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  1. #41
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    A Crown or Pacemaker is a worthwhile advance over an Anniversary. The lack of tilts and practical infinity stops is a handicap on the Anniversary. However, I still use one in addition to several other LF cameras. Many parts are interchangable between the Anniversary and the Pacemaker models. I've upgraded an Anniversary with a Pacemaker front standard and rails. It overcomes some, but not all, of the Anniversary's shortcoming. Even the unaltered Aniversary will suffice for most 4x5 photography. If you start with one, you can upgrade later with the advantage of LF experience. The back shutter on the Anniversary, and the simple lens board, make using quite inexpensive lenses practical.

  2. #42
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Since I've decided to possibly wait until the end of September for purchase, I have a good amount of time to make a decision. I'm starting to look more at Pacemaker Crowns, but I really like the Anniversary Speed Graphic. Do I really need something better than that to start out with?

  3. #43
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Anyway, I've heard from a friend at work that he may have a large format camera that belonged to his dad in working condition with lenses. If that's the case, I could borrow or buy that one from him for much less than I could get one on Ebay. I'd use the hell out of it, that I know. He said that his dad took photos in the Vietnam war with it...I'd seriously love the camera even if it isn't a Graflex.

  4. #44
    DBP
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    You don't need something better than an Anny to start out. It was the top photojournalist camera for years. Many great photos have been taken with one, including the late Joe Rosenthal's Iwo Jima photo.

    If an American photographer was using a 4x5 in the Vietnam War, odds are pretty good it was a Graflex. And I love shooting with a camera with a known history.

  5. #45
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    If he'll sell it to me, and he may not for sentimental reasons (don't really know), I'll take it. I also love shooting with a camera with a history. It just feels good to me.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  6. #46
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    You are obviously driven by intuition! Just be aware that there are an awful lot of near-mint Crown Graphics out there, that the Anniversary Graphics date from 1947 or earlier, and that a Graphic used in Vietnam may well be a Combat Graphic, which is a rare and expensive collectable model even if heavily beaten up (which it is likely to be).

    Regards,

    David

  7. #47
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    If it is I'll likely get a bargain and use it well.

    I don't collect cameras. I buy them to be used. If they sit too long without use I tend to get rid of them at the price I got them for or very close to it. Someone else would be on the receiving end of a bargain if I ever had reason to get rid of the thing.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  8. #48
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
    Anyway, I've heard from a friend at work that he may have a large format camera that belonged to his dad in working condition with lenses. If that's the case, I could borrow or buy that one from him . . .
    If you can borrow it, Wonderful! Having hands-on experience before spending much money makes you a wiser buyer. If you go the Graphic route, consider buying or borrowing a copy of Graphic Graflex Photography by Willard D. Morgan and Henry M. Lester. It was published over many years in several editions. The 8th edition of 1947, unlike prevcious editions, covers the early side rangefinder Pacemaker and Crown Graphics. This book sometimes brings good money from LF photographers on ebay. Also search for it on the on-line booksellers like ABE Books. My 8th edition has articles by some of the great experts of the time, such as Rudolf Kingslake on lenses, Ansel Adams on printing, Laura Gilpin on portraits, Bernice Abott on composition, John Carroll on view camera technique, and Barbara Morgan on dance. You'd better hurry, though. There might be a few APUGers who weren't aware of this treasure competing for it now.

  9. #49
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    Stephanie, I shot for years with a beater Crown Graphic (that was given to me) that I turned the front standard around on so I could do front forward tilts. That, along with the rise, are virtually the only movements I ever use in the field. (But I don't shoot closeup, where more movements might be needed to get better DOF.) I started out with a Wollensak 127mm (equiv to the Ektar) and later graduated to a Fuji 135. As a starter set, you really can't beat it.

    Ed

  10. #50
    Ole
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    My first (and my second too, incidentally) LF camera was a 5x7" Linhof Technika. I bought it because it was available locally. After those I bought a Linhof Color, a very basic monorail. I can remember only one instance where that camera didn't have enough movements to allow me to take the picture I wanted.

    Now I have a Gandolfi Traditional 5x7" (expensive), a 4x5" Carbon infinity (even more expensive, but a wonderful camera), several German plate cameras from 13x18cm (just about 5x7") to 24x30cm (around 9.5x12") - all very solid and dirt cheap - and a 4x5" pre-anniversary Speed Graphic.

    The one I would recommend for a beginner is the Linhof Color! Or any other cheap, basic monorail for that matter: They give the most "LF experience" for the least amount of money. The downside is that they tend to be bulkier and less portable than "field cameras", though both of mine (the Color and the CI) are exceptions to that rule.

    Get a camera with front and back tilts, and at least front or back swing. If your budget doesn't stretch to this, wait until it does.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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