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  1. #11
    BradS's Avatar
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    All good advice. I'll second or third the recommendation to contact (phone, email, web) Jim at MPEX. They really are that good. Badger is great too. In addition to the Shen kit, I believe they also offer a similar package built around the low end Arca Swiss monorail - which would likely be more appropriate for photo school.

    Unless you are a glutton for disappointment, I would strongly advise you to avoid going to the auction site - especially if you don't know what you're looking at.

  2. #12
    Dan's45's Avatar
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    hello there,
    i happen to own a sinar f1 camera, they are a great to start with. the bellows can be a tad stiiff at first, but give em time. as far as lenses go, i just got my 2nd one a a week or so ago-90mm super angulon. i highly recommend jim @ midwest photo! he is a great guy who will help you out and also try help you save some money if you let know your situation. i've never had anything bad come from midwest, they pack their equipment really nice and secure, so when you take it out of the box it looks almost like new. i think he may even throw you a cable release for free, seeing as your son is fixing to start school here in the fall.

  3. #13

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    I'll second the Calumet 400 series and add the Graphic View 2 to the list. Great, tuff , heavy duty little cameras! See Jim at Mid West (like, am I giving you original advice or what??;-)

  4. #14

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    IMHO is is a mistake to tell people to get this or that camera without knowing

    what range of tlenses they want to use
    what they will be photographing

    A camera that works for one person's application may or may not be appropriate for someone else. If you are going to suggest a specific camera from your own experience then at least tell them what you do with the camera and what lenses you are using. This will give them some context for deciding what advice is useful and what is not relevant to their expected useage.

    steve simmons

  5. #15
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve simmons
    IMHO is is a mistake to tell people to get this or that camera without knowing

    what range of tlenses they want to use
    what they will be photographing

    A camera that works for one person's application may or may not be appropriate for someone else. If you are going to suggest a specific camera from your own experience then at least tell them what you do with the camera and what lenses you are using. This will give them some context for deciding what advice is useful and what is not relevant to their expected useage.

    steve simmons
    Steve, the original context of the question was a student, just starting out in large format, needs a LF camera for a photo class. In this context, I think it is safe to assume the standard focal length lens will be used - perhaps exclusively. It seems rational therefore to also recommend any of the usual 4x5 starter cameras....just as people have.

  6. #16

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    I still think it would be more helpful to give the questioner a context for camera recommendations. Such as I use camera X with the following lenses -XX, XX, XX, and I photograph the following subjects xxxxx,xxxxx,xxxxx, etc.

  7. #17

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    Hi Steve.
    I became thrilled by LF just recently have read most of the readily available online stuff including APUG LF forum, largeformatphtoografy.info and lots of other stuff and still, even though I'm quite experienced in 35mm and gained certain experience in MF, I felt I'm still uncertain and lost in LF. This is why I decided first to purchase some good, yet simple and not overwhelming book to gain the basics and probably more in LF theory prior to pursuading an actual LF choosing right camera and setup for my needs.
    Yesterday I ordered your book from Amazon, hope it will provide me enough understanding to allow me to indulge my LF passion rationally.

    IMHO, this is the way I would also recommend to LF novices to proceed prior to making their choices of hardware and forking out their hard-earned cash for a good stuff that just may not suit their needs...

  8. #18

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    Sep 2002
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    Thanks for your note. There are several free articles on our web site

    www.viewcamera.com

    that will give someone just starting out some good info as well.

    Here are some other books I suggest

    User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

    Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga

    We should all share as much info as possible

    steve simmons

  9. #19
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    It is hard for me to believe that the college in question will not have 4 x 5 cameras on hand.....In the program here in Vegas, HBlad, Mamiya, Toyo, equipment was on loan to the college and at semesters end the equipment was sent back to the company for a thorough check etc and then could be purchased by the students at incredibly reduced prices! In any case, cameras were available for the class, they were shared...

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