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  1. #11
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Is that opportunity I hear knocking???



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  2. #12

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    Also, be aware that the only LF analog lenses now made and available new if not old new stock are the following as per Bob at HP Marketing a couple of days ago:

    Rodenstock Apo Sironar 135mm 5.6 S, 150mm 5.6 S, 210mm 5.6 S and the macro lenses, the rest are very expensive and purpose built digital.

    All Schneider analog LF lenses are history as of this year and are disappearing from store listings fast, in the past few weeks they have been dropping like flies from B&H. For example, the amazingly sharp and small Schneider 350mm F/11 Apo-Tele-Xenar Compact that officially hit the shelves in early 2009 that I bought new from B&H in 2012 is totally gone, not to be found anywhere, not even at Badger Graphics. It's quite possible that lens only had one production run.

    Add to this that Copal is no longer making shutters and that means the LF-scape is changing very fast, used is really the only way to go unless you work with field cameras like I do in which case there are several still made new.

    I'll be curious to see what this all looks like in 10 year's time, prices and all....
    Last edited by PKM-25; 07-21-2014 at 05:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13

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    You can buy a very nice used 4x5 Graflex camera for peanuts. It will make pictures just as pretty as a Linhof for a fraction of the cost. If you need bigger than that, then the prices tend to go up quite a bit. No one NEEDS a Linhof or a Sinar camera. You can make beautiful photos w/ something much, much cheaper. Absolutely buy used. It's a great way to go. LF cameras are about as simple as you can get. No electronics, none of that stuff. Which is why a lot of people build their own, or refurbish old cameras. It's fun and you learn a lot. If that's not your thing, hang out on craigslist, KEH, ebay, etc.

    Why would anyone buy a new LF lens anyway? The very best lenses are Heliars that were made eons ago, and will still blow modern lenses away. Look at the prices they get for these old pieces of glass. There's a reason. Newer does not mean better.
    Last edited by momus; 07-21-2014 at 06:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #14

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    Interesting takes on this.

    I think what Ken has noticed on KEH kind of echoes what I've experienced looking for used gear. Even on eBay there doesn't seem to be all that much out there. And a lot of it looks like "beater" stuff. Sure, you can fix things up, but my guess (not being a tinkerer myself) is it would cost a lot to do that also, even if you are cobbling together a Franken-Sinar from parts or something. A lot of the ads have this really sketchy feeling about them also.

    Distribution seems to be nebulous when it comes to these companies. There are a few good places still selling things (like Badger), but even then, look at the price difference between Badger and B&H for a TK45. People used to say Toyo prices were a rip in the U.S. Etc. Needless to say in Canada there is zero.

    I didn't know Schneider was exiting the analog LF game. I thought it was only Rodenstock. Phew - at least I don't need any lenses.

    I guess this is just par for the course but I felt like complaining anyway.

    Thanks for the Sinar offer but I'm looking for 4x5. Also the more I think about it I'm not sure if I should get a camera like that (more of a studio camera) or something slightly more portable (although hopefully still solid). My first LF camera was a Sinar A1 (which was sort of an F1 but with a different rail). I keep flip flopping on various aspects. A TK might be a good camera for my needs. But although I can half understand the price of the camera, $1,000 for a bellows? What are these guys on?

  5. #15
    AgX
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    To be fair, at last but one Photokina Arca-Swiss showed even a new model. Whereas Cambo not even took their analogue monorail with them.



    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    All Schneider analog LF lenses are history as of this year and are disappearing from store listings fast,...
    I did not know. No hint at that at the Schneider site.

  6. #16

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    Sinar is the bargain monorail system for sure. Heaps out there, good system, lots and lots of parts available. Very modular. The only negative is it's quite heavy. Arca Swiss if you want an all rounder for field use - much harder to find second hand.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    I did not know. No hint at that at the Schneider site.
    It's been talked about for a good 9 months but this is pretty much confirmation. When I ordered my 350/11 from B&H, they had to order it from Schneider in New Jersey who only had one in the U.S. and then it went to special order on B&H's site. That was in 2012, 1-3 of them pop up used per year at most.

    Even though the new digital lenses from Rodenstock and Schneider are sharp as it gets, they will not even cover 4x5 as they are not designed to, Bob goes into that in detail in the thread linked above...
    Last edited by PKM-25; 07-21-2014 at 07:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18

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    There's a Sinar P w/10" & 4" rails, Includes a bag bellows and says bellows are light tight.. One Copal 1 board for about $500.
    On Chicago CL, search for Sinar.

    Not mine. No relation etc. etc..........
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #19

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    If I was up for a monorail, I would get a Horseman LX or LS. as good or better than any mentioned above, good availability, packability, weight and prices. There's even a guy in Canada who has several and would probably part with one... They are all in nice shape. Tim, are you out there?

  10. #20
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Sure, you can fix things up, but my guess (not being a tinkerer myself) is it would cost a lot to do that...
    More a cost in time than anything else. At least in my case. Had I been retired I could have refurbished the C1 to the same degree of extreme anal-ness in a single summer month, including the three coats of epoxy paint. But alas I didn't have the luxury of time. So it took most of a year, mostly because I had to wait until summer did roll around. Can't spray paint anything outdoors at 25F.

    While it can be rewarding, I do realize that fixing things up is definitely not for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    But although I can half understand the price of the camera, $1,000 for a bellows? What are these guys on?
    As part of the refurbishment I contacted Turner Bellows in Rochester. A brand new replacement C1 bellows at the time was only in the neighborhood of $260-$280 as I recall, with a 2-3 week delivery. I ended up using the original bellows as it was still in fine shape. But I thought the quoted cost and schedule was very reasonable.

    By way of comparison, my entire used C1 kit cost me $1,500 total. For that I got the camera/bellows/mounting block, a G-Claron 210/9, a G-Claron 305/9 (both near-mint and in late-model black rim Copals), two standard lens boards, a recessed lens board, four usable 8x10 Fidelity Elite holders, a Lee triple-insert filter system with adapter rings for each lens, a Lee polarizing filter, a Lee compendium shade, one of those heavy-duty professional cable releases, a brand new oversized Calumet blue/white darkcloth in pristine condition, and a mess of out-of-date 8x10 color film (which I didn't use).

    I had the two lenses/shutters professionally CLA'ed. They didn't even require calibration. Speeds were already within factory tolerance. And not a single camera screw or lockdown knob was missing or broken. My C1 also has a threaded back-tilt fine adjustment mechanism that I've never seen on any other C1. And the seller, a Hollywood screenwriter of some note, turned out to be a hell of a nice guy, thrilled that it was going to an enthusiast.

    As a general principle, used equipment is not such a bad way to go...

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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