making the move

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by zz_algern0n, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. i am considering the move to large format. i'm a perfectionist for
    resolution and contrast so optics are very important to me (i pretty
    much can't live without zeiss). i started as a 35mm shooter and took
    a brief jump to 645. i love my 645 camera but the system is too
    expensive for such a small format. i do pretty much all studio
    work. i'm thinking about getting an old hasselblad for handholdable
    situation, but i'd like to take a look at 4x5 and see if it's
    feasible for me. can someone help me with how to start looking, i.e.
    what's a good camera/setup for a good price (remember my demand on
    optic quality), how to best get into it for the best price, and
    whether the $1.50 a sheet processing is worth it, and any other
    advice. i think i feel comfortable with a normal, medium-wide, and
    macro/portrait-style lens combination to start.

    ill probably start out with the hasselblad as a main camera and
    experiment around with the 4x5 until i feel comfortable enough to use
    it as my main unit. do large formats have through the lens metering
    (spot?), do they work like giant slrs? hope this question's ok and
    hope people can help with their wisdom
  2. let me note, larger weight isn't a big deal, but lower price is very important without sacrificing optic quality
  3. pretty much sums it all up. nothing anyone could post here would tell you any more.
  4. Joshua,

    You need to start by doing some basic reading. A good place to start online is:

    also: and download the getting started article there.

    There are also a couple of good books; one by Leslie Strobel and one by Steve Simmons. Get one at your library and read it. Until you do a bit more reading the answers to your questions might be meaningless.

    Large Format cameras are NOT giant SLR’s. They are as far from it as you can get.
  5. i know there's a lot of reading in order but i feel better reading alongside while i play. i don't mind investing in a module that i could turn around and sell if i don't like it so i was hoping for some tips in general about the switch i.e. what it was like for others and as well a reasonably priced system thgat i could cut my teeth on. i did a lot of and a lot of thinking and reading before going to 645 but it's only been a few months and i'm ready to move up because the system i chose wasn't right for a # of reasons. i learned volumes more in the 3 months or so i've owned medium format than the year it took me to choose one
  6. Josh,

    You really need to do some reading. The type of camera that will be best for you is completely dependent upon what style of shooting you want to do. All cameras are a trade-off of weight, movements, stability, and price. Lenses are entirely independent from cameras, for all practical purposes you can put any lens on any camera (if the bellows will allow for it to focus). If you are looking at hand-held, Crown Graphic is a good place to start, those can probably be found for a few hundred dollars (used only). They will come with a lens (probably), but it will probably be single-coated and not the absolute best. A top of the line lens will set you back over $1000. Then, after the camera and a lens you will need a darkcloth, film holders of some sort, and a light meter to determine exposure.

    There really is no practical way for us to help you out until you understand more of the basics and can tell us what you intend to shoot.

    Please, read the pages others have recommended and browse the forum.

  7. If you're worrying about $1.50/sheet for processing, and "can't live without Zeiss" you've got your head....
  8. "Large format cameras are not giant SLRs"

    Not anymore anyway, but just today I was reading about Strand and one of his favorite cameras was a Graflex "Home Portrait" 5X7 and the 4x5 Super Ds go for big bucks on you know who.

  9. Yeah. A giant SLR. The mirror slap is awful on a 4x5 but you should feel it on an 8x10. Wow !!
  10. i guess i phrased it wrong, by SLR i meant i can view through the lens rather than like a tlr or a rangefinder. i didn't intend to carry it around and snap shots passersby on a subway. i said i'd like to use it for studio and weight is not a big issue
  11. One of the reasons we are all saying read a little is you aren’t even asking the right questions yet. Without doing a bit of reading our answer to you would approach being meaningless.

    Nothing is automated in the LF world. You say you like Zeiss glass, they don’t make LF lenses (they used to but no more). You keep stressing price. I note from your posted pictures that you shoot or used to shoot with a K1000. A minimum LF investment for a basic used monorail, a 150mm to 210mm modern lens, a spot or incident light meter, film holders, dark cloth, focusing loupe, sturdy tripod, some lighting, etc… will set you back at least 600-700 and likely more. If you really mean what you say about optical quality expect to pay upwards of $1000 per lens. On the other hand you might not need that sort of overkill.

    This is very different from the 35mm and MF world. Each ‘piece’ of the system is separate. Go read a little and then come back and we both can and will be a lot more help.
  12. pvp


    Yes, you do get to view through the lens.
  13. i understand zeiss doesn't make large format lenses but i was looking for comparable recommendations with rodenstock & schneider as well as a good-entry level studio system that'll give me time to learn. it's pretty discouraging to have to go back to the drawing board after doing so much research into medium format. i currently shoot contax 645 and aaton super16 motion. all my lenses on both formats are zeiss and all cost upwards of $1000. i was just hoping for some simple recommendations or pushes in the right direction based on the info i gave. i love the contax system, but the $2500 is too expensive for me at the moment. i'm going to downgrade to a $500 hasselblad and let the lenses do the work. i was hoping to do a similar thing with large format
  14. Josh, in something like 2 hours you can read the LF site people have referenced above and be in a much better idea of what you want and questions to ask. There are literally probably over 100 cameras to choose from and more lenses. You have to narrow things down for us. At least field vs. monorail will help. Seriously, you have to do some homework first. We're not saying 3 months of reading, but a few hours will go a long way.

    The Schneider 110 XL is absolutely one of the best lenses that exist.

    A great intro camera is the Arca-Swiss Discovery. You can get them new for $1200 from Badger.

  15. Go buy a Cambo 4x5 monorail, Schneider APO 210, 10 holders, a dark
  16. okay,

    lemme get this straight josh, yer trading 645 for 66?

    i don't get it,


    p.s. lots and lots of reading josh.
  17. Josh, I just got into LF for about $700. But that's for '50s vintage camera and lenses. I still need to pick up a 4x5 enlarger and a better tripod but that will have to wait until next year. I did about 3 months of research before I felt comfortable enough to start seriously looking at kits. If you look back in this forum over the last month, you will see several questions I asked while I was in the buying process. The LF community here is as helpful as it gets, but even a newbie like me can say you need to read up as suggested. You might start with Ansel Adams' "The Camera" which gives an excellent and objective view of all three formats. It explains the basic construction of each common type of camera. After you read it, you will better understand what a monorail or field camera can do and not do. It also goes into detail on accessories such as exposure meters and tripods, stuff you will need and need to make informed choices on.
  18. lemme get this straight josh, yer trading 645 for 66?

    i don't get it,

    what's not to get
  19. ok i will look at the camera, i couldnt' find much in the way of differences between field & monorail on the i'm sure the sachtler 3-stage carbon fiber tripod for my s16 rig will more than suffice. i'm also aware of meters, but the real trick is companies make a cinema and still version so im the sucker that has to pay twice the price to own both
  20. yer gonna get a 6x6,

    then crop it back to 645? handholding a hassy josh, that's what i don't get. here's my advice... skip the hassy, read lots(metering, dof, moves), buy an 8x10 studio cam, then buy some mondo-powerful studio strobes. and finally, get a mf cam that you can handhold easily(the diffs in optical quality won't be noticeable when yer talking about used hassy prices).

    'Using the View Camera' by steve simmons is a great place to start...

  21. Check out this article on for even a more basic primer and brings up things like yaw-free for studio work. As for the light meter, I the Sekonic high-end meters, such as the L-608 do have cine shutter speeds. Knowing next to nothing about cine I'm not quite sure if that is what you need, but the point is that there may be options.
  22. i never said a thing about recropping, but the bigger issue is the $2000 cost savings of a 500c/m body over a contax 645. i only need a few lenses (not to mention the much huger and often cheaper array of hasselblad lenses available) so the difference in price is quite substantial to the whole outfit. i don't have any shop locally that i can test this stuff out on so this is all theoretical based on used prices i see and internet info. im going to buy a used one and give it a test run first to make sure it's what i want to do. the hasselblad is for situations where i don't have time to set up a view camera, such as small setups, portraits, grabs from setups on location, etc.
  23. Joshua, I've found LF is rewarding for personal work where I'm striving for excellence probably for no one else but me. Production work is for Hasselblads and the like. Erik said "Go buy a Cambo 4x5 monorail, Schneider APO 210, 10 holders, a dark cloth." and that's good advice. That combination will absolutely do anything with the possible drawback that it is heavy. If LF isn't for you you'll be able to sell and get your $ back. If it is you can upgrade from there. I've got one I'm selling. Contact me offline if you're interested. jg
  24. i would like
  25. a monorail...
  26. neither did i josh...


    i'm extremely biased against hassy(and nearly all 6x6 save the rollei and other tlr's). i think they're cumbersome and a huge waste of film and money. that's just me. have i ever owned one? no, but most of the folks i know that shoot hassy are wedding photogs and i've borrowed a few. i found i was cropping into 90 percent and doing a hassy dance that was as intricate as any dance i'd done with my linhof. and i've never seen any hassy lenses that i'd call cheap, used or otherwise. if yer crazy fer sharpness, you've come to the right place. read lots first though.


  27. can you elaborate a little on your hasselblad thoughts. i know the lenses aren't cheap. as i said, i'd like to let the lens do the work and not the body. $500 is enough for a body where $1000 lenses are controlling the image. put more stock in a nicely coated and crafted lens than a body where $2000 goes to electronics (that incidentally drink the batteries like a cup of kool aid). the optics are identical between the two formats, and i can even downgrade some of my lenses to lesser than CFE if it's a focal length i'd like to play around with rather than own stock in
  28. i'm not sure about the 608, but the 508 comes in a cine and still version, and guess what? poo poo the cine version is about $50 more. why? they like to rape cinematographers. there goes another $300

    i will consider this cambo/210 combination but i'd like more facts first
  29. Reading is good. A few shared tips are nice too.. and some folk are being awfully stingy. <p>
    Josh, if it's studio use you'll want a full view camera and not a field camera. Price for used isn't much different but there is a lot more freedom when you have full movements on both ends. Not knowing what sort of work you do does make it harder for any one to make lens or specific equipment recommendations though.<p>
    In terms of Resolution you really just can't beat big film. I am a newer LF shooter and recently was comparing a few slides with a friend. The difference between 4x5 and medium format (6x7 in this case) was surprising to me and made a very big impression on my friend. His kit is a Mamiya 7, and mine is an old used Burke and James press cam from the 50's with original lens. Cost me $135.00 on the big auction in the sky.<p>
    I thought $5.00 a shot (film+processing) was expensive until I got my first good one back.. It was very worth it. <p>
    That's it from me.
  30. Hi Joshua,
    There are many good, not to expensive used monorails on the market. You might want too try some place like where you can trust what you’re getting. Buy the camera and one lens, a 150mm or 210mm, dark cloth, holders, film, and if you already have a tripod and meter you should be all set. And I agree you should read, read, read, this can be a very helpful forum, but we need to know what you want to do with your photography. The equipment that's needed for landscape, portraiture, architecture, or tabletop is all somewhat different. The reason people were coming down on you a bit hard is that what you’re asking is something like. I want to do something but I'm not sure what. What do I do? LF is not like 35mm where all you need to answer is Canon or Nikon and either will do. It's a bit more specilized. Have fun and Good luck, Ed
  31. I don't know why everybodies picking on you.

    Okay. Camera doesn't have a lot to do with optical quality. Assuming the camera is able to handle the lens you want to use a cardboard box might give you equal quality. Maybe not but not too far off. Get yourself a great big old calumet 401. Ones in good condition will cost a little less then one filter for that Hasselblad. Seriously.

    Zeiss lens are good on a budget. Mine is almost 70 years old and no shutter but for $50 what do you want. But then almost all my lens have no shutters. Don't need no stinking shutters. Pull slide. Turn lights on. Turn lights off. Put slide back in. Kind of hard outside but it's do able.
  32. I was going to go digital then I realized digital still can't beat LF but that was only because I wanted to shoot landscape and make huge prints. Then I looked at MF. Same deal. Lucky for me I worked all this out by vicariously living it on the net. Through several bulliten boards. Finally I invested $6k in my LF kit. I love it. I expect the afair to last at least a few years and maybe for life. If you are a studio shooter I cannot imagine why you would not just go big pro digital. $25k should get you where you want to go. I know you have the money.

    But if you insist on having this experience ... Get the mid range Sinar monorail and some nice lenses. Get the lenses that aproximate what you like to shoot with in 35mm. If you do wish to economise ... buy (which is to say rent) used and then you can sell it off if it doesn't stick. OR ... Go look at the Sinar site and try not to buy the thirty K rig that does work like an SLR with full auto metering and has TTL auto focus as well. (it will tell you the angles for the tilt too)
  33. hi josh -

    if there is a pro store in your neck of the woods go down there and play with a
    a few cameras, and rent one with a couple of lenses a polaroid back and
    some type 55 or 59 film. use it for a day for 2 days in your studio. using a
    view camera is not as complicated as you might think.
  34. no need to worry about plunking on a 30,000 rig, no way i can afford that. unfortunately the pro shop here specializes in cheap consumer junk, but for the price of renting the stuff i could probably buy a whole rig.

    i get the feeling i will definitely switch systems soon after purchasing a first one. i want something to test drive that won't scare me away from the format by being too annoying or optically poor. i did a test drive on a fuji 6x9 thinking i'd be in heaven and i HATED the experience AND the results and will most likely never lay eyes on a fuji camera again.

    should i go for something real cheap and ancient like a burke & james or something just a little older like the cambo. will these tell me what i want to know & keep me interested or is playing with these dangerous in terms of my impresion. i don't really want to go more than $1000 if possible since this is really just a backup camera and a toy for now
  35. mmm hmm,

    i wanted a hassy too. when i was a 12, then i tried one. lemme tell ya something, 'arteests', such as yerself, and wedding photogs have lots in common. you'll like the hassy dood. get it.

    see ya,


    p.s. if not, shouldn't you be reading?
  36. and joshy,

    be prepared to be dissappointed with the hassy and LF if you choose, fer the same reasons you don't like the contax and didn't care for the fuji.


  37. ok i admit it, im ashamed, im a wedding photographer, im such a jerk will you forgive me
  38. is your good advice then that every camera is bad
  39. Joshua, What is it that your looking to do? What kind of photograpy. Some people love the old cameras some people don't want to work with anything but the latest toys. Fuji makes very good glass and many like that 6 x 9 you hated...How do we answer these question when we know nothing about you? All I can say is you might call someone like and tell them how much you want to spend and see what they can do. You need to narrow down what you want a bit.
  40. studio work/portraiture


    studio lighting, continuous lights not flash

    i don't like shooting outside. i hardly do it
  41. i think you're mad cus i said the fuji sucks. i never said the contax sucks, only that it eats batteries and is expensive
  42. Then buy the best 210mm lens (normal for studio) you can afford. Any of the big 4 will do, Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikon, or Fuji. Then find the best deal you can on a clean monorail (Toyo, Sinar, Cambo/Calumet, Arca-Swiss, Horseman, or Linhof). Just find the best deal you can for the camera in the best condition. Any of those will do what your looking to do.
  43. OK well don't buy the Fuji then..But I still love my little Fuji 240 A.
  44. triblett where are your photos

    ed thanks for the advice, that is down the general path i was looking. maybe a toyo 45c or sinar a1 and then a normal length schneider or rodenstock to start out
  45. Sorry. I figured anybody who would plunk down the kind of bread required for a Contax MF outfit before they knew what they were doing was rolling in it. When I mentioned renting I was talking about the photographer's rental outlet. You know ... the big auction place. Starts with and e or something like that. All I can tell you is what I said before. Studio work no longer requires LF. The digital guys kick our ____. LF is either about contact printing 8x10 or larger or making big prints from 4x5 or bigger. Unless you just happen to like the whole schtick ( and it's a special sort of schtick let me tell ya )... there's no longer any reason to do it. I predict one day you will settle on MF and digital backs OR ... if you get hip to movements you will settle on a this view camera:

    click on the X2 when you get there and then download the PDF file. this is the ultimate studio camera given today's technology. But then what do I know?

    Why do I think I know these things about you? Cause I recognize the symptoms. You want the ultimate camera. You will never be satisfied untill you get it. Actually in your case it may take five or six cameras. You need to talk to Danny Burke.

    Danny has a bunch of cameras and uses them all very well.

    Also: Check out Michael Reichmans site, Luminous Landscape, for a wonderful insight related by a man who has been a photographer for decades and has gone through every professional camera on planet earth. Now shoots the new Canon High $ digital and says he is truly in love for the first time in his life. I think he still has a small affair going with that funny sortof view camera hasselblad thingy as well however. Arcbody.
  46. your assessment is pretty good but not totally accurate. im happy with the contax (though i'd still like to try a larger format), but a lot of motivation here is money. i'm trying to get into system(s) tentatively that will deliver equal images to the contax at cheaper price because im about to move across the country. i think i may revisit the contax system in the future and will end up using a medium format of some sort for at least 50% of my work, but now is now lets try large format for a few months
  47. i have yet to see a convinceing digital camera. i can always tell, the depth of field is poor, overexposed suck, two things that are extremely important to me. wouldn't go digital nearly yet, but i haven't seen photos from the kodak 12-16mp. digital back is a good idea but not at $15,000
  48. Don't get so hung up on the optics. Even an average lens in LF will give you enough resolution to trounce 35mm and 645 films. Your film area is huge.

    Take the advice you've been given: (1)Read, (2)buy what you can afford second hand, (3)sell if if you don't like it.

    But I can promise you one thing - if you don't like LF, it won't be due to the optics of your lens!

  49. Joshua,

    Well, I've managed to slog through this entire dull thread and the only advice I can give you is not to bother with trying large format. You don't seem to have the patience for it.

    Your original post asked some very basic questions that you could and should have easily answered for yourself by doing an hour or two of research. Take the good advice you've gotten so far and go do some reading. Decide exactly what it is you hope to accomplish by using large format. And lose the lens-snob attitude. (Believe it or not, the name on a lens is not the most important thing in the world). Once you've settled on what you want to do and gotten a basic understanding of how a large-format camera works, I think you'll get a much friendlier reception here.
  50. I echo what Alan just said. If you had to read literature during three months for
    the (IMHO small and tiny) step from "35mm" to MF then you will be simply lost
    in the LF world because LF is soooo much different than cameras that contain
    a flapping mirror. Guess how many years of reading would that come to and
    from your postings I just don't get the feeling that you have enough patience to
    do that. This is not personal or negative, it's my impression that I get from your
    postings. Sorry but I think you will never get the sharpnes you desire and you
    will never be satisfied with any photographic system, period. BUT IF you want
    to start into LF then I would also recomend what has been said allready: Get a
    cheap Cambo + a 110mm or better a 150mm / 210 mm lens which is
    multicoated (but not necessarely need to be multi; single is way enough). I
    also recommend that you look carefully at pictures which have been made
    with a LF camera. Do you like them? Is sharpness OK? Think as if you were a
    stupid but demanding customer to which you later would want to sell the
    pictures. Check around if the "LF-system" can deliver what you want from it.
    Don't jump into it blindely. Just look at lots of photos which have been made
    with a LF camera - then you KNOW if this system is good enough for you. If
    you think YES, then you can't get around of reading some stuff BUT for you it
    is not lost time SINCE you know now that LF gives you the sharpness and
    quality you desire. This procedure can save you quite a lot of (otherwise)
    "unnecessary" time.

    Hope that helps in making your mind up.
  51. One final thought from me that echoes the previous two posts. Even more
    important than the vast differences in the technical aspects of working with LF
    v. the smaller formats is the even vaster difference in philosophical approach.
    Some of the earlier posts have hit on it in passing but it is a huge difference.

    With your 35mm or your 645 you ‘shoot pictures’ you literally compose the
    scene and push the button if you are operating in full program mode or at the
    very worst check the led readouts in your finder and make an adjustment or
    two and then push the button. To make sure you capture what you are after
    you frequently expose anywhere from 3 frames to an entire roll.

    With LF you need to think and plan and then think and plan some more and
    that is before you even head out to the field or into the studio to set up your
    camera. The time required to setup and the complexity of the variables
    demands a contemplative approach. All of this is especially true when you are
    working in a studio (as you say you will be) IF you are going to take
    advantage of all the larger format has to offer you. I have been known to think
    about complex still lifes or product shots for days before walking into the
    studio to set them up and then taking hours getting the lighting, depth of field,
    angle of the shot, plane of focus, etc. just as I want it before exposing a single
    piece of film. When I do expose that piece of film it is a Polaroid and after
    looking at it I will frequently spend a lot more time making more adjustments.

    Bottom line, we are talking about ‘making images’ not about ‘shooting
    pictures.’ Is this for you? That is not an idle question, it is not for many people
    and there are many many very fine photographers who neither work this way
    nor work in this format.
  52. ok thanks i think i have the right amount of answers to decide what i want to try. i will try large format, i am a lens snob, so what. thanks
  53. I would suggest: 1. Book on View Cameras - Either Jim Stone's or Steve Simmons, available in paperback, covers the basics, at most big city bookstores, or on-line- Amazon. 2. Camera - an old Calumet 4x5 monorail camera - the successor of the old Kodak Master View, typically available on ebay or reputable dealer (Midwest Photo Exchange is very good, check Shutterbug magazine or search the internet), $175 to $300. Look for one with a 17" to 20" rail, good bellows, and generally overall good condition. 3. Lens - Kodak 203 f 7.7 Ektar in Flash Sumermatic shutter, frequently on ebay, $200 to $300. 4. Film Holders - 4 to start, also availble on ebay, or dealer. 5. Dark cloth - any fabric shop, 4'x4' black cloth. 5. Light meter - incident/reflective/flash capibilities, large selection available new and used. I have a used Gossen Luna Pro SBC, which is a system meter, and allows for most anything you would want to do with a meter. 6. Cable release - most, if not all, photo shops. 8. Tripod, with 3-way head (nice to have levels) - needs to be sturdier than the typical non-pro 35mm type - available new or used, again ebay is a good source, $100 - $200. 8. Film - Kodak is a good choice. If you can get some out dated film to work through the "bonehead" mistakes of learning the system, should save you a little money.
    The above package should cost in $600 to $1000 range, give or take.
    Your 645 should be a good choice for hand held work, and less expensive than 6x6 or 6x7. Moderate telephoto lens (90mm or so)and a moderate wide (55mm or so) should handle most of your needs.
  54. have you used the spot attachment on that sbc? does it have cine scales too?
  55. ian how do you like your burke and james

    im looking at some of the mid-range price systems like the cambo, calumet, toyocx/c, sinar a1. i'm wondering what the big difference is between why someone would choose one system so much over another. i'm figuring all that's important for studio work is an easily reversible back, bright ground glass, free front and back movements, and a long rail. am i right, am i wrong, how would you base your decision on one of these systems.

    i also have gotten the lens choices down to approximately 305mm claron-g, rodenstock apo sironar-s, and schneider apo symmar. i'm not sure what focal lengths would be most appropriate for me. i'd like a somewhat normal lens. i don't like much beyond mid-range telephoto or mid-range wide except for very eceptional purposes. i do like close focusing and being able to fill the frame.
  56. Oh boy... asking me for advice is like asking the other lost kid where the school bus is. Almost everyone on the Large Format forum has more experience than me... <p>
    My Burke and James is a fine camera for how I shoot. Personally I like taking landscape photos with it, have planned to take nature closeups (but haven't) and I plan to try it for some location fashion/portrait work. All things that (at least for the way I work) require folding the camera up into a little box and stuffing it in a backpack. <p>
    If, as you say, you'll be using this in the studio it would be a poor choice. The limited front movements, lack of rear movements and kludgy controls are not features that will make it your friend in the studio. <p>

    My advice? talk to Jim Galli. He's got that cambo (an excellent starter cam) and based on my personal experience is good to deal with. There are also many other vendors that provide large format gear. Jim just happens to be the only one I've personally dealt with and who also spends a lot of time here answering questions. <p>
    Lenses... Buy one (1) good one in a length that compares to what you normally work with. Add more lenses later as you need them. <p>
    That's it, that's all. I read a LOT before I picked up a LF cam. You've just gotten some of it, plus my limited experience, in a digested format. <p>
    Now... get reading or whip out that credit card and get buying. <p>
    I don't want to see your face here again until you've bought a camera and either need to brag about how excellent it is or whine about something dumb you did to screw up a shot. :) <p>
  57. GOT MY FIRST LENS. that's all...
  58. Joshua, pardon me for joining the party late, but I was out of town. Welcome to LF! If peerless optics are what you want, you'll find it here. What pushed me "over" to LF was that lenses for my hassy were too expensive, even used. There are sleeper lenses, usually designed for other purposes, that will knock your socks off when grafted to a LF camera(I'm thinking Konicas, Fax Nikkors, Jim Galli is a great resource on these matters(actually, some lenses can be, IMHO, too sharp for portraits.This might sound strange to an optics connesseur like yourself.) Of course, then you'll need some kind of shutter, preferable an accurate one, and a machinist who can put it all together. There are few around who can do this kind of painstaking work. S.K.Grimes is the best known and certainly one of the fastest turn arounds. The camera itself is probably the least critical component. Either the bellows leak or they don't. Either the bellows extend far enough or they don't. Either the settings can be locked down securely or they can't. Either the ground glass registers with the film plane or it dosen't. Either it has the moves or it doesn't. Out side of this, there is no way to tell if your photo was taken with an Ebony or a Burke & James. LF cameras are a matter of personal preference and the only way to determin what you want(and more importantly, what you need) is to get one(any one) and start taking pictures. You'll soon discover what features are important to you. The important thing to remember is to have fun! That level of fun is what LF provides that other formats don't(my opinion!) Good Luck!
  59. Zeiss? You mean Goerz, don't you?
  60. bought a cambo scx and 150mm sironar-n. would like to get a 210mm apo-sironar-s but im waiting to see a used one around. will probably wind up upgrading the 150mm at some point but i wanted a cheap way to test out the different focal lengths as i need to get used to the format more. also got a box of astia to play around with, a film i'm not that fond of, but i got a good deal on ebay until i can pick up something better.

    care to go into more detail on which or know where i can find examples of these sleeper lenses. if i like the format that much, i may search for a secondary camera with a focal plane shutter for these kind of lenses, since i don't really want to pay $400-500 to have a $50 lens mounted.

    i do see the g-clarons that look pretty nice, but they can't compete with the apo-sironar-s. maybe if i can get the barrel cheap and a shutter cheap and figure out how to do it myself

    i did not like the look at all from fuji lenses, looks like dirt. i did not like the schneider apo-symmar either.
  61. <<i did not like the look at all from fuji lenses, looks like dirt.>>

    Could you explain what you mean? I have a Fuji 240 A and it's very sharp and all the tests and opinions of others on other Fuji lenses I have seen show the same.....Dirt? hmmmmmm.
  62. every example i see of a fuji lens i see and have used looks bad.

    i maintain of all the large format lenses i've seen so far the apo sironar s is the clear winner
  63. Well I don't know which Fuji lenses your looking at. Anyway, I'm with you on the APO Sironar S. I have the 135 and the Sironar S's are most likely the sharpest normal lenses around.
  64. i used the gsw690iii and things looked unimaginably terrible. i expected miles better. i have also seen examples of fuji 300c. i swear i saw another, can't remember which lens or where. all of them look muddy with bad contrast & poor color rendition

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