Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 69,884   Posts: 1,520,528   Online: 845
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Marvin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Williamston, NC USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    252

    Good 4x5 starter kit

    I have been thinking about 4x5 for a while and checked out some cameras on ebay but I am not sure what would make a good starter kit. I have seen a lot of Calumet 4x5 cameras on ebay but most don't have lenses. I would probably use it for lighthouses, seascapes, and mountain scenics so I guess a normal to moderately wide angle lens would be OK. I currently have 35mm Nikon, Bronica medium format and Digital Nikon so 4x5 seems like a next step.
    Marvin

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    south central Missouri
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,926
    Images
    9
    At the prices Sinars original F's are going for, might be hard to pass on one of them.

    Mike

  3. #3
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,011
    Images
    42
    Crown graphic or speed graphic would be fine for the seascape and mountain scenes. A lighthouse can be tricky if you are close enough to it that you have to tilt the camera up to catch the top of the lighthouse. In that case, you would need a camera that had both a rear and front tilt. Movements like that cannot be done with a crown or speed graphic. Some of the better 4x5 field cameras can do this. A monorail camera will do it but it is such a pain to use in the field. There is a Chinese company (shen hao?) that has been putting out a decent 4x5 field camera for a few years.

    As long as you don't intend to use a long focal length, you should not concern yourself with bellows extension. For example, if you will not be using a 14" lens with your 4x5, you won't need a field camera with 14 inches of bellows extension.

    You will probably be able to find one used if you look around on a few online sites like Ebay or craigslist.

  4. #4
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,625
    Images
    151
    If you want to carry it any distance, I'd avoid a monorail if possible unless you are going to shoot a lot of architecture or long lenses. The nice thing about monorails, though, is that you can get a very high quality camera (e.g. Sinar, Linhof, older Arca-Swiss) for little money. A field camera is probably a better bet for what you are looking to do. If you can swing it, Shen-Hao or Tachihara are nice cameras for not too much money, but more than a monorail or a Crown Graphic. I have a Tachihara that I use with a 240mm all the time for close ups. For the lens, I'd try to get a used 135 or 150mm f5.6 lens....I wouldn't worry too much about brand.
    You might call a place like Midwest Photo and see what they can offer you. They have a good selection of new and used equipment. I bought a new Tachihara with a used 150mm from them about 5 years ago and I found them great to deal with.

  5. #5
    Tom Nutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Eastern USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    218
    Blog Entries
    2
    My first 4X5 was a crown graphic---good to get started with, but yea, if you don't mind the bulk and weight of a rail camera...a calumet would be a cheap option---The 45 SF was a pretty light and manageable model.. Don't overlook Caltar lenses either...They're made by Rodenstock, but less expensive on the used market.

  6. #6
    Seabird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    113
    From your description of intended use (scenics) I'd lean more towards a field camera than a monorail (others, with some justification, may disagree eg there is a very sexy little Toho monorail....).

    You'll also probably be able to sell most 2nd-hand LF stuff for what you pay for it (assuming you dont pay over the odds) so no need to worry too much about making a dud choice. If it doesn't work for you just trade it for something else.

    And given those two premises: if you can afford the entry price I'd start with the best: Linhof Technika IV or later.

    Mind you, a camera is just a camera - a light tight box. Another valid school of thought says get a cheap camera and sink the cash into the lenses - you'll be able to use them with any camera (within reason).

    For your uses something in the 90 - 135mm range sounds useful. eg Nikkor 90/f8 or Apo-Sironar-S 135. If money is no object then Schneider SS-XL 110... (But having said that, if you are new to LF a lot of people recommend learning with a slightly longer lens eg 150mm to 210mm - it might make it easier to get the hang of camera movements if you are not used to them).

    Probably the best piece of advice I can give you: just get *something* and start shooting. There is a lot to learn besides just the equipment - particularly if you will be developing and printing yourself. Once you start taking pix you can refine your needs from there.

    Hope this is of some assistance and enjoy!

    Carey Bird
    Last edited by Seabird; 12-22-2009 at 04:38 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling - damn single malt!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Texas, USA
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,885
    I've been doing quite a bit of research for cost vs. features (that I want) and Shen Hao or Chamonix are tough to beat but there is some concern that the Chamonix focus panel needs either an easy modification or replacement... otherwise it's great.

    There are zillions of lens options but it sounds like a good kit for you might be a 72 SA XL, 110 SS XL, 150 SS XL, and at the longer end 200 Nikkor-M (make sure the 200 has the coverage you need) and 300 Nikkor-M.
    Last edited by Mike1234; 12-22-2009 at 05:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    269
    The argument on the Chamonix focus panel from what I understand is the fresnel. The fix is to the remove the fresnel from the back of the GG, and place it on the front.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    south central Missouri
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,926
    Images
    9
    I started with a Sinar F, they fold up nice to fit in a bag. Not as nice as a field camera though. Hard to find a better camera at the 200 they are selling for now on ebay.

    I now have a zone VI field and rarely use the sinar

    Mike

  10. #10
    36cm2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northeast U.S.
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    575


    Marvin, Carey's advice is right on. I put together a the following kit after a ton of research focusing on the following criteria: quality, low weight/compact portability, price point, and flexibility. Tachihara field camera, nikon SW90 F/8, rodenstock Sironar-N 150, fujinon A 240. I have no complaints. The kit is light, the lenses are compact but cover the right range of focal lengths and permit ample movements, and the quality of each component is excellent. For a starter kit I don't think I could have done better. It took a while to compile and I suggest you buy carefully and slowly if you're on the used market. If you're wondering which lenses to get first, I shoot primarily landscape and find myself using the 150 and 240 most, although others' experience may differ. Best of luck to you and sorry if I've repeated what others have said; I can't read most of the posts due to technical problems with Apug's mobile system.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin