The trouble with a Graphic View (or the other evergreen, the Kodak/Orbit/Calumet CC400 series) is that there is no upgrade path from there. If you want to try 5x7 or 8x10 you need another camera. Same deal if you want something for ultra-wide angles. Examine your budget carefully because just a little bit extra should get you a Cambo monorail and a little bit more again would get a Sinar F. Both of those have a huge array of accessories and can be updated to 5x7 or 8x10 with additional parts. With the Sinar F you can replace the front and rear standard with the much more precise Sinar P geared standards while still using the same bellows and rail and other accessories.
Look for a Graflex Super Graphic. Nice field camera with rotating back. The bed will drop on these, also the front standard tilts fore and aft, shifts side to side, up and down, and swings. These also have a good resale value and you can retrive your investment if needed. Cost for a good one is about $450.00 or cheaper. Steven.
I dunno---I haven't found it to be *that* bad. Once or twice I've managed to go out without a cable release, I admit, but the only moments that have really made me run for a change of trousers have involved high winds and tripods rather than price tags or forgotten items. (But I process my own b&w and do my own scanning, which helps with the sticker shock.)
Originally Posted by chase
The bottom line seems to be that monorails are cheaper, field cameras are more portable, and it's easier to adapt a field camera to the studio than to adapt a monorail to the field. You can get a used basic monorail for practically nothing, but the real costs aren't in the camera body, they're in the film, processing, and lenses---so within reason, get the body that matches your needs rather than the body that's cheap.
 Since the camera involved was a Kodak 2-D, I was afraid that if it fell over it might break the ground.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
I have used field cameras, press cameras, and monorail studio beasts, and currently own two monos. The Calumet cc-4xx series hold resale value quite well, have enough movements for beginner thru pro, and can be used in the field relatively easily. You need to spend on quality lenses, tripod, light meter, and filmholders. All other accessories can be assembled on the cheap.
how would i make a cambo compatible with an ilex 127mm f4.5 or a tele megor 400, as they use different lens boards (i think)?
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You can make your own lens boards.
Pollux, where abouts are you ? I assume in the UK.
I'd suggest you have a look at a few LF cameras first before making a decision, let someone show you the pro's and con's of different types, Press, Field, Monorail etc. If you're near me you could come play with a wide variety of 5x4 cameras.
Remember that you'd almost certainly pay Import Duty and VAT on a camera and the postage from the US whic will add over 25% to the costs.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 12-11-2011 at 08:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
my tele megor 40cm is already on a lens board. would this fit into a cambo front element in 4x5, if i decided on a 2nd hand cambo? would it simply lock by the top mounts? the tele megor fits a graflex.
off hand is the lens board too small for a cambo?
i only want a view camera, as i equate large format to be on a tripod anyway. for real handheld i use 35mm. i would be happy to sacifice some portability for movements.
Great piece of advice there pullen, and a nice offer.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
The only thing I would dare to add is keep in mind LF is about patients. Including buying your camera.
I think you'll find the right camera will seek you out and find you if you show patients looking for one. It's not going to come knocking on your door... you have to seek it out. But when you find it and it finds you, you'll know. It'll feel right, like you belong together when you pick it up.
Every one here will attest owning an LF camera is pretty much a personal experience. There are decisions about your camera only you can make based on personal preferences.
Even with your first LF camera you'll know it's the right choice, but only if you curb the excitement of just owning an LF.
Take his advice and if you can his offer. Go look at as many as you can, pick them up, get the feel of it in your hands, the movements, etc.
Everyone here that shoots and owns an LF all went through what you're going through in buying our first LF.
Just relax into it and you'll make a better choice when you actually do buy your LF.
It may not be what you want to hear and it may take a couple months to find the right camera and it to find you, but you'll find each other. You can trust in that.