Who owns a LF camera?

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by Steph, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am glad to see that a new sub-forum about MF/LF has been set up. Looking around the forums, it is obvious that quite a few people still use or are interested in MF cameras. However, I was wondering how many of you actually use LF cameras and for what type of photography.

    I'd love to have a go with a LF camera and experiment with the movements it offers, but I can't justify buying yet another camera. My dream, money-no-object buy would be something like an Ebony SW45 with a Schneider Super Angulon 90/f5.6 for landscape pictures. Unfortunately that is unlikely to happen. More reallistically, I keep looking at Graflex or MPP cameras and maybe one day I'll buy one. Anybody with hands on experience of these cameras?
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I have - and I believe a lot of other people here have turned to the Large Side so I'm sure others will be along to give their views.
    I still have an old Speed Graphic which I love. But my favourite big boy was the Sinar P2 set up for 10x8.
    If you are only going to use LF for landscapes then you don't really need the movements of a technical camera and something like the Speed Graphic would suit you. Certainly to start out with. And they are easier to lug around and set up.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't at the moment, Steph, but I've been bitten by the bug and will probably make that my next endeavor. Since everything about it will be so different than what I'm used to doing, I am making myself put it aside until I have time to devote to it as a whole field of study!

    There are a lot of good, inexpensive options out there, but I will probably give in to this one because 1) it's lightweight and 2) it's so purdy..... :lovey:

    :lol:
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I also have a speed graphic, and an 8x10, neither of which I have put to use yet sadly. Hopefully I'll have time to make some exposures soon.
     
  6. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    I own LF cameras and use them exclusively, 8x10 & 12x20.

    Ebony makes a super nice camera, but you really don't need to spend that much to get a good camera, just know what movements you want in your camara, field or studio camera, etc. Schneider makes a great lens too, but so does Nikkon/Nikkor, Dagors, Artars, the list is endless. As with any choice in manufacturer there are pros and cons depending on your goals.

    JC
     
  7. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    Three which have not seen much use at all -- a Crown Graphic from late 50s/early 60s, a Speed Graphic from WWII era (which is actually cleaner and better functioning than the Crown), and an Omega 45D with a Fujinon 210 lens. The latter I haven't used at all, ran out of money before getting tripod, head and case. :( But I look at them all longingly and exercise their li'l shutters regularly so they know they're loved.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been a LF shooter since 1956 when I got my first Speed Graphic. I've also owned the 90mm Schneider lens you mentioned which is a very nice wide angle for 4X5. In fact I think that is the lens mounted to the Cambo Legend view camera in my avatar. Obviously it is a wide angle because of the recessed lens board.

    The real advantage of LF is the view camera with all of its perspective managing movements. The Speed and Crown Graphics have a little bit of tilt and swing at the lens board but no back movements and no shift. Now that think about it, I think there was a little bit of vertical shift. I've forgotten. It's been a long time.

    If you really want to get the most from LF why not look for an inexpensive Graphic View or Calumet or Toyo View used on Ebay and look for some kind of lens for it in the same place? That way you will have all the movements at both ends of the camera. You will be able to correct keystoning, provide depth of field adjustments on angular planes - all kinds of things.

    Even if you opt for a field camera like a Wista or Tachihara, you will get more extreme front movements than you will with the old Graflex press cameras.

    Sometimes the old Graflex press cameras can get costly because they often need bellows replacement and lens CLA. If you get something newer you have a better chance of not having to deal with all of that. Also bellows for more modern cameras are easier to find.
     
  9. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    While I havent shot one yet... I have a Toyo 45D sitting in a box from UPS this very day at the house... I cant wait to get more into LF...
     
  10. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug TPF Noob!

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    I own that Lens and it's a fantastic piece of glass. One of the best investments I ever made :greenpbl:

    I would avoid any press cameras, especially if you're looking to experiment with movement, because you won't get as much for your money as you would with a studio 4x5. HOWEVER, you can find a cheap Cambo or Toyo for a very nice price on Ebay or KEH, and if you don't mind going older, I've seen some Linhof's and Calumets on Ebay that are pretty nice too for the sub $500 area.

    What I would do is rent one to see if you really like the extreme hands-on approach that working with LF requires, it can be tiring in a sense, but the tools it offers are unmatched.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a couple of 4x5s that used to get regular use. I think the last job I shot on film was about two years ago, and that was the only film job in the past 3 1/2 years.

    I gotta tell ya.... I really don't miss it much. Sure, it's very graitfying to see your images on large tranparencies, and I do miss the challenge of "get it on the neg."

    Maybe I'm just getting lazy. I can work much more quickly with digital, and the gear is a bunch easier to tote onto the job. Smaller cases... smaller tripod... CF cards rather than film holders... no focusing cloth and lupe... no CC filters... and no more Poloroids! Now that I think about it, I haven't held a light meter in years.

    Pete
     
  12. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks to all of you for the replys and TIPs

    From what I read and understood, it looks like a field camera would be more suitable for landscapes as they are lighter and easier to set up than monorail cameras. Is that true? Aren't all the movements of a monorail a bit over the top for landscape? I thought that tilt and swing (front and back) would be enough.

    Great link. I used to know a website with nice pictures to illustrate the effects of all the movements but I cannot find it anymore. Does anyone know such a site?

    I know. That was just a dream, money-no-object combination. That probably will never happen. Thank you for the suggestions for lenses, some of which I have never heard of. That sounds interesting.
     

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