large format starter camera
what would be a good cheap view camera with good movements? i have seen some on ebay. one is with a kodak ektar 127mm f4.5, one is with an ilex acme 3 127mm f4.5 the cameras are all graflex view. two of them have the advantage of a built in pan and tilt head. here is the 1st one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Graphic-Vi...71395725359331
the 2nd one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Graphic-Vi...93579500020406
the third one is complete with alot of kit like filters. it does not have the built in pan tilt, but a machined block mount.
comments and advice would be welcomed, as would advice about the relative merits of the ilex lens versus the kodak.
if they would not take filters, would i be able to get a machined mount made from skgrimes?
I think I would recommend a speed graphic instead, as a starter. Depends on your purposes, of course.
i would like to keep cost down. are there any horror stories with the built in pan tilt head? i know i could get a filter mount machined, if the lenses do not have threads. i guess it comes down to the ilex lens vs the kodak ektar. i have also been gifted in the past with a tele megor by goerz which is 400mm.
Originally Posted by keithwms
If you need the camera movements the Graphic View's are not bad. The prices are way to high for a starting bid or buy it now though. The 127mm lenses will not allow much if any movements. Better to buy one with a lower starting bid and at least a 150mm lens. Or buy the camera and lens separately. I saw the one with the machined block. If you have a tripod with a 2 axis head then the ones on the 1st 2 cameras are redundant.
I'm using a stripped down Crown Graphic as a field camera with a 135mm Optar lens. Since the movements are very limited on the Crown the 135mm does nicely.
if i am getting a new heavier tripod for these, could i save on the head and use the one on the camera? also would the tele megor be pretty decent to use?, as its the correct lens board.
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Almost all the LF lenses are "pretty decent to use." You can use a pinhole in LF and get a damn nice print...
Don't sweat the lens. Just get a camera that can teach you what you want to learn. Look, you're going to wind up buying a newish wooden object sooner than you'd hoped anyway, it's an addiction and there is no cure
I'm going to jump in, I asked myself the same question and familiarized myself with the basic, popular and not so popular LF cameras before buying my first one.
I would have to agree whole heartedly with Wade D. Those prices are too high.
The best starter camera LF is the most camera for the least price, and this highly possible to get a tremendously pro LF for very little.
The hardest question with out having had one is, what you're going to shoot with it. Which once answered, will let you know what type to look for.
Field cameras for the most part have less movment, but are generally more portable.
View cameras the opposite generally speaking.
This doesn't mean you can't do both with both. Views were carried for the longest time and Field's have been used for studio work.
For a couple hundred bucks you can pick up a good camera of either type with a good and appropriate lens.
I personally went with a 250mm (approx) lens for my first View and a 135-150mm for my first Field camera.
Brands, their are a lot of good brands that are well made.
Be patient, look for the deal, there are plenty of deals out there. And for $200 or so bucks, you can get familiar with actually shooting an LF of either type, descide if you like it, if that type suits your shooting. And if it doesn't, get the other. You'll also find out what features you like or need, again, based on what you want to shoot, or find yourself shooting most.
Hope that helps a little. Just make sure no matter which type or camera brand you decide on, everything works. There's also a lot of junk out there. In second hand, alot of times it's buyer beware. So check it over thoroughly.
The pan and tilt head on the camera can be used in place of one on the tripod. Just make sure the tripod has the same sized mounting thread as the camera ( e.g. 1/4" or 3/8"). The 400mm lens will work if you have a long enough bellows. It will also be considered a telephoto lens with a 4x5. You will get a very small angle of view.
What keithwms said is true. It wont be long before you want a new camera. So don't spend a bundle of cash till you know for sure what you want/need. I know what I want but can't afford it.
I was typing as chase was posting. I agree with what he said. " For a couple hundred bucks you can pick up a good camera of either type with a good and appropriate lens".
Last edited by Wade D; 12-10-2011 at 09:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
As has been said before, those prices are double what you should expect to pay for a GV-II with a press camera lens such as the 127mm Ektar. A GV-II was my first LF camera. I still own it but haven't used it in a couple of years (I'd be happy to sell it to you if you were in the States - it's not worth the cost of shipping it). They're nice cameras with lots of movements but I wanted something I could hike with so I now have a wooden field camera. As others have said, the Speed and Crown Graphics are good, cheap LF cameras if you don't need the movements. The Speed is particularly nice if you want to use barrel lenses.
For the GV-II, the Kodak Ektar 203mm f7.7 is a small, sharp lens which allows a good bit of movement. If you want a wide lens, you will need a recessed board with that camera. The 90mm f6.8 Optar is okay. One of the modern 90mm f8s (I have the Nikkor-SW) is nicer but you won't be able to get much movement since the bellows will be in the way.
Lol - I was just thinking back on when I was going for m my first LF... How excited I was, I was hoping someone would point to an LF and say "Buy that one."
But, what no one mentioned to me was - It's easy to get into LF, the camera is the easy and cheapest part. Staying in LF is the true challenge!
I highly recommend a box of Depends to go with that first LF. For you'll find yourself dropping a load every time you find out, you forgot you need this and that. And saying "You want how much for a box of film? Processing costs what!? You're scanning the negs at only 72 for that much? 300 dpi scans are... fracking WHAT? Uuhmm... Could you excuse me a minute, I have to change my diaper..."
But we do love it so.... and if you can "stay in" you'll love it.