Thanks for the link to the Ebony site...I never considered their non-folder before. I see where the non-folder would be a good choice for architecture, with the ease it handles short lenses and its axis tilts. It would certainly have worked well for me in my 4x5 days...even just doing landscapes. A padded bag of some sort to slip over the camera would be all good. And the non-folder seems to be a better (sturdier) camera to carry on the tripod. The major disadvantage would be the relatively short bellow extensions, but I was fine with my Gowland Pocket View that only has 12" of extension (but then I only have a 150mm lens!). I would go for the 45SU with the longer bellows (365mm). I have a larger selection of lenses for my 8x10, and the non-folding 8x10 cameras have too limited of a bellows draw for me...I like my 19" lens (480mm).
It does seem a bit much to go for the higher priced camera at the start, but at least if you decide 4x5 is not for you, you will know that it was not the camera to blame -- and I bet Ebony cameras have a good resale history. Just the fact you are considering an Ebony puts me off recommending a press camera style of camera. It seems like suggesting a pale ale when someone asks for a recommendation for their first bottle of wine.
In the end, I find that if I wanted a non-folder, the Ebony 45SU is what I would get. I would end up needing to carry a lot more film holders...the quickness of working with it by keeping it on a tripod would allow me to burn through more film in a day. Much of my pre-editing happens when I ask myself, "Is it worthwhile to haul the camera out of the pack and set it up?"! If I found that I preferred the box-like storage and the longer bellows of a folding camera, I would then consider other cameras as well as the Ebony. For well-made simplicity, I like the Horseman Wood Field. I really like my Gowland Pocket View, but it is not a camera for everyone.
Tough choice! But have fun with it!
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Thanks everyone! The Ebony wasnt really a choice to be honest, I found a link that kind of explained a difference between folding vs non and it was on the Ebony site. Granted the Ebony is pretty to look at but the $ is a bit dear for a beginner...meaning me. I have liked the look of the Graphicas, the old press cameras always remind me of the old movies., much like the Linhof's but that is a price for a different day...
So I will be doing some more research...re-read this forum...re-read this thread and then ask a few more questions.
There was an APUGer at the Beijing Olympics court side with, I beleive, a Speed Graphic. FILM PHOTOGRAPHY LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to disagree! Product photography lends itself to big heavy monorails. But Architectural thrives on having a light and smaller camera with a full range of motions. Linhof makes such a camera, which provides full movements but with the light weight and size of a folder...a 'technical' camera.
Originally Posted by keithwms
Fair enough, it's true that for wide angle architecture you don't need much bellows draw and there are a number of quite compact cameras with bag bellows and lots of movement.
Let me propose, then, that hiking and product are the two extremes of LF
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I own an Ebony 45S and love it
Non Folders are easier to handle as a beginner.
They are also faster to set up than a Folding Camera (15mins)
Non Folders tend to make great Landscape Cameras as they handle Wide Angle Lenses better than Folders.
However, Non Folders don’t do longer lenses as well as Folders.
My 45S max extension is 270mm – which means a 240mm lens is as long as you can realistically manage without extension pieces.
Ebony does a 45SU Non Folder that will take longer lenses – up to 365mm Extension – but that is the maximum
The standard lens for a 5x4 is 150mm – equivalent to a 50mm lens on 35mm.
Therefore you need to consider what sort of lenses you currently use - both frequently and occasionally.
It may be that you need two or more LF Cameras to cover all of your needs.
A friend of mine uses a Linhof for his professional architecture work - http://www.linhof.de/index-e.html
Have you looked also at Walker Cameras - http://www.walkercameras.com/
In the UK the major LF Dealer is Robert White - http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/default.asp
I don’t know who would deal with LF Cameras in Germany
While the advice given on by the other posters on this Thread is good, living in Europe the LF choice of second hand equipment is very limited.
I found it was very good to find other people who had LF Cameras and to play with them together with asking questions of the owners.
Does the German APUG group have an annual or bi-annual get together like the UK Group, if so try to get people to bring the LF Cameras with then and try them out – they make much more sense when handled in real life than on the pages of a book
The most important thing on deciding what LF Camera you buy first – is what lenses you will want to use most?
After that the selection makes itself
Thanks for the links, I have checked out the Linhof, Munich is about 3 hours away and I really like that city. purchase wise I am better off buying from the US, I work for the US Government am paid in US $ and have a US post office box through the military but live locally and everything else I do is in Euros. The pay is not bad but for big ticket items, it is worth waiting the time for shipment otherwise Euro or in your case the £ kills me exchange wise.
Most of the time on walk about I have a rollei 80mm (gx version) and I think that comes out to the 50ish aspect as well. On the Canon we use a 16-34 most of the time so I guess I am looking at wide to normal aspect. Based on what you are saying is the largest lens I want to look at is 180. How low should go keeping in mind I like wide angle?
Ok so going over to ebay and I stumbled across this:
or just go to ebay and find this item: 120372601032
sorry about the long length of the link, have no idea how to shorten it. I know the Toyo is a good camera and has more features than I need right now and could easily grow into the camera but is it too much both price and features? In the 35mm world I know that Nikon makes excellent lens same quality in the LF world?
That "buy it now" is too high IMHO, the camera would likely go for max $800 alone, then the lenses maybe another $800 each, so a total of ~$1400-1600 or so might be a reasonable estimate for what it'll go for. I think I'd not bid past ~$1400 on that batch.