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  1. #11

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    Wisely spoken.

  2. #12
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I sent this to the OP in a PM, but also check out the Large Format Home Page:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

    and the LFPF:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/index.php

    A book some people recommend and others don't - I found the writing sort of odd in places but it was useful when starting, is Using the View Camera: A Creative Guide to Large Format Photography by Steve Simmons. Amazon doesn't have it but their associated sellers do.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    A monorail isn't necessarily impractical, and is likely to be less expensive for a given quality level as well as have more versatile movements, but it depends on how far you are going and the monorail.

    I'd disagree slightly with the advice about avoiding press cameras. It depends on how much you want to spend and how much you already think you'll like it.
    ditto these comments

  4. #14

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    Dennis ...

    you are used to shooting a mamiya7ii ...
    it is a camera with no movements ...
    if you are interested in a 4x5 camera with no movements
    one that you can open the lens and shutter, focus on the ground glass
    and expose your film ... and not worry about perspective control, making looming forground
    or wacky distortions .. a speed graphic press camera night be something to consider.
    they have a focal plane shutter and allow you to use anything you can imagine as a lens
    ( magnifying glasses, enlarger lenses, cheap inexpensive lenses, brass lenses &C )
    they also allow you a large negative. think newspaper camera from the 1940s ...
    but if you hope to have perspective control, the ability to alter what is in focus and not in focus
    making things "loom" then i agree with ian grant suggested ...
    monorails can be cumbersome, folding field cameras are portable and allow for movements,
    and press cameras are bare bones ...

    they all have pros and cons .. it all depends on what you need ...

    good luck !
    john
    if my apug gallery looks empty you might check these places

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  5. #15
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    monorails can be cumbersome, folding field cameras are portable and allow for movements,
    and press cameras are bare bones ...

    they all have pros and cons .. it all depends on what you need ...

    good luck !
    john
    Yep, and you may not KNOW what you need until you dip into it for a while.

    That's ok. Unlike 35mm or MF where a lens system marries you to the bodies for those lenses you can pretty much put any LF lens (at least, the ones mounted in a shutter and there are ways of using barrel lenses) on any camera. Start out with a decent deal on a used body and if you find you want something else later moving on won't cost much. You should be able to sell your first camera for as much or close to what you paid and move on, keeping everything else. (Well, you may need new lens boards.)

  6. #16

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    if all he needed is something but a glorified 35mm
    no movement camera ... then maybe that is all that is needed
    with a 4x5 camera ...

    perspective controlling movements aren't the be-all and end-all of photography
    if my apug gallery looks empty you might check these places

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  7. #17
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Yep, and you may not KNOW what you need until you dip into it for a while.
    That's why I'd advise staying away from any camera with very limited movements, like a Press camera.

    The benefits of LF over medium format are the larger film size and the ability to use movements, compared to conventional MF TLR's, SLR's and Rangefinder cameras.

    In the 35 years I've been using LK the only LF cameras that have restricted the images I've been wanting to shoot have been Speed/Crown Graphics purely because of their poor range of movements. The big advantage of a Press camera is for hand held use.

    With some thought it's possible to find a good compromise with a Technical camera, MPP MicroTechnical, Super Graphic, Toyo 45A, Linhof Technika etc. These combine the best attributes of a wooden field camera with the practicality of a Press camera for hand held work.

    Yes a monorail has more potential for movements but I've never got close to the extremes of movements with my Wista 45DX (field camera) in the landscape (and architecture) or the studion.

    Ian

  8. #18

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    I have a Top of the line Toyo 4x5 G

    which in its day was a top of the Toyo Line ...It has all the movements swings and tilts .. There are some nice asseories that your can get for it .. Wide angle bellows, recessed lens holders, bellows shade, and various viewers.... Every thing is metal on it where other Toyo models have plastic rail clamps which are easliy broken..

    I am going to be selling mine if you have any intrest...It has a top of the line case, wide angle bellows, the regular bellows is light tight, has extesion rail, and adjustable lens shade....It also has a revolving back which is nice... It will do every thing you want it to do plus. It also has removeable bellows .......Price with the listed assessories ( no lens or lensboard ) is $600 complete...

    John Cremati 216-651-9949 johnjohnc@att.net
    Last edited by johnjohnc; 10-05-2011 at 03:02 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: more infomation given

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by rince View Post
    Hi,

    I was developing some film the other day in a community darkroom and at the light table I saw a guy working on his 4x5 negs. We talked a bit and he showed me some prints and they blew me away. I usually shoot a Mamiya 7ii and thought I was spoiled when it came to neg quality, but little did I know ...
    I guess I really would like to give 4x5 a try. Do you have any recommendations for a versatile 4x5 beginner set? I looked at 4x5s but got lost in all the different models and manufacturer. Sure, every camera has strength and weaknesses, I am looking for a camera to mainly shoot landscapes, some city scopes and maybe an occasional portrait thrown in. The priorities for me are in the order listed.

    Thanks for your thoughts
    Dennis
    In earlier posts, you say that you carry the Mamiya 7II around regularly and that what you like about it is that, for the format, it is relatively light and compact. I also use a Mamiya 7II, as well as an Arca-Swiss 4x5 and Arca-Swiss 8x10, and I wonder whether the larger negative that a 4x5 camera will give you is worth the tradeoff in greater weight and bulk. Unless you want to make very large prints, or have decided that you need to make in-camera perspective corrections, the Mamiya will fulfill your priorities (unless you want to do head and shoulders portraits) every bit as well as a 4x5, with less weight, bulk and hassle.

    I think that you should step back a bit and take your time on this. I'd like to suggest that you ask the gentleman that you met at the darkroom whether you can go with him on a shoot. Most people who use large format cameras would be delighted to do this, and it would give you an opportunity to use a 4x5 camera and perhaps to process and print some film.

    I'd also suggest that you have a look at Jack Dykinga's book Large Format Nature Photography. It contains many examples of landscape photography, which is your primary interest, with detailed information about how they were shot. You will come away with a clear understanding of how 4x5 cameras operate and lens options. If you are technically oriented, I would also suggest that you have a look at Leslie Stroebel's View Camera Technique.

    If you decide to purchase a view camera, one of the key considerations is what lens or lenses to get. As I understand it, you are using your Mamiya 7II with the 80mm lens. In 4x5, a lens around 150mm would be roughly equivalent. I would suggest that you have a look at the depth of field tables on the Schneider Optics site to get an understanding of the impact on apparent depth of field of the longer lenses used on large format cameras. The tables are at https://www.schneideroptics.com/info...bles/index.htm. These tables apply not only to Schneider's lenses, but to those of any maker of large format lenses (e.g. Rodenstock, Nikon, Fuji). All of this said, I do wonder whether you might be better off buying an additional lens for your Mamiya, if you think you need one, or a good tripod and head, if you don't have one, than buying a 4x5 camera and all of the paraphernalia that goes with it.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by r.e.; 10-05-2011 at 08:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #20
    Thingy's Avatar
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    I suggest you get yourself a copy of Steve Simmons excellent introductory book into the world of LF photography, below.

    Steve Simmons
    Using the View Camera: A creative guide to large format photography

    Avavailable from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Using-View-Cam.../dp/0817463534

    It is a much easier read than Stroebel's excellent but very technical book - and significantly cheaper!

    For landscape photography one of the principal advantages of using a view camera, is the ability to tilt the front lens. Through the Scheimpflug principle, which uses this facility, you can get a sharp image in both the foreground and background, if you wish.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheimpflug_principle

    You may also find this YouTube video helpful...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR4m70xr9mE
    Last edited by Thingy; 10-05-2011 at 09:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    The Thing

    Portfolio

    Film Cameras currently used:
    Large/Stort-format: Ebony 45SU (field camera), Medium/Medlem-format: Mamiya 7, Hasselblad 503CW
    35mm/Små format: Nikon: F4, D800 (yes digital, I know)

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