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  1. #1

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    Large format cameras on "rails"

    I have noted the truly amazing number of 4x5 and 8x10 cameras " on rails"-Sinar, etc.- on that auction site. The number of such cameras offered for sale are to me amazing, and far out number the "large format field cameras" that are available.

    Question: Can such cameras such as the Sinar P2 and others be "easily" used "in the field", or are such cameras relegated to use in a studio or other more "settled " locations? Given the ever decreasing prices of such cameras, should one consider such cameras for use in the field?

    Ed

  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I have a Sinar f2 and they work great in the field. I'm not too sure about the Sinar P in the field. They're built like a Swiss watch. I'm not sure I'll well they will handle dust and dirt in the field well. The P is also a very heavy camera.

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've met someone who uses a 5x7" P2 in the field, but I don't get the sense that he carries it far from the car. A Sinar P/2 is a heavy, bulky camera, and I can't imagine that carrying it around in a non-rigid backpack or subjecting it to dust in the field would be too good for the gearing and adjustment mechanisms.

    A Sinar F/1/2 is designed to be more transportable and can fold in basically three different ways for different methods of transporting the camera.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    There's also the Sinar C, which is a compromise of an F front standard and P rear standard, so you can get the asymmetric movements of the P with a little less weight.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    I use a omega 45d, I have not had it for long, but I use it in field regularly. Its quite bulky to store in a bag beacause of the rail, but its not that heavy. I take the bus and walk wherever I go so if you have a car it will be easy I guess.

  6. #6
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I've been packing my Calumet cc-401 in the field for quite some time.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    I have used my CC-400 series in the field too, albeit not to far from the car, mostly inside a 1-mile. I just bought a Toyo 45A (that should arrive next week, yea). I don't know if my range from the car will change much but the new camera will fit in the wife's Miata, the old one won't.

    Mono-rail cameras do have certain advantages with regard to movements, setup, and rigidity. even their cases are handy. In my Eurovan the CC-400 case provides a nice catch all for all the "necessary" bits we all seem to drag around; filters, film holders, dark bag, ...

    Typically as I get out of the car the camera gets locked onto the tripod head ready to use and carried from there as a unit so weight isn't really a difference. In this mode physical size isn't much different either.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I haul my LF gear on a golf cart(non rider), it's fairly light and stable even pulling through the woods. I pack my camera and tripod in the modified golf bag and spare lenses, meters, and other necessities in a small backpack. This is especially handy for pulling around town to shoot architectural photos.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  9. #9
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I thought using a rail camera was going to be a PIA outdoors,,, I tried a cambo 4x5 and have to admit its easy to use and do not see the need for a field camera.

  10. #10

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    Thanks so very much for all of the informative information and personal recollections!

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