Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
I've been looking for a 2x3 view camera for some time now. I've been mainly looking at Ebony's and Arca Swiss cameras, but have given the Shen-Hoa a look too. I'm looking for a small view camera to travel with. Something I will use to shoot landscapes and architecture (nothing extreme), and still life. I would like to use focal lengths equivalent in 35mm to 28, 50, and something longer. I want something strong and tough, that will last a lifetime.

I have found an Ebony 23s for $1600. The Arca Swiss F line looks fantastic but is well out of my price range at 4k +. There is one of ebay now for $2800. Even the Ebony cameras brand new are a bit expensive.

Anyone have any thoughts on the Ebony 2x3's? Ease of use, durability, amount of movements, etc? And also, how it compares to the Shen-Hoa 2x3 or other 2x3's.

Um, to muddy the water a little, there are 2x3 monorails. Modern ones are highly precise, heavy, and expensive. There are, though, older ones that sometimes sell for relatively little. A couple of centuries ago when I was thinking about moving up to 2x3 from 35 mm I looked into the 2x3 Galvin, wasn't thrilled by what I saw. Got to touch a 2x3 Linhof Color (Technika on a rail, very heavy) that scared me away from 2x3 view cameras for years. Instead I got a 2x3 Graphic, absolutely not a view camera, that met my needs but won't meet yours, Brian.

When one of my friends was on his deathbed he gave me his 2x3 Cambo SC (SC-1). I've since bought another for a little over $100. Also a complete 4x5 SC for parts to make a camera with a 2x3 front and 4x5 rear, the better to shoot 6x12. The 2x3s are no less precise than the 4x5 and considerably smaller. Cambo SCs aren't precise enough for digital because they have friction focusing and their movements aren't geared; for digital you want something a lot more modern and expensive. 2x3ers seem to pop up around once a quarter, typically sell for no more than $200-300. If you want one, watch patiently ...

Very capable used 4x5 monorails that accept roll holders can be had for a small fraction of the amount you propose to spend. The Sinar system is vast and well-supported. Same goes for Cambos like mine.

Brian, about focal length equivalences. The normal lens for 2x3 is 100 mm, the normal lens for 35 mm is 43 mm; that people think of 50 mm as normal for 2x3 is due to an historical accident. The 2x3 equivalent of 28 mm on 35 mm is 65 mm. 50 mm, 116 mm. My little Cambos will focus a 47 Super Angulon on a flat board to infinity. My 6x12 rig will make infinity with a 35 on a flat board.

Good luck, have fun, and accept that whatever you do will be wrong,