Help me decide which 4 x 5 Ebony LF camera to get.

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ricsavid, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Hi People: I have been shooting b & w portraits under natural light using 28mm and 50mm for years. Just starting LF, researched possible cameras for a month now and came across the Ebony. I would like either a 210 or 180mm max for my closest lens, and will get a 90 for widest work. Which model will suit my needs? Quick set up is a plus, which is why I like the camera possibilities. But am uncertain about which model and which bellows to get. I like to keep things simple.....thanks, Ric Savid
  2. If I'm not mistaken, Ebony camera closed in 2016. I take it you're shopping for a used camera.
  3. IMO, 4x5 and "quick" aren't things I worry about together. The Ebony cameras are nice, but I consider the camera little more than a box between the film holder and the lens. That's especially the case for portraits, where you probably won't be using much in the way of swings or tilts. How nice a box you want can only be decided by you. Maybe approach it from the standpoint of which model wouldn't be suitable.
  4. I have the SV45Ti which I love. I shoot from a 90-300 and the other day I was able to focus with the 300 to within 3 feet of my still life I was doing some testing with. I like the versatility of the camera being the bellows have a section on the front that are more like a bag bellow that allows you to go fairly wide angle. I shoot my 90 and still have room to focus in more. Yet I can stretch the bellow out far to get those closeups with a longer lens if need be. For most shots though there is not much taxing the camera at all. There are some wide angle Ebony's that won't fold up that many say deploy faster as well but honestly with LF nothing is that fast and adding an additional 10 seconds to unfold the camera is not a big deal to me. I like the options of more lenses should I choose to go longer with the more standard folding field cameras. At the moment there are about 15 cameras on eBay to choose from. I would look at those and then google the ones that look like something you would want. there are usually reviews out there for most of them.
    richard_brown|4 likes this.
  5. Having had four Ebony cameras along with toyo, linhof, calumet cadet, deardorff, I have to agree with snommisbor: the SV45Ti was the best view camera I have ever had or used. Best made, easiest to use, and a joy to work with. Shen Hao makes a copy of this camera. It would likely, at 1/3 the cost, be a little rougher than the Ebony but Badger Graphics sells it for just over a grand. Call them. But I still say get that Ebony.
  6. Why are you specific about which model you had with the Calumet but not with the Linhof?
    Did you have a Technika, which one? Or a TK or a Karan? Just saying that you had a Linhof doesn’t really say what you are comparing it to!

Share This Page