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  1. #11
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I know what you're asking. You want a tough camera that is small enough to actually put in a backpack. And you also want versatility.

    Get a Speed Graphic. Simple, rugged and fairly compact. Trust me on this one, For intro to LF, a Crown or Pacemaker graphic with a good lens will not let you down. Very flexible. I wouldn't recommend a monorail camera as a first camera when doing LF, unless your not leaving the studio. That's just me though.

    You won't get the super extreme tilt out of a Press Camera as you would get out of a monorail, but if you are just starting LF, this isn't going to be much of an issue.

  2. #12
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I know what you're asking. You want a tough camera that is small enough to actually put in a backpack. And you also want versatility.

    Get a Speed Graphic. Simple, rugged and fairly compact. Trust me on this one, For intro to LF, a Crown or Pacemaker graphic with a good lens will not let you down. Very flexible. I wouldn't recommend a monorail camera as a first camera when doing LF, unless your not leaving the studio. That's just me though.

    You won't get the super extreme tilt out of a Press Camera as you would get out of a monorail, but if you are just starting LF, this isn't going to be much of an issue.

  3. #13

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    Actually - even better would be a super graphic. No need to look for the super speed graphic really; it just has a faster shutter speed. The super graphics had the most movements of the graphic line; and were as bulletproof as the rest of 'em.

  4. #14
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I think a Speed would be just the way to dive in. Was my plan until what I have practically fell into my lap.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  5. #15
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Remember, you need to enjoy using your camera. If you try something and it feels less like a tool than an encumbrance, then try another, and another... until you find what you want to keep. It's not unlike dating.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  6. #16
    eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Remember, you need to enjoy using your camera. If you try something and it feels less like a tool than an encumbrance, then try another, and another... until you find what you want to keep. It's not unlike dating.
    Well, I don't think you can put your bad dates up on ebay, but Keith makes a good point. You need to get a few cameras in your hand before you make a decision. Operate both a monorail and a field camera. Set them up on a tripod and see how you feel operating them.
    My first LF was a monorail, which I dragged into the field. After realizing I didn't need to "pretzel" the bellows for landscape work, I went to a lighter folder (Calumet Wood Field/Wista/Tachihara type).

  7. #17

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    Lots of people do very well with architecture and landscapes with a Tachihara. It'll handle a 90mm as well as a 210mm. If you want to get a dedicated architecture camera, those are around but a Tachi will sure get you started on your way---and that's what you want, right?

    If a monorail is something you'd consider, Peter Gowland makes one that is light and small enough to fit in your pocket----thats why it's called a Pocket 4x5.

    Of course something like a Technika will do it all. A bit on the heavy side compared with a little wooden tachi or a minimalist Gowland, but they are stout and rugged and even hand holdable!

  8. #18

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    If money is not the critical issue, get the ebony. It is one of the finest cameras made. Period. I will give you tons of bellow draw. You can use a 90 mm or wider lens on out to a 450mm fuji (non-telephoto). The camera is rock solid and an absolute joy to work with. The construction and materials are top-notch. Just my 2 cents worth.

  9. #19

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    I own a couple of Speeds, a couple of Crowns, I usually recommend them as good first field cameras. I get this feeling though... you are looking for something a bit finer.

    I suggest a 4x5 or 5x7 Deardorff. A bit heavier than your modern carbon fiber delicacy, but when it comes to stability, it is a quite nice field camera. A camera you will probably never part with, no matter what direction your photography takes. A bit more investment than your run of the mill Speed, but not anywhere near what an ebony would cost...

    A 5x7 Deardorff with a 4x5 back gives you so may options... 4x5 enlarger printing, 5x7 contacts... all in a beautiful mahogany case and incredibly intuitive movements.

    tim in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  10. #20
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I would never recommend anything expensive like that to a beginner. I'd get a cheap camera and find out if you even like large format first, IMO. A Crown, Speed, Graphic View, etc. will get you used to the process of shooting sheet film, and will cover much of what you would like to do. You can get a nice modern Toyo, Omega, or even a Sinar monorail with a nice lens for under $500, and the same for a Speed or Crown in a nice kit with case, holders, etc. Then you will need a 4x5 enlarger, and 4x5 developing stuff. If you dig it after all this, then I'd look into the nicer cameras. If you don't, you can sell off without much loss.
    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)

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