Requesting feedback from serious users of certain cameras

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by michael_r, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Hello. If anyone out there has done serious work and has a lot of experience with any of the following 4x5 cameras (preferably with lenses in the 72mm-110mm range), and is willing to answer some questions, please PM me.

    Thanks
    Michael

    Cameras:

    -Ebony non-folders such as 45SU, SW, RSW
    -Arca Swiss F basic or F Field (with or without Orbix)
    -Linhof Technikardan 45S, Linhof Kardan RE
    -Toyo VX125
    -Sinar F1/F2
     
  2. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Mark Citret uses the VX125 with 72mm and 110mm XL lenses. Aside from personal work and teaching he has done considerable architectural photography in the SF Bay area. You might reach out to him...
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks for that. Citret is a wonderful photographer and printer. I didn't think he'd have time to entertain these kinds of gear questions but I will try to reach him via his website.
     
  4. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I contacted him with a question about his "N-3" technique several years ago and he sent me a response along with an attachment detailing the process (obviously something he had written up before hand).

    I contacted him a second time a few years ago after winning a feePay auction for 5 of his prints (RIDICULOUSLY low price ((about half of what just ONE would normally cost!) and he took the time to look up and send me all the information he had on them. He even wrote out his memories of making the exposures.

    Mark seems like an incredibly nice fellow, might be worth a shot.
     
  5. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Holy sh1t 5 prints??? Nice!
     
  6. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Yeah, it was nuts and I was lucky. I had been searching for one of his prints (that I could afford) for over a year. Some gallery in New England didn't know what they had... They put up all 5 with a crazy low Buy It Now, the auction was poorly put together with lousy pictures and I must have been one of the first viewers. They had JUST put it up. I took a chance and they arrived in PERFECT condition.

    Sorry to derail your thread. If money were no object I would definitely buy a VX125 to compliment my 45AII.
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Not a derailment at all, don't worry. If I can get in touch with Citret I'd like to ask him some things about rigidity, precision, alignment, recessed board requirements etc. (realistically - not just manuafacturer specs) - all my usual OCD.

    One thing that worries me a little is I've never been as comfortable with base tilts (although I suppose I'd just have to use them more and get used to it). I was good with base tilts on my old Sinar A1 (which I should never have sold like an idiot), but that was because the Sinar's have that nifty little angle calculator wheel thingy which I found to work quite well for two-point focusing. The Ebony cameras of course don't have any of this stuff or even an angle degree indicator, but they've got other good points. I just wish I had $100 grand lying around so I could buy a few Toyos, Linhofs, Ebonys and maybe an Arca or two. Then any time there was something that couldn't be done with one camera, I'd simply use a different one :smile:

    Alternatively, since that is ridiculous, if only there was a store I could go to and try these out, if might be easier to rule some out, find the quirks, etc.

    My never-ending search continues...

    If you don't mind me asking, which 5 images did you end up with?
     
  8. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Only 1 is on his website. I'll pm you the some small pictures and his memories of making them if you are interested. It's good stuff, especially if you are a fan of his work.
     
  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks Shawn that would be great. I've always liked his stuff. Quiet, precise, beautifully printed. I know he uses dilutions of Rodinal so I won't be doing that :smile: haha, but it is still always fun to read about how artists work through technical details.

    Appreciate the feedback. I sent Mark an email so hopefully he'll have some camera advice.
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Most monorail system cameras will allow interchangeable bag bellows for optimal movements using short lenses. The Sinar cameras are the most common type. I chatted with Mark one day when he was using the Toyo monorail here, but no difference in principle. Technikardans have a collapsing or telescoping rail which would seem more difficult to balance at the extremes, so it would be scratched off any hypothetical list of my own of ideal architectural cameras. With most monorails you can simply add or remove sections to accommodate a very wide range of focal lengths. Some people like the greater portability of those little Ebony non-folders, but you sacrifice the potential for using longer lenses unless you buy a relatively expensive optional extended back. The quality of Ebony is certainly excellent, but you pay for it.