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Old 02-20-2013, 07:52 AM   #1
Blackjack200
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Default Anyone familiar with large format film (4x5)?

I guess strictly speaking this is outside the scope of this "Digital and Video Cameras" sub forum, but I'm hoping the mods will cut me a little slack.

I'd like to get a compact 4x5 camera to take sailing pictures. I do not need any movements. On Ken Rockwell's site he recommends a Crown Graphic (these are what the newspaper guys used for a long time). I looked into this and while it seems appropriate, I have some reservations. I don't think the camera has been made in 50 years. There are not a whole lot of them on ebay, and I couldn't find any on Craigslist. The ebay cameras seem like they generate some interest with bidders, and I don't feel like dealing with the headache of "snipe" bids or if I do win the auction, receivng a camera in some level of disrepair.

I took a quick look at B&H, and it seems like most of the new 4x5 stuff is studio cameras on rails and whatnot, there are a couple of field cameras but they look too unwieldy for what I want to do.

Any suggestions? I guess my budget would be about $1,000, but I could spend a little more if there was a good deal.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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Take a look at Graflex cameras. There are several models available - well within your budget.

https://www.google.com/search?source...ex+View+Camera

I do recall once using a Speed Graphic camera with 4x5 sheets when I was in high school. (Too long ago to remember details.) We did all our own processing for our yearbook. Sigh!
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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I can't see anything better than the crown graphic 4x5. All the 4x5 I've used (cambo) are always on tripod's because of how heavy they are. Plus nail focus is a challenge, and messing with the bellows to fix key stoning made action/candid photos impossible.

Plus the sheets were expensive, and you have to have a meter as well too, and a hood so you can compose your subject.


Looking at the Crown Graphic, it looks like it has a window with a specific focal length (guessing that the crown graphic is a permanent fixed lens) so that fixes the problem of the hood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLsLD9HNUQA

a video of the graflex speed camera. Looks like hood is still back in play! Anyways, I know this doesn't let you know where to purchase or which one, but be prepared for the PIA of a 4x5! The rewards, however, are incredible..
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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Search for 4x5 field camera.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40


Graflex Crown Graphic is suggested because they are inexpensive and relatively easy to operate. And, IMHO Toyo field camera is among the best built.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/roundup4x5.html

Last edited by iGas; 02-20-2013 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help, guess I'll try to line up a Crown Graphic.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:03 AM   #6
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Have you considered 6x7 medium format? Mamiya RZ67 series paired with the fun to use tilt/shift adapter and very capable lens ranging from wide angle to telephoto proves to be a fun alternative to the 4x5. The electronic RZ67 can also be paired with electronic viewfinder and have automatic exposure reducing composing time.

The field cameras.. most you can find are probably going to be many decades old and there could be plenty light leaks from aging bellow, too much trouble in my opinion.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifanus View Post
Have you considered 6x7 medium format? Mamiya RZ67 series paired with the fun to use tilt/shift adapter and very capable lens ranging from wide angle to telephoto proves to be a fun alternative to the 4x5. The electronic RZ67 can also be paired with electronic viewfinder and have automatic exposure reducing composing time.

The field cameras.. most you can find are probably going to be many decades old and there could be plenty light leaks from aging bellow, too much trouble in my opinion.
Here is an example that large format camera aren't many decades old, and still is being made and is in stock at B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ld_Camera.html

There are many other large format cameras that you can purchase, but they will have to be special order.

I also agree that medium formats are capable cameras, such as the RB & RZ, or Mamiya 6, 7, 645, or the lowly C330 among many other medium formats.

Last edited by iGas; 02-27-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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You are right, large format cameras still have their special place in the industry, I was referring to the field cameras, the 4x5s that can self fold into a box for easy carrying

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGas View Post
Here is an example that large format camera aren't many decades old, and still is being made and is in stock at B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ld_Camera.html

There are many other large format cameras that you can purchase, but they will have to be special order.

I also agree that medium formats are capable cameras, such as the RB & RZ, or Mamiya 6, 7, 645, or the lowly C330 among many other medium formats.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifanus View Post
You are right, large format cameras still have their special place in the industry, I was referring to the field cameras, the 4x5s that can self fold into a box for easy carrying
The camera in the link that I provided is a "field" camera, one that is fold up with built in case/shell for protection and ease of transport.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:27 AM   #10
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for serious landscape work, 4x5 to 8x10 minimum. I wouldn't consider anything else
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGas View Post
I also agree that medium formats are capable cameras, such as the RB & RZ, or Mamiya 6, 7, 645, or the lowly C330 among many other medium formats.
I actually have a Mamiya 6 and just ordered a box of Tmax. I figure I'll get back into the swing with medium format and then if I stick with it I'll swing over to 4x5.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finbarqs View Post
for serious landscape work, 4x5 to 8x10 minimum. I wouldn't consider anything else
Heh, I would love to do 8x10 someday, I just don't have that much interest in turning my bathroom into a darkroom or investing in/engineering the equipment I would need.
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