I have a SV45U. Ebony have a great comparison between folding and non-folding cameras on their website.
The SV45U will handle a wider range of lenses, although very short ones are difficult to use. I use from 55mm to 450mm on mine. The 45SU is more friendly to wide lenses, but is limited to about 240mm on the long end (365mm bellows draw). Allegedly, you can have one made with 385mm of draw which would make a 360mm lens usable for sunsets etc, and then there's always extender boards if you need them.
If I were doing it over, I'd be very tempted by a 385mm 45SU. The only lens I'd "lose" is the Fuji 450C, which is by the way, a truly awesome lens. If you're a "wide" person, I'd do a 385mm 45SU, if you're a "long" person or want the versatility, I'd do the SV45U.
David, thank you. You have been most helpful. Lots of great info there. My main thing is that I would like a negative larger than my current one (ie, 6x6), and I have always loved the look of panoramic photos. The 617 size is quite big, and can also be cropped (from what I've seen). But I know that 4x5 is more versatile, etc. However, I have to admit that during my research, I also was a bit intimidated by LF in general...all the different lenses, the use of a dark cloth, etc. etc. These things are probably 2nd nature to most of you, but for the uninitiated like myself, it's pretty darn intimidating! :o Thus I decided to research the 617 format as well. (ie, large negs, easier to use than LF?)
Steve, thanks for the info!! I'll have to give it some thought.
i can understand how buying a large format camera can be intimidating ...
once you get the hang of things, its not that bad
if you are interested in a roll film camera that s dedicated to shooting the panoramic format, you might look into the fotoman cameras.
i have only seen them discussed on the largeformat.info board, sold on ebay, and advertised by badger graphics in wisconson, and not upclose + personal.
if i didn't want to get a field/view camera, and wanted to shoot roll film in something that can have really sweet optics but not the cumbersome nature of a big camera ( and if i had the $$$ of course! ) i might think about one of these: http://www.fotomancamera.com/
Last edited by jnanian; 08-05-2005 at 12:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
As someone that has recently eased (maybe not a good word, in my case) into LF, went from 4x5, to 5x7 to 8x10 most recently. Consider my own observations if you will....the 4x5 is great for enlarging, and was a great way to get my feet wet in LF (both cost wise and process wise)...then started doing some contact prints (Ziatypes) and found the format a bit small, but it was still OK, until I recieved a very nice 5x7 contact from someone here in one of the print exchanges. Well that did it, had to have a 5x7, then I came across a 5x7, that had a 4x5 back and thought it was the best of both worlds...the first 4x5 was a nice little Crown Graphic.
Well about a month ago, entered the 8x10 world and things have changed..cost are a bit more, but that big old negative is really nice. Now the primary plan is to cut a darkslide to use for 4x10 to make a nice pano contact print - figure that is still less expensive than a 7x17.
So what have I learned? If I were to approach this with some reasoning, rather than impulse (hard to admit but that is what some of it was) I would go with a nice 5x7 that had a 4x5 back, a couple of lens - 135 to 150 and maybe a 210 to 250...that covers at least 5x7. Just don't have room for a 5x7 enlarger, so the 4x5 is as large as I will do, but that is OK...they are just fine. For contact printing the 5x7 is nice...have not tried a 21/2x7 that might look nice as well.
Just my experience...Good luck and have fun...the only mistake I can see is not trying.
Originally Posted by photoluver
Thanks for your advice. I really would not want to go as large as 8x10, as I really do feel that would be way too big for my purposes. I have thought about going 5x7, but there seems to be a lot more film availability for the 4x5 format, at least here in Canada.
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If you shoot color than the 4x5 format is the way to go - there is hardly anything available in 5x7. I would also suggest (like others have done before) that you start out with either a used or a budget camera - I can guarantee that your first LF camera will not be your last one (unless you really don't get the hang of it). I have been doing LF for 2 years and am on my 6th camera. Every time I think that I have found the perfect camera for me, but there is no such thing. Nobody can tell you what the "perfect" camera will be for you because it all depends on your shooting style. New Ebony or a new Linhof MT are huge investments and while you can certainly resell them you will take a good beating. Whereas with used gear or one of the mentioned budget cameras you hardly risk any loss at all. The Shen Hao had a Graflock back and can accomodate the panoramic holders, so can any other camera with a Graflok back. Good Luck with your decision and enjoy the new experience.
So, I just had a chat with Jeff from Badger Graphics, and he highly recommended that I go with the Ebony (either the SV45U2 or 45SU) as opposed to the Linhof MT 2000. He said that he sells 10 Ebonies to 1 Linhof. I guess I shouldn't be surprised! My mind had almost been made up on the Linhof too!
I can't resist.
First: Large format does not make you a landscape shooter, and landscape pictures don't have to be made on large format. You can be a great landscape shooter with 35mm.
Second: Large format is 6 x 8 or bigger. 4x5 needs to be enlarged, and in that respect is like shooting your Hassie. The same pristine technique you need for the Hassie is needed for 4x5. The advantage of 4x5 over 6x6 is the size of the negative, granted, but it is irrelevant. Looking at Ansel's 6x6 work, and Brett's, and Cunningham's... there is no shortcoming to the image quality of 6x6. The only difference between now and Ansel's day... our films are much better, and so are enlargers. The advantage of 6x6 ? You HAVE one.
You want a change, shoot 8x10. The big deal about 8x10 is that you envision the image as it will hang on the wall on the ground glass. There is a huge, and generally freeing, difference between 8x10 and 4x5 or 6x6.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
One thing you might consider, go to your local bookstore and get a copy of Lee Frost's "Panoramic Photography". He has a very good section about all the various types of panoramic cameras and their drawbacks.
Originally Posted by photoluver
Robert, thanks for the link to the book. I will certainly try to pick that up this weekend.
DF - those 8x10 cameras are heavy! Most of them are almost 10% of my body weight! Plus, they're quite a bit more expensive. I am surprised that you find 4x5 similar to 6x6 though. I have a friend who shoots 4x5 and I really do find that the detail in her negs are incredible! Maybe I'm just biased. At any rate, 8x10 really is out of my range. But thanks for your suggestion.