Quote Originally Posted by real_psyence View Post
Which barrel lenses? Thing is, I don't know for sure. To give some background to my thought process, this all came about when I started shooting film, on 35mm, with a Canon FD. A friend had given it to me, and I asked why he didn't use it, wasn't only because he'd gone to the dark side, but mostly because Canon switched mounts. I later got a Nikon, different mount. Leica, etc. Some had reasons (better mount - bayonet vs. screw vs. ? - electrical contacts for AF, etc.) but I just wanted to use whatever lens on whatever camera I had and have it all work out. Manual everything. So I started researching extension tubes/adapters etc. Somewhere along the line I found movements and between the bellows adjustment and being able to control perspective, I was about it. Larger film formats were a bonus, and not the original goal. Panoramas on 35mm would be nice, and a 120 roll back covers all this nicely.
Thanks for the reply and explanation. There's no way to put this politely. You don't know enough to make a good decision. Part of the problem is that you're still thinking like a user of 35 mm cameras used to proprietary lens mounts and focusing and movements, if any, built into the lenses.

Your enthusiasm is wonderful. Buy a book or two on LF photography and study them. Standard recommendations are Steve Simmons' Using the View Camera and L. Strobel's View Camera Technique. Make no commitments until you're better educated.
Wide angles I was thinking of are like the Contax 35/2.8 biogon - AFAIK not a retrofocal lens, but almost touches the shutter - very deep. I think some of the angulons are similar? Very large rear element?
Your head is deep in 35 mm-land. Angulons (very old technology) and Super Angulons and such, more generally w/a lenses for 2x3 and larger formats, aren't delivered in barrel. They were all, and those still in production still are, delivered in shutter.

There are so many used LF lenses in shutter around that there's little reason to dick around with making a shutter unless you're trying to use a relatively extreme (long, usually) lens. Mounting a lens in barrel in front of a shutter can be very cost effective if the lens can be obtained at a low enough price, but buying an equivalent lens already in shutter is usually more economical. I've finessed the problem by front-mounting many lenses and using a single adapter for more than one lens.

Rear elements' sizes can be limiting, but not that often. I have two w/a lenses, 35/4.5 Apo Grandagon and 58/5.6 Grandagon, whose rear groups are so big that they can't easily be mounted on a 2x3 Graphic. Some would say they can't be mounted at all. This isn't so, read my lens diary (http://www.galerie-photo.com/telecha...2011-03-29.pdf ) to learn the trick. I have a 210/5.6 that absolutely positively can't be mounted on a 2x3 Graphic.

I tend to take photographs of buildings and facades in the city I'm in - and it's usually somewhat spontaneous - not likely to pull out a tripod. I would however, like to be able to do some perspective control, swing to try and get a row of trees in focus, shift up to correct a tall building, that sort of thing. I think I can get close to what I want hand-held, but who knows. I may be way off base but that's where I'm at.
You're way off base. Guess framing works very poorly. Been there, failed to make it work. Using movements requires shooting from a tripod.

Regarding the speed graphics, you recommend the Pacemaker - is that because of the extra movements or the finders? Also, the limitation on infinity focus is due to where the bellows attach in the body? i.e. if I were to take the shutter and repurpose it, I may be able to modify that? Or with a recessed lensboard?
Pacemaker Speed Graphics' shutters are made with more durable fabric than most older Speed Graphics'. People who hack them go as far as cutting off most of the box. You don't want one for architecture, although 2x3 Pacemaker speeds have around 19 mm of rise so converging verticals (or too much foreground) can sometimes be corrected with one.

What you need to accomplish most of what you want -- sorry, no hand-held shooting, no rapid spontaneity, calm deliberation all the way -- is an inexpensive used 4" x 5 " monorail. If you don't want to deal with 4x5 film, then get one that will accept a 2x3 roll holder. I have a 2x3 monorail, use my Graphics much more than I use it. Quicker setup, can use shorter lenses, and my shooting style doesn't often require more front rise than my Graphics can deliver.

There are many many relatively inexpensive used lenses for LF cameras floating around. But relatively inexpensive has a different meaning in LF land than in 35 mm land. And, the very occasional and unrepeatable stroke of luck aside, there are no inexpensive w/a lenses for LF cameras.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan