Antje, if you have time and aren't planning a nice surprise that would be spoiled by discussing it with him, why don't you talk things over with your father and then buy gear that will suit him and fit your budget? I mean, there's a world of difference between shooting closeup with a press or view camera and doing the same with a nice convenient SLR. And if he thinks that using an extension tube or two on an SLR is too much, surely he'll hate using a press or view camera.

Cheers,

Dan