Large Format View camera that shoots roll film plus possible future digital back?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Rinthe, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    So i went from 35mm to medium and now i'm looking at view cameras...

    is it better to get a large format camera with roll film back or a medium format view camera?

    any suggestions welcome, I'm very new to the LF. I really don't want to carry around something very big, but i WANT the movements!
     
  2. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    I have three roll film backs { 120 - 6X7, 6X9, 220 - 6X7 }
    That I use with the 4X5, total cost for all three $67.00.
    Taking the Low-Budget approach at the moment.
    Hopefully someday the 500C will be repaired ...

    Someday Soon Hopefully ?


    Ron
    .
     
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  3. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    I do have a 500c/m. but i don't see any way to make it move since the shutter is in the lens :/
     
  4. aluncrockford

    aluncrockford Member

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    One solution is to get a Sinar f or p with a bag bellows ,you can use a roll film back with ease and for digital there is the option of a sliding back or less ideal, an adaptor back which allows you to put a P45 on to a hasselblad film back fitting. I Have used the sliding back years and it works well . This option also allows you to expand your kit with endless amounts of Sinar equipment which can be had at a very good price indeed .
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If you are going to put a digital back on it some day, I'd go for any 4x5 with a standard Graflok style back. It has been the standard for decades now, and I don't imagine it changing any time soon. I don't know anything about digital, but all digital backs for 4x5 cameras must be compatible with the Graflok system. 4x5s are not really large cameras, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    If it was not for the digital thing, I might suggest getting a medium format view camera or SLR with movements, such as the Fuji 6x8. That would give you movements without having to move up to sheet film.
     
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  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The difference in weight and size between a 5x4 camera and a similar MF field, technical or monorail camera is often not that significant and a 5x4 camera will have more long term flexibility because you can shoot MF with a roll film back or 5x4.

    I don't find carrying my Wista 45DX around any more cumbersome than a MF SLR with prism etc which is why I stopped using my MF slrs except for some commercial work over 20 years ago.

    Ian
     
  7. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    Since you are new to LF, and you WANT the movements, I suggest that you try to make learning to use movements as easy as possible. To learn movements you need to be able to see what happens when you make movements.

    IMHO, small film doesn't work well for this. Newbies should start out with sheet film, at least 5x4. Two main reasons. First, it's big enough you can see what you are doing on the ground glass -- and the ground glass never lies. Second, you can develop the sheets individually so you get quicker feedback -- the film you exposed this afternoon can be on your light table tonight and you can see how successful (or not) your use of front tilt really was. During the initial learning phases, this can actually be cheaper than using roll film -- better to screw up one sheet than an entire roll.

    I also suggest that you start with a "normal" lens of around 150mm for said 5x4 camera. Why? Again, two main reasons. First, a normal lens is far more useful on an LF camera than it is on a small format camera. As a newbie you probably won't believe that -- I didn't. But after a few years I bought a 150mm lens and find I use it surprisingly frequently. Second, again, it's easier to learn movements if you can see what you are doing. Too short a lens and the effects of movements are too small to see easily.

    Will you listen to me? I doubt it. I asked similar questions and mistakenly disregarded most of the answers when I was starting LF. Yet, if you can bring yourself to do what I couldn't -- learn from the experience of others, it will definitely speed up your climbing of the learning curves, and decrease your frustration levels. Really.

    There's a wealth of information and experience available from the LF photography forum. The home page contains a lot of articles written by members to help people come up to speed quickly. It's nearly as big as APUG; but instead of being focused on analog, it's focused on LF and ULF. Search the archives and articles and ask all the questions you want.
     
  8. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Listen to those that have already done the LF and put it into practice, that should keep the learning curve from becoming a death spiral.
     
  9. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    There are a number of large format style cameras that shoot roll film. As mentioned above... it's not the easiest starting point. I would suggest starting with 4x5 and sheet film, then moving into a roll film back down the road. Better yet would be starting with a 5x7 camera and getting a 6x17 roll film back down the road.

    You can find these cameras on the ShenHao site or at Ebony Cameras. These two make a good selection to see what's out there... although you might decide to get a used one to start.

    I've used a number of MF cameras.... none had movements.

    -Rob
     
  10. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    try to find a person in your area that wants to show you the benefit/pittfalls of the LF in the field so you have an idea what it does.
     
  11. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    thank you all for the answers. Looks like it's better for me to start with 4x5... I will do more research on the LF photography forum. one dumb question, do large format cameras require a tripod or can i hand hold it?
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It depends on the camera. Some are hand holdable and some require tripods. You said you want to use movements, however, so you'll need a tripod to be able to precisely do that.
     
  13. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    There's a subset of LF cameras called "press cameras" which were designed for hand-holding. There's a great website at Graflex.org that is a fairly comprehensive site for the Graflex press cameras. The Busch Pressman cameras were also popular. There were some others, but I can't remember much about them.

    That said, the vast majority of LF is tripod based. Why? The cameras are are often heavy, the shutter speeds are slow, and you can't use movements while hand-holding (it's nearly impossible to focus on a ground glass that's moving).
     
  14. r1ma

    r1ma Member

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    It would be just about impossible to use a monorail/view camera without a tripod. maybe if you had 5 hands.
     
  15. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    can i handhold field cameras?
     
  16. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    IMO unless impossible or not practical in a situation using a tripod for any format is helpful. Especially with large format focusing on the ground glass with a loupe and under a focusing cloth just doesn't cut it. Also a view camera isn't for grab shots. Take your time compose the image and remember you are looking at it upside down and backwards. I've used a Toyo field camera for a number of years and have been pleased with it. I only use it on a sturdy tripod.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Well, there are sorta field cameras with rangefinders. Linhof Technikas, usually classified as technical cameras. There are other makes. And there are sorta technical cameras with rangefinders. Press cameras in general.

    Yes, some 4x5 and 5x7 cameras were made to be used handheld.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You can hand hold them, but you can probably only guess focus and composition with them. You'd need something with a rangefinder and a viewfinder, or at least a focusing scale, and generally those things are only found on press or technical cameras.
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You don't need a Range-finder or focus scale for hand held work, you just focus on the screen first, but you do need some kind of viewfinder or sight & frame finder and a s ahs been said they are only fitted on Press & Technical camera.

    Press cameras have extremely limited movements, technical cameras are in between them and field cameras and so more practical. Graflex were far to late in introducing the Super Graphics, Linhof & MPP had filled the market after WWII.

    Ian
     
  20. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    thanks guys for the info. after much researching, i think i might end up getting a shen hao. they're cheap and get good reviews from many people. what do you guys think?

    I'm thinking about the HZX 4X5-IIA and TZ45-IIB right now.

    I watched this youtube video of the TZ45-IIB here: http://www.youtube.com/user/RobertWhitePhoto#p/u/6/H6M4BWxwAp0

    It shows that if I want to use the roll film holder, i have to remove the ground glass every time, that could be a pain... is there some other way around this? also, do i have to take off the ground glass when i'm shooting sheet film too?
     
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  21. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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    Look for a Linhof Rapid Rollex slide in roll film holder, it goes in the camera just like a regular sheet film holder. The disadvantage is that you cannot leave the film unused for long periods without winding because the film can take a set where it reverses over the roller in the end of the holder.

    No, you do not have to remove the ground glass when using a sheet film holder. The film holder is inserted in the camera in front of the ground glass which is displaced and used to hold the film holder by spring pressure.

    Look for a book "the View Camera" by Steve Simmons, you will learn a lot more a lot quicker. There is another book on view cameras published by Kodak. Have one or both of these before you decide to buy a camera.
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Considering digital backs for medium format cameras cost about as much as a small car, I can't imagine how much one for a large format camera would cost .:confused:
     
  23. JamesMorris

    JamesMorris Member

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    I've been told, by a person in the industry, that wooden cameras are generally not sturdy enough for digital backs. I don't know this from personal experience, but would believe what I've been told.

    An Ebony may be sturdy enough as a wooden camera, but they're very expensive. It may be an idea to look for a Linhof Technika IV or V.