Carbon Infinity

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ole, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just got an offer I couldn't resist, so I've agreed to buy a Carbon Infinity...

    Anybody have any first-hand experience with them?


    That ends my camera purchases for this year, if not longer, I would think?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Whoa, congratulations! I remember seeing one on a high shelf at Ken Hansen's long ago (before the shop moved to Florida and back to New York), but haven't had a chance to play with one. We'll expect the full report.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh yes, you'll get a full report.

    Once I get home from the /)&%¤(#¤& Danish sector of the North Sea - I'm heading out to another two weks without internet (or toys) next week.

    And then I guess there will be a nice little Linhof Color 4x5" for sale, probably wiht a few lenses. Like the battered-but-good 135mm f:3.5 Zeiss Planar, in Linhof shutter, on Linhof board, and the 360mm f:5.5 Tele-Xenar, also Linhof select and dented...
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That reminds me: The amera I'm getting has a cracked ground glass, so it will soon get a Satin Snow glass :smile:
     
  5. Andrew Forrester

    Andrew Forrester Member

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    Ole,

    I have one, & I'm sure you will be pleased with it. It's a very verstile camera. The only draw back I can see it has is the slowness of setting it up.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    WOW!

    It's arrived...

    First, opening the ¤%& box wasn't all that easy. I eventually figured out that I had to push in the shiny little knobs and lift at the same time - not so easy with the smooth carbon fiber shell!

    But I did manage to get the lid off, to find an inside packed with - camera.

    Lifting this, turning that, sliding this-and-that for about half an hour had me convinced that this was a very fine camera indeed. Everything is silky smooth - no "jumpy" rackets here! Everything is friction driven, with clutch locks which can be set to just the tension you need.

    I think I've managed to figure out where all the knobs are, which knobs control what, and how. I've even managed to pack it again, and open it up again.

    But I may have to buy another lens. My newest lenses, from the early 70's (1970's, not 1870's) look decidedly anachronistic on that camera. And they looked so right on the Linhof Color...
     
  7. Amund

    Amund Member

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    That was the first thing on my mind when I saw you had bought this camera, I was thinking that now Ole have to buy his first modern lens :smile:
     
  8. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    That ends my camera purchases for this year, if not longer, I would think?
    But not lens purchases I gather ;-)
     
  9. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Let's see a picture of this bad boy!
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The seller has been kind enough to write an illustrated in-depth review of the camera before he sold it to me. It's in French, but the illustrations are far better than anything I could take - today, at least.

    http://perso.wanadoo.fr/christophe.metairie.photographie/grand format.html

    And yes, that's my camera. Cracked Bosscreen and all.

    - on a close look, it seems that he's had TWO of these! And if so, mine is composed of parts of both of them? Anyway, I'm not complaining: The camera is a wonder of engineering and design, and if I could compose the perfect camera for my use this would be it!
     
  11. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Ole,

    Looks like a beautiful camera. It is intended for use as a 4" 5" field camera is it not? How big and heavy is it since it appears to have a 550mm of bellows, 74mm of left and right shift, and 80mm of rise and fall?

    Rich
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Weight is 3.75 kg, or about 7 lb. So it's not a lightweight...

    I guess it's about half a kilo heavier with the original bull-hide bag (!), and another 150g or so since it can be closed with a lens inside. I put a 150mm Germinar-W on it just to check; it's not even close to interfering with anything.

    As far as I know the only other cameras to have this much shift/rise/tilt/swing/whatever are monorail cameras which are not exactly "field-friendly". This one is...
     
  13. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Ole,

    That is kind of the weight that I expected. My Linhof Technikardan 45S weighs about 3600gm including the camera, the added fresnel lens, and 2 Arca Swiss QR plates attached to the collapsible rail.

    But the Technikardan 45S only has about 500mm of bellows, 55mm left and right shift front and back, front rise of 50mm and 20mm of fall, and 50mm of rear rise.

    Rich
     
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  15. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    WOW!!! Never saw... never imagined... anything like that before! Absitively posolutely beautiful!
     
  16. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Ole, that's more than wonderful. --- But you do realize that you'll have to change your avatar, don't you? I want to see you handholding the Infinity with the same apparent ease as you hold the 5x7 Technika. :D
     
  17. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I'll have to admit, Ole, I've never associated the adjective, sexy, with a camera. But, your Carbon Infinity definitely qualifies.
     
  18. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    Wow! That is a work of technology & art!

    It is beautiful! I am certain you will enjoy it.

    Corey
     
  19. edwinfechter

    edwinfechter Member

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    Carbon Infinity Manual?

    Hello all,

    The Carbon Infinity is a very sexy camera. After some searching, I found two examples for sale in Europe aside from Ole's. Was too late on one and was lucky enough to find another one. I have already put the downpayment on a used one but it comes without a manual (yes a downpayment, as it is gonna cost me an arm and a leg and after selling my my sinar F2 set and also my back-up sinar F it was still not enough to make a full payment).

    Would anyone here have a copy of Carbon Infinity manual?

    Thanks in advance.

    Edwin :smile:
     
  20. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    That's before you get into the indirect movements, of course.

    I remember the Carbon Infinity when it came out. I thought at the time that it was staggeringly beautiful and superbly made, but rather heavy and not actually especially versatile -- though the 'clam shell' design is really nice.

    Was I just rationalizing because I couldn't (and indeed still can't) still afford one? I'm not sure. Now that I regard 4x5 inch as 'big medium format' I don't want one as much anyway: my dream LF camera is probably a 5x7 inch/13x18 cm /half-plate Gandolfi on the whole-plate chassis.

    As I recall the designers (and manufacturers) of the Carbon Infinity are still in the boat-building business in south Devon.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't have a manual either, but I found the camera to be really well designed and intuitive. A bit of fumbling was all it took - all controls slide and lock easily and obviously, and I even managed to repack it without difficulties - first try!

    And now comes the really big expenses - three lens boards and two shutters from SK Grimes: boards for Compund #3, Compur #2 (165 Angulon, 180 Tessar and 240 Symmar), and one for 00 Compur (90mm f:8 Super-Angulon, old type), shutter for the 150 Germinar-W, and one for the G-Claron 210mm (I ordered that second shutter before I bought the 210mm f:6.1 Xenar).

    4x5" is "small large format" to me too - 5x7" is "normal", 18x24cm "big" and 24x30cm "real large format". But it's a good size for colour slides, the mistakes in processing aren't as painful as in the bigger sizes. :D
     
  22. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Ole - are you having SK Grimes stripe polish the lens boards to match the camera? :wink:
     
  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The "stripes" on the camera are not stripes, they're the weave of the carbon fibers. Whatever polish you put on metal, it won't match. But the original lens boards are matte black, so the "copies" are the same (I hope).
     
  24. edwinfechter

    edwinfechter Member

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    Ole,

    If you could get them to machine the lensboards from carbon fibre sheets then you'd have lensboards matching the rest of the camera. Otherwise you could use real carbon fibre veneer. They're easy enough to cut with an exacto knife and if you order the one with adhesive backing you just stick them on to the finished metal lensboards . Though with the cost of the camera, paying for non-neccesary stuff would be hard to justify. :wink:
     
  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You mean - non-necessary stuff like a brand new shutter for the Germinar-W instead of using the shutter off an old folding Zeiss-Ikon I picked up on ebay for a tenner? Deciding not to sell the 180 Fujinon-W because it looks much better on the camera than an old 180 Symmar? Buying a new 210mm f:6.1 Xenar in addition to the old 210/4.5 Xenar for the same reason - and so that I can use that shutter on the 355 G-Claron since I don't need a 360/5.5 Tele-Xenar with this camera? Yeah - it's hard to justify. But I'm getting good at it. :tongue:
     
  26. edwinfechter

    edwinfechter Member

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    Would have to get better at it too. :smile: The lensboards that come with the Carbon Infinity (1x copal 0, 2 x copal 1 and 1 x copal 3) won't fit all of my 3 lenses. The Nikkor 150 will go to the copal 0 lensboard, the geronar-wa 90mm will go to the copal 3 lensboard. I'd have to sell the the Komura 240mm Copal 3 on a sinar lensboard and save up for for a Fujinon C 300mm or a Fujinon CMW 250mm on a copal 1 (which would have to wait till christmas). And, since my future lens choices are dictated by the remaining copal 1 lensboard, the next one would probably be a Fujinon C 450mm. If only I got more freelance graphic design work to finance the next set of lenses. But then as soon as the camera arrives, I'd head straight to the alpstein massif with the 150mm and the 90mm.