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Thread: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

  1. #151
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Get Stroebel's book, it is a storehouse of data. Also I highly recommend Ansel Adam's "The Camera" for a really good primer on view cam basics.
    Since this post I ended up re-reading the relevant part of "The Camera", and picked up a few points which I missed when I first read it, since I am more experienced now and am looking for more specific things. Thanks for that.

    I also bought Stroebel and am working my way through that. It is somewhat encyclopaedic in nature, and I might add Symmons for a lighter touch, but we'll see.
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  2. #152
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Jack,

    I was somewhat curious given that you had the choice between Walnut and Canadian Maple when you purchased your Chamonix, why you chose the Canadian Maple?

    If this was a stringed instrument such as a violin, viola or cello, I could understand Maple as a choice being that it is a tonewood. But is Maple an unusual choice for a camera body?

  3. #153
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    Jack,

    I was somewhat curious given that you had the choice between Walnut and Canadian Maple when you purchased your Chamonix, why you chose the Canadian Maple?

    If this was a stringed instrument such as a violin, viola or cello, I could understand Maple as a choice being that it is a tonewood. But is Maple an unusual choice for a camera body?
    Simple: I liked the look of the black hardware and the light wood, and was in stock where the walnut had a 2-week back-order . Aside from that, Maple is very stable and rigid, as well as being lighter in weight than the walnut.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  4. #154
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Simple: I liked the look of the black hardware and the light wood, and was in stock where the walnut had a 2-week back-order . Aside from that, Maple is very stable and rigid, as well as being lighter in weight than the walnut.

    I see. I also liked the look of the Canadian Maple/Black when I first saw pictures of the Cham. It will be interesting to see how the Teak looks in comparison tothe Walnut. There again, Teak seems to be an interesting choice. The last time I saw Teak used was on the deck of the USS New Jersey

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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Probably another question for Jack:

    Which RRS plate fits the Chamonix? It looks like it has two screwholes, possibly 1/4", so perhaps the B35:

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...=B35%2D004&Tp=

    I am also wondering which clamp is best. I had considered getting the PCL-1 to gain panning ability with the Burzynski head:

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...=PCL-1&eq=&Tp=

    However, I am not sure if the tightening knob might get in the way. If that is the case, I could get a normal LR clamp instead, possibly this, which looks like it would fit in the Burzynski with one of the RRS 3/8"-1/4" bushings:

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Cust...1%2F4%2D20&eq=
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  6. #156
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    Burzynski Ball Head II Mini Preview (field test to come)

    Oh, I forgot to mention: my Burzynski Ball Head II got here, and it is a beauty.

    I had to tune it a little by loosening the two tightening knobs, and then loosening the two side-screws, getting everything even, and then re-tightening, because it had a funny diagonal tight axis, but now it is just perfect. When I tighten the one tightening knob a bit, it can still tilt forward and backward, but stays tight sideways. It cannot pan though, except completely loose. This could be fixed with an RRS PCL-1 panning clamp, provided that the tightening knob wouldn't bump into the camera's bottom. See my question to Jack above.

    The head is dead-simple. It consists, as far as I can tell without actually taking it apart, of two half clamshells, two vinyl bushings, two screws, two tightening knobs with rubber o-rings, and a reversible 1/4" / 3/8" screw which screws into the ball. That is all. The bottom is 70mm across and fits directly into my GT3541XLS, after removing the center plate. I did lose my hook, but then I never used it yet. The head only tilts to about 45 degrees, and so it needs to be used with L-plates or cameras with square formats or rotatable backs, or just to be shot in landscape mode all the time.

    The GT3541XLS with center plate+Manfrotto 405 weighs 1,914kg + 1,743kg = 3,657kg, whereas the Burzynski weighs only 1,030kg, for a total of 2,944kg with the tripod, a significant savings. The head is strong as a bull, as amply described by Lars. I can't imagine what would rock this thing, except perhaps a 20x24 camera tilted sideways. Nah, not even that

    The only problem I have right now is that I am missing the hardware to use with my RRS stuff, so for now, I will have to screw it directly to my cameras, or use my 405. That is not really a problem, since my Chamonix is not here yet (and indeed, hasn't been ordered yet).

    I think I will order the PCL-1, but am not completely decided yet if I need panning. It might be handy to have for panoramas with my Leica M or MF kits. Note that the head doesn't rotate in the tripod, and the tight axis is along the split, so really, you need to align the split with the direction you are shooting to get the most of this head. This means setting up your tripod carefully.

    .
    Last edited by carstenw; 3rd February 2010 at 13:55.
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  7. #157
    lilmsmaggie
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Probably another question for Jack:

    Which RRS plate fits the Chamonix? It looks like it has two screwholes, possibly 1/4", so perhaps the B35:

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...=B35%2D004&Tp=
    I belive Jack used the RRS plate for the 45SU

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...ic=B22&eq=&Tp=

  8. #158
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Oops! Excerpt from Jack's original review

    "The base is made of carbon fiber composite. Here I've mounted a RRS base plate for an Ebony 45S. Also note the knobs that allow locking the rear standard adjustment pins, preventing them from sliding to and fro in the slots when loosened above for rear standard movements --- nice touch:"

    Sorry - My bad.

  9. #159
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    Re: Burzynski Ball Head II Mini Preview (field test to come)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I think I will order the PCL-1, but am not completely decided yet if I need panning. It might be handy to have for panoramas with my Leica M or MF kits. Note that the head doesn't rotate in the tripod, and the tight axis is along the split, so really, you need to align the split with the direction you are shooting to get the most of this head. This means setting up your tripod carefully.
    I think you'll definitely want panning capability. When you're composing your frame it will be much easier to make small adjustments instead of having to loosen the ball head and relevel the camera all the time.

  10. #160
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    I belive Jack used the RRS plate for the 45SU

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...ic=B22&eq=&Tp=
    Clicking on the link, it goes to the 45SU plate, so I guess the 45S and 45SU are the same?

    Anyway, the B35 looks better for the Chamonix, in that it has two screws, for the two screwholes, as opposed to one screw and a pin, which I don't see where fits:

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/45.html

    Look at the top-right photo of the bottom of the camera.
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    Re: Burzynski Ball Head II Mini Preview (field test to come)

    Quote Originally Posted by SCHWARZZEIT View Post
    I think you'll definitely want panning capability. When you're composing your frame it will be much easier to make small adjustments instead of having to loosen the ball head and relevel the camera all the time.
    Yes, I think you are right. The only open question is whether or not the tightening knob interferes with the bottom of the camera. I think it should be okay, but I have too little experience to visualize it properly.
    Carsten - Website

  12. #162
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    The lip on the 45SU plate fit over the edge of the Chamonix tripod mounting base for a solid lock. Also, that 45SU plate comes with a 3/8 screw instead of a 1/4...
    Jack
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    What size are the Chamonix screwholes? I guess if you used the Ebony plate, they must be 3/8. I thought they were 1/4.
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    If I recall correctly, my Cham had one of each...
    Jack
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Is there some way to use Polaroid with the Chamonix (Fuji FP100C/B)?
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Sure, assuming you can find film... 4x5 Polaroid holders work just like any other, save for being a bit thicker. In fact, I always carried a Polaroid holder and kept it in the car since it worked with both Fuji and Kodak readyloads -- not ideal, but served fine in a pinch if your Kodak or fuji holder went DOA. You just never engaged the Pola rollers
    Jack
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    I was at a Fotobφrse today (camera swap meet) and had the Linhof Master Technika demonstrated to me. 1500 Euro instead of the 580 of the Chamonix, but what a gorgeous thing that is. I have to sit down and compare specs to see if it really could work for me, but I fell in love with that thing. Now I have to sit down and figure out the differences between the Technika III, IV, V, Master Technika, Master Technika 2000 (and 3000?) and so on.

    Does anyone have any links on these?
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I was at a Fotobφrse today (camera swap meet) and had the Linhof Master Technika demonstrated to me. 1500 Euro instead of the 580 of the Chamonix, but what a gorgeous thing that is. I have to sit down and compare specs to see if it really could work for me, but I fell in love with that thing. Now I have to sit down and figure out the differences between the Technika III, IV, V, Master Technika, Master Technika 2000 (and 3000?) and so on.

    Does anyone have any links on these?
    Carsten I have been going through this same thing myself wanting to upgrade from my Zone VI field camera. Jack and some others posters provided some excellent opinions on the MT vs the Ebony which are the two cameras I am considering. Dedicated end users seem to be split about 50/50 favoring Ebony vs the Linhof MT in all its various iterations. From what I have learned so far it seems the Linhof has the edge for mechanical refinements, but gives up some capabilities for wider, as in really wide angle capabilities. Some of the Ebonys can be very light in weight others about the same as the MT.

    I don't know all of the differences between the III, IV, and V (all very old by now) but from what I understand the MT was an improvement of sorts over those models. The 2000 added some additional features, drop front bed to allow for wider angle lenses on a back focusing rail within the box, and the 3000 the most current model took that a step further with enhanced capabilities and slightly different way of focusing the from the inner or back rail. The classic series also has the rangefinder/cam focusing capabilities, cost more than the 3000 and I think gives up some of the wide angle functions the 3000 model has. Could be wrong about this. Anyway I would suggest you download the pdf brochures on the Linhof site to check the specs.

    Hope this helps.

    Rob

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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I was at a Fotobφrse today (camera swap meet) and had the Linhof Master Technika demonstrated to me. 1500 Euro instead of the 580 of the Chamonix, but what a gorgeous thing that is. I have to sit down and compare specs to see if it really could work for me, but I fell in love with that thing. Now I have to sit down and figure out the differences between the Technika III, IV, V, Master Technika, Master Technika 2000 (and 3000?) and so on.

    Does anyone have any links on these?
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ sorry €€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    If you plan on hiking with your 4x5, be sure to compare the weights. I finally sold my Wista SP metal field camera, which I liked very much, and bought a Chamonix, which is several pounds lighter.
    The MT is a very nice camera, but heavier and a lot more money. It all depends on what you want to use the camera for, how much weight you are willing/able to carry, and what your budget is.

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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ sorry €€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€
    OK let me rephrase that... your first 4x5 doesn't have to be the best camera with the most excellent craftsmanship. It simply has to be good enough.

    No matter what camera you start out with, you'll want to replace it after a year or three when you have figured out how to think and shoot LF. Or maybe you decide that LF is not for you. Seen from that perspective, a good buying advice is keep your investment low.
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Well, all good advice, but... the Master Technika Classic that I saw today was in very good, near-perfect condition, for 1500 Euro. These go for several hundred more than that on eBay, so my investment is in fact probably better protected than if I buy a new Chamonix 45N-1.

    The MT weighs 2.5kg, and the Chamonix 1.3kg. I have to add up what my MF kit weighs, since I find this fine, and then compare to the 4x5 kit weight and see if the MT is within a reasonable range from that. An extra 1.2kg is not that much, but then I said this for my 210/5.6, and again for the 90/5.6 or 90/4.5 I am looking at, and now again for the camera... A kilo here, a kilo there, pretty soon we are talking real weight
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    Somewhere there was a little discussion about loupes for focusing, but I can't find it any more. I thought it was in this thread, but there are just a couple of comments on page 1.

    Anyway, I thought about this for a long time, since paying 220 Euro for the Rodenstock or Schneider 6x loupe seems really over the top, since it isn't that much more than my lenses cost, individually!

    I had the choice between either getting another brand, or going with a different magnification, because for unknown reasons, the 6x magnification is much more expensive than, say, the 4x. In the end, I took my Hasselblad 2000FC/M with 110/2 to the shop, to compare 4x and 6x loupes directly in that ground glass. They unfortunately did not have the 6x in stock, so I played with 2 different 4x loupes for a bit, and found it more than sufficient.

    If I am thinking about this right, the detail needing to be focused on is smaller on MF than on LF, so if it works well for MF (which it did), it should also be okay for LF, so I bought the Rodenstock 4x Aspherical loupe, for around 100 Euro. Still a large outlay, but much more reasonable.I also considered a Sylvestri tilting loupe, but had no way of trying it out, so decided on the Rodenstock.

    I suppose if I ever find myself getting soft shots due to lacking magnification, I will have to switch or add another loupe. The second-hand value of these loupes is good though, so I would lose little by trying it this way.

    I was surprised to see that the loupe comes with neither pouch nor lens covers. What do people do to protect their loupes?
    Last edited by carstenw; 27th February 2010 at 00:50.
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    All a loupe needs to do is help you focus. It doesn't have to be good optically at all. A cheap plastic lens will do just fine, no point whatsoever to spend the big bucks, I mean Euros, on fancy APO glass.

    What is important is:
    - Solid sides, no clear lower half. some loupes have a clear bottom of the barrel to allow for reflective viewing.
    - focus plane below bottom of loupe. When you shoot with a wideangle lens, the best viewing angle in corners will be an angle to the glass surface. so it's important that you can tilt the loupe and still achive focus. This is possible with loupes that have adjustable focus. For this reason, avoid loupes with a large bottom diameter.
    - Proper magnification for groundglass use. 10x is too much, 4x - 6x probably what most people like.
    - A neck strap is a nice feature. But if you want to keep your spotmeter in a neck strap as well then be prepared for some frustration from entanglements. I use belt pockets for the little stuff but a photo vest is also a great idea.

    A loupe is a field tool and will get dirty and worn. My Silvestri came with a little protection bag, but it just gets in the way. It's better to consider the loupe a write-off, then you don't have to worry about it getting worn.
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  25. #175
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    All good points. The Sylvestri tilts into the corners, but I think that I will get by with the Rodenstock, which focuses.

    Has anyone here used a Grafmatic film holder? Does it work on normal international back cameras?
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    Re: LF (4x5) Newbie Questions

    There seem to be two major kinds, of which one will work. Here's some reading and pics:

    http://members.optusnet.com.au/~paul.../grafmatic.htm

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...php/t-854.html
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