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  1. #31

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Utah
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    30
    Venchka...you recommend Jandd panniers. Is there a particular model you prefer? Barry

  2. #32
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Brandon, MB
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    Another vote for the Crown. It's perfect for easy travelling, and about as light and easy to carry as you're going to find in 4x5.

    I made 2 trips to China schlepping mine around, so it's hard-won wisdom. I also just picked up a 90mm lens on a Crown board for it, so you have choice in lenses too. Another added bonus is price -- they're not expensive and film holders are equally plentiful and cheap.

  3. #33

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Shen Hao and Chamonix are the best value for the money in Field Cameras. I have been really happy with my Shen Hao. You almost never see either come up on E Bay or Criags list! Also you do see Burke and James cameras occasionally. The Chamonix has received great reviews from those who bought them. The down side is a long lead time to order as there is not stocking distributor here in the US. Shen Hao has distribution in the US from Badger and Mid West Photo Exchange both are very reputable. Small Rail Cameras are 4X5 BADGER M1 rail camera and you occasionally see the Peter Gowand mini 4X5 on E Bay. Also the Toho Shimo FC-45X is another small rail view camera to consider. You may want to search for a Meredian B which is a knock off of a Linhoff and was made in the 1940's or consider a Linhoff. Crown Graphics are fine and reasonable provided you can give up movements that a field/rail camera offers

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Oban, west coast, Scotland
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    You don't say wether you are "mountain biking" and want to take a camera with you or going to take pics on your MTB, so my suggestion is based primarely on the latter, though not entirely. I have done some fairly technical singletrack with a trailer and found it alot more do-able than you may think.

    I used a BOB YAK, the suspended one. It is long enough to accomodate a reasonable sized tripod and is very stable with the weight a light-ish 4x5 set up would come in at. I had about 35lb on mine!!! The bike tracks way better than with panniers and I found I could tow at least 50% more than I could carry.

    As for cameras I had a Tachi and found it very light, I tried a Crown but as I like uprights more than landscapes the fact that it had no rotating back a pain, no swing meant that it had no tilt when I had it on its side. If you shoot mainly Landscape format it may not be an issue.

    Gari

  5. #35

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith View Post
    Thanks for all the responses - lot to think about here. I will take a look at each camera mentioned.
    To be honest, I wasn't thinking about the tripod. Hmmm...suppose it will take a bigger one than I use with 35mm shots - that may be problematic on the bike. Well, I could still scout out stuff when Mt. biking, and then return on foot (ugh...I love wheels) to capture scenes if I had to.

    EDIT: Hahaha...I had to laugh at the suggestion of turning my bike over and using for a tripod - and then I got to thinking...there's a good idea in there somewhere! :-)

    Appreciate all the info, I will do some looking at all this. Never had a 4x5...must be sweet looking at the slide / negs.
    Jed
    My first suggestion for a tripod would be a compact, ultralightight carbon fiber "traveler" style tripod, like the Feisol CT-3441S. Combined with a lightweight ballhead, this will easily support a lightweight 4x5 camera and give you the most versatility.

    Or, if you're serious about turning your bike into a tripod, you might consider something like this. Although it's shown mounted on the handle bars, you could mount this adapter on any tube of the proper diameter (25.4mm or 31.8mm). If you do mount it on the handle bars, you would need some way to lock the front wheel from swinging side-to-side - perhaps some kind of small clamp.

    In any case, there are two possible issues to overcome - working height and keeping the bike from tipping over. Since a bike is shorter than a tripod, you'd need to bend over/crouch down to compose and focus. I'm also not sure if I'd trust my expensive 4x5 camera and lenses to my bicycle's kick stand. I'd probably want something a little sturdier to prop up the bike to keep it from tipping over while being used as a tripod - or perhaps using it upside down would solve this problem with the Feisol Bike Mount attached to the bottom frame tube.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras

  6. #36

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dedham, Ma, USA
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    625
    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith View Post
    .... or perhaps find that perfect MF camera out there somewhere...
    Thanks for discussion,
    Jed
    I use a 2x3 Galvin monorail w/47mm, 65mm lenses (on recessed lens board), and a 150mm lens for ultra-light backpacking up mountain trails. The combined weight of camera, lenses, sheet film, roll film back, and carbon fiber tripod (17" long with center post removed) is about 6+ lbs. It all fits into a small pack. I personally don't need a 4x5 because I don't print larger than 14x17". This combination is also good for 1:1 macro work with the 150 as the bellows draw is only 10"; much less with the 65. With the 47mm I can get a 90 deg. AOV when using 6x8mm format (with a Graflex RH-8 film back that also fits on my RB). Sometimes I tote my RB up trails, but never with 3 lenses - too heavy and bulky - and the wide lenses are not wide enough. When traveling with a group of people where many hand held opportunities arise, I scale things down and pack a Mamiya M645 1000s and 3 lenses which also fits in a small pack.

    These cameras (Galvin) were hand built and there was a slight problem with the rear standard - it was a little floppy - but easy to fix with a screw driver and small metal file.

    Paul
    Last edited by panastasia; 04-20-2009 at 09:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  7. #37

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    The Crown Graphic is a good option. On the plus side, it is light and very durable. I don't think anyone has mentioned this so far, but you can use it hand-held (although, like any other large camera, anything under 1/125 and you are taking your chances). You can use a pair of Grafmatic holders and have more than enough sheets for one outing. On the minus side, it has very few movements. You say you like landscapes, in which case, front tilt is often very useful. There is a simple mod you can do to a Crown to get front tilt.

    If you want more movements, the Super Graphic is a good option. It is slightly heavier than the Crown but has a metal body which is almost indestructible. It has as much front movement as just about any field camera. It has no back movements but the back does rotate 360. It is a great camera. Although I now use a full field camera, I have used both the Crown and the Super in the field quite a bit and, except for the limits I mentioned, they really do the job.

    The main advantages of LF over MF are: 1) you can develop each negative individually, and 2) movements. If neither of these is important to you, then stick then stick with medium format. MF is a huge step over 35mm and unless you are doing very large prints, you won't be able to tell the difference between 120 and 4x5. The perfect MF camera for you, in my opinion, is the Mamiya 7 (there are a few variations). It is not cheap but it is one helluva camera. If that is not in the budget, then go with a vintage folder with a good lens. Honestly, LF has its distinct advantages but the context (mountain biking) is not going to allow you to explore them easily, Keep in mind that with 4x5, you have to setup and takedown every time you stop for a different shot.
    "The beauty and profundity of God is more real than any mere calculation"

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