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  1. #1
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Which 4x5 Camera for Dusty/Sandy Place

    I have an upcoming trip scheduled for Death Valley in February and plan to visit the usual sights including sand dunes.

    I have a brand new Arca Swiss F-Line Metric at my disposal or a Canham DLC.

    I want to take the Arca and get a lot more experience with it. but I have read some posts (can't remember details) of people implying that it might be more affected by sand or dust because of its mechanics, lubricants, etc. It is possible I was thinking of an Arca ball head (which I also plan to use). Might the Canham be more at home in Death Valley?

    Any opinions/advice?
    Jerold Harter MD

  2. #2

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    Buy a CC401 Calumet for $100 and don't worry about it. k

  3. #3
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Either one will be fine.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  4. #4
    Curt's Avatar
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    Use the Carbon Infinity.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  5. #5
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Just clean it well when you get home! Cameras get dirty (:

  6. #6
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    They both look dainty. Get a hairy chested, give it hell all you want wooden field camera for gnarly conditions. My almost 30 year old Wista looks like a battered veteran and won't win any beauty contests, but it follows me wherever I take it.

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Best option is something that has as few geared movements as possible (ie- NOT the Arca). The Canham will be better, but get some cheap woody field camera that will take the Wista/Linhof boards. A Shen Hao is a great option - I took mine hiking in the high desert in the California Sierra, in conditions that ranged from freezing to 80 F in the course of a day, and just had to wipe it down. Another plus is the bag bellows for it is cheap ($100).

  8. #8
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Sounds like I am fussing to much. I will probably piddle around with the Arca over Christmas break and then take the Canham.
    Jerold Harter MD

  9. #9
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirkfry View Post
    Buy a CC401 Calumet for $100 and don't worry about it. k
    Ditto. It isn't the _camera_ that forms the image, especially true with view cameras, you can mount the lens on a cardboard box and come away with the same picture.

    Use a camera that runs 'dry' - no grease in the gears, better yet, no gears. If the sand gets grease on it it is impossible to blow away with compressed air. The sand you have to watch out for is more like dust than sand - nano-sand, as it were.

    Wood is a better choice in DV because it has a low heat capacity. Black finished metal can get murderously hot in the sun. Take a white-on-the-outside darkcloth. I am probably over-reacting - in the dead of winter the sun won't be so bad - I've always managed to end up in DV around June 22 and my memories are of being in a solar furnace...
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  10. #10
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Death Valley in the winter is a very pleasant place to be

    The max daytime temp is only low 80s

    The sun is not that strong at that time of year but the advice about a reflective shell on the outside of the dark cloth is good advice in almost any weather.

    I found the best light in DV to be very first thing in the morning either just before or just after sun rise.

    Within an hour of the sun coming up an aerial haze begins to form and you’re done until sunset.

    It can be surprisingly cool in DV fist thing in the morning – for Death Valley at least – at or just below freezing point.

    What camera to take – which ever one you can carry most easily and are prepared to drop – the best locations area further than you think from the car parks plus the sand/gravel/rock surfaces surprisingly difficult under foot.

    Have a great time

    Martin

    ps - Don’t forget the desert survival stuff – even in Feb its still a hostile place to be stuck.

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