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  1. #11
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Leon,
    look at non-gallery images. 4x5 wood camera. tim

  2. #12
    Leon's Avatar
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    ok - I've seen some speed graphics for really reasonable prices - but one thing confuses me - do they have all the modern field camera type movements? that would be inportant to me. I could get a view camera but that would compromise mobility - or would it?

  3. #13
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    My Speed Graphic has limited front movements. The standard lens also has limited coverage which compounds the problem. I guess press photographers didnít normally need such facilities. Having said that you probably have the more movement and coverage available than you do with the SL66, but thatís a guess on my part. Changing from the standard lens to one with a larger image circle improves matters.
    Look at the MPP range which were very similar British Press cameras, the later models came with back movements also, making them even more versatile. Both have the distinct advantage over monorail cameras of being bullet-proof when folded, ideal for the travelling man. They don't come with motordrives but do make excellent doorstops.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  4. #14
    noseoil's Avatar
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    If you need rise, fall, shift, tilt and swing, along with back movements, a field camera is what you need. The press cameras are usually limited to small front movements and lens coverage is not great. Take a look at the Shen Hao 4x5 (sorry, make that 5x4) for cost, function and utility in a new camera. The used market may still be your best bet for value.

    I would caution that "cheap" and "large format," while not mutually exclusive, are also somewhat at odds with each other. If you plan on going into this in depth, get the best camera you can afford. Make sure it has movements you can use. Get a lens with plenty of coverage. Practice, read, evaluate and then practice some more. It is a worthy endeavor.

  5. #15

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    I also built one, and I think the building is more than 1/2 the fun of a Bender. The other advantage is that if you can handle the fact that it's a light, wood, camera (i.e. don't treat it like a 4x5 Linhof Tech in the field), it's easy to carry, use, and modify. By adding two small piece of wood to the front, and the Bag Bellows, I have a field camera that weighs less than the 75mm Nikkor I put on it.

    For longer lenses, or general 4x5 use, I think my tailboard Burke and James is a superior camera, though much heavier. If I were to do it again, I'd look for a used Calumet Woodfield, or Tachihari.

    The best part of the Bender for me was that it gave me the confidence to build a new back porch. This may or may not be an advantage in your world.

  6. #16
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    If you want a cheap monorail with full movements, look for something like an older B&J/Orbit or Calumet or for not too much more an older Linhof Color or Kardan (the model history of Linhof monorails is reviewed in the last two issues of _View Camera_ magazine). The downside of these cameras is their weight compared to the Bender, though the bulk is similar.

    If you can find a used Gowland monorail, these are extremely lightweight and usually quite affordable. Movements are not so precise as a Sinar or Linhof, but it's quite a functional and versatile camera that's easy to carry into the field. I have an 8x10" and a 4x5" Gowland.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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