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  1. #11
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Wood view cameras have advantages and I have two wood 8x10 cameras, made over 100 years apart. However, there is a reason most monorails are made of metal. I think you need a metal monorail.

  2. #12
    mcd
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    After working with heavily used Deardorffs and Burke and James cameras in a catalog studio, I bought metal field cameras for myself. The wooden cameras get sloppy after years of heavy use. To be fair, you would probably never put the use on one that a commercial studio did.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcd View Post
    After working with heavily used Deardorffs and Burke and James cameras in a catalog studio, I bought metal field cameras for myself. The wooden cameras get sloppy after years of heavy use. To be fair, you would probably never put the use on one that a commercial studio did.
    So will a metal camera if it is never cleaned or otherwise maintained.

  4. #14
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Bang on metal it deforms. Bang on wood, if it does not break, it keeps its shape.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #15
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    I bought a Wooden Toko 4x5 for my main camera in commercial studio because it has 14 inches of bellows and rear shift and rear focus. The extra bellows allowed me to do table top work with a 210 lens. I used that camera everyday for 10 years and was never too gentle with it. I still have it and still use it and it is beat and battered and scarred but it still is tight and the original bellows are still good. There is one bit of play that has developed in the rear but it is because of the worn metal part that tightens the rear shift. I stick credit card in the gap and it is fine.

    I also have a zone 6 wooden 8x10 that has seen as much use as my old 4x5. I have had collapsing tripod accidents twice and had to get carpenters glue and put the camera back together. Still it is not warped and it is as solid as ever and light tight.

    Dennis

  6. #16

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    If I were into cameras and status I would buy an Ebony. But since I am into form, function and above all, making a great living from my photographs, I bought a Chamonix 45N-2 and so have plenty of other large format shooting pros, even Kerry Thalman now uses one.

    I have noticed a lot of your posts verge on gear precision paranoia and big price tag gear....are you really into making photographs then?

    Just saying man, a great photographer could take any well made wooden field camera and make stunning imagery happen....just say'n...
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  7. #17

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    I prefer wooden cameras because they tend to be lighter than metal ones. I owned a Zone VI re-branded Wista that had a front standard that didn't lock down very well, replaced it with a Zone VI brand camera about 8 years later and still use it. I own an 1895 whole-plate camera that produces good, sharp negatives and has no problems with wood beyond screw holes that were a bit enlarged and wobbly. I bought some larger brass screws, problem solved. The Korona 8x10 I owned had more problems from worn-out metal components than anything to do with the wood.

    Peter Gomena

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    If I were into cameras and status I would buy an Ebony. But since I am into form, function and above all, making a great living from my photographs, I bought a Chamonix 45N-2 and so have plenty of other large format shooting pros, even Kerry Thalman now uses one.

    I have noticed a lot of your posts verge on gear precision paranoia and big price tag gear....are you really into making photographs then?

    Just saying man, a great photographer could take any well made wooden field camera and make stunning imagery happen....just say'n...
    I can see how my posts read that way. Yes I am into making photographs - and prints, and no I am not into status or gear for the sake of gear. But yes, I am somewhat of an obsessive stickler for precision, and I find LF purchases difficult to make because there isn't anywhere I can go to actually see or try anything before buying.

  9. #19
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Edward Weston was plagued by problems with wooden cameras, but still made fine photographs. For most of us, other features are more important than the material used to make the camera.

  10. #20

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    I shoot both monorails and flatebeds, and there are pros & cons to each. The Ebony is very nice in
    the sense of being compact and lightwt - nice for airline travel and backpacking trips, and superbly
    made. If you want a flatbed and can afford Ebony, buy it. They work wood as if it were metal - same
    quality of machining, and the hardware is titanium. Precision mfg DOES make a difference. The wood
    is either actual ebony or pattern-grade mahogany which has been specially selected and seasoned
    for probably decades for dimensional stability. The only thing I didn't like was the fresnel, so I removed it. No big deal. I use the simplified 4x5 RW45 and it takes lenses from around 90mm to 360
    using a universal bellows and standard boards. You can extend that range with recessed or tophat
    boards, or of course, telephoto design lenses. Don't paint yourself into a corner just with focal length
    lenses you are currently interested in - you might change your mind later and appreciate greater
    flexibility in the system.

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