WTB: Folding 4x5 kit

Discussion in '[Classifieds] Want to Buy' started by LyleB, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Looking to buy a reasonably priced Field 4x5 kit. Will be my first venture into LF. Will be for landscapes exclusively, so normal to wide angle is preferred.

    Since this is my first venture, would prefer to get a kit to get me started. I'm a hands-on type person, so to really gain an understanding of what I want and need, I have to look at it and play with it. Me, at this point, trying to piece a kit together, may end up a disaster.

    What do folks have sitting around that they aren't using?
     
  2. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    You sound like you want a camera to take out backpacking, which means either an older wooden field camera or...well reasonably priced is kind of hard to quantify. Relative to your idea of reasonable. I got really lucky and picked up a Toyo 45A and with the new bellows from Mamiya I have $595 invested in it. You are going to have a hard time finding a metal field camera in good working condition for less. A wooden field camera in good working condition would go for less.

    Wista

    This Wista is about the best deal I could find on eBay in a short search, like I said. Reasonable is relative, and dont forget the lens, film holders, cable release, tripod, dark cloth, loupe, light meter, and more I am sure I am forgetting late at night. I have about $1800 invested right now in my 4X5 setup and that is actually pretty low compared to most. Hope you find a good deal!
     
  3. D Saul

    D Saul Member

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    Lyle,

    If you're interested in a wood folding Wista, I've got one I'd be willing to sell since it's not being used. It also has the optional wood 5x7 back and I've got minty holders to boot. Right now I'm in The Netherlands but will be back in the U.S. in a week, so I could send you photos if you'd like.

    Greetings,
    Dan
     
  4. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    Have you looked at an old press camera? They're by far the cheapest way to get into LF and offer most of what a field camera does.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Too much, but I just can't part with it.
     
  6. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Yes I am a backpacker who would like the option of taking this camera once I learn to use it.

    Since making my original post I found a great online explanation of LF lens/shutter installation onto the lens boards. This was an area I was not grasping well until now. Still need plenty of hands-on, but I have some concept of how they work now. Very different from 35mm and MF.

    I stopped bidding on a very decent sounding Crown Graphic last night. It had reached $355 when I stopped bidding based on a thread here on APUG that said $369 was way overpriced for a Crown Graphic. The bidding on ebay eventually went to $425. What should a Crown Graphic with Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 135mm f/4.7, good condition bellows, and a Graflok back go for. They seen to be asking around $500 on the "Buy it Now" offers.

    I would be interested in a wooden folder. Please send some photos when you have a chance.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  7. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Those prices for a Crown Graphic seem high. "Buy it now" prices on ebay are weird. Some are unrealistically low and other realistically high.

    It's hard to find a decent wood field camera for less than $400-500; not impossible but difficult. Better ones would cost more. Then add for a lens. So much depends on your budget. And level of urgency - if you're patient you can find a good deal. But you have to be knowledgeable enough to "pounce" on it. It sounds like you're seeking out that knowledge.

    A Crown Graphic with Graflock back would be a good starting point. A Super Graphic would be better, but more expensive. As to lenses, I would start with the ubiquitous 127mm Ektar or 135mm Optar. They are a good starter lens: slightly wide on a 4x5, decent, though not exceptional performance (but no room for movements), inexpensive. If you can affort to start with a 135mm Rodenstock or Fuji or Schneider, all the better.

    Keep in mind that the Graflex cameras are very old. Unless it's one that's been recently used, recognize that pinholes in the bellows, missing fittings, and a shutter in need of a CLA are all very real possibilities.

    One last point. Monorail 4x5s are out of vogue and can be very cheap. IF that works for you, consider that as an alternative.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    $200 is a good price for a Crown Graphic and half decent lens, a 135mm Xenar is OK at f22 but edge sharpness is poor wider open. any more is over the top.

    For some reason people are paying way over the odds for Speed & Crown Graphics, while I have 3 they aren't the most versatile of 5x4 cameras but they are excellent for hand held work where movements are les practicl anyway.

    Ian
     
  9. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    i use a wooden shen hao. weight is important when walking a lot.
    yes i prefer a ebony, but can't afford one until i will sell pictures :D
     
  10. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    This is a good point, maybe pick up a 4X5 Monorail for around $100 until you learn how to use it and also may give you a better idea of what you want to buy

    I posted a WTB ad in the classifieds asking for a "cheap 4X5 monorail" as I wanted a camera for home use with more bellows draw than my Toyo has. I had 3 or 4 nice APUG members offer me cameras at or below my $100 price point. I ended up getting a 1920s Gundlach, a wooden flatbed camera that I am currently restoring (hobby of mine) that will also be used when I am done but several people had nice Calumet and Cambo monorails for about $100 I am sure they would sell to you.

    Just an idea, good luck!
     
  11. D Saul

    D Saul Member

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    Lyle,

    Is this regarding offer to sell my Wista?
     
  12. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Well depends on condition and how much. I'm not real familiar with the Wista, but would be interested in taking a look.
     
  13. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I have a 210mm and 105mm lens if you're interested in a couple of sharp lenses. The 105mm is a Nikon W f5.6 and the 210mm is a Rodenstock Sironar-N f5.6. Both are mint, glass is perfect as is the shutter. I'd sell them both for $500. I know you're more into the camera right now, but these two lenses are awesome...too bad I also sold my wista that was with them along with a bunch of backs, film, etc. etc.

    PM me and let me know.
     
  14. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    jordanstarr:

    Thanks for the offer. I may be interested, have to wait and see how much I spend on the camera. Have a couple of lens bids in on eBay that will be ending soon, so have to wait to find out the results on those too.

    Do these come mounted on a Wista board? I assume they do include the mounting flange.

    I'll definitely keep these in mind, particularly interested in the 105mm, would be able to hold off on a 90mm that I was considering.

    Thanks, I'll wait until I find out more about what camera I get, and what kind of deal that entails. Will let you know.
     
  15. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    I'd keep looking for a Super Graphic. I have one, and bought it here with a working coupled rangefinder for $250. The rangefinder can be very useful when using a roll-film back or a Grafmatic. The revolving back is a very big deal to me as well.

    My other cameras are a Sinar Norma monorail (to use a short rail, bag bellows and a 90mm Nikkor SW f/8-- which is a really superb set up), and a couple of vintage Meridians which are folding technical cameras having back moves as well as front moves.

    The Wollensak Optar 135mm (Raptar) likely to come mated to many press cameras including the Graphic/Super Graphic can be a very fine lens indeed. On 4x5 at f/22 and used straight on without movements, it's probably sharper on center than just about everything more modern that has a larger image circle. (Being that I also have a couple or three cameras with back moves, I might be seeing more utility in these Wollys than someone whose cameras only have front standard swing and tilt.) Used with a 6x9 roll film back, these really shine with plenty of image circle for moves; corner sharpness is not much of an issue then.
     
  16. Shadowtracker

    Shadowtracker Member

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    I picked up an Omega 45F rail camera to get my feet wet. I paid $35.00 for it and will get a $45.00 DIY bellows kit to replace the bellows. Then there is the real expense - Lenses - but I found two real good deals so far here on Apug.

    I will lug it around some but hey, it will keep me in shape hauling it and being careful right? I will be looking for a Field Camera at some point but prices on ebay are nuts! I can wait, bide my time I suppose. I think, from the way everyone here has been helpful that I will get a better camera at a better price by putting an ad on WTB here.

    I need to get my membership upgraded to do that and it won't be long before that happens. I took Colin's suggestion and found a copy of Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons and look forward to wrapping my head around that one soon. School will be out in a month but then I'm taking a photo summer class after that. Kind of long in the tooth to be a freshman in an AFA photography program, but what the heck, I'm having fun with it. I may never make money at it, but my passion is in film and developing and printing at home.

    Good luck in your pursuit of a field camera too.