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  1. #1
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thoughts on Ebony 2x3 cameras

    I've been looking for a 2x3 view camera for some time now. I've been mainly looking at Ebony's and Arca Swiss cameras, but have given the Shen-Hoa a look too. I'm looking for a small view camera to travel with. Something I will use to shoot landscapes and architecture (nothing extreme), and still life. I would like to use focal lengths equivalent in 35mm to 28, 50, and something longer. I want something strong and tough, that will last a lifetime.

    I have found an Ebony 23s for $1600. The Arca Swiss F line looks fantastic but is well out of my price range at 4k +. There is one of ebay now for $2800. Even the Ebony cameras brand new are a bit expensive.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the Ebony 2x3's? Ease of use, durability, amount of movements, etc? And also, how it compares to the Shen-Hoa 2x3 or other 2x3's.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    There are a lot of cameras on the e-bay etc. I will argue there is a HUGE oversupply. The only reason people are getting the prices they are as they "don't need the money".
    I may offend some folks here.. but Sinars are everywhere and I don't think are really worth half of what people are asking. GREAT camera and a bargain now but overpriced because of oversupply.
    Ebony is more rarefied. But then again I am sure more 23 are out there than what people are actually using.
    Heck my 5x7 Toyo has been collecting a lot of dust. It makes me happy knowing it is there. But I bet I would be hard pressed to get the $1000+ I have in it out of it in a reasonable amount of time.
    Last edited by vpwphoto; 07-30-2013 at 06:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    LJH
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    Are 2x3" cameras much smaller than, say, a Chamonix 045n and a couple of Grafmatics?

    Personally, I'd prefer the larger GG and larger film if there's not too much difference...

  4. #4

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    If you're trying to do quality work in terms of sharp focus etc the quality of build does make a difference. It's harder to critically focus a 2x3
    camera than 4x5, and slight errors in tilts and focus etc make a bigger difference. Ebony cameras are well worth the price but obviously aren't cheap under any definition of that term. I just find a dedicated 2X3 camera to be very limited in terms of versatility. What I sometimes do is use Horseman 6x9 backs on my Ebony 4x5. It's nearly as compact and light as 6x9 only camera, and it can still be used for 4x5 work. If you prefer metal cameras, Horseman technical cameras are beautifully made, but without the range of movements as a "baby Technika",
    Arca, or Technikardan, but much better priced at the moment. Many view cameras are incredibly well priced at the moment, including Sinars - but the latter would seem to be a bit bulky if you're just going to size them down for roll film use.

  5. #5
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    +1 to Wiley and LJH and limiting to a small camera... in the end we all have our reasons.

  6. #6
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    +2, you may have a rally good reason for wanting a 2x3, but I would opt for the 5x4. I often use a Linhof 6x9 back on my Technika and Ebony, but the option is still there to add a 5x4 DD. The Ebony's are really light and beautifully built, not hewn from granite like the Technika, but great to use all the same.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I have a 4x5 Technika and got a 2x3 Technika for travel when we had a child. The 2x3 kit is about half the size of the 4x5 kit, set up in a similar way, so it is more compact.

    At the same time, I didn' feel comfortable with a 2x3 view camera until I was comfortable with larger formats. If this is your first view camera, consider starting with something large enough to see what's happening on the groundglass without a loupe at first. My first was 8x10.
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  8. #8
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, my reason for wanting a 2x3 is that I'm limited to enlarging roll film. I had a Wista 45D metal field in years past and it's just too bulky for me, and I'm not a fan of sheet film in general, atleast not at this point in my photographic career.. haha. The Ebony 23s looks very lightweight and compact, something I desire. And the ground glass swinging out of the way seems a huge benefit as well. Basically I'd just like a MF camera with movements.

  9. #9
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Fyi, the shenhao specs say the camera only goes as short as 50 something. It does look nice but I'd get a folder first.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  10. #10
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    Thanks guys, my reason for wanting a 2x3 is that I'm limited to enlarging roll film. I had a Wista 45D metal field in years past and it's just too bulky for me, and I'm not a fan of sheet film in general, atleast not at this point in my photographic career.. haha. The Ebony 23s looks very lightweight and compact, something I desire. And the ground glass swinging out of the way seems a huge benefit as well. Basically I'd just like a MF camera with movements.
    Fair enough too. I used to have a Technika 70, but it was damn near as large and heavy as a 5x4 Technika. I don't know the Ebony 2x3, but imagine it would be light and top class. You can, of course, get pretty much 5x4 quality from 2x3 with the right film/dev combination. I use my Ebony these days much more than my Technika, getting old and creaky!

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