Good 4x5 Beginner Camera?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Huram, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Huram

    Huram Member

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    I am flirting with the idea of getting a good 4x5 SLR entry camera. What brand and model would best fit a beginner to the medium format? Hopefully something not outrageously expensive, but one that still offers the opportunity to get new lenses, accerssories, etc. A more popular all-purpose type 4x5. Thoughts?

    Huram
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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  3. roteague

    roteague Member

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  4. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Please forgive my ignorance, but I thought a 4x5 was a view camera and SLR was an entirely different species? Is there such a thing a SLR 4x5 camera? :confused:
     
  5. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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  6. Huram

    Huram Member

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    I am the ignorant one in this field, but hey, I guess there are SLR 4x5 cameras. Thanks, Andre, for not making me look too dumb :smile:
     
  7. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    COOL! :cool: Does any one still make these? The paper (in the link) says prepared in 1951, are there newer models available. Old school tech is great but I'd like something a little newer than my 1958 Yashica (if possible)
     
  8. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Wisner makes a modern version of the 4x5 slr, but I think it's $3000-3500.
     
  9. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Ah... no.

    There is a Gowan 4x5 TLR out there. I shoulda picked up the one I saw on EBay a couple of years ago. I have a 150 Fujinon lens in shutter for the taking lens and a 150 Schneider lens in barrel for the viewing lens. It sold for over 500 bucks sans lens so that was a bit steep for my pocketbook. It did look like a neat camera.

    I make due with my 3x4 R.B. Graflex SLR.

    tim in san jose
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    A couple of misconceptions here, but hey - 3 years ago I didn't know any more.... 4x5 is "large format" not "medium" and as others pointed out, SLRs are not common in this size....

    The lenses for 4x5 cameras are interchangeable between makes - the only bit you may need to change is the lens panel that the lens mounts on if you use more than one camera ('tho there are adaptors between makes and some use the same size panel). To change an LF camera's lens you unclip the whole lens/lens panel assembly (usually, the shutter is part of the lens) and clip on the new one. Other bits such as film holders are likewise largely interchangeable between makes.

    Have a scout around www.lfphoto.info for more info than you can shake several sticks at...

    You also need to decide what you are going to do with those big negatives: 4x5 enlargers are large beasts and 4x5 is probably a bit small for most people to be happy with contact printing. The other option is scanning... (shhhhh - you didn't hear me say that).

    Have a look on the auction site to get an idea of what is available in the real world and how much you might have to pay.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  12. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I wonder if he is thinking of a "pro" camera like a 'blad, and the "4x5" is simply a mistake; or is he really interested in large format, and the phrases "medium format" and "SLR" are the culprits?

    probably headed for the hills at the sight of that 1940 USN Graphlx manual (kewl :smile: )
     
  13. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Would that be US$ or Can$, or hopefully NZ$? :wink: God help me if it's British pounds... :surprised:

    AAhhhh! It's a monster! run!
    Just kidding but it is rather large. Not sure if I would want another twin lens even if it is a 4x5...
    Think I'll just keep dreaming of the day yet to come :sad:
     
  14. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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  15. Huram

    Huram Member

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    Thanks all for the clarification and the direction. Sorry for the unimformed opening post :sad: This info will give me some good direction and some things to munch on. Thanks again.

    Huram
     
  16. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Omega or Toyo Monorail 4x5

    If you are not certain that you will do 4x5 for the rest of your life, you may want to consider a monorail camera, like a Toyo or Omega. You can probably get one for $200 or so on eBay. Whatever lenses you buy will be good for future cameras you may purchase - you just change the lensboard, if the lensboard of your future camera is dufferent from the Toyo/Omega boards.

    You will probably end up witha folding camera but they are not cheap and I would not want to spend the $$ unless I knew I was going to stay enthusiastic about 4x5 format.

    You will need a sturdy tripod.
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Plenty of cheap 4x5s in different styles. I'd suggest something like my B&J press camera. You get a fairly full set of front movements. You get sheet film. Lens on lensboards. Ground glass focussing. In other words you learn almost everything you need to know. You won't have rear movements or long bellows. But the things are very cheap . Relatively easy to haul. Once you learn how to open the camera and to open the lens for focussing it's a pretty easy camera to use.

    Once you've learn enough to want rear movements,longer bellows or just a new camera you'll have a pretty good idea what's important to you. Then you choose the perfect camera for you. Until you've learned what is and isn't important to you that perfect camera will just be a dream.