New to LF, recommended systems for landscape.
Could do with some advice from those of you with experience of lf for landscapes.
Having done digital to death and although suitable for some of my work I have recently returned to film. I am sure I dont need to explain my reasoning as all members seem to have a like minded on this topic. I mainly shoot landscape, seascape and sky scapes. I am a keen climber and walker based in the uk but looking to explore the alps, pyrnees in europe. These would involve 3-4 days walking.
My question is this, at last I hear you cry.
on the basis that I will be mainly doing single day walks with minimal personal equipment and occasionally a 3-4 day walk with full camping kit, which Lf system would you recommend?
My thoughts on the 3-4day trips will be to take the RZ67 I have at present.
I am a masochist (?spelling) and am prepared to devise ruck sacks that willl protect and give sufficient space the weight is an issue but not the end of the world as long as it is around 15kg max.
I'm looking to a max format of 5x7.
Any advice on experiences of similar work type or camera use would be greatly appreciated.
I am a lazy walker and non-climber and so feel quite well served by a 4x5" Crown Graphic. The most impressive camera I have seen for climbers and others to whom camera weight is critical is the Toho View Camera, which I think is probably the lightest and most compact 4x5 which will ever be made!
Apparently it comes in 5x7 and 8x10 models too (I've only seen and handled the 4x5).
Last edited by David H. Bebbington; 02-11-2006 at 11:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
> which Lf system would you recommend?
Depends on how you shoot. if you stop, take a lot of photos, repack, a folding camera. If extreme lightness is most important, a toho.
I like the Super graphic myself.
> My thoughts on the 3-4day trips will be to take the RZ67 I have at present.
RZ is heavy. It might be okay on its own, but with a 4x5 or 5x7 it will be too much. A lightweight rangefinder would be better.
> as long as it is around 15kg max.
IMO lighter the better. A light folding camera, 2-3 light lenses, a readyload holder and a stack of readyloads.
My camera is a super graphic and the way it is setup with a lens and reflex viewer it weighs 5.25#. I have a light velbon tripod at 4#. A readyload holder is 8oz and readyloads weigh about 1# per 20. My other two lenses weigh around 1.75#.
So just considering that Eq alone, if I pack 100 readyloads, my weight of the EQ above it works out to about 16.5#.
Here is what the camera looks like.
Down the page
> I'm looking to a max format of 5x7.
Nice format, but IMO you will gain about 10-15#, no readyloads, no reflex viewer etc, but nice big negs.
What is your budget? Do you wish to buy new or used? What sort of lenses do you plan on using? There are a lot more questions that you need to answer yourself, because there are many brands of cameras out there, some more suited for backpacking than others and this might take some time to find the one that suits you best. You may want to browse the Robert White website, as they are dealers for LF gear in the UK. Another place to browse might be the Badger Graphics website. Although they are in the US, they stock a wide range of cameras and there is likely to be information there that might help you in your decision.
Budget is probably the first thing you need to decide on. The options are pretty broad with regard to cameras and lenses even when narrowed down to 5x7. With an idea of how much you plan to spend you will get a more focused response of suggestions.
The other question would be do you plan to contact print or enlarge? If you are set up to enlarge 4x5, that format would provide the greatest array or cameras to fit your need. If you are going to contact print then 5x7 provides a nice negative size. But if enlarging is a future possibility then go with 4x5 because 4x5 enlargers are very affordable (even almost give away cheap) on the used market.
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4x5 Quickloads and/or Readyloads are the key to saving weight. Also deciding that you can get by with less lenses and gadgets in general. Using your t-shirt or jacket as a dark cloth for example.
For price and durablity it is hard to beat an old Crown Graphic, although you give up a lot of the movements and versatility that fancier large format cameras have. You may not need those movements 99% of the time but you might not realize what you can do with them unless you get a camera that allows you to experiment with them.
The 4X5 Shen Hao might be a good choice. You're probably going to be as worried about bulk as you are weight, and in that you can't beat a good folder. You can probably get away with two lenses, a moderate wide angle (90mm to 120mm) and maybe a 210mm.
And what about a tripod? Amvona sells some nice carbon fibre ones cheap on eBay. I just got mine recently, and I'm really impressed with it.
Ready loads are nice, but the film gets expensive, and you have a limited choice of films packed that way. Carrying a lot of film holders will be a bit bulky. Maybe you should consider a changing bag. The domed ones are light but take up some space.
A Shen Hao and two lenses will probably be lighter than an RZ. Dean
i do a lot of backpacking with my 4x5 gear and spent about a year going through LOTS of cameras in an attempt to find the ideal set-up for me. i ended up with two cameras... an arca swiss f-line metric for just about everything except when i need to condiser every inch and ounce, that is to say on very tough hikes and long overnights. on those occasions, i use a linhof master tech 2000. i found the arca to be the finest all around camera of those i went through (tachi, ebony rw and sv, canham metal and wood, and linhof tk45s) and the MT2000 to be the best when bulk is a primary consideration.
good luck, and welcome back to film!
“But in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks” --John Muir
Probably the lightest field camera you can buy is the Toyo 45CF - it is made of carbon fibre, and fairly inexpensive. However, it lacks some movements that I consider essential, like the back tilt. I have a Toyo 45AII, which is a traditional metal camera, and at 6.1 lbs is not too bad to carry. A good lens is the Scheider Super Symmar XL 80mm, it is very light, compact and very sharp, although a bit expensive.
Toyo 45CF. Good price, Light, Carbon fiber not bothered by elements but has limited rear movement.
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