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  1. #11
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Anyone just starting large format photography should first invest in a few books on the subject. This forum is a great place to ask for specific information when one knows the right question to ask, but good books can give a more thorough overview.

    Ken Rockwell's Tachihara is one of many similar lightweight field cameras. Each has its strong points and perhaps shortcomings. My featherweight Inba Ikeda is almost too pretty for regular use. Sometimes a beat-up Burke & James flatbed or a monorail is more appropriate. One's first large format camera may be more of an educational venture than a lifetime investment. I learned enough from a Newton Vue many decades ago to make a wiser purchase the next time.

  2. #12

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    Regarding that first 4x5 camera: You will likely get as many opinions as there are subscribers! It is important to keep in mind that almost every camera with positive recommendations will be capable of providing years of use and yielding excellent images. Let us know how you make out.

  3. #13
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    If you want to buy a new, reasonably-priced camera, I can highly recommend the Shen Hao 4x5 field camera. I bought mine from Badger and shipping to Canada was reasonable. It's a beautifully-built camera. I was tempted to buy the Tachihara but it was unavailable when I was ready to purchase, but I have no regrets about getting the Shen Hao.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by aterimagery View Post
    I've never owned a view camera before and am interested in buying one. I could also use recommendations on a "first view camera" setup. Ken Rockwell seems to think that Tachihara is the best deal but I figure I ought to get some additional opinions and I can't really find a good comprehensive survey of what's available just randomly searching the net.

    I'm thinking it would be easiest to just buy a whole used setup from someone who's getting out of LF photography or something as that might be the best deal, but I'm not sure.

    I'm pretty sure I want a field camera. I know I don't want a press camera, and I expect to do mostly location shooting so I doubt I want to carry around a monorail.
    Buying a whole used set up is probably the quickest, and often most economical way to et in the game.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_murtaugh View Post
    Hello,

    I used to own a Tachihara 4x5 folding field camera and a Nikkor 210.

    I'd like to get back into using a 4x5 and was curious what people were using or would recommend. I'd like something affordable and wouldn't mind buying new, within reason.

    I'm considering a chamonix 4x5 and have been looking at KEH for lenses. Does anyone have any other recommendations on a setup/systems? I'd like to be as portable as possible so I'm guessing a field camera would be best.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    If you were "sympatico" with your tachi, why look elsewhere? OTOH if there were things you'd prefer to change on the tachi, see if other brands offer an improvement.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by aterimagery View Post
    I've never owned a view camera before and am interested in buying one. I could also use recommendations on a "first view camera" setup. Ken Rockwell seems to think that Tachihara is the best deal but I figure I ought to get some additional opinions and I can't really find a good comprehensive survey of what's available just randomly searching the net.

    I'm thinking it would be easiest to just buy a whole used setup from someone who's getting out of LF photography or something as that might be the best deal, but I'm not sure.

    I'm pretty sure I want a field camera. I know I don't want a press camera, and I expect to do mostly location shooting so I doubt I want to carry around a monorail.

    I bought my Tachihara a few years ago after reading Ken's recommendation. Since then Shen Hao has come out with new models and Chaminix has appeared on the scene. Tachihara's have increased in price and the metal Toyo's have decreased in price on the used market. The Tachi is still a fine camera but there are many options available.

    The best deal is to find a used camera with lenses and other extras that someone is selling. Buying your first View Camera is kind of like buying your first car. It probably won't be your last. After you shoot 4x5 for a while you will learn what you like and dislike in a camera. If you buy used at a good price then you can always sell later and get what you initially paid or close to it and then buy something you like better.

  7. #17
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Put your money into the lenses. That's the only part of the system that the light sees. It can't read the name on the camera body.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh B View Post
    Put your money into the lenses. That's the only part of the system that the light sees. It can't read the name on the camera body.

    - Leigh
    Maybe the quality of light is affected by the name on the body and the lens too

  9. #19
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TareqPhoto View Post
    Maybe the quality of light is affected by the name on the body and the lens too
    Several manufacturers would like you to think so.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh B View Post
    Several manufacturers would like you to think so.

    - Leigh
    We should do more so we can keep them in industry, hahaha

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