Large format manufacturers
Recently uploaded my website, it has a massive links section concentrating on traditional.... photography, need some help though. My aim was, (among other things) to make a comprehensive (sort of) list of links to LF camera manufacturers. Currently I am struggling with manufacturers such as :Lupa (Italian?); Rajah (Indian?); Chamonix (Chinese); and Kwok (also Chinese?). If you got some solid information about these or others that I might have missed, please let me know.
The superb cameras of Mike Walker (UK).
In May of 2006, I posted this message to a forum on the Large Format Photography Web site. You might find a few manufacturers here you don't yet have.
What Kind of Camera? (Finding Camera Manufacturers)
When I first decided to purchase a large format camera I had no idea how many companies made them or who they were. So, I did some homework and read through hundreds of posts on this and the “other” LFP forum. It turns out there there may be nearly 40 such companies.
As I did this background research, I was struck by how frequently one fundamental question was being asked - which camera should I buy? This might very well be the most frequently asked question in these forums although the basic question is rephrased in a variety of ways:
What Large Format cameras do you recommend?
Toyo 45CX for a starter kit?
Help finding a 4x5 system for a 4x5 newbie....
tachihara vs ebony
Any 4X5 field camera to recommend?
As I read through the forums trying to decide which camera was right for me, I collected a list of the names of the camera manufacturers. Sometimes a URL was included which I also noted. For those messages that mentioned a company name but that didn’t list a URL, I tried Google and Yahoo to see if I could find a URL for a specific company. I did this because I wanted to have a look at the Web sites and figure out what my options were in terms of manufacturer, price, features, and the less tangible aspects of LF camera ownership like aesthetics and “fit.”
As you can imagine, this took me quite a while. I finally decided on a Shen-Hao since I could get a new one very inexpensively (I live in Hong Kong and bought directly from Seagull Trading Company in Shanghai) and the Shen-Hao seemed to have more to learn about in terms of movements than other low-cost cameras.
Now that I’ve bought my camera, I hate to waste the research I did on camera companies so I am posting it below for others to use. I did the same thing with a list of manufacturers of focusing screens:
and of bags and backpacks
The camera manufacturers are alphabetized below into one of three categories:
A. LF Camera manufacturers: active URL
B. LF Camera manufacturers: inactive URL
C. LF Camera manufacturers: no URL
If you know one of the missing URLs or have other contact information like an alternative URL, email address, or phone number, please leave it in your comments.
LF CAMERA MANUFACTURERS: ACTIVE URL
Artworks View Cameras
Bender (camera kits)
Bulldog (self assembly camera)
Cameramaker.com (camera plans and kits)
Calumet (also sells Zone VI camera)
Deardorff Cameras (Ken Hough Photographic Repair Service)
Specializing in the Complete restoration of Deardorff View Cameras
“My cameras are mechanically new.”
Horseman (also markets Woodman cameras)
Kozik Camera Kit (Aluminum camera kits)
Wehman Field Camera
LF CAMERA MANUFACTURERS: INACTIVE URL
More information - http://www.camerareview.com/template...?camera_id=361
More information - www.kenrockwell.com/tech/4x5.htm
LF CAMERA MANUFACTURERS: NO URL
Arca Swiss Phototechnik (Switzerland)
No company URL available, email customer Service firstname.lastname@example.org
Or see http://www.precisioncameraworks.com/...arca_core.html
Deardorff Photographic Products International (USA)
58 West Lincolnway, Valpariso, Indiana, 46383, (219) 464-9748
Hoffman Master View (USA)
631/694-4470 Phone number does not work, no URL
More information - shutterbug.com/equipmentreviews/ medium_large_format /0600sb_wetried
Ikeda Anba (Japan)
More information - www.thalmann.com/largeformat/anba.htm
More information - www.rarecamerainc.com/info/CamId173.htm
Nagaoka Seisakusho (Japan)
More information - www.clickondavid.com/nagaoka.jpg
More information - www.bromwellmarketing.com/osaka.htm
More information - www.cameraeccentric.com/html/sale/rajah45g.html
That's amazing, Craig... I copied your list for future reference... Thank you for sharing your work...
Thanks Craig (et al.)!
From what I can tell I had already included everyone on your list. It is really nice to see so many manufacturers, hope they are all thriving. Want some more? I've also managed to find the following brands:
Bostic & Sullivan
The Star Camera Company
Doesn't make life easy when it comes to choosing, but it is fun. Take a look at the list at bawpy.com. Again, thanks!
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There is an article on the View Camera weeb site called
Getting Started in Large Format
that will help someone decide which features are important. It does not compare camera brands but tells people which features are important for different types of subject matter, how to decide on lenses, etc. It is in the Free Articles section.
publisher, view camera magazine
21 years of publication
Another manufacturer of Large Format and ULF cameras is Richard Ritter. His ULF is currently available and his LF cameras should be on the market in the next couple of months (maybe weeks). OOPS, I was just checking Richard's site to get the link for his ULF camera and look what I found... http://www.lg4mat.net/LFcamera.html Looks like the LF camera is now available to order with deliveries in March. Richard states he is offering a discount for orders received with deposits prior to February 15th!!
Richard's ULF page is http://www.lg4mat.net/ulf.html
It seems that the Chinese maker Seagull also makes Large Format cameras.
http://www.camerachina.com/ follow link "Large Format Cameras & Accessories" on the left.
EDIT: Ah, they are all Shen-Hao cameras, which is already on the list.
I recently discovered a Chinese 5x7 and 8x10 under the "Wilderness" brand:
Here is a thread on it from LFPF: