/Speeds seem to hold up a lot better.
    - ethics_gradient, 4 years ago
  • Just weighed the Toho set up (note Toho not Toyo). Camera, 120/6.8 Angulon, 2x Grafmatics (12 sheets), MPP tripod, Novoflex head, 4 kg. the lot. Focusing cloth, loupe, meter, hood, filters add about 1 kg more.

    Anyone wanting an MPP could do worse than to join the MPP Users Club: www.mppusers.freeuk.com.

    Cheers,

    R.
    - Roger Hicks, 4 years ago
  • ...and Angulons need to be used at f/11 or less, preferably f/16 or less -- f/6.8 is for focusing only -- while Super Angulons can be used at full aperture. I have both, and have had other examples of both. I find the 120 Angulon vastly more useful than the 90. Again, I have both.

    (I'm not arguing with you, just pointing out that there are other good reasons besides coverage why Angulons are smaller and cheaper).

    Cheers,

    R.

    I don't disagree at all.

    In the time I used the 90 Angulon I never needed or wanted to use it at a wide aperture. I primarily used it for the classic "rocks and trees" stuff and F/22 was probably my most used stop.

    The only time that I remember using it wide was when a played with the antique trick of removing the font cell to double the focal length and get a slightly soft portrait lens. Schneider actually advertised the lens as a convertable in the early days of its production, roughly a century ago, long before the first coated version. Stopped down, the converted lens could deliver a moderately sharp image, but not stellar.
    - Dwig, 4 years ago
  • Get a "near mint top rangefinder 4x5 Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a cammed 135mm f/4.7 Schneider Xenar in a Synchro-Compur shutter with the narrow chrome speed adjustment dial" for between $275-$350 USD on eBay. Don't settle for less, this was the best version of the Crown Graphic. If the rangefinder or shutter need service, Fred Lustig or "the Camera Wiz" provide excellent service.

    Get a Harrison Pup-Tent changing tent, ten Fidelity or Lisco plastic film holders, a Toyo Hood Loupe. And a #2 or 3-series Gitzo tripod or a Leitz Tiltall or other medium sized quality tripod.

    And just shoot a lot of film.


    That combination (Crown Graphic with the Xenar) was my entry into the format for little money, as you suggest Frank. Couldn't agree more, especially since... it took a while to use it enough to develop an appetite for more movements and... got a Shen Hao too. Now I know that if the latter was my first LF I would have used it less often. Portability depends not just on the weight but also on how many knoobs you need to turn/adjust before shooting. No wonder the Graphlex was the speedy PJ choice for so long...

    The question for Frank: what is the "..the narrow chrome speed adjustment dial" ?

    George
    - zgeeRF, 4 years ago
  • I've had 2 or 3 of the Super Graphics (one a Super Speed). They are a bit heavier than the other Graflex cameras discussed here.

    However, I picked up a "rat" super that would have been prohibitive to restore (on my budget). It was also missing the bellows, so the red button shutter was compromised.

    So, I stripped out all the electronics and rangefinder parts that were still attached. It's been sent in for a new bellows, in order for use as a ground glass view camera.

    I will also take a half inch off the top when it gets back (the place where all the rangefinder and battery stuff used to live).

    When all this is done, I hope to have an all metal graflex that will weigh somewhat less than a Speed or Crown. I have a Fujinar 150W in a small Seiko shutter.

    My purpose here is to come up with a durable metal, fairly light, view camera with a bit more movements than the earlier Graflex cameras. The Super had additional front movements over the earlier models, with swing and shift added by Graflex. In addition, there are some tweaks that increase the range of the front movements on the Super and Super Speed front standards.

    I will add that the one camera that I haven't seen mentioned here, and is the lightest 4X5 I've packed around is the Gowland Pocket, or the Calumet branded Gowland Pocket. Nothing that I have ever used for 4X5 with considerable movements has ever been lighter than the Pocket's. They show up on eBay 2 or 3 times a year and sell for $150 to $300. They are just a little trickier to lock down the movements (all friction). But, with a lens and shutter, probably about 4 to 5.5 pounds complete.
    - kuzano, 4 years ago
  • I guess I am not going to bother much with the "lightweight" aspect (which I should, but others have covered it pretty well).

    I will comment that I love the graphmatic backs. The only problem is that you really have to put six sheets of the same film in there. It is way too confusing to try to mix and match developing / exposing. In other words, you get six shot "rolls" (OK, magazines).

    They are very easy to load, assuming the septums are straight, and pretty easy to operate. And they work well with press cameras. I suspect that working with ground glass would make you lean more towards traditional film holders, but I don't really know. I can't deal with focusing gg.

    Best selling point: they are smaller than three film holders.
    - degruyl, 4 years ago
  • I think regular film holders could complement Grafmatics nicely. I shoot mostly B&W in 35mm, and every once and a while I come across a shot I wish I could switch to color for. I'm still in the process of assembling my Speed Graphic kit, but I think ideally I'd have 2-4 Grafmatics loaded with B&W film, and maybe three or so regular holders for color.
    - ethics_gradient, 4 years ago
  • I think regular film holders could complement Grafmatics nicely. I shoot mostly B&W in 35mm, and every once and a while I come across a shot I wish I could switch to color for. I'm still in the process of assembling my Speed Graphic kit, but I think ideally I'd have 2-4 Grafmatics loaded with B&W film, and maybe three or so regular holders for color.

    I'll have to try a Grafmatic sometime. In the meantime, I use a latest model Kodak Easyload. I use Easyloads and Quickloads. No film loading, no dust problems, use whatever ISO, emulsion, color or B/W, with each shot. Early Kodak Easy Load units had problems, but the last version of the Kodak unit is as reliable as the Fuji Quick Load backs.

    Some complain about the expense, and limited selection, but I have about 160 Quick and Easy load envelopes in the freezer. Personally, I don't consider the expense a big issue if you count your time as expense and the freedom from avoiding dust during loading film in backs.
    - kuzano, 4 years ago
  • Guys, I'm currently eyeing a Graflex but it's the body only. No lens, no ground glass, no back. Can you recommend an ebay seller where I can get those three in one go? I checked ebay for the backs, they go pretty fast!
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Just be patient. Some people chop their Graphics down to in order to sell the parts at higher prices, don't fall for that. You want one all set up with the back, lens, and the cam so it all works together -- it will be less expensive and less hassle. Replacing the cam is the bugger on these cameras so just avoid doing if you can. This is the exact model I described (with the narrow-rim rounded aperture shutter):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Graflex-Crown-Graphic-Special-4x5-Top-Rangefinder-Xenar_W0QQitemZ110469626376QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm _Cameras?hash=item19b880ba08#ht_8709wt_1159

    I usually pay about $350 for them in the USA. I think that seller is decent. Search for "Crown, Xenar". The good thing about that seller is that they know what they are selling and you know the rangefinder works, etc. You can find them for $200 but usually the seller doesn't know the camera's ass from its lens (or some other quaint saying).

    The Grafmatic holders are nice but they also encourage you to overshoot so I got rid of mine. The pace (I do portraits) is better when you slow down a tad. The weight difference isn't much because the Grafmatics are heavier metal versus light plastic double side 4x5 holders. Also the Grafmatics are expensive and they are more mechanical, as in they fail once in a while or you can accidently buy a bad one... so don't worry about them right away.

    mpex.com might have some in stock and Jim Andracki there can put together an entire outfit for you -- holders, loupe, tent, etc. KEH might be good too although the sales people don't know large format as well.

    No offense to the RFF experts, but start lurking here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/index.php

    And read this: http://www.largeformatphotography.info

    You'll see some familiar names, these are the two best photo forums on the Internet (http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/index.php is good for digital too).
    - Frank Petronio, 4 years ago
  • the lens question also depends on what film formats you want to shoot.... a 90 LF on 6x9 feels like a 40 - 50 mm on 35mm.. use the smaller Fuji instant film and it gets more wide, like a 35.. I pondered that lens question for ages before ending up with a 90 4.5 Caltar - and it offers me the flexibility I need, so I can use the my setup as an insane MF camera with movements.
    - noci, 4 years ago
  • Not to hijack, but when I use a 150 on 4x5 I have the sense that it is a bit wide, at least in comparison to a 50 on 35mm. Given the aspect ratio of 4x5, I should think it would be opposite. Or maybe I'm just not getting close enough. ;)

    In any event, this is what has me thinking of getting something in the 210-240 range to complement the 150.
    - Trius, 4 years ago
  • http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/arca-rm3d.shtml

    Should cost not be important.:)

    yours
    FPJ
    - FPjohn, 4 years ago
  • Got my self a Fotoman 45PS which I'm having setup with a 90mm SA. No movements but I'm more likely to go out and about with it.
    - Yammerman, 4 years ago
  • FWIW, I purchased my Super Graphic from the guy that Frank has linked to on Ebay.

    Completely honest, he knows his stuff and is great to deal with. I'd buy from him again, no problem.

    No connection, just a pleased customer.

    JT
    - JCT, 4 years ago
  • Crown and Speed Graphics with beautiful 127 Ektar lenses were almost all we used, my first 7 years as a school photographer. We covered everything from product shots to portraits to sports with them, and it occurs that I should share some of our technique.
    We almost always shot with Stroboflash IV units, which gave a good exposure at about 15'-20' at about f/16-f/22 for sports-type action.
    For moving targets---US football or basketball or whatever---we set the camera at f/16, hoped the action came toward us, and pushed the shutter solenoid battery pack button when it was about 15' away. There was no rangefinder focusing on moving targets; we either used the wire frame finder (in the second notch from the top for parallax correction at that distance) or sometimes the optical viewfinder if that camera had a good one.
    This obviously required skills such as correct anticipation of where the action would happen, to be in position and ready.
    We carried about 10 holders for 20 shots, and would run them to the darkroom and change film at half time of a football game, then shoot however many during the second half.
    For lighting large areas, such as the front of a building or football stadium at night, we often used big magnesium foil filled flashbulbs, many of which were WWII surplus from night aerial reconnaissance! Space 3 or 4 of us connected by wires, or just with the big bulbs on a flash gun, in front of a grandstand, and the trusty Graphic on a tripod, and when the main flash went off, the helpers would set theirs off. A 1-second exposure was plenty long enough for everybody to set off their flash and those babies put out enough lumens to shoot EI 400 film at f/11 or f/16, even at that distance.
    When all you worked with was a Crown or Speed Graphic, the flow was efficient and images could be stunning.
    The last models of Graphics had much-improved integral rangefinders; the ubiquitous Kalart ones usually mounted on the side of the cameas were so dim that we preferred using the ground glass whenever possible. The later ones had a flashlight bulb inside the rangefinder that occasionally worked; you could turn it on, the light beam would be projected out the rangefinder ports, and if the surroundings were dim enough, you could focus the two dots of lights together on your subject and know that would be sharp.
    I gave a friend my last Crown Graphic, then sold my Super Graphic I had modified to give more-than-adequate field camera movements back in the early 90s. Soooo...of course I had to find another one for which I have a range of excellent lenses, and it's all the 4x5 camera I'll ever need.
    It doesn't matter which camera you have, the thing that is most changeable and adaptable is your eye and perception, and that's what makes a real difference, not worrying about whether another piece of gear will make you the fad of the forum. Study great paintings, read fine literature, watch the way great movie directors light scenes, LOOK at light all the time. That will make really meaningful improvements in your photography.
    - agiyo, 4 years ago
  • Crown and Speed Graphics with beautiful 127 Ektar lenses were almost all we used, my first 7 years as a school photographer. We covered everything from product shots to portraits to sports with them, and it occurs that I should share some of our technique.


    Thanks for that. (because someone should say it).

    I am impressed that you could change out ten holders and run back and forth to the darkroom in time for the second half. (of course, that depends on the length of half-time, but whatever).

    With the advent of turning graflites into lightsabers, what is anyone else using for a flash these days? And, how are you mounting it?

    (I just did a quick search for a picture of a photographer - I think Weegee - with a ridiculous array of flashes on his crown / speed. I could not find it. If you know the picture, put up the link. It is fitting in light of the previous posting).
    - degruyl, 4 years ago
  • Thank you, everyone for the suggestions and tips especially on practical use.:) I have been milling about and I'm 70% decided on getting a 5x7 since the 4x5 may be too "small" for my needs, as I think it's only a little larger than 120s.

    If you have more input, please keep em coming. Thanks again!
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • I am surprised no one has mentioned the Gowland Pocket View (http://www.petergowland.com/camera/) camera. 5x7 and 8x10 are available.
    - kmack, 4 years ago
  • Thank you, everyone for the suggestions and tips especially on practical use.:) I have been milling about and I'm 70% decided on getting a 5x7 since the 4x5 may be too "small" for my needs, as I think it's only a little larger than 120s.

    If you have more input, please keep em coming. Thanks again!

    The normal 120 size to use on 4x5 cameras is 6x7, or 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. 2.25 x 3.25= 7.31. 4x5=20. That makes the 4x5 negative about 3 times more real estate. Granted, 5x7=35, but consider the larger enlarger, enlarger lens, and trays. May not be worth the expense.
    - oftheherd, 4 years ago
  • True. But.

    5x7 yields wonderful contact prints. And wonderful inkjet prints via an Epson 4990. GOOGLE Ken Lee. Ken works with 5x7 and an Epson 4990 scanner. It just doesn't get much better. On the other hand, 5x7 is bigger and heavier and generally more expensive.
    - venchka, 4 years ago
  • I sold all my LF gear and got me two Razzledogs, one 110B and one 900 which has front movement. They are a joy to use, a real Texas Leica.
    - dannyt, 4 years ago
  • If you want the lightest, it's hard to beat a Nagaoka 4x5 at 2 pounds 11 ounces without a lens. (Yes, 2lb 11oz!)

    And check this page (http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/lightwei.htm) for good reviews of lightweight lenses.

    That is 161 grams less than a chamonix, wonder if its as flexible too?
    Light stuff is always interesting, but not that bargain friendly :)

    vha
    - vha, 4 years ago
  • How do you like the Chamonix, vha? Which model do you have? Imressions, opinions? I'm really curious to try one. I shoot with a Toyo 45 field right now (AII- but I'd switch to the A's reversible back to save weight), but I'm interested in something lighter. The CF is indeed light weight, but you sacrifce some movements and from my experience with the camera, some rigidity and build quality, too. If you shoot with wider lenses, perhaps a Walker camera would serve.

    Still testing the camera, but so fare so good, took me some time to get the lens-board I needed, and that I got the chance to borrow a Speed Graphic peacemaker with a Aero Ektar delayed the testings quite a bit.
    Have the 045n-1 in dark walnut, got it as a part of a trade for a rollei.

    Compared to my sinar P/C (depending on how I mix it) its Portable, much lighter, I can actually carry the gear for a Sunday walk without a Sherpa, and it looks nice, not that important but its a great conversation starter :)
    Even thou it´s light and small for being a 4x5 it feels right, sturdy enough, quite easy to mount, but you can´t beat a Graflex in ready for use tempo. Like the idea that the bellows works for most lenses, have tested both a 90mm and a 180mm with no problem. A friend of mine who is a classic photographer (fine art and portraits) uses it with a 240mm as main lens and is happy with it, and he is picky :)

    So if you can afford it, would like that your 4x5 gear fits a messenger bag, not need all the millimeter accuracy a sinar gives but enough moments for normal use, and you like fine craftsmanship I would recommend the camera for you. Sinar is for studio, this one begs for a walk :)

    vha
    - vha, 4 years ago
  • There seems to be some controversy over where the Fresnel gets placed by the Chamonix factory -- I haven't followed it but it's not good PR for what otherwise looks like a popular camera. It got a lot of hype when it first came out but now there are a few threads on the LF Photo forum of why people ditched theirs.

    There is no perfect all-around view camera, if you haven't figured that out yet ;-)

    Tested mine and my eyes could not see any problems, did both a close up test and some other boring photography and the focus was where it was supposed to be. Not sure when my camera is made or batch number since i bought mine 2nd hand. Think some problems is more a "web problem" than a field one ;)

    Could not agree more, the best camera is the one you have not bought yet, because it might appear tomorrow. No one speaks about all the nice photos you could have taken instead of waiting :D

    But that might just be me . . .
    - vha, 4 years ago
  • Thank you, everyone for the suggestions and tips especially on practical use.:) I have been milling about and I'm 70% decided on getting a 5x7 since the 4x5 may be too "small" for my needs, as I think it's only a little larger than 120s.

    If you have more input, please keep em coming. Thanks again!

    Wise choice!

    Cheers,

    R.
    - Roger Hicks, 4 years ago
  • Get a "near mint top rangefinder 4x5 Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a cammed 135mm f/4.7 Schneider Xenar in a Synchro-Compur shutter with the narrow chrome speed adjustment dial" for between $275-$350 USD on eBay. Don't settle for less, this was the best version of the Crown Graphic. If the rangefinder or shutter need service, Fred Lustig or "the Camera Wiz" provide excellent service.

    Get a Harrison Pup-Tent changing tent, ten Fidelity or Lisco plastic film holders, a Toyo Hood Loupe. And a #2 or 3-series Gitzo tripod or a Leitz Tiltall or other medium sized quality tripod.

    And just shoot a lot of film.

    I have been looking for a light LF camera to shoot portraits and landscapes and I am pretty convinced to go for the camera and lens you suggested. I am new to LF and was wondering what sort of portable flash gear would you use with it ? Also, Frank, I can't seem to find these cameras on Ebay for less than $ 450 - would you have the name of the ebay seller/ shop you recommended. I rather buy from someone who really knows these cameras.

    Best
    - lhdowek, 4 years ago
  • I have been looking for a light LF camera to shoot portraits and landscapes and I am pretty convinced to go for the camera and lens you suggested. I am new to LF and was wondering what sort of portable flash gear would you use with it ? Also, Frank, I can't seem to find these cameras on Ebay for less than $ 450 - would you have the name of the ebay seller/ shop you recommended. I rather buy from someone who really knows these cameras.

    Best

    I bought mine (second one - last month) from KEH. In fantastic condition with a generous return policy and fast shipping.

    Or course, I bought it without the lens. I got a Nikkor-W 135 for it that is pretty good and much better (at least much better condition) than the Rondenstocks that I have seen on crowns.

    The first was in beautiful condition, except that the RF didn't work, it did not have ground glass (it had glass and fresnel), and the shutter was sticky. Thank you Ebay. Anyone want a fixer-upper? At least the first one was much less than $450.
    - degruyl, 4 years ago
  • Before buying a large-format, I would suggest nailing-down "why" you want / need it...

    Is it for the large negative, or for the ability to have camera movements to correct perspective / straight lines, etc. ?

    Are you going to be shooting on the go, or is your travel going to be centered around your photography ?

    Press cameras such as a Graphics are probably the most "portable" and generally the most rugged, but they are somewhat heavy. They offer great covenience in terms of quickly changed lens-boards, RF focus and hand-held shooting, but do not offer the full range of "movements" found in a good field camera or monorail ( Graphics lack any of the rear movements, as well as front pan and tilt ).

    Monorail cameras MUST be used on a tripod ( unless you have more than two arms ?).

    Wooden field cameras are usually light in weight, and offer movements at both the front and rear standard. Be careful of "antique" field cameras... I have some Rochester Optical 4x5, 5x7, and 8 x 10 field cameras from the 1890's... they are lovely to look at, they do take pictures, but are somewhat "delicate" in construction; I don't want to say"flimsy", but it takes little pressure on the bed/ rails, or front standard to make them deflect, which can affect focus on the film plane. ( I think the 8x10 flexes under its own weight...)

    Graphics are probably one of the best "starter" cameras; they're sturdy, common, dependable, and hold their re-sale value.

    I just acquired a circa 1950 Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4x5, with 135mm / 4.7 Optar in Graphex shutter, with five Riteway holders, in very good, ready-to-use condition for a shade under $300 US from a local camera dealer.

    Check-out KEH; their prices are as reasonable as anybody's .

    Also suggest finding "Using the View Camera" by Steve Simmons... it is an excellent introductory book on LF photography.

    Good luck !
    - Luddite Frank, 4 years ago
  • Before buying a large-format, I would suggest nailing-down "why" you want / need it...

    Is it for the large negative, or for the ability to have camera movements to correct perspective / straight lines, etc. ?


    (I know this question was not really for me: just adding input)

    For me it is about the negative size. Also, I really prefer rangefinder focusing as compared to anything else. Especially ground glass. And, I am not a fiddly view camera user.

    So, for me a press camera was very appropriate.

    For others (almost every other 4x5 and larger user that I know of) the movements make a difference. They do not understand why I am completely satisfied with a Crown.

    If I had my dream camera, it would be a Linhoff Technika of one form or another, but the price of those is not really justifiable while I am still reaching for the 6x7 rangefinder as my "go-to" camera.

    I just popped into the camera store and picked up a Metz handle / flash thing. Maybe tonight I will channel Weegee and go to a bar with the Crown + Flash.
    - degruyl, 4 years ago
  • (I know this question was not really for me: just adding input)

    For me it is about the negative size. Also, I really prefer rangefinder focusing as compared to anything else. Especially ground glass. And, I am not a fiddly view camera user.

    So, for me a press camera was very appropriate.

    For others (almost every other 4x5 and larger user that I know of) the movements make a difference. They do not understand why I am completely satisfied with a Crown.

    If I had my dream camera, it would be a Linhoff Technika of one form or another, but the price of those is not really justifiable while I am still reaching for the 6x7 rangefinder as my "go-to" camera.

    I just popped into the camera store and picked up a Metz handle / flash thing. Maybe tonight I will channel Weegee and go to a bar with the Crown + Flash.

    +1

    My Crown (looks just like yours) is my "non-fiddly" 4x5 as well. I have an old Metz hammerhead that I like to use with it occasionally , but my favorite thing to do is to load up a Graphmatic with 6 sheets of TXP320 or HP5, wander with my mega point-and-shoot and then retire to my darkroom to see what I "got". The kids in the neighborhood always come running when they see it... I've contemplated going with a more modern lens, but my Xenar is pretty swell. The body-only deals on KEH are quite good and finding a lens to match is not that difficult, I'm surprised more people don't go that way...

    Cool avatar, BTW.

    JT

    Once you see those 4x5's hanging across the sink it is hard to go back.
    - JCT, 4 years ago
  • Hi,

    I am considering buying the Pacemaker Crown Graphic with Schneider Xenar 135/4.7 and plan to shoot landscape and portraits. Is there a reversible back/adaptor that has been made for this camera or do you have to screw the camera on it side onto the tripod as there are two tripod sockets ? Also, is it essential to get a Harrison pop-up tent to load the film ?

    Would appreciate any advice and suggestions.

    Thanks
    - lhdowek, 4 years ago
  • With a rather noticeable tripod in tow, I walked around my hometown today with a friend's 5x7 LF in my backpack, a couple of loaded holders, some dark cloth, scissors and masking tape. I walked from my house to a nearby church with some historical significance (around 15 minutes), proceeded to unpack, set up the tripod and camera, consulted the light meter, and took two shots in a span of 20-30 minutes. Back in the house in the next 15 minutes.

    It's not as bad as I expected: I thought I'd be huffing and puffing by the end of the walk but I'm used to carrying that weight on my back anyway when I travel. It will just be an additional load (pack less clothes and books? Haha), and something quite manageable.

    Long story short: I was on ebay moments later looking at "5x7 cameras." I know film may be hard to source, but I’ll be shooting sparsely with it. Life’s too short not to have this in your arsenal. http://62.0.5.136/rangefinderfilipinas.com/forums/Smileys/classic/grin.gif

    No good deals on ebay yet, though. http://62.0.5.135/rangefinderfilipinas.com/forums/Smileys/classic/smiley.gif
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • With a rather noticeable tripod in tow, I walked around my hometown today with a friend's 5x7 LF in my backpack, a couple of loaded holders, some dark cloth, scissors and masking tape. I walked from my house to a nearby church with some historical significance (around 15 minutes), proceeded to unpack, set up the tripod and camera, consulted the light meter, and took two shots in a span of 20-30 minutes. Back in the house in the next 15 minutes.

    It's not as bad as I expected: I thought I'd be huffing and puffing by the end of the walk but I'm used to carrying that weight on my back anyway when I travel. It will just be an additional load (pack less clothes and books? Haha), and something quite manageable.

    Long story short: I was on ebay moments later looking at "5x7 cameras." I know film may be hard to source, but I’ll be shooting sparsely with it. Life’s too short not to have this in your arsenal. http://62.0.5.136/rangefinderfilipinas.com/forums/Smileys/classic/grin.gif

    No good deals on ebay yet, though. http://62.0.5.135/rangefinderfilipinas.com/forums/Smileys/classic/smiley.gif

    If you belong to the Large Format Photography Forum (it takes 30 days to see the for sale listings), I saw a Rittreck with 4x5 & 5x7 backs for sale. Nice folding metal field camera. 5x7 for B&W and 4x5 for any film not sold in 5x7. Many lenses out there that cover both formats.
    - venchka, 4 years ago
  • ... when I use a 150 on 4x5 I have the sense that it is a bit wide, at least in comparison to a 50 on 35mm. Given the aspect ratio of 4x5, I should think it would be opposite. ...

    You may be confusing "normal lens" with "standard lens" in you comparison. 50mm is a "standard lens" on 35mm as it often came standard with the body. The modern equivalent term is "kit lens". "Normal" has a completely different meaning. A "normal lens" is one who's FL equals the diagonal measure of the negative.

    Normal for 35mm FF:
    full uncropped image = 43mm
    typical enlarger masked area = 40mm
    full image cropped to 4x5 = 38mm
    typical enlarger masked 4x5 area = 32-35mm

    Normal for 4x5:
    typical largest clean area without holder shadows = 125mm
    the above cropped to 2:3 aspect ratio

    150mm on 4x5 is then about 20% longer than normal. 50mm on 35mm cropped to the same aspect ration as 4x5 is slightly over 30% longer than normal at best and over 40% longer when you compare 4x5 to 35mm prints made by machine or with common negative carriers in an enlarger. A 150mm on 4x5, when used at infinity, should seem a bit wide when compared to a 50mm on 4x5 when you crop both to a 4:5 aspect ratio.
    - Dwig, 4 years ago
  • Couple of questions:

    What are Fred Lustig's rates for a shutter overhaul on a Speed? I got one recently and the winding key is frozen (at such an angle that I can't get the panel off the winding mechanism without first removing the rangefinder), looking through the back the shutter itself seems pretty dessicated. I doubt it'll be economical to repair (it's also only in fair/okay condition physically, if it were nicer I'd be willing to spring for a costly repair), but just wanted to know for future reference.

    Also, some of the interior lining of the bellows near the front is sagging, is there a way to re-secure it? If it's an easy fix, I'd like to do it for the next buyer. Already giving the camera a good cleaning up, wanted to get it as nice as possible, shutter issue notwithstanding.

    Is it possible to have both a side and top rangefinder on a Speed? Would be nice to have a Kalart calibrated to my Aero Ektar, and another one for a different lens so that I don't have to readjust every time I switch lenses and want to use the rangefinder. I could have sworn I've seen cameras with both.
    - ethics_gradient, 4 years ago
  • Now that you are settled on 5x7, are you still looking for a light weight one?

    Just as an FYI --> cameraquest has a 5x7 Linhof for sale - not sure what your price range was --> 2500 --> weighs 12 pounds with lens.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/LF_linhof_technika_5x7.htm
    - GaryLH, 4 years ago
  • Just as an FYI --> cameraquest has a 5x7 Linhof for sale - not sure what your price range was --> 2500 --> weighs 12 pounds with lens.

    Gorgeous camera.
    - degruyl, 4 years ago
  • yep --> All their folders are just classic beauties. Plus they were built to last. :)
    - GaryLH, 4 years ago
  • Now that you are settled on 5x7, are you still looking for a light weight one?

    Just as an FYI --> cameraquest has a 5x7 Linhof for sale - not sure what your price range was --> 2500 --> weighs 12 pounds with lens.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/LF_linhof_technika_5x7.htm


    Thanks for this.:) It's a wee out of budget, but still a thing of beauty.

    The weight wasn't so bad as I imagined, as I won't mind an additional 3-5 lbs from a 4x5 to a 5x7.

    Next question will be: Do I really need to do alternative processes on my big negatives? I just want big negatives for posterity and for traditional printing. I do not want to venture into Van Dyke and all of those things.
    - katcons, 4 years ago
  • Next question will be: Do I really need to do alternative processes on my big negatives? I just want big negatives for posterity and for traditional printing. I do not want to venture into Van Dyke and all of those things.

    No, in my opinion. A properly fixed, washed and stored B&W negative should last a couple hundred years. The same for a B&W print on fiber based paper.
    - besk, 4 years ago
  • I love making contacts from my 5x7's , haven't ventured into alt-process, YET. For the right shots I even contact print 4x5s.

    For 5x7, it might be worth checking with Jim Andracki at Midwest Photo ( www.mpex.com ) -- I bought a beater B&J 5x7 for something like $125 a few years ago (actually in the midst of refinishing it this weekend for fun) and last year splurged on a 5x7 for hiking (an Anba Ikeda) also from Jim for $700, came with a 4x5 back. Don't just rely on the web site, I think Jim has tons of stuff that he doesn't list.

    I treat myself to 1-2 hour outings like the one you describe as often as I can -- therapeutic! One of the best things about LF.

    JT
    - JCT, 4 years ago

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