What to me is of primary importance is a depth of field/hyperfocal scale on the helical ring as found on better cameras like Linhof/Horseman/Fuji/Fotoman (Goaersi lacks this if you look at their photos on their website). I don't consider the Goaersi a professional camera without it....it's not just a convenience, but instead is essential since these large format cameras have no tilts and we rely on hyperfocal to maximize our depth of field (especially with longer lenses). When working at closer distances the Goaersi is inconvenient, and I refuse to pace off a distance through mud or down the side of a hill when a Fotoman/Technorama/Horseman all offer proper focusing. Add the nice rangefinder feature attached to the Fotoman camera, and truly it is a great camera to work with. Add a second camera with its own lens and life just gets better. I'm sure the Goaersi is a solid camera, but the helical ring (without depth of field/hyperfocal) for me puts it into the amateur category.
Unfortunately Fotoman is stopping mfrng (but the website and supplies will remain functioning for at least 5 years according to Fotomans website). Perhaps when better economic times returns; Paul Droluk will consider starting up again. I would gladly pay DOUBLE what they sell for now, and it is still a bargain considering the cost would still be 1/3 the price of a Technorama or Horseman. The only feature I wish it had is a rapid lens mount system (something like a Fuji).
"It's the results that the cameras produce that's important, and that ultimately is far more dependent on the lens quality than anything else."........ A Volkswagon will get you around, but don't expect it to handle or look like a Buick. On the other hand, the linhof will get you around in style. Remember, the lens means nothing if you can't focus it quickly and confidently, or your depth of field is off.
" I looked carefully at the Fotoman's and any quality differences are not easily discernible"....look again.....no depth of field/hyperfocal scale, no rangefinder, plastic components to the film advance knob instead of all metal, poorly built helical mount (rough thread, and many commented are not smooth as silk), inside components not refined finish, lousy viewfinder (Goaersi are known for this). The lack of a depth of field scale should throw up a red flag...is this important to me or not?
Last edited by Van Camper; 04-16-2009 at 04:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.