Need help choosing a "technical" camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by wilfbiffherb, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    i must call upon your assistance once again guys! im thinking of moving on from my bronica sq-a and getting into technical cameras. i dont really know much about them to be honest. i love their style and the effects you can get with lens movements. im a little aware of graflex style ones and the horseman brand but that's about as far as my knowledge goes. can anyone help with any pointers on what to look out for at all? i know some will probably suggest just buying a 4x5 camera but im never going to shoot that big. ill be sticking to 120 film.
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    get a minox






    seriously though, i'd look into the 4x5. they're not much bigger, sometime even lighter, and you can shoot 6x12 in addition to 6xWhatever you like to shoot. the article mentioned above pretty much sums up all the relevant points.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2013
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi there

    sorry to be one of the people who suggests you buy a 4x5 camera ...
    i would suggest getting a toyo or similar view camera and using a roll film back ...
    NOT because i am trying to convert you to use large format film .. BUT because with
    a 4x5 camera, you will have the ability to use a group of lenses that will give you more coverage
    for your MF negative, AND you will have a larger ground glass back so you will
    have a bigger pallet to compose with.
    there are a lot of cameras out there, rail cameras, and they will allow you to
    twist your bellows into knots ( if you want ), they will allow you to use longer lenses ( if you like long lenses ) ...
    you will need recessed lensboards to use things shorter than "xx mm " depending on what your needs are.
    make sure you get something with a bag / balloon bellows or the ability to change them from straight accordion to bag bellows
    because with shorter / "normal" MF lenses you will need to be free of the constraints accordion bellows serve up.

    have fun !
    john
     
  4. spijker

    spijker Subscriber

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  5. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Althought I agree with the guys about the 4x5 stuff look into the linhof stuff. Their technical camera's are beautiful and practical plus there seems to be a surplus right now especially on "you know where". That said I almost gave up my LF gear(I have a linhof tech III among others) until I began looking at the tonaliy of my prints. Frankly I've never been able to achieve the same qualities with MF even from my rolleiflex. So above and beyond the movements I would rate tonality as my first criteria.
    You may find that all the effects from the movements may be a bit over rated unless doing serrious architecture or studio product work.
    For me my 4x5 monorail is the best I've used for still in studio:the flexibility of the long bellows makes macro and other close focus work a breeze the movements I don't use much.
     
  6. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I agree with John's suggestion for a 4x5 camera with a roll film back, along with Ron's comment about Linhof. I started with an old Tech III and moved up to a V last year, so I know how well built, solid, and durable they are. I think Linhof makes smaller than 4x5 cameras but I'm not sure. In any case I would suggest you at least give 4x5 a try. You might like it. I have a beautiful Hasselblad 501CM rig that has not seen the light of day for several years simply because I am so addicted to those big negatives.
     
  7. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Many years ago I remember looking enviously at a superb Linhof Tech. system in a photo store window but in small format. Maybe they're still around. I want one, I want one!
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It comes down to 6x9 Linhof or 6x9 Horseman or Baby Graphic. If we throw out Baby Graphic and just look at the two 'modern' systems it is probably a 'toss-up' as to which is better for you. Both of them have many little accessories that are useful but hard to locate. Both can be expensive. When new the Linhof was much more expensive and is better built. Now days you can probably get a very old and tired Linhof for the same price or less than a very clean late model Horseman HVR or ER-1.

    I went with the Horseman VH-R system.

    This site has some good info on the Horseman Technical cameras. http://www.bnphoto.org/bnphoto/LFN/CamProf_Horseman1.htm
     
  9. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    thanks for all the suggestions - ill look further into the linhof and horeseman systems.
     
  10. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Wilfbiffherb, as the owner of a fully movable Super Press 23 (have the GG back and all the crap you can get for the thing) I have been eyeing 4x5s like the Linhof and Horseman for a few years. I have no intention to go to 4x5 but 6x7 or 6x9, oh ya.

    Be picky on what you can pick up unless you know you can handle well worn equipment and intend to learn first then upgrade later. Personally, I would prefer using the movements on a camera designed and intended to be "moved" versus something like my Press camera that "can" move but all you get is knobs to loosen then slide it to move. Not very precise at all nor smoth. A view camera just has to be adjusted easier.

    Good luck.

    Bob E.
     
  11. jcjohnnyrob4316

    jcjohnnyrob4316 Member

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    Choosing a tech. camera.

    I bought a Linhof Technika 70 3 lens outfit around 6 years ago. Amazing stuff! I shot last Saturday, developed the film on Sunday, and scanned it. The T-70 has a way, (it seems to me), of challenging you to go deeper. The camera itself is a masterpiece, and it compells you to do likewise. If it were second rate, I wouldn't go the extra mile in shooting. Every camera purchase is a trade-off of one thing for another. Everyone is different about what they like. A tech.70 with three fast lenses, backs, shade, etc. in great shape is rare and will cost more than the average medium format kit, in like condition. A lot has to do about you, personally. Your priorities. I have owned a lot of cameras since the 1970's. Three hassies, Pentax 6x7, SL66, Rollei twin lens, blah, blah, blah. For me the T-70 is above them all. But it has a lot to do with what you like. You know. Seven people/seventeen opinions! AHHHH,,,life! All the best!
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The Linhofs are heavy. A Master Tech + 3 lenses in your backpack will tell you all about it on a 15km walk through the bush. And you'll need to brush up, quickly, on exposure skills (spot metering, duplex metering, incident, reflective... all have their specific uses, no one method being the best for any one situation), and patience, patience, patience. LF can't be rushed and mistakes happen easily.

    Be aware also that the difference between a well exposed medium format image and one from 4x5 will be modest. MF will also of course save you the silly business of loading/unloading film holders (and the attendant mistakes that do happen) and get you a lot more images with a safety margin (in roll film) that sheet film does not afford you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2013
  13. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    I had a nice Wista 45N system with several lenses and even a roll film back but I sold the whole lot last summer in order to a couple of medium format rangefinders. And while I miss the Wista and wish I had gotten more into it, for me this was the right decision. The cameras I bought in its place get way more use.
     
  14. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Linhof Super Technika IV, V or Master and a Super Rollex back. The Graflex is a press camera, not a technical camera.