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  1. #1

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    Affoardable 4x5 setup, advice?

    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

  2. #2

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    Feb 2010
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    I don't shoot LF, but if I did, I'd be talking a good look at http://www.walkercameras.com, they seem similar in price new to Chamonix.

  3. #3
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    Toyo 45A, AII and AX series cameras are portable, tough and reasonable on the used market right now... Love mine. If I could only have one lens it would be my Nikkor 210. Good luck!
    Shawn

  4. #4
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Love my Wista Field although it does have limitations. Nice and light, but not as rigid as say a monorail when stretched to it's limits. It will just about handle a 300mm lens, but can't get in close due to the lack of draw on the bellows. Both minor points as far as I'm concerned as the weight savings make up for it.

    Lens wise, you would have to pry the Fujinon 135mm F/5.6 (Seiko shutter, lettering on the inside of the barrel) out of my cold dead hands with a pickaxe - A nice small lens that has plenty of room for movements and coupled with the Wista, does for much of what I currently shoot.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    42
    At least on this side of the pond, the Walkers are quite a bit more expensive than the Chamonix. Both are great cameras, you might also consider the Shen Hao.

    I believe that Robert White is the UK distributor.

    Any modern 210 will serve, the oft bandied about differences are "but a tempest in a teapot" to quote another Brit. I don't think he shot large format though.

    JD

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    HI Mike:

    That auction site has any number of 4x5 cameras listed....many listed are the brands that have been mentioned here...and many have lenses included. Might be a really good place to start. The prices are surprisingly low.

    Ed

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Boone, North Carolina, USA
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    Well, there seems to be two ways of buying a large format camera, my friends way, and my way.

    My friends way: He makes a low ball offer to the seller on eBay for a Toyo 45G, which is accepted. When he gets the cameras there are some things the seller did not mention. Like the lens that came with it, like the film holders, like the two boxes of film, nor was the included 8x10 conversion mentioned.

    My way: I pay the BIN for a Toyo 45G on eBay. Here there are some things the seller did not mention as well. Like the fact the rise rack on the rear standard was stripped. Like the fact the rear focus was stripped. Like the fact the rise locks were worn out. (apparently the front and rear standard did not come from the same camera.) He did mention that the bellows was bad however. After replacing the rear standard with a used one, and getting a new bellows from a Chinese company, I had the same money in the camera my friend did.

    I recommend doing it my friends way.

  8. #8

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    Jun 2012
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    Morganton, NC
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    Tom ( graywolf )
    I live outside of Morganton and would like to get together with you sometime. I am also retired and anytime is possible.
    If interested, send a PM and we'll get the photo interest to going.

    Thanks
    Richard

  9. #9

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    Jun 2012
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    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Boone, North Carolina, USA
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    Sure, alterimagery, the best deals are for complete outfits. Up there, if you do not know people into film photography, your best bet is probably going to be Craig's list.

    I used to live in that area, by the way.

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