Hi Marco, thank you for your contribution.
I indeed was confused thinking of Technika 23 (or Horseman VH-R) as 4x5 field folders capable of 6x7 or 6x9 by rollfilm holders, but you clarified that they are actually native 6x7 or 6x9 folders but featured by movements ability.
What I have yet understood is the issue of movements usability with these cameras. I realize the except regular LF (4x5) lenses and if so I would expect them to allow ample movements on 6x7/6x9 due to their native 4x5 coverage, am I wrong ?
Can I expect to obtain usable movements with this kind of camera while using 4x5 lens ? (Subjected to landscape shooting, some architecture (not interriors) and some portraiture)
Other 2x3 press cameras that you may wish to consider are the 2x3 Crown and Century Graphics (with Graflok back). They are very usable cameras with limited lens movement capability, often found with coupled rangefinder. The Graflok back enables great flexibilty with regard to film holders and allows multiple 120 roll film formats from 4.5 x 6 cm through 6 x 9 cm.
The 4 x 5 Shen Hao is also a good choice for mounting a variety of Graflok compatible 4 x 5 roll film backs. I use 120 roll film formats of 4.5 x 6 cm through 6 x 12 cm on my Shen Hao. The 4 x 5 Shen Hao also has considerable perspective control capability.
I use lenses in the focal length range of 55mm through 300mm on my Shen Hao.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Thanks Tom, your contribution just strengthen me leaning towards Shen Hao 4x5 if I'll earn enough confidence to venture into LF (once reading the View Camera book and perhaps trying myself on some cheap local folders if I'l be lucky enough to find such in good working order). So far, considering numerous feedbacks and reviews I figured online on Chen Hao this one seems to be the best bet price/performance-wise, though having zero experience in actual LF using I wasn't really confident in wooden cameras (perhaps due to being used to professional 35mm SLR rugginess).
Before buying a camera or any lenses may I suggest reading
Getting Started in Large Format that is in the Free Articles section of our web site
There are several other articles there as well that may be helpful.
Here are some books
Using the View Camera that i wrote
User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone
Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga
Before looking at any brand decide what features you need/want
how long a lens do you want to use?
how short a lens do you want to use?
what are you going to be photographing?
The Horseman vs Linhof is not quite a fair comparison. The Linhof has a longer bellows, is probably heavier and will probably cost more.
You can skip the advertising by going to:
Originally Posted by steve simmons
Golly, Steve, when are you going to have proper PDFs made of those pictures of pages. It's been years already!
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John has provided incorrect links to the articles. I guess he is trying to be 'helpful'.
The correct link is
and then to the free articles link on the home page. There is a lot of free and veryhelpful info all over the site. Some people don't want others to know this.
Hi there, sorry for the long delay, I was on holiday.
Originally Posted by Alexz
You are correct from a theorical point of view. But indeed, there are three parameters which are in a sort of opposite relation: focal length, coverage and mechanical clearance. The problem arise, of course, with wide angles. It is hard to find a lens which is very short of focal, with a very wide coverage and easy ot use at the ultra-short lens to film plane distance which is typical with these cameras. Usually, wide angles for technical/field/view cameras don't have a retrefocal design, and thus the rear lens lays few millimeters in front of the film emulsion. A recessed lensboard is needed in most cases.
What happens is that the whole lens block lays almost INSIDE the camera body when correctly focused, and movements are limited by the fact that the standart collides with the camera body or other parts. This is a problem which affects - more or less - all field/technical cameras. With view cameras, it mainly turns into a matter of bellows flexibility, instead.
You see - you may purchase a 90mm lens for a 4x5'' camera. That will, of course, cover 6x7cm overabundantly. But it will no longer be a wide angle, it'll be a normal lens in regard to 6x7cm! This considered, you may then buy a 65mm, a fair wide angle in 6x7cm. But now, that will be a sort of extreme wide angle for a 4x5'' camera, usually very expensive, and which will reduce the camera's movements ability drastically again.
I would say: consider a 4x5'' only if you think that you will use the 4x5'' format sooner or later, in prospective. If there's no chance at all that this is going to happen, a 2x3'' technical camera seems like a better choice to me. No technical reasons come to my mind to prefer a 4x5'' if intentions are to use it as a 2x3'' only. Not even to mention the fact that a 4x5'' camera is much wider and heavier than a 2x3''.
I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
(Tristan Tzara, 1922)
Thank you Marco.
In fact, I spent the last few weeks for a theoretical learning curve in regard of LF aspects, so now I hope more realistic in my LF expectations and have a bit broader understanding of the topic then I had previously.
Bearing my non-35mm shooting style, I think 4x5 approach will suit me. I treat the roll-film option available on 4x5 cameras as a nice bonus that may certainly be helpful, but not to substitute the native 4x5.
As I stated previously, the main reason of my desire to switch from MF is the movements capability, and on 2x3 cameras, as far as I realized these are very limited comparative to even simple and cheap 4x5 field camera.
I figured there are some respectful 4x5 field folders that are lighter weight-wise then my current 35mm and MF setup (such as Wista wooden folders, for instance) which also appeals to be (albeit I was initially considering a supposedly "luggable" monorails).