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  1. #21

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    Ian, I use Graphics. Like them, too. You're completely right about their limitations.
    Last edited by Dan Fromm; 04-19-2011 at 06:01 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  2. #22

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    I owned a Crown before moving to a Wista field camera some 30 years ago. The Crown was light, well-balanced for hand holding, and a pleasure to use right up to the point where I needed movements. Then it became frustrating. It was a cheap, portable way to try large format despite its limitations. I get nostalgic for it in the same way I remember my first car. I wouldn't want to own either of them now . . .

    Peter Gomena

  3. #23
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    That's why the Super Graphic is so appealing... rotating back (a must honestly) and more movements, plus hand-holdability. Would you guys agree it's the best compromise??
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  4. #24
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    That's why the Super Graphic is so appealing... rotating back (a must honestly) and more movements, plus hand-holdability. Would you guys agree it's the best compromise??
    You'll find anyone with practical experience of a Super Graphic or equivalent Technical camera will totally agree.

    Most will go for the more expensive Linhof options, but also look out for the Toyo 45A they can be found around the $200 mark at times, there was one on this forum (or the LF Forum) about 18 months ago.

    Ian

  5. #25
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    In terms of dipping your toe into 4x5 waters, almost any Crown Graphic in reasonable shape is a good start; mine came from a camera show with a 135mm OEM lens, and the old silver pressboard case with 2 spare lens boards for $130. It told me that 4x5 is something that I want to pursue, and when the right field camera comes my way at the right price, then a better camera will happen.

    Until then, it works well enough, and as others have said, it is one that you are willing to toss into a pack and drag around (and sometimes, like on the put in or take out at select difficult portage transitions when canoe tripping, I really do mean drag.)

    Crowns will also take a symmar 210 f/5.6, and still fold up and fully close (just). So configured it can be used for great portraits.
    my real name, imagine that.

  6. #26

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    I recently had a Super Graphic in addition to two Meridians (a Model 45B and a prototype 45C). Never warmed up to the Super Graphic so I sold it. Reasons why include that it doesn't rack-focus with wide angles (no focusing on the inner rails, though a Crown offers this), and the hard to use front tilt lock-out. The rotating back is useful but not as useful as the rotating back + tilt and swing back moves on the Meridians.

    Just not into shooting roll film on a 4x5. With the SG it was hard to see what was being framesd via the peep-sight and hoop viewfinder. Lot of back-swapping to use it with roll film for anything critical. At least in my case, the Graflok back didn't count for much.

    Unmodified Meridian backs do allow use of Quickload/Readyload holders, and with a small spacer or a few washers, Grafmatics.

    If you do decide on a Meridian, what you're likely to encounter in the used marketplace are a fair number of used Meridians showing up with butchered backs. These are attempts to either make them full Graflok backs, or else to have clearance to use with insert roll film holders (by grinding off the "ears" that are handholds for opening up the gape to insert a film holder). There never were many Meridian 45Bs (Total production run of ~1000, more than 60 years ago). They were considered rather collectible up until the past couple of years, so many of these modifications are recent and crude. Seems a shame but that's the state of things at this late date. If you do find a nice original one, with a Kalart rangefinder, it's quite as capable as all but the most recent Linhofs--albeit no RF cams-- but with longer lasting synthetic bellows that are likely as not to have survived light tight.

  7. #27

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    A Crown or Super Graphic are light enough for hiking in the field, can be handheld in good lighting, or can be used successfully with a relatively lightweight tripod/head. As said above, for many (most?) situations the limited movements are not an issue. But there are better choices today, like the little Wista wood fields and others which are really lightweight and offer movements. And if you really want lots of movements and longer bellows, there are the lightish Wisner techfields.

    To add to the list of press cameras for field use, I would mention the little metal Horseman 45FA with reasonable movements, but with limitation on lens selection because of small front standard.

    And to add a little bit of history, there is the granpappy of the graphic press cameras, the RB Cycle Graphic, designed with recreational field use in mind, thus the reference to being transportable on a push bike. Back in 1910 or so, this was revolutionary.

  8. #28
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patawauke View Post
    And to add a little bit of history, there is the granpappy of the graphic press cameras, the RB Cycle Graphic, designed with recreational field use in mind, thus the reference to being transportable on a push bike. Back in 1910 or so, this was revolutionary.
    Thanks for the tidbit! Here's a look... http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...r-schwing.html
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  9. #29
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    For cheap, a super graphic, crown graphic, or pacemaker should be best among the graflexes and you might have to search hard to find the first two for under $200, but the third is easily under $200. An anniversary or preanniversary or SLR will be less flexible, but still a good deal for shooting big film with constraints and will be in the $100 range.

    The pacemaker and likely the crown has a side tripod hole to get around the non-revolving back, and of you then turn your l-r shift into rise/fall.

    For more extreme flexibilty with front and back adjustments of all sort and to use longer lenses, I bought a B&J 8x10 field camera and have a 4x5 back to go along with the 8x10 back. This way I can use 8x10 lenses for 8x10 and 4x5 film. It's as heavy as a 4x5 monorail. It was only $350.

  10. #30

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    Um, JP, a Crown is a Pacemaker. Graflex Inc. made Pacemaker Graphics in two flavors, Crown and Speed. Three sizes, 2.25" x 3.25", 3.25" x 4.25", 4"x5". There was also the Century Graphic, a bargain version of the 2x3 Crown with a plastic body and slightly fewer features. Ignorant barbarians like me regard the Century as a Pacemaker too, real connoisseurs don't.

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