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Thread: New to 4x5

  1. #1
    Jenni's Avatar
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    New to 4x5

    Hi! I have started using a Sinar P3 but wonder if a Crown Graphic would be better to use? I have no comparison I would love some advice befor I buy a system. I don't like that the Sinar can not sit on a flat surface allowing lower angels, or maybe I just need a better tripod?

  2. #2
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    The Sinar should allow you to do pretty much anything you'd want to do except carry it easily. Not sure what you mean not sitting flat to allow lower angles, though. What sort of photography do you want to do? The Crown has pretty minimal movements...maybe OK if you are doing mostly landscapes at a distance, but I find that I use more movements than that. Personally, I wouldn't choose either camera and would go for a field camera (Tachihara, Chaminoix, Shen Hao and others) just to get reasonable portability with reasonable movements. I shoot almost entirely landscape and architecture. If you are doing mostly studio and still life, I'd go with a monorail like a Sinar. If you shoot mostly handheld, the Crown is a great choice.
    Your first 10,000 pictures are the worst - HCB

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  3. #3
    M.A.Longmore's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about attaching a tripod head to a large piece of plywood.
    It would certainly help to get closer to the ground, and save a few dollars also.
    I learned about LF photography on a Sinar P2, now I have an Omega monorail.
    I've never used a Crown Graphic, but I'm assuming it's doesn't allow for much movement.
    You might want to consider that possibility, and save the money for film.
    And monorail cameras seem to be extremely affordable these days.

    Ron
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  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    A Crown Graphic has very limited movements so ma be rather impractical. I have been using one but now prefer to use a Super Graphic.

    Some tripods allow a camera to be mounted on the underside of their center column but your best option is to find a tripod that'll open right up allowing the head to sit as low as couple of inches off the ground.

    Ian

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni View Post
    Hi! I have started using a Sinar P3 but wonder if a Crown Graphic would be better to use? I have no comparison I would love some advice befor I buy a system. I don't like that the Sinar can not sit on a flat surface allowing lower angels, or maybe I just need a better tripod?
    Yeah, every camera has a "personality". I started with a rail camera also, glad I did. Yes, it could be a bit unwieldy at times but it allowed me to see, learn, and play with all the various movements and to really "get" the "hows & whys" involved in LF. That education allowed me to gather up all the other stuff needed for doing 4x5 and to make much better decisions when I bought my second camera body.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  6. #6
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni View Post
    Hi! I have started using a Sinar P3 but wonder if a Crown Graphic would be better to use? I have no comparison I would love some advice befor I buy a system. I don't like that the Sinar can not sit on a flat surface allowing lower angels, or maybe I just need a better tripod?
    How low did you want to get? I use an Induro AT213 leg set with PHT2 head for my 4x5. The legs can be splayed out for really low shots, to the point that the center column limits how low I can get. A shorter center column would get me even lower, or I can mount the pan head on the bottom of the column and get to ground level, this is 24 inches to center of lens.

    BTW, this Calumet is for sale for $125 including shipping in the USA.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tripod.jpg  
    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  7. #7

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    I use a Crown for mostly landscape, though at times I wish I had more movement. Mark's advice about a folding field camera is good and would be well worthwhile. Get a Deardorff if you can find one, and afford it. I think there is one for sale in the Classified section, http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...australia.html.

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    I carry a field camera outfit in an overnight case with a tripod head mounted on its top. This lets me get really low without the inconvenience of inverting the center column of the Tiltall tripod.

  9. #9
    fotch's Avatar
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    With the Crown you give up some movements of the camera however, you gain in the ability to move the camera or with the camera. Having both would be nice. Good Luck.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #10
    BradS's Avatar
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    The problem with the Sinar P and F series is that the bit that attaches the camera rail to the tripod adds a few inches of elevation. I think the best solution (if you want to continue to use the Sinar) would be to find a tripod that lets one...eh, how do I say this...on some tripods, you can remove the center column and re-insert it up-side-down. This allows the camera to be very close to the ground...and takes care of that nasty "image on the ground glass is up-side-down" issue

    Really, getting low is mostly a tripod issue..


    As a final note, I personally think that everybody who uses a largeformat camera owes it to themselves to get a Crown or Speed Graphic in addition to what ever field or monorail camera they choose....they're just wonderfully useful cameras.

    Welcome.

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