2x3 in and 6x9 cm options for the "field"

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by 2F/2F, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    I am very impressed by all I have heard about Tachihara and Shen Hao field cameras. I will likely end up getting one some day, however, I think that I would really prefer if the camera was smaller and shot 6x9 on rollfilm instead of 4x5 with a 6x9 reduction back. I want something like the Fuji GX680 (medium format with front movements), but I don't need an SLR and I want something more packable and cheaper, plus all the lens versatility benefits of a view camera. I have heard mention of a 6x9 Tachihara. Do they actually exist? If not, is there anything similar? A small, light folding 6x9 camera with movements and a Graflok back for a reasonable price? (Was a 2x3 Super Speed Graphic ever made?) For some reason I can't seem to locate a Website for the Tachihara company right now.
     
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  2. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    I just ordered and received a Horseman VH-R with 3 lenses and a 6x9 back. I can pack the whole set, together with a loupe and Sekonic L758d lightmeter in a Lowepro ProMag 2 AW. I sold a Fuji GX680 system to get this. I like to photograph landscapes and the GX was just way too heavy to carry for long distances, even in the Kelty P2 I bought from Photobackpacker. As an example, in the same Lowepro bag I could only fit the GX680 with a back and lens mounted. The Sekonic went into the frontpocket.

    The Horseman has a baby Graflock back, weighs 2 kilo, the back and lenses are light, I guess 3 kilo's all together including the camera. There are other choices, like Linhof Technika (a 6x7 model Technika 70 and a 2x3 model). The linhof system is much more expensive, especially the rollfilmbacks. I used a Linhof Technika 70 a decade ago for a while. Though it is often said that the Linhof is better made than the Horseman, I don't see too much differences.

    I hope this helps, all the best and good luck with your choice,
    Frank
    www.flickr.com/photos/asialover
     
  3. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    You are too late with your question: a couple of weeks ago a 6x7 mini Graphic was on sale on Ebay, it went for less than $ 300,- including lens and rollfilm back.

    I will keep my eyes open for you !

    Peter
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Ebony makes a couple of 2x3" wooden cameras, and the lightweight 2x3" Galvin monorail might be another option. There are 2x3" Graphics and the 2x3" B&J Watson and Busch Pressman, but I don't know that there was a 2x3" Super Speed Graphic.

    I have a 2x3" Technika (Tech V 23b--identical to the last version, but in tan rather than black), and I quite like having a camera that doubles as a view camera or a rangefinder press camera, and the Linhof backs probably have the best film flatness of anything out there. Linhof Super-Rollex backs for the 2x3" Linhofs are generally less expensive on the used market than Linhof rollfilm backs for the 4x5" cameras, just because there is less demand for them. Later models (Tech 70 and Tech V 23 and 23b) can still be cammed by Marflex for your lenses, and it's somewhat less expensive than having lenses cammed for the 4x5" Technika, because one 3-lobed 2x3" cam is cheaper than 3 individual 4x5" cams. If you are looking at an earlier model, it's best to find a kit with three cammed lenses included.
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'll second the suggestion for Horseman. I picked up a VH-R and collected all the lenses and cams and other goodies over a year period. I probably spent $2000 getting all the lenses, meter, backs, body, shades, grip, filters, etc. That was a few years ago. I suspect, today, just a body and lens should be in the $300-$500 range, depending on if you want the VH-R or an earlier (just as good) model.

    Handheld with ei 400 film, it is a significant improvement over 35mm (as long as there is enough light). On a tripod with T-max 100 it closes in on 4x5 quality.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks for helping me compile a list of options. Ebony cameras are nice, but out of bounds for me. I like the Horseman. I would love to try one out to see if it has enough shift. Are the lenses dedicated, or can I use what I already have? That little Hansa looks like a sweetie-pie as well. I don't think it is worth over $600, however. I wonder if it is the same camera as the Tachihara Shirom 69. I found one pic of the Shirom on the Web, and it looks identical. I wonder if the camera is as solid as their other models, of if it is more rickety. A Linhof would be nice, but perhaps a bit pricey. I will look into them. People have told me not to go for the earlier Technika models, but I forgot exactly why they said so. I do need a healthy amount of vertical and lateral shift (one inch or more of each would be nice), and possibly some tilt every now and then.

    I really love my Super 23, except for a few things: 1. It is heavy and bulky. 2. It takes dedicated lenses. 3. The rear movements only work with one lens as far as I can tell, and the lens is a 42mm equivalent angle of view while I want something in between 28mm and 35mm equivalent for most of the pix I will take. 75mm would be perfect, and I already have the 75mm press lens, which I have removed from the helical mount in preparation for mounting on a lens board.
     
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  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    If you are on a budget, consider an older cut-film camera. You can get roll film backs for some of them. Either get hold of
    septums to use standard 2x3" sheet film or cut down 5x7 film into 4ths (or something like that - been a while since I used
    mine...).

    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/zeiss/ideal/ideal.htm
     
  9. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I bought a Galvin back for $50., it measures 5" square, I was going to make a back for my 4X5 Shen Hao, which isn't a bad idea, but decided to make a smaller version of the field camera. I think it will be fun to have a true backpack camera. I have four Grafmatic 23's, over twenty new film holders, several roll backs models 22 and 23. I bought all of this for my Busch 23 2 1/4 X 3 1/4. It has one limitation, it has a small lens board that is not a removable type and would not be able to use larger shutters. A 2 1/4 field camera is so small that I can use some really nice wood. The Hansa looks nice and I've seen it before, the price is a little too high in my mind though.

    I finally found a company that will make a film punch to my specifications. I want a die cutter that produces the exact film size for my film holders and specifically the Grafmatic septum's. And I want a corner notch otherwise it's not worth it. There are some great films out there but they are not in 2x3.

    Curt
     
  10. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    On the Horseman you can use dedicated lenses or any other brand (from 65mm to about 240mm). This list gives you an idea of useful lenses:
    http://www.komamura.co.jp/e/lens_list.html

    As long as the rear element is not wider than 65mm. That is, if you focus by using the groundglass. There is some discussion on the internet if it is possible to use the cam of for instance the 5.6 150mm Horseman lens on any 5.6 150mm lens or only on the dedicated 150mm lens. Contrary to Linhof cams that are matched to a particular lens with it's serial number on the cam, Horseman cams are for the focal lenght only.
     
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  11. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    I've used an Ebony SW23S, an Arca with all the trimmings and now a Technikardan S in 6x9cm. I've played with a few Horseman's but not used them extensively.

    The Technikardan S is by far the best for my purposes because it maintains perfect squarness very well despite being a folding camera. Being square with all movements zeroed is one thing the Arca and Ebony were not as good at and it's extremely important with short focal length lenses typically used in this format.

    It sounds like you don't want to spend Linhof money at the moment; it's still worth keeping in mind the importance of being square. From my limited experience with the Horesman VH and VHR, it looks like they would be very easy to keep square but you'll need to check that yourself. You might find their parallel movements a little limiting.

    As well as the Galvin I think Toho make a very light 6x9 model that might be worth looking into.

    Good luck.
     
  12. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    For your lens I would highly recommend the Xenotar 80mm f2.8. This lens is very sharp, is a very nice focal length for 6x7/2x3, and is resonably priced considering. The f2.8 aperture makes for easy handholding. However it is pretty tight for 2x3 so if you want movements it may not be your best bet.
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a 105/2.8 Xenotar. It's my most used lens on my 2x3" Technika (I'm set up for six lenses from 47-180mm at the moment), but if I need movements, I'm usually using a different lens.
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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  16. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Topcon lenses are very good lenses. I have an old Topcon RE Super which I bought in 1968. The Topcor lenses were considered to be among the best. It looks like a really nice kit.
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Nothing wrong with that stuff except the price, as you mentioned. The camera and lenses are about 4 generations from the last versions Horseman made.

    So these lenes are silver on gray boards, then came
    Black barrels on gray boards then came
    Black barrels on black boards (some rescessed), then came
    Black barrels that say ER on black boards with the solenoid attached.
    I don't know of any changes in optics (except possibly multicoating on the ER lenses, but I have not confirmed this).

    Specifically with respect to those lenses, the 150 will have coverage to 4x5"
    The 65 will nearly reach 4x5" but later 65mm lenses were on a 5mm recessed board that allowed more movement before hitting the camera body.
    The 180 is the only telephoto Horseman made for the 6x9 system. It has limited movement. I think of that one in terms of portraits and such.

    The advantages to the Horseman/Topcon optics would be that they SHOULD be much less expensive than the 'usual' 4x5 lenses out there and if you are going to use the rangefinder, they work very well as long as they come with a cam.

    You should go look at it. After seeing the camera in person you will either become fond of the Horseman system or decide it's not for you. In person you will see it is more of a precision camera than a Graphic. It is smaller and all metal.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks. Maybe I'll go look at it, though I do not want to waste his time if he/she wants $1,500 for it.

    The seller sez it is a relabeled Horseman 980. I am trying to find info on the amount of shift I can get with one of them, but no luck so far.
     
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  19. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Th amount of shift you can get may depend on the focal length of the lens you are using at the time.

    What is the shortest focal length you want to use?
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi, Matthew.

    I plan on using lenses in the 65 to 90mm range for the particular thing I have in mind. The lenses I use will probably be 4x5 lenses such as 65mm f/8, 75mm f/8, or 90mm f/8.
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Check this out:

    My message to seller:

    "Hello,

    I am local. Could I preview the camera kit, please?"

    His message to me:

    "Sorry, I do not allow previews."

    Oh well. The guy must be a weirdo or something to ask that much and then not let someone five miles from him come see the darned thing. Darned shame. I really wanted to see what the 980 is like in person, and try to talk him down if I liked it.

    Honestly, however, I don't need all that kit. I just need the camera, a lens board, and a 6x9 back for now.
     
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  22. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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  23. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Sounds like something is buggered up in that kit :smile:

    From the VHR manual:
    Front tilt 15 degrees back and 10 forward
    Front rise 28mm
    Bed drop 15 degrees
    Front swing 15 degrees
    On VHR back extends and allows about 10 degree swing and tilt
    Front cross ?? mm.
     
  24. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Being sold “AS IS” – “NO WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES”

    “ALL SALES ARE FINAL”



    "Sorry, I do not allow previews."


    That about says it all doesn't it? Keep looking, when you are about ready to give up one will come along that's right for you.
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Yep. Quite a shame. It is a very nice collection of stuff, and located right in my back yard.

    I am putting my Grover 8x10 (w/ 5x7 and 4x5 backs) up for sale again to help raise funds for this project. Gotta get it done pretty soon; I have about 8 to 10 weeks to shoot approx. 200 dead ends here in my neighborhood in N.E.L.A. for a book. I think I am gonna just get a Horseman revolving 2x3 back for my Sinar. There is one on eBay now that, again, is only 15 minutes from my house. I am lucking out with local items so far on this hunt.

    If all else fails, I will just slap my Polaroid packfilm back onto the Sinar as a last resort. Would certainly take a load off at the printing and processing stage, though would put a hurt on my pocketbook buying all that FP-100C.

    Thank you for all the help. It is most.......er....helpful! Keep the info coming if anyone has something to add.
     
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  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thank you very much for the information.

    They are very informative specs. That is not enough more movement than a Graphic to warrant the massive search on my part. Over the Graphic, it basically just has swings and forward tilt (which we all know we can get on a Graphic anyhow by dropping the bed). Some day, yes, I may want one, but it is not needed for this particular series of shoots. What I really need for this is vertical rise and fall, and a little bit of lateral shift. I just though that since I want a 2x3 field camera anyhow some day, I might as well take care of it now.

    I have options. I have my Sinar and I have my Speed Graphic 45. I can get a 6x9 back for them if I need to. Not sure if I can get the shift I need with a 75mm lens on a 4x5 rail, but I can definitely do it on the Sinar.
     
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