Large format issues

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by j_buck, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Heelo.
    Im in the process of buying my first large format. I come from medium format photography and i work on a semipro / pro level.
    I did alot of reading on LF so i hope all of this is not too nooby.:)

    Im considering between a sinar norma with a rodenstock geronar. 210/6,8 or a sinar f 1 (no lens) or a plaubel peco profia
    My budget is about 600€

    All are about the same price.

    What is important to me is :

    -a graflock back so i can attach a graflock polaroid back + 6x7 back
    -full movements (frontal forward tilt)
    -rotatable back
    -possibilty to sync with flash at hi speeds
    -compabilty with new lenses (nikor) & accessories,
    -bright focusing screen

    Linhof tehnica 5 would be too expensive
    Super graphic is super hard to find in europe (& speed graphic dont have all frontal movements)

    Could anyone help me?
    Thanks alot!
    J.
     
  2. Photo.net has good qualities but isn't the best place to ask for information on LF cameras. Go to http://www.largeformatphotography.info, read the FAQs, join the forum and ask questions there.
    If you want advice closer to home, try www.lf-photo.org.uk
    If you read French, try www.galerie-photo.com for enlightening articles and www.galerie-photo.info for the forum.
    You seem to want a monorail. Super Graphic isn't a monorail. You seem fixated on Sinars. I'm partial to Cambo monorails, don't rule them out.
    Plaubels don't have Graflok (also called international) backs. Fine cameras, but ... LF lenses are usually in shutter. They synchronize with electronic flash at all speeds. Top speeds: #0, 1/500; #1, 1/400; #3, 1/125; press shutters (self-cocking), 1/125.
    There are good books on LF photography. Buy one and study it before buying LF equipment. Steve Simmons' Understanding the View Camera and Leslie Stroebel's View Camera Technique arer ecommended in the US. They are available used at low prices via abebooks.com, alibris.com, amazon.com, ...
    Before you write off suppliers in the US, look into shipping costs. Good dealers include keh.com and igorcameras.com. Also consider buying through ebay.com, ebay.co.uk, ebay.fr and ebay.de.
     
  3. Look for a Sinar F or F2 camera kit.
     
  4. I agree with Dan, consider a Cambo. Well made, precise, and afordable.
    Mine is a 6x9 but 4x5 are much more common and easier to find used

    Good choice on the 210mm lens.
     
  5. AJG

    AJG

    The Geronar was an entry level lens for 4x5. Performance is ok, but if you want to use a lot of movements it won't be a great choice due to lack of covering power.
     
  6. I used LF cameras in the studio for many years in my youth and still own a number of examples today.
    Of the choices you quote, I have to say I know nothing about Plaubel (very uncommon outside Germany). If Plaubels don't have a Graflok back, this would be a major disadvantage.
    I personally dislike Sinar F1 - it is a lightweight design and not up to professional standards. I really think you can't do better on a budget than Sinar Norma - full movements, full modularity even with later parts, Graflok back and above all bombproof design, even though the oldest Normas were made back in 1948.The Geronar lens is "entry level", but all this means is that it is of 4-element design (Tessar type). A 210 covers 5x7 with some movement, so 4x5 with quite a bit of movement - like all Tessars, it needs to be stopped down to get really good edge and corner definition and its performance will deteriorate as you focus closer and get near to 1:1 ratio. I have 4x5 and 8x10 Normas and will never sell them. I bought a F2 once to be more modern but didn't like it as much as the Normas - they're really rock solid!
     
  7. I agree with David. While in my opinion the Sinar F is not that bad (and it also offers full movements and is part of the fully modular Sinar system), out of the two i would always pick the Norma.<br>A Sinar F should not be as expensive as a Norma, though if you can get a Norma for as little as an F, you have found a good deal (assuming good condition).<br>Your budget however should be able to buy a Sinar P. Though not quite as Perfect as the P suggest (nothing is perfect), it is the LF monorail camera that comes closest to perfection.
     
  8. Thanks alot!
    So Sinar Norma looks more and more appealing..
    Are there any things i should be specialy carefull when buying a used norma?

    The seller doesnt know much about it :/
     
  9. Everything should still work ;-)
    Seriously, the drives (rack and pinion mostly) should be o.k. All the knobs present.
    The Normas are made of aluminium and it may show bits of rust: white powder in screw holes and such. Nothing to worry about much (just clean it and perhaps apply some oil), unless it is really bad.
    And you can expect that all the spirit levels (they should be present) are dried up. They always do that. You can still get replacements, but i refill them (bore a tiny hole in one end with a heated needle, fill the thing with enough alcohol - not water, water is too sticky - to leave the bubble of the desired size, and close the hole with superglue). But i find i do not use all those levels much, and can make do with a separate bar spirit level (i use a nice one that was given out as present by Sinar many, many years ago. Some poetic justice: a free Sinar level to replace their other, failing levels).
    And it should be a complete camera, with base rail, rail holder, rear and front bearers, focussing screen frame with focussing screen, square bellows (and preferably bag bellows too). That's the basic camera.
    It would be great if you would also get an extra bellows, an additional auxillary bearer or two, the great Sinar tripod head... Maybe even the Sinar/Copal behind the lens shutter with cable release. But now i'm getting carried away a bit.

    I like Normas very much. A real classic and a very good, usable camera.
    But i must confess to actually using Sinar Ps instead. Do have a look at the Sinar P too. That camera changed the way you set all the movements quite a bit.
    Not only are they (mostly) gear driven, but they use a method that takes the guess work away, replaces the try, check, try some more, check again, until everything is o.k. procedure with a simple-turn-a-knob-until-o.k., get it right in one go procedure.
    And 600 euros should really be enough to buy you a nice Sinar P.
     
  10. Agree with the Norma opinions.
    Don`t know about your work, but you mention a Technika V. There is a huge difference between both designs; Technikas are much faster to setup, easy to carry, even more rigid. Depending on your needs, a field or press camera could be better for you. Not for long lenses or massive movements, though.
    Look at the Technika IV, there are very little practical differences between them, at a lower price. If you want cheaper, in Europe you can find cheap MPP cameras, a Technika copy, not as perfect but still very capable. Toyos and Horsemans could be interesting, too.
     
  11. If im honest, field cameras is what i need, its just that monorails seem cheeper & more compatible for a noobie.
    I mostly photograph people and i wanna go beyond the level what i get with 180mm lens on 6x7.

    So frontal forward tilt is important and compability with 6x7 back and a polaroid back.
    Technika iv was an option but i was readding about isues on the RFs with lenses(focus beeing problematic), and from what i heard the iv
    has no frontal tilt.

    Technika 70? Its medium format, but is it good?
    Are there any other field ones that are in the 600$ budget (if they are awesome 600 can be body only.)

    Thanks soo much people!
     
  12. The Technika IV have front tilt, there are 6x7 backs (any graflock will work), and Polaroid backs fit into the 4x5" holder.
    Like most press type cameras, the limitations are mostly on the back movements (awkward to use), on the bellows extension, on the bellows compression (wide angle limit), etc.
    I have a Technika, and honestly, I never use the RF. Do you want RF focusing? It makes a big difference, too. If I were using the RF to focus, I think I`d prefer to take a medium format camera (SLR or RF).
    If you want a portrait machine, maybe you`d certainly be better with a studio monorail; very likely you`ll end using a 300mm lens (or longer). Many press and field cameras will be at their capability limits. 300 and 360mm Plasmats are a joy to use, but so big to be comfortably used on a press or field camera. I like to use a 420mm lens for portraits.
    A medium format Technika is another very different thing. If I`m not wrong the 70 is limited to 6x7, you`d need a Super Technika V to shoot 6x9. If you don`t want sheet film, they are ok. But any 4x5" camera will let you to use a 6x7/6x9 back, so it could be a better option.
    If you`re lost, maybe it could be a good idea to start with a Norma. Cheap and good, versatile, reasonably lightweight, if it doesn`t fit you style you can always sell it. But if you settle in monorails, as Q.G. says, a yaw free Sinar P will make your life easier.
     
  13. Knowing more about LF makes decissions even harder :)

    As far as telephoto.. I wouldnt go further than 180mm on 6x7 is, so i guess this is 250mm on 4x5?
    Is 250mm supported on fieldcameras?

    And im a bit ashamed to ask, but what is RF focusing and why is it different from focusing, :)

    The P looks more and more apealling..
     
  14. RF = rangefinder?. Aaahhh
    But what does it mean :
    "RF cams STILL are not standardized. Cams ground for a IV are ONLY accurate for THAT camera and with THAT lens.
    While you can physically interchange them, focusing accuracy will probably suffer."

    And are u sure the IV has a frontal tilt ( forward & backward)?
     
  15. You need to follow Dan`s recommendation above... :)
    Yes, it is hard to choose between so many "specialties", specially now that they are more affordable than ever... You have to start using LF to know your way, or even if you have a way there...
    Diagonal wise, a 180mm on 6x7 could be replaced by a 300mm on 4x5" (actually, 313mm).
    A 250mm lens on 6x7 could be the equivalent to a 420mm on 4x5". Aspect ratios are different, so think that there is no direct translation.
    Press cameras are designed to use a rangefinder (RF). It makes focusing much faster&easier than directly over the ground glass. Many press camera users, specially these days, avoid the RF for the pleasure and accuracy of the ground glass view, but also because the RF system use to need cams dedicated for each lens, and this cams are not always available or calibrated.
    And yes, I`d swear that the IV have full front tilt in both sides (never use backwards lens tilt!). It is limited by an arm designed to add rigidity, and the arm should move either at the front or rear. Let me check it later. The movement is limited&combined with the rear standard movement, in order to get parallel planes.
     
  16. J. Buck wrote:
    If im honest, field cameras is what i need, its just that monorails seem cheeper & more compatible for a noobie. I mostly photograph people and i wanna go beyond the level what i get with 180mm lens on 6x7. So frontal forward tilt is important and compability with 6x7 back and a polaroid back. Technika iv was an option but i was readding about isues on the RFs with lenses(focus beeing problematic), and from what i heard the iv has no frontal tilt. Technika 70? Its medium format, but is it good? Are there any other field ones that are in the 600$ budget (if they are awesome 600 can be body only.) Thanks soo much people!​
    Look, if you're going to use movements you're going to have to shoot from a tripod.
     
  17. Ofcourse tripod, i just ment that a field is quciker set up than a monorail, but ofcourse i will use tripod.
     
  18. I can confirm that the IV certainly have forward and backwards lens tilt.
     
  19. Thanks alo to everyone! This has been a big help! :)
    You are a great LF comunity here!!
     
  20. "A medium format Technika is another very different thing. If I`m not wrong the 70 is limited to 6x7, you`d need a Super Technika V to shoot 6x9. If you don`t want sheet film, they are ok. But any 4x5" camera will let you to use a 6x7/6x9 back, so it could be a better option."
    Sorry Jose,
    Some misinformation here. All Technika, TechniKardan, M679, Techno, and other Linhof 23 cameras are all 6x9cm cameras. Linhof never has made a 67 view camera. However they did make the 220 series of cameras that were fixed lens 120/220 roll film cameras.
    You also made another error when, in an earlier post, you stated that there isn't much difference between a Technika IV and V. Unfortunately that is also incorrect. There are major differences. That is why the successor to the IV became a V.
    1: The front rise is controlled by a lever on the front of the front standard of a V so it is very easy to do a front rise when using very short lenses. On a IV the rise control is a small knob behind the front standard that is very difficult to reach with short lenses.
    2: V and later camera have more movement then a IV and earlier.
    3: If, and only if, you do want to use the rangefinder on a IV the lenses and the camera must be sent to service to have the cam cut On a V and later only the lens needs to be sent in for camming since a V and later have a zeroed GG and a IV and earlier did not.
    4: Most V and later models are repairable but as the IV has been out of production since May of 1963 and parts that are different on a IV from those on a V may not still be available from the factory. So the IV can be much more difficult to service, should it be needed. But then the same is also possible with unique V parts (the V went out of production in May of 1972) and early Master Technikas which were introduced in Sept 1972.
     
  21. "
    RF = rangefinder?. Aaahhh But what does it mean : "RF cams STILL are not standardized. Cams ground for a IV are ONLY accurate for THAT camera and with THAT lens. While you can physically interchange them, focusing accuracy will probably suffer."
    And are u sure the IV has a frontal tilt ( forward & backward)?"
    Linhof cams for the V and Master are fully interchangeable between these two models, as long as they are with the specific lens that they were cut for. That means that cams cut for the first V in April 1963 are fully interchangeable with a brand new Master Technika Classic that one buys today. Cams for the IV and earlier cameras were specific to the camera and lens that they were cut for (by serial numbers).
    All Technika 45 cameras from the IV through the current Master Technika Classic and the Master Technika 3000 have both forward and rear front lens tilt. The III did not have forward lens board tilt.
     
  22. Yes, I was not sure about this, thank you Bob.
     
  23. Thanks alot again, ive learned alot from this post, links, reading tips and ive made my choice!
    Sinar p.

    At the end it was tight between the sinar p and shen hao, since shen hao is really pretty :))

    But i guess the sinar p offers: longer lenses, more stability, precize movements, compability becomming 8x10, its cheeper, easier to
    repair (i guess) and it wont brake if it falls down..

    But is heavier, it takes longer to set up....

    But shen hao is also awesome, but i have this feeling ou have to be very very carefull with it and its harder to find at a cheep price in
    europe
     
  24. There is just one more consideration - a monorail like a Sinar P has been designed as a studio camera, a Shen Hao is called a "field" camera. There's a good reason for this! Both types are not aerodynamically efficient, but a field camera will fundamentally work better out of doors in a wind (and these cameras re-define the term "wind", rather like riding a bicycle versus driving a car -suddenly you notice every little upgrade - with cameras, it's every little breeze).
    Basically a monorail needs a heavier tripod, a heavy-duty ball and socket head I find OK for a wooden camera, a monorail certainly needs a strong pan and tilt head. With monorails and rail lengths of 300mm and more, it's good to think in terms of two rail clamps to damp down on resonances, which demands a tripod head with a big platform, with a rail 600mm or longer, particularly with 8x10, you're starting to need two heavy duty tripods, or at least a stout cradle, so that you can support the rail at both ends - a long rail with just one central support behaves like a tuning fork!
     
  25. Re tripod heads: the Sinar head is not cheap even used (compared to the costs of a complete P), but well worth it. Very sturdy, and rather compact. Better, in my opinion, than any other head.<br><br>Re supporting long extension: the Sinar way is to use two bankholders, on a common platform, on a single head.<br>A camera will blow over (from experience) and an umbrella or other wind shield may come in handy sometimes. The Sinar used with the usual focal lengths (i.e. upto 360 mm or so for 4x5") is sturdy enough not to need extra support in normal circumstances. Using longer extensions and/or 8x10" (very big bellows to catch wind) is indeed a different matter.<br><br>The main difference, i find, between studio cameras and folding field cameras is that the latter pack away more compact and are a bit faster to set up and pack away again. You pay for that by somewhat limited capabilities. The difference isn't so much in how they work outdoors. But ymmv, and all that.
     
  26. I come from medium format photography and i work on a semipro / pro level.​
    Pssst.....you are either a pro who earns an actual bill paying living full time or you are an enthusiast who collects some part time cash. This is 2014, there is no such thing as "Semi-pro".
    Just an FYI....
     
  27. I`d say real pros are the ones who pay their taxes as registered professional photographers. Maybe semi-pros are the ones who only declare a 50% of their income... ;)
     
  28. That is (how do they say that again?) "soooo 1980...!", Daniel.<br>In reality there are numerous people (there also were in the 1980s, of course) who do not do just one thing to make a living (and have a fulfilling life). As (well as any other) professionals, not just as enthusiasts.<br>Maybe if we describe it as "also professional photographer" that would work for you?<br>;-)
     

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