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  1. #11

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    Check sent, Woot!!!

    Now, will any Linhoff board do? I need two Copal-0 and one Copal-1, should I get a recessed Copal-0 for my 90mm 6.8 Caltar?

  2. #12
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    You shouldn't need a recessed board for 90mm.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    I am half way through a self build of a 5x4 camera and have been looking at various videos on YouTube of cameras being un-folded to get some idea of the front mechanism I want to use. The Wista mechanism looks good to me and is probably what I will use. The Chamonix certainly has its merits though, particularly in its simplicity.

    I think I must have sketched out about fifty different ideas on this mechanism. I must make a decision soon and make a mock up to test that it all fits together when folded up.


    Steve.
    Steve, of course it depends on what you personally want. But having now worked a little bit with both cameras, I like the Chamonix design a lot better. Specifically, I like the axial adjustment for tilt. I mentioned this in my original post, but I think it is especially apparent when you are setting up a macro shot. This weekend I was doing just that, with a complex focus plane. The fact that it could swing and tilt, keeping the lens rotating around its nodal point, was very useful. On top of that, the fact that it has back focus means I didn't have to move the lens to adjust focus (which would change the magnification). Since the Wista has base tilt, every change to tilt means refocusing the lens. Since there is no back standard focusing, that meant a change to magnification and moving the whole tripod. With the standard now tilted, a swing of the front standard also does a shift, because the lens, now tilted, does not swing around its nodal point, but moves along an arc, thus also shifting. On the Wista this has to be corrected by applying a small amount of back shift to compensate. Luckily my Wista is a model with back shift.

    The second problem I see with the Wista mechanism is also something I mentioned in the original post. To get the movements they have on the front and rear, they used a couple of layers of metal, creating flat bearing surfaces above the wooden base. The top surface slides around a vertical axial point on the front standard (no shift on the front), with movement controlled by cam locking pins running through curved tracks on the outer edge. The whole mechanism (bottom and top metal plate together) is connected to the bed via the same kind of cam locking pins. One set of pins locks movement on the bed, a second set locks swing. The problem is that this mechanism is complex to engineer, can get dirt between the plates, and the whole mechanism is a source of potential movement. It is this mechanism that makes the front standard on the Wista seem less rigid than the simpler mechanism on the Chamonix. I don't think it ages well either, due to dirt, and potentially the possibility of the bearing surfaces getting less flat over the years through use. On the other hand, my camera is at least 25 years old, and still works. So it isn't all bad!

    The Chamonix design seems much easier to engineer, and it is much easier to keep clean. The whole standard disconnects from the bed, so you can easily clean all bearing surfaces. Plus, there are no layers of metal - just the standard base in contact with the bed. The standard base is metal, flat, and wide enough to provide a solid foot that can't wiggle when the single big turnbuckle screw is tightened.

    The second issue with the Wista standards are the mechanisms to guide and lock tilt. The standards are hinged at the bottom (base tilt), and have shafts riding along a slot cut in side plates. The shafts have knobs which allow the standard to be locked at any point along the slots. There is a "detent" slot at the vertical point, making it very easy to set the standards to the vertical, assuming the camera base is level. In any case, it is easy to get the standards parallel to each other. The plates themselves are hinged in a way that, along with a spring, allows the plate to "capture" the shaft into the detent as the standard is moved to the vertical. This is good for quick setup, but is a royal pain when trying to do small tilts. You have to hold back the plate with your fingers, because otherwise the spring lets the detent capture the shaft. The Chamonix doesn't have this issue, because the vertical capture locks are slide locks that can just be slid out of the way when you want something other than vertical, yet provide positive, rigid locking at the vertical when you need it. You normally keep the standards locked unless you want to tilt, then it is easy to slide the locks to free the standards. There is never any errant capture at the vertical to interfere with your adjustments.

    I think the large set of issues the Wista front standard introduces more than offsets the benefit of being able to carry the lens in the folded camera, unless you are only going to do outdoor landscapes and will never do any macro work. But that is the big question you have to decide: what is your primary use of the camera? Optimize the design for your needs, not mine.

    Best of luck with it! I hope my comments and comparisons are helpful!

  4. #14
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Thanks. Your comprehensive descriptions are very helpful.

    I now have a few pages of sketches of both versions. Tomorrow I will draw them in CAD and make some 2D mock up parts to try them out.


    Steve.

  5. #15
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    When folded, the Wista presents it's self as a nice clean box with the bellows & assorted brasswork well protected. Having cams and levers to lock the sliding surfaces does mean that one doesn't run the risk of dropping/losing a fixing screw.

    On the downside, I would like geared front rise and shift like my MPP and the positioning of the locks for rear shift are a little icky... The Chamonix is pretty little thing too.

  6. #16

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    Chomping at the bit, 45N-2 Teak, grey hardware, reflex viewing hood and one Copal-0 CF lens board hopefully by next week...

    Nom, Nom, Nom....

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_c5x4 View Post
    When folded, the Wista presents it's self as a nice clean box with the bellows & assorted brasswork well protected. Having cams and levers to lock the sliding surfaces does mean that one doesn't run the risk of dropping/losing a fixing screw.
    In looking at the open area of the non-hinged side of the 45N-2 when folded, I am trying to decide to make either a padded a spacer or use clothing items like socks there when the camera is stowed in it's supplied fabric wrap when in my back country pack...

    Some of the places I go require rope work so the pack can get tossed around a bit even though the camera gear is fairly well protected while in trekking mode..

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    In looking at the open area of the non-hinged side of the 45N-2 when folded, I am trying to decide to make either a padded a spacer or use clothing items like socks there when the camera is stowed in it's supplied fabric wrap when in my back country pack...

    Some of the places I go require rope work so the pack can get tossed around a bit even though the camera gear is fairly well protected while in trekking mode..
    I can see no reason why you would need more than the cloth padding when it is in your pack. With the ground glass protective cover in place, I think any impact sufficient to damage the body would have already damaged your lenses and other pack contents.

    Mine is carried inside a photo pack (old Lowepro PhotoTrekker) with padded dividers between sections. I just put the camera in that with the leather wrap, and without the cloth wrap. I put my dark cloth on top of that. I think it is plenty secure.

    In your case, if you don't have padded dividers in your pack, you can probably get away with just wrapping the camera in the dark cloth (either inside or outside the cloth wrap that comes with the camera.

    I like the leather wrap, but it is not full protection (sides are exposed). It looks good sitting on the tripod though, closed with leather wrap in place.

  9. #19

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    Thanks, I will definitely figure it out..

    I rarely use photo-centric packs since they are often twice as heavy as a regular pack and leave no room for the more important things to an outdoor pro such as clothing, water, food, climbing and or avalanche gear. For example, I have no interest in actual dark cloths, only a upper layer of black synthetic clothing that I wear that could be used as a dark cloth.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck94022 View Post
    I can see no reason why you would need more than the cloth padding when it is in your pack. With the ground glass protective cover in place, I think any impact sufficient to damage the body would have already damaged your lenses and other pack contents.

    Mine is carried inside a photo pack (old Lowepro PhotoTrekker) with padded dividers between sections. I just put the camera in that with the leather wrap, and without the cloth wrap. I put my dark cloth on top of that. I think it is plenty secure.

    In your case, if you don't have padded dividers in your pack, you can probably get away with just wrapping the camera in the dark cloth (either inside or outside the cloth wrap that comes with the camera.

    I like the leather wrap, but it is not full protection (sides are exposed). It looks good sitting on the tripod though, closed with leather wrap in place.

  10. #20
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_c5x4 View Post
    When folded, the Wista presents it's self as a nice clean box with the bellows & assorted brasswork well protected. Having cams and levers to lock the sliding surfaces does mean that one doesn't run the risk of dropping/losing a fixing screw.

    On the downside, I would like geared front rise and shift like my MPP and the positioning of the locks for rear shift are a little icky... The Chamonix is pretty little thing too.
    The Wista (45DX anyway) leaves plenty of the hardware exposed when folded. The rear standard's hardware is completely exposed. The front's is partially exposed (knobs). This may not be the case with, for example, the Wista Technical Camera.

    There is no way to lose any screws on the Chamonix. They are permanently attached. You could lose the front standard I suppose, if it was not connected to the bed and you disconnected it from the bellows. But the odds of doing that in the field, and then losing the standard, seem low to me. (Though I hear Murphy's footsteps approaching...) Basically on the Chamonix there is nothing to drop.

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