Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 69,880   Posts: 1,520,509   Online: 839
      
Page 1 of 8 1234567 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 76
  1. #1
    gr82bart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Culver City, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,224
    Images
    37

    Help me decide which 4x5 camera to buy...

    So coming back from the PhotoPlus Expo has got me in the mood to get my first 4x5. I saw two that were very interesting and wanted some feedback from owners with hands on experience. No theories please!

    The first one is the Arca Swiss. I see it has very detailed and thorough engineering built into this machine. Knobs are well positioned - all geared with rubber grips, rulers are etched where every movement is concerned. Cost is about $3900US.

    The other one is the Canham. I really like this because of the fold up design. It's very compact. It doesn't have knobs, but more lock in place handles where you have push or pull the movement. Not every movement has a ruler - seems only the linear movements. Cost is $2200US.

    So I'm not too picky about costs, as long as I get some value. Right now, I see the engineering put into the Arca Swiss, but is it worth the extra $1700?

    How many people have the Canham? Honestly, until Bob pointed it out, I never heard of them, but I am so glad he did tell me. Call me vain, but I like the idea the Canham comes in different colours too for an extra $300.

    Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Any others I should look at as well? I mean small manufacturers that I wouldn't have heard of.

    Thanks, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    249
    Images
    1
    well, if price isn't an issue...I'd be getting a Linhof Master 2000 if I was getting a 4x5! Or...an Ebony SV45UE if I wanted a folding camera.
    Macy
    Just trying to be the person my dogs think I am.

    website: gallery

  3. #3
    laz
    laz is offline
    laz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Lower Hudson Valley (NY)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,118
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmydogs
    well, if price isn't an issue...I'd be getting a Linhof Master 2000 if I was getting a 4x5! Or...an Ebony SV45UE if I wanted a folding camera.
    Ditto on this. (and also your color comment. That red one at the expo was mouth watering, it even caught the attention of my digital son!)

    Back to add: If I were you I'd go straight to 8x10; that's where you'll end up anyway!
    [SIZE=1]I want everything Galli has![/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1]I want to make images like Gandolfi![/SIZE]
    rlazell@optonline.net

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    SE London.
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    585
    Images
    22
    I think you should help us a bit before we can help you....

    You mention two cameras only, does this mean you are trying to decide between these two, or are these the only two you have seen? What do you want to use the camera for - studio only, 'luggable', daypackable or mountaineering? What sort of lenses do you intend to use - what type of bellows do you need? Do you intend to shoot 5x4 only, or are you interesting in using roll-film? What range of movements do you need? Must it be new? What sort of after-sales support do you want? Will you be using in in a very cold/hot enviroment? Very humid? You mention vanity - is the camera's appearance more, less or of equal importance to the factors mentioned above?

  5. #5
    Calamity Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    159
    Images
    1
    I know I am inherently CHEAP but I have picked up some nice cameras from that "on-line auction place" (which shall remain nameless ) at VERY reasonable prices.

    Since you are just starting out in 4x5, you can't go too far wrong by starting with an "economy camera". If you start with an inexpensive older camera to get your feet wet, you will know what features are important to you when it comes to buying a new camera. You will also get more of your money back for the older camera if you decide to move up or to go 8x10 Buying an older used camera will also leave you $$ to convert your darkroom, buy film, pay for processing, etc.

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,154
    Images
    20
    The Canham is a really fine camera, and so is an Arca-Swiss. If you want to spend more time looking at them, B&H usually has Arca-Swiss, and Photo Gizzmo usually has Canham. In the same league, you might also look at the Linhof Technikardan and Sinar F2 monorails or the Linhof Tech 2000 mentioned above for a metal folding camera (I gather you seem to have a preference for metal cameras, or no?).

    Alternately, find yourself a used Sinar F or F1 for under $500 and you'll still have a top-quality portable monorail with tilt and swing scales and calculator, DOF calculator, geared rear focus (front too, if you put a rear standard bearer up front, but it's not really necessary), and put the savings into some high-end glass.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7
    gr82bart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Culver City, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,224
    Images
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by markbb
    You mention two cameras only, does this mean you are trying to decide between these two, or are these the only two you have seen?
    I know about the Linhoff already. These are the two that I liked from the show. I wanted feedback because I haven't heard of the Canham at all and I only hear passing comments about the Arca Swiss.

    What do you want to use the camera for - studio only, 'luggable', daypackable or mountaineering?
    All of the above.

    What sort of lenses do you intend to use - what type of bellows do you need?
    I'd start with the 'standard' lens. Then go wide angle. Bellows? It comes witha bellows.

    Do you intend to shoot 5x4 only, or are you interesting in using roll-film?
    Whoa! I'm just starting out here. Just 4x5 sheets for now.

    What range of movements do you need?
    I don't know. All new to me. I figure whatever movements the camera gives me.

    Must it be new?
    That my preference, but I might buy a decent used one from a rep company.

    What sort of after-sales support do you want?
    Why? Do these break often?

    Will you be using in in a very cold/hot enviroment? Very humid?
    Yes, yes and yes.

    You mention vanity - is the camera's appearance more, less or of equal importance to the factors mentioned above?
    Well, I'm quirky this way. The look of the camera is important to me. Why? Who knows? And I can't tell you what about the camera, just show it to me and in my on wierd little mind, I'll decide if it looks good or not.

    Thanks for the responses. Good questions. I hope this helps you help me!

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  8. #8
    gr82bart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Culver City, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,224
    Images
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    If you want to spend more time looking at them, B&H usually has Arca-Swiss, and Photo Gizzmo usually has Canham.
    I'm planning to spend time at PhotoGizzmo this week.

    In the same league, you might also look at the Linhof Technikardan and Sinar F2 monorails or the Linhof Tech 2000 mentioned above for a metal folding camera
    I know about these already. Seems to be very popular cameras.

    I gather you seem to have a preference for metal cameras, or no?
    Yeah. I think my only wooden camera will be the one I make.

    Alternately, find yourself a used Sinar F or F1 for under $500 and you'll still have a top-quality portable monorail with tilt and swing scales and calculator, DOF calculator, geared rear focus (front too, if you put a rear standard bearer up front, but it's not really necessary), and put the savings into some high-end glass.
    Hmmm...It's sound logic like this that doesn't make it easier for me.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,030
    If money were no object, I'd see if Jack Deardorff would build me a Baby 'dorff!

    Since you've narrowed the field to two very different types of cameras, you can decide which type will suit you best----a compact folder or a monorail with almost unlimited moves. So which will be more useful to you? Is the added expense of the Arca justified or will you find the less expensive Canham limiting?

    FWIW, if I was into serious architectural photography and/or tabletop work I'd opt for the Arca. If I wanted to hike around searching for the grand landscape I'd pick the Canham. For portraits and landscapes 'near the car' it would be a draw--the 'brass ring' goes to Canham because of price. Of course theres no reason why you can't hike with an Arca---but I wouldn't spend the additional $1700 for the priviledge unlsess I had a very good reason. Nor is there anything wrong with shooting buildings or doing tabletop work with the Canham as its quite likely you'll never run out of moves, however working with a monorail that can turn itself into a pretzel and locks down like a bank vault is very reassuring--- qualities folders aren't especially noted for.

    Both the Arca and Canham are very fine cameras.

    OTOH, I think you should get something cheap and used with good bellows, like a Crown Graphic or Calumet C-401. Don't spend more than $200-300. Buy a good quality older lens and a few holders and play with it for awhile. You'll learn 1) If LF is for you, and 2) What features you really want in a LF camera. Then you can 'move up' accordingly.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,154
    Images
    20
    Actually, if you want one camera for overnight backpacking and everything else, that's going to be the limiting factor (leaning toward the lighter, more compact cameras like Arca-Swiss F-line with a collapsing rail and Canham, more than Sinar, but you could still probably get a used Sinar and a Gowland for less than a new Arca).

    If you're in town and want to check out my Sinar F or P, drop me a line.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

Page 1 of 8 1234567 ... LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin