The only thing you need to watch with wooden cameras is that the screws tend to come loose with the constant vibration, it's not a major problem but is something you need to look out for. It happens with my Wista.
I'd not go for anything with bellows and ground glass for mtn. biking. (Then again, maybe it depends what you mean by mountain biking....)
I'd suggest the fotoman, or if you have lots of money to blow, maybe the alpa. (Isn't that alpa site amusing?! Wish I were actually shopping when I visit it)
Better yet... as few moving parts as possible... a 4x5 pinhole camera! You need a long break from the athletic activity anyway
Tripod is no prob, the bike can be a tripod. Put a stand on the bike, put a tube inside the stem to the seat, pop off the seat, voila.
The Wista's don't have glass screens
Re: glass screens, Diwan Bhathal taught me that a homemade plexiglas screen works almost as well. It's not so bright, sure, but it truly cannot be broken. I did my 5x7 Yosemite trip with one that we scratched up with pipe compound at Diwan's place.
Still, I think you'd be better off scale focusing. If you get as hot and sweaty as I do when biking then you'll not want to duck under a dark cloth and screw around with ground glass. The crown gives you many focusing options, perhaps that is best. It is also inexpensive. But it is heavy.
But a pinhole.... nothing to break, nothing to focus!! Hard to beat! Put some fuji fp3000b45 in there and off you go!
Yes, there are a number of them on the market both new and used. Add in Mido film holders and you can keep the weight down.
You ought to decide though if you are riding to ride or going out to photograph and gear up accordingly.
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Man, I had no idea mountain biking / hiking with a LF camera was so popular! :-) Here I was thinking this was a crazy idea in part of my brain...but sounds really doable.
Yes, bike is full suspension - mid grade at about $1500, so it's decently heavy already - I can't afford one of those ultralight ones for $3-5K! :-) I don't have any racks or anything, and I was thinking about bungying the tripod to the frame - but I suppose one of those seat post mounted racks would work too.
I also agree with the guy who likes to ride w/ nothing on the back - it is nicer - but I wouldn't mind a small pack or camera bag hugging my back as long as it wasn't so big it hit the seat below my butt. Trying to bike with a big pack drives me crazy that way.
Well, so many models to look into here. Will take me some time to see - obviously lower priced is better right now, just to get my feet wet in LF and see if I like it. I have a feeling the "extra work" must be worth it over the postage stamp 35mm slides - but who knows what I will think when actually doing it?
Thanks, I do appreciate all the advice here! Glad to see this is such an active forum.
That's my 4x5, also. An early model...about 2.5 pounds with a Caltar II-N 150mm f5.6 lens mounted on it. We have a couple of the Horseman Woodman 4x5's we check out to students. Nice sturdy cameras for their weight...better IMO than the Tachiharas.
Originally Posted by Muihlinn
I saw a great seatpost on a bike earlier this week. The rear rack was welded directly on the seat post....it was all one unit. The rack was built on the same type and diameter tube as the seat post. Seems it would be much better than the clamp-on racks.
I have biked once (single track) with my 8x10 and Reis pod...60 pounds of equipment. I would do it again, as long as there were no significant hills and it was the only way to get there fast enough if hiking in would take too long. But a trailer would be the way I would have to go if I were to do it regularly (or get a light weight 8x10 system).
Last edited by Vaughn; 04-05-2009 at 12:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Gowland Pocket View 4x5 are the lightest you can get. They also pack very small. They are monorail type- so you can remove the rail stow it, then let the camera lay flat. Very safe and easy way to store- you don't need any special expensive bags either- just put in a plain old backpack and it's fine. Even if you fall you are unlikely to break a camera like this since it's all aluminum.
I was going it say a Speed Graphic but I put the broken on I have on the scale (working is somplace in that room) and it weighted in at 6 LBs with one film holder and and NO lens, and it was not a 4X5 but a 3X4....
It's not the camera......
Do it right
Set the bike up with proper racks and Jandd panniers.
The used market is full of folding field cameras. Photobackpacker sells cases for cameras. Fishpond sells fly reel cases that hold 2-3 lenses.
There are lots of tiny lenses around. Fujinon-W 125mm and Kodak Ektar 203mm are two that come to mind. My Speed Graphic came with a very good, very small Kodak Ektar 127mm lens.
There are decent compact tripods around too. They may not extend way up high, but they will hold your camera steady.
A friend of mine has what may be the perfect sheet film bike camera: A folding 3 1/4"x4 1/4" Zeiss with a 150mm Tessar lens. Folded it's no bigger then my Pentax 6x7. It makes negatives a lot bigger than 6x7 or 6x9.