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Thread: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

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    Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Hi all.
    I'm crippled with the ongoing costs of shooting 4x5" film. Where I live, the only option for developing C-41 sheet film is the equivalent of $18USD per sheet.
    I've never really shot 4x5" for the extra detail, mainly more for the movements and composition / gg experience so I'm wondering what a good smaller format, 6x7cm option might be to replace / supplement my Technika outfit.
    I only use a 150mm and 90mm on 4x5" so will need some high quality equivalents if I move down a format my 90mm is an f8 Super-Angulon and I don't think it would be great if shooting 6x7cm as it's not very bright on the ground glass and is rather average in terms of sharpness etc.
    I'd love to spring for a Techno as it looks well built and can accomodate a MFD back, but that kind of money is out of the question.
    Any ideas on some outfits to look into?
    Thanks,
    TJV

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Shen Hao 6x9.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    You can also get some cheapo 6x9 backs from shen-hao. They're good quality. but you have to pop off the graflok GG and put it on which is really inconvenient .. if cost is the issue it may work.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    There you go, two votes in 3 mins

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    If you can live with having a viewfinder, there's the Fuji GX680

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Horseman make really nice roll-film holders for 4x5.

    Horseman also made some really nice medium-format flat-bed view cameras.

    Arca Swiss also has medium-format view cameras.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    To name just a few:

    Horseman VH/VH-R and older models.

    Ebony 23-series field cameras.

    Linhof Technikardan 23, Technika 23.

    Many variants of ARCA-SWISS F-line monorail.

    Shen-Hao 6x9 field camera.

    6x7 rollholder on 4x5 field camera optimized for wide-angle use - e.g., Ebony SW series, Shen-Hao clones.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Great, thanks guys! Will look into some of the models mentioned and check back in with more questions...

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Holy cow, the Ebony 23 looks sexy! First one I Googled and it stopped me in my tracks!

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Yep I have an Ebony SW23, it's really neat, packs well, even with a lens. Shenhao non folding looks very similar but a lower price probably means some compromises.
    I added a Horseman angle viewer to mine so no need for a darkcloth. But they're a bit hard to find nowadays.
    Lenses - Schneider Apo Symmar 5.6/100 is great on 6x9. I juuust covers 4x5 so on 6x9 you have a moderate wideangle with plenty of movement.
    Schneider 47 SAXL works great too - no need for a recessed board.
    On the long end I got Ebony's tophat board for a 180 Apo-Symmar.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Thanks, Lars. What are the differences between the different SW23 and SW23C models? Is it just bellows extension? Thanks also for the lens tips. Do you use the 100mm and 47mm ones you mentioned? Are they up to task at f11-f16 compared to, say, the great Mamiya 7 50mm and 80mm lenses I love?

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    PS: The Horseman VH seems to be out because it can't accomodate the 47mm. Is this correct?

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/...uct_detail&p=7
    Holy cow, this is pretty awesome too. But expensive!

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    What are the differences between the different SW23 and SW23C models?
    Full details on the Ebony cameras here (click on "cameras" at the upper left):

    Ebony - Large Format Cameras

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    PS: The Horseman VH seems to be out because it can't accomodate the 47mm. Is this correct?
    This is correct. The Horseman press/technical cameras are designed to handle focal lengths down to about 65mm. A few users have taken radical steps (special lensboards, surgery on the bodies) to accommodate shorter lenses, but for most users it's not worth the trouble.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    The Mamiya lenses are great. 47XL is plenty sharp and covers 4x5 so it's a great superwide for architecture. Jack tested my Apo-Symmar 100 on a digital rig and was impressed with it, more so than with my 120 Digitar.

    Whether the Mamiya lenses would have any edge over these two lenses at f/11-16 I cannot say. I would guess that diffraction would cancel out most of the difference in resolving power. But that's just a guess.

    SW23S has a longer base (12 cm) than SW23 (8 cm), and also adds rear movement beyond the rise that SW23 has. This means SW23S doesn't pack as small as SW23, but extends to 255 mm vs 157 mm.

    As I mentioned, I put my 180 in a tophat board to be able to use it on SW23. SW23S can use longer lenses, 210 would work well. Rear tilt and swing would be nice too.

    Ebony makes custom designs, just aske them. If I made a purchase decision today I would ask for a SW23S with a 10.5 cm base, this would allow for 3 x 1.5cm less extension = 210 mm. That would accomodate my 180 except for with macro, and I could use a 240 with tophat extensions.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/...uct_detail&p=7
    Holy cow, this is pretty awesome too. But expensive!
    F-line is a lot bigger and heavier than Ebony SW23. Pricing is for the MFDB market - it's really a different market.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    I bought a Horseman VH once, returned it the next day. It was horribly awkward even with a 65. I would call it a point and shoot, not a technical camera.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    So funny. I watched a documentary on Alec Soth last night and the sight of him lugging around his 8x10" made my blood pump. As much as my head tells me I need to be practical and downsize my format, my heart tells me bigger is better.

    On another note, I figured as much about the Horseman VH, et al, Lars. In an ideal world I'd buy something like a Techno on which I could mount a DB later down the track. Alas, cost of entry is a little too high right now. The Ebony might be a good in between as it takes the same lens boards and I don't have to worry about helicoid lens mounts.

    Hmmm...

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    I like the 6x9 technical camera concept. Film is large enough to resolve quite a lot, lenses are plenty, E-6 development is still affordable, scanning options are still good, and at least the Ebony SW23 packs really well. I had mine backpacking in Chile for three months with a little Gitzo 1128 tripod. When bringing my 8x10 backpack I often stick the SW23 and a roll film holder into one of the side pockets.

    Going 8x10 isn't just about size - it's at least for me a completely different shooting style. Careful, deliberate, no room for experiments or mistakes.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Can a 1 series really hold a camera like that Lars? I'm astounded!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    I know it's not what you're looking for but I dare you not to be tempted!

    Linhof Baby SUPER TECHNIKA III Medium Format 6x9 Camera Outfit + Lenses + Rollex | eBay

    Heck I need a cold shower after looking at that!!!!!!!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Lars...the description of the SW23 on the Ebony site says "Roll film holders may be removed without dismounting focusing screen." Could you describe how this works?

    I have a Horseman 6x12cm roll film holder for my 4x5, but I have to remove the Graflok back when I want to put the film holder on, which is inconvenient.

    The Ebony is a beautiful camera, no doubt about it. I have the 45SU.

    Gary

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Gary, there is a hinge that holds the focusing screen frame and the back standard together, so once you have focused you can swing the ground glass aside, much like opening a window.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by micek View Post
    Gary, there is a hinge that holds the focusing screen frame and the back standard together, so once you have focused you can swing the ground glass aside, much like opening a window.
    Yes. You can also get from Ebony a version of this that will fit any 4x5 camera with a Graflok back, and allow 2x3 rollholders to be used in this way on 4x5 cameras. I have one of these - it's very handy.

    The one drawback, which won't matter for most users, is that the swing-out GG is not a spring back, and so is not compatible with cut sheet film holders - you can only use it with rollholders. I do have some 2x3 cut sheet holders, which I use once in a blue moon with my Horseman VH/VH-R.

    Also: this is not compatible with rollholders (including 6x12) which are built with a Graflok plate to fit 4x5 cameras, only with "baby Graflok"-type rollholders designed to be used directly on 2x3 cameras.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Thanks for the description and details Micek and Oren! I will have to give this some serious thought now. :-)

    Gary

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Can a 1 series really hold a camera like that Lars? I'm astounded!
    It's lighter than a pro SLR with a pro lens. SW23 is for lenses superwide to moderate tele. The mass is fairly well centered. Add good tripod technique, an air cable release, avoid strong winds and it's not a problem.

    Of course with a bigger tripod you can be more sloppy, work a little faster.

    The real challenge for me has been when doing stitched 6x17, then a big heavy tripod helps to avoid nudging the tripod.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I know it's not what you're looking for but I dare you not to be tempted!

    Linhof Baby SUPER TECHNIKA III Medium Format 6x9 Camera Outfit + Lenses + Rollex | eBay

    Heck I need a cold shower after looking at that!!!!!!!
    Pervert.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    I'm in a similar position to the OP here - but much less familiar with film cameras: do 2x3" cameras use 120 film?

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Yes, 120 film usually within roll film backs. Some cameras may use cut sheets in holders.
    I love using these types of cameras, especially using movements and careful composition on the ground glass. In a great proportion of situations I think 2x3" resolves on par with 4x5" because it's easier to keep the equipment stable and the lenses I've used on the smaller format tend to be better. Need to get this stuff sorted asap as today I parted with a truck load of money for processing four months worth of sheet film... My credit card is going to catch fire!

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    fotoman Dmax would work with the GG magnifier shoots 6X9

    matto

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    I just sold my Technika V 2x3 and owned a Technika 70 in the 70's. Fabulous cameras. The Technika I just sold was one of the models without a the RF. Last year I purchased a Technikardan 23 to use with my digital back and film. The Technikardan is very versatile and can be used with lenses from 35 to a 360mm Tele like the Nikkor T. I use it mainly with a 35 Apo Sinaron Digital, 47 XL, 58 XL, 120 Nikkor macro and 150 G Claron. It's the ultimate in this kind of portable field camera.

    There's a Technikardan 23s in the Large Format Forums classifieds. One great feature. S the Technika V is the Technikardan used standard and recessed Technika boards.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Why not get a Jobo ATL-1000/1500 and develop youself? It's compact, easy to handle (not more difficult than loading in film-holders)?

    I think when stepping down from 4x5" to 6x9 (which is an entirely different experience you would need newer lenses (some longer digitars and digaron-w cover 6x9) because the enlargements are bigger and a huge quality loss would immediately ruin the 6x9 experience, IMHO.

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    Re: Smaller alternative to 4x5"?

    Get a tetenal kit, a paterson tank and one of these: MOD54 by MOD Photographic- Large format 4x5 sheet film processor designed to fit in the Paterson 3 Reel tank - Invented by Photographer Morgan O'Donovan.

    Also I'd highly recommend a linhof techno, if you want a completely new setup

    Paul

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