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  1. #1

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    Considering 4x5 kit, sanity check

    Edit: I initially deleted this post with a suggestion of deleting the thread as I thought i missed out on it. Turns out i didn't. This was rewritten after the first response to the thread.

    Thought I missed out on this offer but I'm meeting the seller after all.

    Here is his offer:

    Tachihara 4x5 body in good shape with bellows light-tight
    Rodenstock 150mm, f/5.6
    Nikkor SW 90mm, f/8
    Fujinon A 240 mm, f/9
    Schneider-Kreuznach 65mm, f/9
    12 4x5 film holders
    Calumet 20-exposure medium-format film-back

    He is asking $1200, I'm initially offered $1000.

    This would be my first 4x5 experience. The total cost is high, but I figure that could immediately recover $500-800 by selling a pair of the lenses, making the total cost something much more reasonable. This would also be total overkill for a first kit.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Brian Legge; 11-26-2010 at 10:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    It sounds like a good kit for an OK price, but it is not the first thing I would buy if I was just thinking about 4x5, as you stated you are. I'd get something cheaper and more basic, like a modern (black) Calumet, Omega, or Toyo monorail with a lens or two. They are everywhere in good shape for peanuts, and are full-featured view cameras. "I want to try 4x5; here is $1,000 for everything I need" is not a good approach IMHO. In other words, to get into the pool without knowing how to swim, I'd not jump into the deep end straight away, but would come down the steps on the shallow end one by one. YMMV, but that is the way I see it.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-26-2010 at 10:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #3

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    Thank you for taking time to reply. It looks like I missed out on that anyway so I edited the original post assuming no one had gotten around to reading it yet.

    You're right, I was looking at it purely from a financial view. Given that the camera came with 4 lenses, I was thinking about selling two of them straight away to get down to something more manageable. From a learning standpoint, that would have been a poor way of learning.

  4. #4
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to say that it would be a poor way of learning. You could learn to shoot 4x5 on that camera, no problem. It is just that it is expensive, and a lot to bite off for a simple trial run.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5

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    Thanks. I clarified my initial post to more accurately reflect my intent now that I'm meeting him after all.

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    If the medium format back is a 20 exposure back, does that mean it requires 220 film to work?
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #7
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Looks like a good kit to me, I'd shoot with lens before decided whether or not to sell any of them. I think if you due a little research on pricing you'll find that you would be hard pressed to put that kit together for less.

    BTW don't let sanity get in your way of purchasing a nice 4x5 outfit.

    Roger

  8. #8
    Adrian Twiss's Avatar
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    In terms of money expended its a lot of $ but you are getting quite a bit of bang for your buck. The pick of the bunch in that outfit (IMO) is the 240mm Fujinon. Its a remarkably compact lens for the focal length and I don't see them going cheap on Ebay or the classifieds. You don't have a dud lens in that outfit. I would point out that the 65mm would need to be on a recessed board to be fully effective and, ideally, a set of bag bellows would be a welcome addition. I am a relative newcomer to LF myself and can say from experience the greatest virtue for the newcomer is patience. You will make a lot of mistakes, its the nature of the format, and overcoming the frustration of failed images is a challenge. However once you get into it LF photography has an unique attraction. Its a very relaxing, almost therapeutic way of making images and the quality will blow your socks off when you get it right.

    I hope you will enjoy what is a fascinating photographic journey.

  9. #9
    36cm2's Avatar
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    That kit is very very close to what I have put together over the last 3 years. $1000 bucks is a big initial outlay and I agree with 2F/2F that it's good to be sure of what you want before jumping in so heartily. But...... I think the Tachihara is great, especially if you're contemplating a lot of field work that you'll hike to. The lenses are a great set of sizes, although I'm a little confused by the 65mm, that sounds shorter than you can use on the Tachihara. The Calumet back is designed for 220, so not sure how well it will work with 120, although I wouldn't be surprised if it's totally fine. You can certainly do this cheaper (rail camera, one lens and some learning time), but if you think you know what you want, you're getting a very nice kit.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  10. #10
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    One thing to consider is if the 65 mm is just an Angulon - then it will not cover 4x5, only the roll film sizes. If it is a Super Angulon, then it will cover 4x5 with a little room to spare. Where I live, there's is not much of a market so prices are very different (loony-bin high, rather). If I spotted this sort of kit for $1000, it would not be sitting long on the shelf.

    The initial cost may be high for you, but you get a great kit for the money, I think.
    Last edited by Jerevan; 11-27-2010 at 07:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

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