Field 4X5 recommendations

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Robert Ivy, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Robert Ivy

    Robert Ivy Member

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    Hi, I'm fairly new to the APUG and wanted to get some feedback on what is considered a decent 4x5 field camera. Most of my work to date has been with a Hasselblad and all is nature/landscape and flowers. I'd like to find something less than $1000. Most of my work with MF is with Velvia and Pan-X. Thanx for your time.
    Bob
     
  2. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    I love my Toyo 45AII but I am teaching my wife to shoot 4X5 and I realy like her Wista. I see them on ebay as low as $650.00 in good shape.
     
  3. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    I'll second the wista. I've owned one for over 20 years (zone VI version) and all it ever needed was a new bellows. Great lightweght camera. Only 12 inches of bellows; but hey...very well made. Will last a lifetime. I can carry it and 3 lenses with holders in a zone vi bag and it weighs nothing. Great for traveling on planes too.
    Best, Peter
     
  4. haziz

    haziz Subscriber

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    A new Shen-Hao, used Wista or new or used Tachihara are well within budget. A used Zone VI camera is usually also well under $1000. I also got my Toyo AII (a metal field camera which I like for it's smoothness) for under $1000. Linhof Technika 4 is also often under $1000 or close.

    Would suggest calling Jim at Midwest photo and see what he has in stock. He will give you solid advice and his pricing is very competitive. You should be able to get a camera and possibly a lens (used) for your proposed budget.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.
     
  5. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    My vote goes to a good used Wisner Technical Field. They are beautiful and well made with all the movements of a serious studio view camera. The prices on Wisner cameras, even new, are surprisingly low. Buy two or three and be set for life! :tongue:
     
  6. Lee Hamiel

    Lee Hamiel Subscriber

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    I second the Wisner Technical Field 4x5 - great camera.

    A lot has been discussed about the company & regardless it's a great camera.

    I'm assuming that when you say 1000. that this is for the body only as the lenses can get expensive unless you're patient.

    Good Luck & have fun
     
  7. Robert Ivy

    Robert Ivy Member

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    Actually, I do need a lens with the setup. Willling to go over 1000 for good lens/body setup.
    Regards
     
  8. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Take a look at the Shen-Hao's at Badger Graphic Sales. In my experience, they're sturdier than the other cameras mentioned, and Badger's service is great. (They're a small, family run business.) If you buy one of these, you could afford a couple of lenses.
     
  9. Capocheny

    Capocheny Member

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    I'll second Peter's recommendation... the Shen-Hao is a very nice camera for the dollar.

    Cheers
     
  10. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    i also use a shen hao,
    nice camera for less bucks.
    So you will keep some money to buy the important things called lenses :D ...
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'll second this about calling Jim. Great fellow to do business with. As for the camera, I use a Toyo 45AII, and love it. I'm planning on getting another.
     
  12. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I've got the shen-hao as well. Great camera for the money compared to quite a few i've seen with similar designs. It's got a graflock back that will accept any film holder or roll film back made for a 4x5 camera. A camera with a spring back won't. You can use a 300mm lens without a problem as well as very wide lenses by attaching the bag bellows. Many lenses fit inside the shen-hao when folded up. The camera folds up with bag bellows attached. It's cheap.
     
  13. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Another vote for the Shen-Hao! I bought mine just over a month ago and I'me delighted with it. A friend of mine uses an Ebony - he sort of looked down his nose at me when I said I was going for the Shen-Hao, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it's put together.

    Wildbill, I'm interested to know what 300mm you use. The on my Shen Hao, the max bellows extension is *allegedly* 360mm, but that's with the camera in a very weird configuration. With the standards parallel, it's 300mm/12 inches, so presumably, you can focus at infinity. Unless you're using a top hat of course...
     
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  15. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    300mm

    I use the 300mm Nikkor M. There are a few pics in my gallery with it. I'm not a fan of the configuration you speak of but in a pinch it works. I've done a bit of macro work with it as well.
     
  16. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    So how close can you focus without disengaging the front lens panel and stuff? I wouldn't want to use that mode of operation with anything other than a very lightweight lens, as you're relying on the front rise screws to stop the lens from tilting forwards/backwards.
     
  17. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    The Shen-Hao is not a bad camera. I had one for a while, before selling it when I bought my Toyo 45AII. Its a very good entry level camera, I just wanted something a little bit more sturdy, and the Toyo fit my needs.

    Ebony. I was lucky enough to have lunch with the owners of Ebony a few weeks ago, along with several others from APUG. They brought along a couple of camera for us to try. While the Shen-Hao is good camera, the Ebony is in a class by itself.

    Right now after using an Ebony, I am trying to save my pennies for an Ebony 8x10. I wont get rid of my Toyo though, it will remain my main camera. But an Ebony is next on the list.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary
     
  18. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council

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    Wista works for me!

    20+ years. 4 season hard use outdoors. Nice and light. Doesn't have front or rear shift, but I don't mind moving the tripod a few times. The only thing ever to go wrong? A few screws got a little loose, so I tightened them up. Cosmetically, mine has a 'brass' coating on the metal bits that's wearing off but I don't mind...now it looks like a real north coast BC mountain climbing, rainforest in the bucketing rain, snowshoeing, sea kayaking, haggard old veteran :smile:

    Murray
     
  19. manjo

    manjo Member

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    Go for wista

    Wista is the way to go!

     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Yet ANOTHER vote for a Shen-Hao. I've had mine for about five years now, and loved every day of it. I've taken mine all across the country, from the beach to near 10,000 feet in the California Sierra, to portrait work in my studio. Could it use a longer bellows? yes. I don't have anything for it, though, that is long enough for me to be bothered about it.

    Mark Pope - I've got a Fuji 300 T f8 lens that I use with the Shen- it takes about 8" of bellows at infinity, so I can focus it pretty close. Not 1:1 macro close, but maybe 5' or so? close enough to do frame-filling head-and-shoulders portraits, with room to spare. The Fuji 300 Tele is a really nice lens - large, but not too heavy, and it takes a 67mm filter, which is common to about 3/4 of my 4x5 lenses.
     
  21. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    I'm very happy user of a Horseman HF the pre version of the Horseman FA wich is in the same category like a Linhof Tech but is much lesser in wight and has only double extention.
    Much more precise then any woody, so sorry woody fans!
    Take care, Armin
     
  22. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Thanks for the info FC - when I have the funds, I'll keep the fuji in mind.

    Cheers
     
  23. Robert Ivy

    Robert Ivy Member

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    Thanx for all the info. I went to the Midwest web site and will give them a call later this week. If I go to ebay I see a nos. of lens. Any suggestions on a good wide angle?
    Bob
     
  24. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    I've been using a Zone VI for several years now and love it! In fact, I can honestly say there is nothing wrong with it -- a masterpiece of design. It has risen to every challenge I've ever given it and never failed to deliver.

    They can be found on eBay often, as well as elsewhere, for a grand or so with a lens. Personally, I find the 135mm to be the most useful, but a 150 is also good to have. While many consider the 210 to be "standard," I just don't find I use it that much. Still, to each his own.

    Zone VI is a beauty! :smile:
     
  25. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Ebonys are great cameras. I used one for a few weeks and wrote a short review on my site. I'd love to get one with the assymetrical tilts. (I have them on my Sinar and love them.) Nonetheless, we're talking about a completely different price leaque, with a whole host of interesting alternatives (Walker, Arca, ....)

    I haven't used a Wista, but I did play with one in the store. I hope that I was looking at a bad sample. I broke the shift knob just by applying gentle pressure. That's not very encouraging.
     
  26. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Sinar F2, plus its 8 pounds!