Thinking of moving from 4x5 to RB or RZ 67
I've been shooting 4x5 for a few months now and I really enjoy it, but there are a few things that irk me. One is that I do not have a permanent darkroom, and having to lightproof my room before loading film can sometimes discourage me from shooting. On the other hand, do you have to load MF backs in the dark as well? Also the weight of the camera keeps me from really bringing it anywhere. Granted, I could switch from my Cambo SCX studio monorail to something far more portable, but I love the solidity with which the studio camera operates and am worried that a lighter 4x5 would not give the rock-solid feel of the 13 pound beast. The benefits of medium format to me are the lower cost of film and processing, especially colour film, and the convenience of not having to send colour to the mainland to get it processed and printed. I also like the lighter weight, and greater availability and variety of film. I am not a zonie, so the inability to individually process negatives is not that big of a minus for me, but I fear that I have grown used to what can be accomplished with movements. On the other hand, depth of field is less limited with MF lenses and even an RB would me much more suited to occasional wildlife shooting than the Cambo.
I'm having extremely conflicting feelings about this, and wish I could afford to keep and use both. Anyone care to chime in and help me decide which direction to go in?
Does your Cambo accept a roll film back? If it does, can you get an adapter that allows you to use Mamiya backs?
You might be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, and ease any transition to RB/RZ land if it turns out that that would be better for you.
A changing-bag will allow you to load film-holders without having to lightproof the room.
I had an RZ before I moved to LF. It's a great camera although it's not light. But in my opinion there's no comparison between a 6x7 and a 5x4 tranny or negative, and you lose movements with MF.
You're right about the cost of processing if you use labs (I don't use colour films and process B&W myself, so that's not an issue for me). But you don't need a darkroom to load or process 5x4 film - a changing tent is more than adequate - or you could use quickloads. Also, I wouldn't even consider taking a studio monorail out into the field. It's totally the wrong camera - to heavy, too slow to setup, etc. A decent wooden 5x4 system weighs about the same as an RZ and is far more flexible (and stability really isn't an issue).
One last thing: if you've only used 5x4 for a few months how can you know it's not right for you? And if you sell up and buy an MF system, how do you know you won't have the same problem a few months later? Are you sure you're not chasing silver bullets?
Good luck whatever you choose,
You may as well consider a light 4x5 field camera that takes roll film back. It willbe lighter ir equall the RB. Though probably still slower.
I started with LF a year ago with Tachihara (very light, but does not have the international graflock back - very few roll film backs available for it). Great fun. But as you said - it is not allways feasible to take it along. Finaly a few month ago I got Rolleiflex T - allows me to shoot handhold and rather fast. Still - if you want good depth of the field - you need to stop down and than the tripod is usualy a necessity.
I would not want to give up the movements. For some occasional wildlife a some of the 645 SLR might be a better choice than the large RB. You may also consider the Mamyia C cameras (C33, C330 etc) - they have exchangable lenses but are larger and heavier than standard TLR.
For fast and quiet MF - I would go with Mamiya 6 or 7 if Ihad the money. Built in metering speeds you up a lot.
Good luck indeed
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I'm amazed that anyone would even think of shooting wildlife with a Cambo monorail! An RB wouldn't be much better either. If I want to shoot wildlife I'll grab a Nikon or two with suitably long lenses (and a tripod).
The Cambo is essentially a studio camera, and a pretty good one at that.
As has been said several times in this thread, use a changing bag/tent for loading and unloading your dark slides, and no you don't need one for loading roll film. As has also been said, a light-weight 5x4 field camera will probably weigh less than an RB, be slower to use but vastly more versatile: it all depends on what you want to do with it. But there is no such thing as the Universal Camera and trying to find it smacks of a magic bullet hunt as someone else suggested.
Figure out what you want to do, then find the camera(s) that best does it. Or become a camera trader...
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I think I was a little cranky, and as Ian said there was a little silver bullet hunting going on. A quick printing session helped, and I am furthering my love affair with 4x5 TXP. As another positive, I have found my neg for the print exchange and just need a day off to do some "serious" printing. I will definitely be getting a changing bag, and will look in to the roll film backs for when I feel the urge to shoot colour or Delta 3200. The studio monorail works beautifully for 90% of what I shoot, but I am going to be saving my pennies and hunting for a field camera to use on those beautiful BC landscapes. Sometimes I just need a little kick in the butt to get going again. Thanks for the help!
funny because I just bought a mamiya 6x7 since I'm having so much fun with medium format-and I have all the way to 8x20 cameras. point? I'm making my best photographs EVER!!
If you have a closet that faces away from the sun you can easily load in there all day long. Morning a west room. Afternoon an east room. The small amount of the light that will leak in under the door will be blocked by your back. Or you can stick a towel etc under the door.
People have been using field cameras in the fields since day one. Most people tend to lean towards lighter and wider lenses outdoors.
13lbs for a 4x5 in the field sounds nuts to me. Just my IMHO Part of the reason I wanted to replace the Ansco was the weight and that's an 8x10.
67 mamiya used for pro work will make you cry or even business to fail.