Hi LF photographers, I'm looking for my first large format camera, and I have a question for you:
There is a lot of talking about field cameras of all sorts, but what about monorails for field use? I took a look at designs of Arca-Swiss, Sinar and Toho, and something is not going together. There is always a talk, that monorails have all the movements, but it seems to me that all of this tree only have base tilts on both standards??? Of course I only see those cameras on net. Can someone send some light in, please?
The largest issue(s) for field use is portability/weight. Field cameras, by their design allow for quick setup and tear down. While monorails can and are used in the field, they take longer to put together on site.
There is a lot of talking about field cameras of all sorts, but what about monorails for field use?
For most field use, only some movements are usually used. Front tilt, Front rise etc... The flexibility that a monorail can provide usually isn't taken advantage of... Where monorails really shine is in the studio commercially.
I guess it really depends on what you shoot, and what you feel comfortable with... What subject matter do you want to shoot with this equipment?
There are monorails designed to be compact and relatively lightweight for field use--Gowland PocketView, Toho, Arca-Swiss F-line, Technikardan. It's really a matter of personal preference and priorities. I use both.
I find that I like using my folding Technika when I'm shooting in the city, because I can set up quickly, use a folding hood instead of a darkcloth, and move on before attracting a crowd or the tripod police.
I like the Gowland PocketView (I have an 8x10" and a 4x5") when I'm out shooting landscapes, and I'm usually waiting for the light, the wind to slow down, etc. And with practice, setup becomes quicker and easier.
The three cameras you mention, I believe, all have rise/shift/tilt/swing on both standards with options regarding features like base tilts vs. axial tilts, Orbix, etc. Maybe you're missing something in the descriptions.
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear: I wonder if those monorails have axis tilts or just base tilts. The standards are only supported from below, so I guess that they only have base tilts. So how important are axis tilts for a field use compared with additional bulk of axis tilts?
Axis and base tilt both accomplish the same thing in the end. By tilting off the base, you will likely have to also refocus the camera.
So how important are axis tilts for a field use compared with additional bulk of axis tilts?
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You might also have to recompose with base tilts, but base tilts are yaw-free, so they prevent tail-chasing situations where the camera never seems to get square. You can get used to either method.
The Gowland PocketView and Technikardan have axis tilts. The Arca and Sinar have different options, so it depends on which model and accessories you're looking at.
This is kind of OT.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
The tripod police is the main reason I haven't been to our local botanical garden in a while. You can't take your tripod into any of the buildings and you must have a tripod permit. There's no charge for it, but I feel weird with this big yellow tag on my tripod. Heaven forbid I look like a professional (bigger camera must mean professional to them) or else I'd probably have to pay to take shots at all.
Here is a link to some reading that might be helpful
These are on the View Camera web site and this link will take you to several articles that will help you decide what features you need in a camera.
Here are some additinal resources
User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone
Using the View Cmera that I wrote forAmphoto
Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dyking
If you have any additional questions I willbe happy to answer them
but base tilts are yaw-free,
This is not necessarily true.Axis tilts can also be yaw free. Yaw occurs when the platform upon which th swing occur is tilted up or down. If you leave the camera level then all cameras are yaw free.
Thanks steve. I have been looking for a description of what yaw meant.
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