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  1. #1
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Looking for a 6x7/6x9 View Camera

    I'm looking for a smallish 6x7 or 6x9 roll film view camera. A RF on it would be nice, and an eye finder would be nice to eliminate need to a dark cloth. Basically I'd like a MF camera with movements.

    One that looks promising is the Horseman VH-R. The Fuji 6x8 looks too big.

    Suggestions? Recommendations?

  2. #2

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    There are several 6x9 technical cameras with viewfinder or viewfinder+rangefinder that will fit the bill, but you should know that you can't use the viewfinder and also use movements at the same time - the viewfinders are fixed, and there's no way to see the effects of the movements. It's strictly GG for that.

    FWIW, I have a VH-R. The obvious use for the viewfinder is together with the rangefinder, to make pictures without using the GG and without having to swap the roll holder with the GG panel. But I've also found it helpful for making pictures at dusk, when the light is fading rapidly and the GG image is too dim to be able to see the whole image clearly even with a focusing hood. I'll do a spot check of focus on the GG, then use the optical finder for final adjustment of the composition.

    Beside the VH-R and its predecessors (Horseman ER-1, 985, 980, 970, etc.), the various models of the 2x3 Technika are the obvious alternative. A 2x3 Graphic or Busch Pressman could also work, but with those you can't have the rangefinder adjusted for more than one focal length at a time, and recalibrating is not something you can do on the fly. Also, movements are more limited than with the Horseman and Linhof technical cameras.

  3. #3
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I have a 980 with three lenses and the electronic grip. It's very nice. I use the spring back and holders. Dan Lin had a VH-R for sale at a good price a couple weeks ago..

  4. #4

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    Century Graphic is a light, cheap option. Bigger and heavier, but the Pacemaker Speed would also give you a focal plane shutter.

    Dan

  5. #5

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    Brian, here is a list, with discussion, of 2x3 view cameras: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/roundup2x3.html

    I have a 2x3 Cambo SC, also 2x3 Graphics (Century, Crown, Pacemaker Speed). If you want movements you want a real view camera, not a Graphic. The only useful movement my little Graphics have -- see http://www.largeformatphotography.in...phic+movements -- is 19 mm of front rise, and as was pointed out in the discussion using much of it with a short lens requires some fairly easy surgery.

    I follow sales of 2x3 view cameras (2x3 Horseman technical cameras aren't view cameras so I ignore them) on eBay. Most go for very high prices, although a 2x3 Cambo SF and a couple of 2x3 Galvins recently went for not all that much. If cost matters to you, want to shoot 2x3 and must have movements, the best approach is probably to get a 4x5 view camera, a 2x3 roll holder that can be used with it, and put up with the bulk and weight. The cheapest option is probably a Calumet CC-401 with a Cambo/Calumet C2-n roll holder. Most C2 roll holders are 6x7s but there are 6x9s, be careful what you buy. Next less costly is probably a Cambo SC-2 with international (= Graflok) back and a Graflex roll holder that fits a 4x5 Graflok back; alternatively, an SC-2 with bail back and a C2-n. The downside of CC-401 and SC-2 for 2x3 is that using short lenses with these cameras isn't easy.

  6. #6
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  7. #7
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I'm really leaning towards the Horseman. I checked out the Galvin but it seems by specs that the horseman has more movements than the Galvin. I'd like to do architecture with this camera. More exterior than interior. Will the Horseman provide enough movements to do basic interior architectural shots?

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    I checked out the Galvin but it seems by specs that the horseman has more movements than the Galvin.
    That seems odd. Where did you find the specs to the Galvin? The Horseman system's shortest lens is the 65mm, whereas the Gavin monorail system incorporated a bag bellows and likely can use lenses shorter than 65mm. There is a Wide Angle Galvin listed here for just under $400: http://www.igorcamera.com/large_format.htm (no relationship to seller).

  9. #9

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    Brian, I'm with ic. If nothing else, the Galvin allows indirect movements and Horseman technical cameras don't.

    You've shifted your requirements around enough to convince me that you don't really know what you need (as opposed to would like) to be able to do and that you don't understand view cameras very well. The best cure for the first is to get a view camera and learn to use it. Then you'll know what you need. The best cure for the second is reading. Steve Simmons' Using the View Camera or Leslie Stroebel's View Camera Techique are what you want. Get both.

    Your question, posed as "Here's what I think I want to do, what's the best camera?" has been asked many times. Even now getting a view camera and stepping up to LF (I know, you want roll film formats only) isn't a tiny investment to be made casually so people contemplating the move think very hard, badger old hands, agonize ... before buying. This is perfect normal. I'm not slamming you, I'm reminding you that your path is well-trodden.

    Nearly every beginner replaces its first view camera by the end of its first year. The only way to know what aspects of a view camera don't suit is to use it.

    No beginner believes this, every beginner thinks it is informed and self-aware enough not to blunder. We've all done the same. Though we knew what we were doing, blundered.

    So get something plausible that fits your budget, learn to use it, and then sell it to buy a camera that suits you.

  10. #10

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    "No beginner believes this, every beginner thinks it is informed and self-aware enough not to blunder. We've all done the same. Though we knew what we were doing, blundered".

    I bought my first camera about 1987, the next a year or so later. I still have and use them both.

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