After packing Calumet cc-400 and cc-401 cameras around on Tiltall tripods for the last few years, I finally broke down and bought a B&J press 4x5. The difference in weight is astonishing. I love the capabilities of the monorail, but can live with the limitations of the folder. I can actually get down a trail easier now without catching that danged long rail on bushes.
BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"
Maybee if you use a Nikkor-m or or a Apo-Ronar, your camera will fold with the lens attached.
This lenses are small and light and verry sharp....
An Ektar 203mm f/7.7 and Burke & James press camera make a fairly light, compact, and rugged outfit. The B&J has a revolving back for verticals. The coverage of the Ektar 203 permits limited use of the front tilt and rise, and fits into the closed camera. A Super Graphic has the same advantages at a higher price.
Originally Posted by Old Fart
My experience is just the opposite. I also started with a Sinar F, sold it and bought a nice Zone VI (both 4x5) I give the advantage to the Zone VI for being compact (easy to get in the back pack with other gear), but every other comparison I'd give to the Sinar.
Is the difference enough to make me go back to the Sinar, no....but now having hindsight I would have stayed with the Sinar because there isn't enough of an advantage with the folder to have gone through the trouble of selling all the Sinar pieces and buying a folder....and the Zone VI was more expensive to boot. I use a back pack, with extra pouches attached, and don't mind the weight.
Everyone shoots differently, so YMMV.
Last edited by mikebarger; 06-05-2013 at 10:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I'd suggest a folding view camera, not a monorail. I've used a Sinar 8x10 in the field and it's really not practical. It's wonderful once setup but geepers..... I currently have a Sinar 4x5 f2 which is a little more manageable shooting from a car, but I'll probably sell it.
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Ahh, good points, but you sold your Sinar? I kept mine for the sake of close-up photography. I added two extension rails, a third standard, and a second bellows. As I gave up all smaller formats recently, the Sinar is all I'll have for this type of photography. For those who can, I'd recommend having both a monorail and a field camera. It's very doable with the prices of second-hand gear these days.
Originally Posted by mikebarger
Last edited by DannL; 06-05-2013 at 11:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Yes, I did sell the Sinar. My investment in gear is really tied up in MF and I only use the 4x5 for landscape type stuff so one body really works out pretty well.
Take a look at the Canham DLC. It's a metal monorail field camera, essentially. Many advantages of both.
Agreed with recommendations on Graphics, too - those are a good choice in many ways. A 150 plasmat will fold up inside of one no problem. a 150 Xenotar will even fold up inside a pacemaker speed too, with recessed lens board.
I own a Crown Graphic with Leitz Tiltall tripod for outdoor portraits. I added a 210mm lens to the 135mm that it came with but you could substitute a 150mm if that's what you prefer. Google Frank Petronio. He's a portrait photographer in New York and he has used a Crown for a lot of his images. I like Frank and his photography.
The Super Graphic is nice too. It has a revolving back which I like (the Crown uses a second tripod socket for mounting in portrait orientation). The only downside is that the Supers cost a little more and are a little heavier.
I have a truth to tell you. Most large format photographers don't keep their first camera or if they do they still find that they want something else. You have to try it out and find what works for you. Fortunately, if you buy right you can resell later if you need to and get most or all of your money back.
Personally, I own an 8x10 Wehman folding field camera, 4x5 Sinar P monorail, Tachihara 4x5 wooden field camera and a Crown Graphic. Each camera has it's advantages and disadvantages. Most of my lenses are mounted on Technika style boards so I can switch them between the Wehman, Sinar and Tachihara.
I have a quick question...
Are lens boards and film holders universal and/or easy to find? I don't want to decide on a 50 + year old camera and then realize that one or both of these things are not really available.
I'm mostly leaning towards a folder and just one normal lens.
If it is case by case
4x5: super graphic, wista vx, horseman FA
5x7: kodak 2d, P&J/Ansco, deardorff v5