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  1. #1
    airgunr's Avatar
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    Book to help choose a LF Field Camera

    I am considering moving to a LR 4x5 Field camera. Are there any books, cataloges, etc. that would list the available features of currently available cameras?

    I would like to be able to compare things like front and back movements, (if applicable) weight, bellows features, etc.

    I've read "A Users Guide to the View Camera" and it discusses some aspects but I guess I would like to find some sort of chart or the like that gives some comparisons so I can make a more informed decision.

    TIA for any suggestions!
    WJS/wi/usa

  2. #2
    Bill Hahn's Avatar
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    I don't think such a book exists.

    Before I bought my first LF camera in 2000 I did 18 months worth of research, got a catalog from Wisner, read anything available online - like
    the Robert White camera store site (www.robertwhite.co.uk), various manufacter's sites, looked at what used cameras were being sold, etc.

    Also the question "what 4x5 field camera should I buy?" almost qualifies as a "frequently asked question", so googling for that question on various photography sites helped.

    Once you think a certain camera is what you want, you can google for reviews and comments by current owners.

    Also, at a recent conference I think there was a setup with a lot of view cameras so you could actually look/handle/feel and make your own conclusions....

    For what it's worth, I bought a Walker Titan SF - but I wouldn't dream of claiming it's the only/best choice.

    Not sure if this helps, but I hope it does...
    Last edited by Bill Hahn; 12-30-2006 at 03:31 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: "camers"-->"cameras"
    "I bought a new camera. It's so advanced you don't even need it." - Steven Wright

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by airgunr View Post
    I am considering moving to a LR 4x5 Field camera. Are there any books, cataloges, etc. that would list the available features of currently available cameras?

    I would like to be able to compare things like front and back movements, (if applicable) weight, bellows features, etc.

    I've read "A Users Guide to the View Camera" and it discusses some aspects but I guess I would like to find some sort of chart or the like that gives some comparisons so I can make a more informed decision.

    TIA for any suggestions!
    It's somewhat tangential, and far from all you need, but if you go to www.rogerandfrances.com > Photo School > Large Formats there's a discussion in a free module of the advantages of the various formats.

    The Shutterbug Buyer's Guide used to give a comparison of models, movements, etc. (I used to do it) but you'll need to find one of the older editions as it has not been given in the last year or two.

    In any case, far more depends on personal preference than on raw specifications, which can be misleading: more (e.g. movement) is not necessarily better.

    Cheers,

    R.

  4. #4
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    Bill Hahn's suggestion is a wise one. I did not find that a single book on large format photography did the entire job needed to gain understanding of this sector of photography.

    I read books for years gradualy learning. I finally decided I needed to accerate my learning curve. To achieve this acceration I got lucky and choose Fred Piker's two-week work shop in Vermont.

    I could recomend the books I used but Bill's advice, now that google has been invented, is good advice.


    Bill's Walker looks like a fine one.
    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/walker.html
    [FONT=Times New Roman]MAC[/FONT]

  5. #5

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    Get a Shen-Hao. They are great cameras, more movements that you could ever use and very economic. Great for everything but architectural photography

  6. #6
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airgunr View Post
    I am considering moving to a LR 4x5 Field camera. Are there any books, cataloges, etc. that would list the available features of currently available cameras?

    I would like to be able to compare things like front and back movements, (if applicable) weight, bellows features, etc.

    I've read "A Users Guide to the View Camera" and it discusses some aspects but I guess I would like to find some sort of chart or the like that gives some comparisons so I can make a more informed decision.

    TIA for any suggestions!
    Ask yourself the following questions:

    What types of photos are you intending to take with LF?
    How far from the car do you intend to do your shooting?

    These questions also apply to when you are choosing a lens.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airgunr View Post
    I am considering moving to a LR 4x5 Field camera. Are there any books, cataloges, etc. that would list the available features of currently available cameras?

    I would like to be able to compare things like front and back movements, (if applicable) weight, bellows features, etc.

    I guess I would like to find some sort of chart or the like that gives some comparisons so I can make a more informed decision.

    TIA for any suggestions!
    View Camera Technique by Leslie Stroebel has a big chart in the back that does exactly this.

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    There are several editions of the excellent Stroebel book. Early ones are much out-of-date in regard to new camera and lens models. However, the book (and books by others) will educate you in what features to look for.

  9. #9
    Ole
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    If you haven't yet, check out http://www.largeformatphotography.info/roundup4x5.html

    And the rest of the articles over there as well, come to think of it...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  10. #10
    airgunr's Avatar
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    Thank you one and all for your very helpfull feedback, suggestions and links. I am logging into some of them as I type this. I will also check out Amazon for the Book View Camera Technique.

    I posted a reply a few days ago but for some reason it didn't make it to the forum so I appologize for the delay in response to all of you.

    As to the type of photography I forsee doing the most of, probably landscapes for the most part but I do enjoy macro photography as well. I do not forsee long extended backpack trips but most likely day trips with my equipment.

    It certainly seems that this is a decision that will not be made quickly but it seems that is kind of the nature of LF photography anyway... ;^D

    Thanks again to one and all!
    WJS/wi/usa

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