It helps if you go in for spiffy-looking wood-and-brass behemoths. It's much easier, in my experience, to sell a spouse on the aesthetics of a 2-D than of, say, a Technika or a Green Monster!
Originally Posted by mark
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
"Some photographers are the poets of purple mountains' majesty. Some are the poets of the placid suburbs. Weegee is the poet of small-timers who died face down on a city pavement at 3 a.m. in a pool of their own blood."
— Richard Lacayo, Photography: Dames! Stiffs! Mugs!, Time Magazine, January 12, 1998
Yousef Karsh used a Calumet C1 with a Kodak 14" Commercial Ektar for his portrait work. He seemed to do alright with it.
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
There's also the Burke and James Commercial View. Very solid and full movements--and usually <$500 for an 8x10. A 2D is a bit over 10 pounds without the extension rail--it may be bulky folded, but it's not heavy. Even with the rail, it probably weighs less than a Deardorff.
a 5x7 rittreck view might be an option. would be within your limits, folds nicely, comes often with a 4x5 back as well and there is an 8x10 extension (limited moves then of course) which is a bit hard to find but on sale from time to time.
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just get an 8x10 camera and find a 5x7 back for it
you don't need more than one camera ..
the camera is usually the least expensive part of LF photography.
He sure did, but ... only in the studio! That camera probably weighed more than poor Yosuf. BTW, there was a fabulous Karsh exhibit a few years ago at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. It included a lot of his camera and darkroom equipment, including his enlarger and the (in)famous Calumet. I noticed he had the same lens as I do (the one you mentioned, Alan, the Commercial Ektar) and I thought, hey, why do his portraits look so much better than mine? Maybe it ISN'T just the lens....
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
In any case, I would caution any beginner to avoid this camera. Yes, they are pretty cheap, but unless you like carrying a ton of metal around, this is NOT the camera for you. Maybe the OP is young and spry and loves a good workout, but lugging that beast around on even a modest summer day? No thanks. Go with a more modest and beat-up Kodak or Ansco.
Seneca Improved is another brand of sturdy inexpensive wooden field cameras. Do not think wood=fragile.
Old view cameras aren't, for the most part, directly comparable to old 35mm or medium format cameras. View cameras are much simpler in construction, for one thing, and the parts are carpentry-precise, not machinist-precise. Just about the only part that decays over time is the bellows; you ideally want one without holes in it. New bellows can be bought and installed by anyone with rudimentary household skills. Think of it as buying old furniture instead of an old mechanical camera.
Lenses are another story; glass can be chipped or scratched, mechanical shutters can be broken. Even a working shutter can be wildly inaccurate in time. Fortunately there are a lot of experienced repair folks who can fix that stuff for you at reasonable prices.
Take the time to get informed about cameras and equipment and be a smart buyer; you'll find that large format is not as expensive or as intimidating as some may fear.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”
— Hunter S. Thompson
I envy you, Doc! I love Karsh and would have really enjoyed seeing that exhibit. I also own a 14" Commercial Ektar. I'll admit that my portraits are not as good as Karsh's either.
Originally Posted by Doc W
In another thread the OP said that he was interested in doing portraits with an 8x10 camera. The C1 is great for that but as you said is very heavy out in the field. I imagine Karsh used an assistant to carry it when he used it on location.