On the look-out for a 4x5: suggestions please

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by myopia, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. myopia

    myopia TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MA and CO
    So, my I am looking to buy a 4x5 field camera + lens for ~$1000.
    For this price, I am expecting to buy used, so are there some things I should look for/inquire about when buying a used 4x5 camera? I have read about the front and rear standard rigidity being an important part of buying a 4x5, but by searching this forum, I could not come up with anything else.
    Also, Nikkor lenses seem to be affordable (I don't need/can't afford anything German quite yet (i.e. Rodenstock, Schneider). Can anyone recommend a lens and focal length (this will be landscape+portrait: 150mm ?)
    I have read good things about the Tachihara, and at ~$850 new, a used price for this camera seems realistic seeing as I still need to buy a lens, focusing cloth, lensboard, film carriers, filters, etc. Has anyone used this camera?

    Thanks.

    edit: any other reliable resources/classifieds on 4x5 cameras that I should look into?
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You might be able to find a used Toyo field. The 45a I think it is is unbelievably light but still remarkably sturdy. A decent portrait lens like a 150mm or 210mm Caltar II or Symmar with run you about $200. The Fuji and Nikon lenses are also nice, though a tad more expensive.

    Still I'm going to defer to APUG. Plenty of threads there.

    Apug.org if you haven't checked.
     
  3. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    In a darkroom far, far away...
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It might be worth pointing out that many of the Caltars, as mentioned by Alpha, are either Rodenstocks or Schneiders. They may also be Ilex, Komura or Topcon lenses. They tend to sell for less than the R- or S- badged version. The common Caltar-S-II is a Schneider Symmar-S. The Caltar-II-N is the current Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-N.

    I bought a Chamonix 4x5 last year for just over $700. The price has gone up a little since then, and there is a waiting list, but I recommend them at the price (I have used many other 4x5 cameras since I bought my first back in the early 70's, and currently use an Ebony and a Sinar P2 - just to give my benchmark for the quality comparison with the Chamonix). The Chamonix design (a Phillips knock-off) makes it a versatile, lightweight camera. I guess that the waiting list is an issue, but second-hand ones have already sold on eBay for only a little more than the new price.

    As well as the Tachihara, you might consider a Shen Hao. I haven't used either of those, so I'm not speaking from personal experience.

    Film holders are about $5 to $7 on eBay.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    9,746
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Also, you might want to consider a Grafmatic back (6 negatives), almost same thickness as a regular film holder, which hosts 2 negatives. You can find good ones on eBay but make sure the septums are straight and not rusted.

    The Shen Hao has received very good rewievs. A friend of mine sells them, he is also a sponsor of APUG.org. Here's a link:

    http://www.viewcamerastore.com
     
  6. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Maine
    If buying used check the bellows out at the corners and where they attach to the front and rear standard.

    Get a camera with rear tilt, swing and shift, most will have front tilt, swing, shift and rise/fall.

    The 150mm G-claron is a wonderful lens, although they have become popular.

    Tachi is a good field, Calumet is pretty much a Tachi, and if you can find one Zone VI was a good camera.

    Over the years I have found that spacing lenses at 6" (150mm) focal lengths has suited my needs.

    If you ever plan to move up to a larger size try to buy lenses that will cover the future move. Although these will most likely cost you more.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
chamonix camera
,
early g claron 210mm
,

what does a 4x5 photo look like

,
what does a 4x5 rug looks like
,
what size does a 4x5 photo look like
,
zone vi 4x5 chamonix