Brand new to LF: Help w/ these cameras

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by totowroe, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    HI. I love developing film, both color and B&W. After playing with medium format for a year, I'd like to get in to large format. On my local craigslist, I've found some equipment that meet my budget, could you give me some advice?

    1. Linhof 45s w/ tripod and 3 lens boards, 300$ (no lens, no holders)

    2. Toyo G w/ viewing hood, bellows lens shade, 2 extra lens boards, 1 4x5 Polaroid Film Holder, 18 LISCO REGAL II Film Holders, Wide Angle Bellows and Short Rail. Fujinon 150 5.6 lens. 600$

    3. Sinar F2 w/ lens (waiting to hear which lens). 750$

    4. Camera make unknown (waiting to hear back). Lens is 210mm F5.6. Shutter release cable, 10 film magazines, one polaroid back, film loading bag, and some Illford BW film, some Fuji E-6, and about 10 sheets of polaroid film Type 55 and 54. 500$

    All sellers have confirmed bellows and rest of camera in good working condition. I'm looking for something I can use outside, to setup at the beach or in the mountains, possibly after very light/ short hikes.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    For outdoors use at beach and mountains I would recommend a folding field camera like the Tachihara or Shen Hao, or Zone VI. These are less cumbersome and more fun to use, for me than the monorail cameras.

    Jon
     
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    Those are all monorail. What are you wanting to do with them?

    I used both a field camera and monorail cameras in the field. The monorails were clumsy not to mention hard to pack any distance from the car.
     
  4. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    Thanks for your input.

    My first main priority is perspective control. Second is portability.

    I don't have a huge budget for a major setup...just enough to get me started.
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    Everything is portable. It just depends on where you want to go with it. Field cameras will be the most portable. I have a sinar F1 and it is much more portable than my cambo. I started with a busch pressman d. Very portable built like a tank with more perspective control than a graphlex but less part availability. Don't forget to factor in suitable tripod.
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    That last deal is going to be pretty sweet. Type 54/55 aren't made anymore and they're kind of awesome. Also, 10 film holders is really all you need. That's 20 shots, and large format is a much *slower* process than, say, small or medium. You'll find that you take more time.
     
  7. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    The UNKNOWN MAKE camera of option 4 is an OMEGA VIEW 450.
     
  8. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    Sorry to be such a noob, but I need some advice on this ASAP. Are any of these cameras worth the price, or should I hold out?
     
  9. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    I'd hold out....them sound too expensive to me...you can wait for a calumet monorail 100 buck or less and then get a lens...maybe 100 buck or less for a decent lens....

    linhof you can't go wrong with though...but hey....I'd wait if you really want to be a hipster and rip off grandma 'on the cheap' so you don't get laughed at by the handlebar moustache brigade for paying too much....it's all about being "smarter" than the seller to that crowd of geniuses...

    put a wtb here and you'll get something, dude....with the price you want to spend

    just out of curiousity I looked and found this in like 2 minutes....it's all here...do a wtb for the type you WANT...if you don't know, get a setup like this from people that are not the "don't know too much about these things" types:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379...era-everything-great-starter-200-shipped.html

    THIS is the type of person that can't do photography unless they get the equipment way cheaper than you or make it themselves cause they're smarter than the rest:
     

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  10. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I agree with John that the prices seem a little steep for the current market for monorails, at least for the U.S.
    Depending on the specifics, the Linhof or perhaps the Omega might be the best deals.
     
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  11. Pfiltz

    Pfiltz Member

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    Just throwing in my .02.

    I bought my first LF around 6 months ago.

    Paid 175.00 for a brand new looking Graphlex Graphic View in excellent condition, with a 150mm on it, and 6 film holders.

    Paid 85.00 for a CLA on the lens, and 100.00 for a case to carry all of it in.
     
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  12. palewin

    palewin Member

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    While I'm not up to date on what the cameras you mention should sell for, I can throw in some background in support of the Sinar F2. While all of the cameras you mentioned are monorails, the Sinar "F" line was designated as their "Field" monorail line (hence the "F"). While not as easy to pack as a true folding field camera, the Sinar Fs were lighter, and designed to close up more compactly than anything else in their line. I had an early model Sinar F, and backpacked with it quite a lot, although I ultimately replaced it with something lighter and even more packable. Also, the entire Sinar line is modular, so that you can swap parts from more expensive models, both in terms of function and format. You can create what was marketed as a Sinar "C" by replacing the rear standard on an F with the yaw-free back from the more expensive models, or (with the appropriate bellows) turn a 4x5 F into a 5x7 F, and so on. Lots of bits and pieces of the Sinar system can be found used. Lastly, in defense of monorails in general, and the Sinar in particular, it will have more and greater displacements than any field camera (i.e. full movements on both standards, and larger allowable amounts of those movements), as well as the ability to extend the monorail for longer lenses, and the availability of bag bellows for really short lenses. While I ultimately traded both my Sinar F and a Wista/Zone VI for my current Canham 4x5, there are times when I miss that old Sinar.
     
  13. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    Thanks.

    I'm looking at the 200$ setup. Does the lens there give enough viewing area for movements? I'm worried that this lens won't be wide enough or have enough room to play with.
     
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  14. palewin

    palewin Member

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    totowroe: None of the four choices listed in your original post was $200, so I'm not clear on what lens (or camera) you are asking about. In your original post you mention two lenses: a 150mm and a 210mm. Both of those will cover 4x5 with some movement. The 210 will allow more movement, since it will have a larger image circle, while the 150 will have a slightly wider field-of-view. Since both work fine on 4x5 (I have one of each, plus an 80mm really wide angle) it depends largely on how you "see" - some people gravitate towards wider lenses, some towards longer lenses.
     
  15. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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  16. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Looks like a good deal. All you'd need on top of that is a sturdy tripod and a strong back if you plan on doing any hiking trips with it.

    I doubt you'd find as good a deal on ebay, so go for it. You can always add other lenses at a later date when funds permit.
     
  17. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    A Sinar F2 with lens for $750.00 could be a good deal depending on what lens comes with it, condition of everything and what extras if any come with it. I have seen real nice ones sell for around that without a lens on Ebay. Of course it has to be the F2 which is the last F series that was made.

    You can buy a nice Cambo/Calumet for $200.00 and less. I have seen them go for $150.00 and even below $100.00 if you don't care about age or cosmetics.

    You can buy a nice Sinar F for $300.00 if you are patient. Later F models, the P series and earlier Norma's are more money.

    If you want something cheap then Cambo/Calumet can be a great way to go. Toyo's are said to be nice but I have no experience with them. If you can afford Sinar and want a monorail, I would go with that. Sinar is a great system camera.

    The best advice I can give you is not to get in a hurry and do some research before you buy anything.
     
  18. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    that lens is a tessar with 238mm coverage (I've read---not from ilex catalogue)....4x5 needs coverage of at least 163mm...so you've got 238-163 = 75mm coverage extra over the diagonal...that's 75mm/2 = 37.5mm or about 1.5 inches of play room at the diagonals..you will get less rise than that since you'll hit the diagonals first....it's adequate in my book
     
  19. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    Thanks for all the help. I think I'm going to keep looking for now.

    As a beginner what amount of coverage and focal length should I be looking for?
     
  20. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    well if that thing don't meet your spec, nothing will....coverage shold cover the frame and give a little room to move...if you need more then you get more when you need it--how the hell do I know what you should look for if you don't know what you need...see...that' sthe problem...you don't know so nobody can answer correctly

    actually there is a correct answer--you should't be looking if you don't want to make a "mistake" buying the "wrong" thing for "too much".....you'll always be doing it wrong in that case so you'll never be satisfied.
     
  21. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    I'll make this real simple for you.

    Usually the best deals are found when you buy a camera that has a lens or two with it and maybe some extras.

    Used monorails are often sold with 210mm f/5.6 lenses because they were extremely popular with the Pro's who needed large image circles for product photography where they needed plenty of camera movements.

    A 210mm lens is considered a long normal lens and is perhaps the most versatile of all focal lengths on a 4x5 camera. You can use it for portraits, landscape, architecture and still lifes. They are inexpensive today due to there being a ton of them out there since the Pro's have gone digital. I have seen nice examples sell on Ebay for $150.00 to $200.00.

    Any Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikkor, or Fujinon 210mm f/5.6 lens in a Copal shutter will be fine. There are subtle differences between the makes but don't worry about it. You don't know enough yet to be picky. :smile:
     
  22. totowroe

    totowroe Member

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    Thanks everybody.

    I want to practice with some polaroids--if I buy the $200 setup, what kind of back or film holder will I need?
     
  23. palewin

    palewin Member

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    4x5 Polaroid film has been out of production for years; at best you might be able to find some outdated film on eBay, but realistically it is a long shot. The 545 or 545i polaroid backs are available pretty cheaply, but of course that's because you can't get the film for them any more.