Best 6x9 view camera?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by brandan, May 29, 2011.

  1. Hello:
    I am considering going a step further from my Mamiya super 23 and getting one view field camera in order to control more the results of my photos.
    As I am new to this world and the brands vary a lot from medium format, I feel overwhelmed. So maybe you can suggest a model to me. I am planning to do full body portraits and almost-macro photography (landscape will be marginal). I dont mind buying second hand, and I dont have much money. By the way i own a nikon coolscan 9000ed, so i can scan the shots myself, thats why i am not considering diving into 4x5.
    Other question that comes to my mind is that if is better to buy a 4x5 camera and a 6x9 adapter+6x9 back or to stick to a 6x9 camera.
    So, what do you think is the cheapest decent camera I should buy?
    After reading a bit I thought about a Shen-Hao TFC69A
    Thanks in advance to everyone.
  2. I use a Cambo 23SF. It's a wonderfull and precise camera. Cambo has made a number of 6x9 view cameras. Their current offering is a digital based one. Backs and boards interchange with the 23SF.
    Arca Swiss also made 6x9 cameras.
    I used a Galvin 6x9 in the 80's. I found it flimsy and much prefer my Cambo.
  4. Budget, Brandan? "I dont have much money" suggests that anything new or nice is out of your range.
    How long can you wait for a used camera to turn up? Affordable used 2x3 view cameras, e.g., the Galvin that Tony didn't like and that I didn't buy when I had the chance, don't come to market that often. Older Cambos and Plaubels are scarce too.
    What focal lengths do you want to use? My 2x3 Cambo SC is hostile to short lenses. Most older 2x3 view cameras are too. Tony's SF is much nicer in that respect but extending it to use really long lenses is difficult/expensive. The Shen Hao you pointed to can't use, e.g., the 35/4.5 Apo Grandagon that works on a Century Graphic.
    They are probably not what you want but 2x3 Graphics are relatively inexpensive. Mine do what I want. Your Super 23 is pretty capable. I can understand why you don't want to use it for macro but it should be fine for portraiture. My Graphics are quite useful for macro.
  5. Thanks all, the cambo seems a good option. Also the plaubel, the price is very reasonable.
    Dan, yes I am not willing to spend more than a thousand dollars in this outfit, I will check this two models and post some impressions later.
    Thanks a lot
  6. Is a Toyo 4x5 with a 6x9 roll film back.
  7. What's wrong with the Super 23? That's my preferred camera for 6x9. It has great lenses and great accessories. It's a workout hand held, but wonderful on a tripod.
  8. The best I've ever used is the Galvin 23, I still have one to use and a commemorative model with will never be used except for a museum. Jim Galvin (a life long friend) died several years ago however you can still find a few of them around the industry.

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