Just throwing in my .02.
I bought my first LF around 6 months ago.
Paid 175.00 for a brand new looking Graphlex Graphic View in excellent condition, with a 150mm on it, and 6 film holders.
Paid 85.00 for a CLA on the lens, and 100.00 for a case to carry all of it in.
While I'm not up to date on what the cameras you mention should sell for, I can throw in some background in support of the Sinar F2. While all of the cameras you mentioned are monorails, the Sinar "F" line was designated as their "Field" monorail line (hence the "F"). While not as easy to pack as a true folding field camera, the Sinar Fs were lighter, and designed to close up more compactly than anything else in their line. I had an early model Sinar F, and backpacked with it quite a lot, although I ultimately replaced it with something lighter and even more packable. Also, the entire Sinar line is modular, so that you can swap parts from more expensive models, both in terms of function and format. You can create what was marketed as a Sinar "C" by replacing the rear standard on an F with the yaw-free back from the more expensive models, or (with the appropriate bellows) turn a 4x5 F into a 5x7 F, and so on. Lots of bits and pieces of the Sinar system can be found used. Lastly, in defense of monorails in general, and the Sinar in particular, it will have more and greater displacements than any field camera (i.e. full movements on both standards, and larger allowable amounts of those movements), as well as the ability to extend the monorail for longer lenses, and the availability of bag bellows for really short lenses. While I ultimately traded both my Sinar F and a Wista/Zone VI for my current Canham 4x5, there are times when I miss that old Sinar.
I'm looking at the 200$ setup. Does the lens there give enough viewing area for movements? I'm worried that this lens won't be wide enough or have enough room to play with.
totowroe: None of the four choices listed in your original post was $200, so I'm not clear on what lens (or camera) you are asking about. In your original post you mention two lenses: a 150mm and a 210mm. Both of those will cover 4x5 with some movement. The 210 will allow more movement, since it will have a larger image circle, while the 150 will have a slightly wider field-of-view. Since both work fine on 4x5 (I have one of each, plus an 80mm really wide angle) it depends largely on how you "see" - some people gravitate towards wider lenses, some towards longer lenses.
This is the camera I was referring to~
Originally Posted by johnielvis
Looks like a good deal. All you'd need on top of that is a sturdy tripod and a strong back if you plan on doing any hiking trips with it.
Originally Posted by totowroe
I doubt you'd find as good a deal on ebay, so go for it. You can always add other lenses at a later date when funds permit.
A Sinar F2 with lens for $750.00 could be a good deal depending on what lens comes with it, condition of everything and what extras if any come with it. I have seen real nice ones sell for around that without a lens on Ebay. Of course it has to be the F2 which is the last F series that was made.
You can buy a nice Cambo/Calumet for $200.00 and less. I have seen them go for $150.00 and even below $100.00 if you don't care about age or cosmetics.
You can buy a nice Sinar F for $300.00 if you are patient. Later F models, the P series and earlier Norma's are more money.
If you want something cheap then Cambo/Calumet can be a great way to go. Toyo's are said to be nice but I have no experience with them. If you can afford Sinar and want a monorail, I would go with that. Sinar is a great system camera.
The best advice I can give you is not to get in a hurry and do some research before you buy anything.
Thanks for all the help. I think I'm going to keep looking for now.
As a beginner what amount of coverage and focal length should I be looking for?