Finding the perfect 2x3

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dcelfving, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. dcelfving

    dcelfving Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I work in wet plate and love the intimacy of a 2x3 image. Sadly, good cameras are hard to come by. I've had some success with Century Graphics and have recently upgraded to a used Galvin. But I'm looking for something that offers more control and would love some advice. Specifically:

    - Does anyone have direct experience with the Shen Hao clone of the Ebony 2x3? The price is right, but I'm not sure a wooden camera is the way I want to go.

    - The Toyo 23G looks to be absolutely perfect for my needs, but some serious searching hasn't turned one up. They seem to be extremely rare.

    – Are there other cameras I should consider? I'd like to keep the cost below $1000, so Ebony, Horseman and the new Toyo 2x3 for digital backs are out.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For about a tenth of your budget get a British 1/4 plate camera from the 1880's 0 1920;s and make an adaptor back. and it looks the part :D

    [​IMG]

    well that's what it used to look like :D Enough movements as well.

    Ian

    Now

    [​IMG]

    It has the original lens and a push on Thornton Pickard shutter as well as another board with a coated Trinar 105 in a Compur shutter, as well as a 6x7 adaptor back
     
  3. eclarke

    eclarke Member

    Messages:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    New Berlin,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I have a ShenHao TFC45 that I bought on a lark, I also have the Ebony 45S version. The Shenhao is a well made camera and I actually put together a little grab kit with 3 holders, a 150 lens a loupe, small dark cloth and a cable release. The whole thing only weighs 5 or 6 pounds and I have found occasion to use it...EC
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    St. Simons I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a Mamiya RB67 with sheet film holders.
    juan
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You can probably find a Linhof Technika 23 of older vintage in your price range, particularly if you don't need rangefinder cammed lenses, or maybe with one cammed lens. If you want a 2x3 Tech III or IV with cammed lenses, I'd recommend looking for a kit that includes three cammed lenses (the cams have three lobes for three different lenses), since there aren't many people who will grind cams for the older cameras, though Linhof will cam lenses for the 2x3 Tech V (the last version, which they stopped selling a few years ago). If you plan to focus on the groundglass and have no interest in using the rangefinder, then you don't need lens cams. They made a rangefinderless version called the "study camera." There was also the Tech 70 with an integrated top mounted rangefinder, and 2x3" Technika Press with helical mounted lenses.

    I have a Tech V 23b, which is the version with the flap on top for front rise with extra wide lenses, like the last version of the 4x5" Master Technika.
     
  6. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    After having used both a Silvestri and a Horseman VHR and now using a 4x5 field camera, I can only advice you to buy a 4x5 camera instead of a 2x3. A 2x3 weighs almost the same as a 4x5 camera so you win nothing there. The 4x5 gives you the possibility to use 2x3, as well as 6x7, 6x12 and 4x5. Once you have shot 4x5, it is hard to get back to 2x3.
     
  7. jmooney

    jmooney Member

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Morrisville,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This is a timely thread because I'm looking at 2x3's myself. Does anyone have a picture of a 2x3 graphic next to a 4x5 graphic? It would be great to see what the size difference truly is. I poked around flickr but didn't find much.

    Jim
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,436
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here you go, a 4x5 speed and a 2x3 speed
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,342
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Horseman is out with a budget of $1,000, but Linhof is in?
     
  11. jmooney

    jmooney Member

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Morrisville,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Wow...that's a pretty significant difference IMHO. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

    Jim
     
  12. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I also have a 2x3 and a 4x5, and the 2x3 really is a much more intimate camera.

    One thing I've toyed with, but never done, is put a couple of other lenses is boards, then make scales for them. I could read the factory scale for the rangefinder, then adjust to the appropriate scale for the installed lens.

    But, as pointed out, 4x5 offers a lot more possibilities.
     
  13. jmooney

    jmooney Member

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Morrisville,
    Shooter:
    35mm

    That's the fight I'm having with myself is that 4x5 is more versatile but the advantages of the smaller camera and lenses are what's calling me, especially since I'd likely strip all the finders, handles, etc off the body to make it a mini-field camera. I also have zero desire to work with sheet film at this point for various reasons, namely cost and practicality so I envision using roll film regardless of what camera I get.

    I know it sounds like I'd be better off with an MF setup but I want the movements for landscape and architecture work.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I\'d say my 23 Linhof kit is half the size of my 45 Linhof kit, figuring 5-6 lenses. Everything scales down, like lensboards and filmholders, and rollfilm even more. Three 45 filmholders take as much space as around 15 rolls of 120. That\'s 6 sheets of 4x5 vs 150 shots on 6x7.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2011
  16. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kind of funny, I'm gearing up to start using 2.25x3.25 sheet film. I've even been scheming how to cut it myself out of roll film so I'll have a better choice of emulsions.

    I'll make sure to wave at you if we pass like ships in the night.
     
  17. jmooney

    jmooney Member

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Morrisville,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    LOL...I'll be sure to wave too.

    I guess I could have worded it more accurately. I'm always willing to try something in photography but my situation dictates that sheet film isn't a possibility.
     
  18. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,982
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, I have a largish Photoflex hip bag (I think one of the Galen Rowell models). In it is a Century Graphic (with 90mm lens), 135 lens on board, 3-4 film holders, 1 roll film holder (Mamiya RB), plus room for meter and a few rolls of film.
     
  19. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

    Messages:
    2,578
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    san jose, ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have used my rb67 with a grafmatic back, two problems, the focus is soft, and the rb gives you less control than a speed graphic, not more.

    I would adapt a 4x5 field to 2x3 with a custom back made from a trashed speed graphic and call it done.
    One day though, you might get tired of those fiddly little pieces of film. I did. As for wet plate, do old plate holders work or do you have a different setup for that?

    tim in san jose
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,484
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Horseman 2x3/6x9 cameras are pretty inexpensive. Here is one for less than $400:
     
  21. Revolucion Artistico

    Revolucion Artistico Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Ana, C
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If you figure out a good way of doing that I'd be interested in your method as I've thought of doing this myself but cringe at the thought of trying to get curled 2x3 sheets into holders.

    Ryan
     
  22. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The old Adapt-a-roll 620 inserts collect the film rolled backwards on the take up spool. Letting a roll sit for a few days makes it pretty flat. Not fllat like a box of sheet film, but it's not too bad.

    There's a few outfits on the Bay that sell ID badge dies for cutting 2z3 photo id badges. They have rounded corners, and I'm sure it isn't exactly the right dimensions. I've written them, and they'll custom make one with the exact dimensions and square corners (and probably a notch code since it's custom) but it it expensive. So I haven't done that yet.

    My grand scheme, if I can ever get it all together, is to take a roll of 120, roll it out in the Adapt-a-roll to flatten for a few days, hack off two sheets of 2.25x3.25 from the tail, then slit the remainder into a strip for 127 and a strip for a Minolta 16.

    So far it's more of a thought experiment than reality. This BS of earning a living interferes with my hobbies big time.

    MB
     
  23. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Staunton VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For anyone interested...I have a 21/4 X 31/4 Speed Graphic in great shape for sale. It has a range finder, sports finder, two lenses, original instruction manuel and comes in the original box. I also have about a dozen film holders to go with. Will let it go for $250.00 plus shipping from Virginia, or bet offer.
     
  24. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll bet... oh wait. That's probably a typo.
     
  25. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Staunton VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How much ya wanna bet?
     
  26. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,168
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Why? Have you got unsatisfactory results with roll film? I ask because I've had no trouble with roll film and can't imagine what you'd gain ...