What do people always say on radio call-in shows... "long time listener, first time caller"- glad I finally took the time to join his forum!

I would respect your expert opinions on a few items...

I am somewhat of a beginner, I have been shooting 4x5 B&W cityscapes (Delta100 and Tri-x developed in D-76 1:1) with some hand-me-down equipment (and a few purchases)for a while now, but I sort of flailed around..now it's time to get serious and I want to make sure my equipment is up to the task of making the best possible quality images my meager talent will allow.

BUT ..... I'm not sure where is the best area to apply the cash, in other words if you were me where would you upgrade?

So... here is what's in the tool shed, and some of the questions/doubts I have about it...

4X5 Graphic View-
This camera seems fairly stable, but then I have never used a high-quality monorail. I would like to stick with a monorail, (I think) But from what I can see/have heard... there is pretty much Sinar-level ($1K+), or everything else (< $1K). I can't afford a Sinar/etc, so how much real difference would something like a Cambo, ect make over the GV?

210 mm f6.3 Komura (Copal Elec No1)-
Does anyone know anything about this lens/mfr? Does it compare favorably with modern offerings from Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikkor? Design? It seems to be coated. I have some other older lenses to experiment with, but I need a good sharp, modern coated lens as a baseline so I can worry about the other stuff.....Also, the shutter is not the original which semi-failed (regular Copal 1 -defaults to fast speed for all speeds over 1/2 ), so I switched it to this Copal Elec 1 [shutter from another lens that I think I ruined by over -zealously cleaning :bag: - lesson learned] which takes a battery but seems otherwise the same (I also switched the aperature marker plate)- is this OK? No one I have talked to so far had any info on these Electric shutters, this lens manufacturer, or on switching shutters...

Beseler 45MX- any pro's use this?

(old) 150 mm Schneider Componon enlarging lens- How to quantify/test sharpness on this?

Pentax 1/21 analog meter (looks like batteries are a BIG problem- anyone else still using this meter, or should I upgrade to Seekonik/etc?

I better end this thread here I hope you stuck with me, any info on this equipment or comments on whether or not I have the best tools to get serious about my photography or potential upgrades would be most appreciated!

And thanks for everything I have learned from you folks so far, just by listening to this forum!


Matt