Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Ebony help!

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Ebony help!

    I'm new to the forum, and came upon it while researching Ebony 4x5's.

    This will be my first foray into LF photography, and I want to do it right the first time.

    I was about to pull the trigger on a SW45, but it was sold from under me, unfortunately. Maybe that's a blessing (or hinderance on my bank account) in disguise, as I've now been looking at the 45SU.

    I noticed there are a few people on this forum that have used a 45SU.

    My primary use would be landscape. I do like to use a lot of depth of field, and play with out of focus area, and am wanting a camera capable of that. I'm not sure if the SW45 would be sufficient in that area?

    I talked to a pro that used the SW45, and loved it's ease of use. Is the 45SU much the same in that regard?

    Also, would I need a wide bellows for both, or either of these, when using wide lenses?

    Any help and insight on these questions, or any other opinions regarding these cameras is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    447
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    >> This will be my first foray into LF photography, and I want to do it right the first time. <<

    I don't know of many experienced LF photographers who are still using the camera they bought first. Most users will be much better off dipping a toe in the water with a less expensive camera and then figuring out based on experience a) whether LF is really for them and b) what specifically, if anything, they need that their first camera doesn't provide. This is not just a matter of specifications and features, but also your comfort with the handling of different designs. No, starting with a camera that costs much less than an Ebony does NOT mean you must compromise your ability to do a wide range of LF photography.

    Run, don't walk, to...

    A large format photography home page

    Large Format Photography Forum

    ...and do some serious reading before you spend any money.

    Take your time. Good luck! And have fun...
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: Ebony help!

    As a Ebony 45SU owner.....I would have to agree with Oren. Unless you are absolutely CERTAIN that large format photography is where you want to be, find a relatively inexpensive view camera and give it a try before spending a couple thousand dollars (or more) for an Ebony.

    I love my 45SU (purchased new), but it wasn't my first 4x5 camera. I'm counting them up now....I had at least five 4x5 view cameras before buying my Ebony. Both monorails (Graphic, Cambo & Sinar) and folding cameras (Speed Graphic & Toyo).

    If large format film is a good fit for you....enjoy it! You will be one of a very small group who stick with it.

    That said....I know we all hope to see your images here someday.
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/large-fo...lm-images.html

    Gary
    Alaska

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Shashin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    4,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    141

    Re: Ebony help!

    +2 on getting some experience. There are a lot of great view cameras out there. The trouble with personal opinions is it usually only applies to the person giving it. I have used Sinar, Wista, Toyo, and Linhof. My ideal was a Wista VX.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    Thanks, all. I appreciate the input.

    I'm pretty sure this is the way I want to go. There are no other options, really. I shoot digital for commercial work, but can't even bring myself to use it for any art, or personal work. Medium format seems too limiting, as I want to have more control over my images. As hard is it may be to learn LF, I'm passionate enough about photography and the use of film, that I will force myself to like it

    I do have a Crown Graphic (bought it as a display item for a photoshoot), but embarrassingly, I haven't taken it out yet. I've played around with it, but again, I would like more movements than it has.

    I've been reading and reading... and reading. Also talked to one of my favourite photographers (who just sold his SW45, to down... or upgrade- depending on how you look at it to a 80 megapixel Phase One), who recommended the Ebony to me for it's ease of use etc.

    Knowing myself, I'll want to upgrade if I don't buy a camera with great movement capabilities, portability, and ease (relatively speaking, of course) of use.

    I've now narrowed it down to a 45S and a 45SU.

    I know most will just say to use my Crown Graphic... but, life is short. I want to just give this a go with what I think is the right equipment (and yes, I know the photographer, not the equipment is most important... but it sure can help).

    Any opinions on these two cameras?

    Again, I really appreciate your experience and input!

  6. #6
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: Ebony help!

    Hi Sean,

    In that case......

    If you haven't seen these two reviews yet:

    45S
    Large Format Cameras: Ebony 45 S Review

    45SU
    Ebony - Reviews - 45SU review by Richard Sexton

    I purchased my 45SU new from Badger Graphic Sales and was very happy with the service. They have some detailed info about each Ebony model here:
    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/...uct_list&c=108

    The 45SU costs $1,400 more than the 45S model. The main difference between the two is the asymmetrical swings and tilts on the 45SU (similar to a Sinar view camera). I'm not sure how much difference that really makes in practice....when I was shooting 4x5 more often (mostly for landscapes etc), I didn't make extensive use of swings or tilts. Since I have a Sinar, I decided to get the 45SU model to keep my techniques (as limited as they are) consistent between cameras.

    The Ebony cameras are beautifully made. I don't think you would be disappointed with either model. If you can find a used one in good condition, you'll probably save a bit of money, to be invested in good lenses!

    Gary

  7. #7
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,265
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    I had no experience with LF and went straight to an Ebony 45S. No regrets. They are beautiful and a joy to use.

    You will want a dark cloth. If you have the option, also get the wide angle fresnel.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC Area
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    If you are determined to jump in and get the Ebony right away, and you photograph landscapes frequently, then get the SU model with asymmetric tilt. This movement makes it particularly easy to get near/far in focus with one swift back tilt. I find it very handy.

    I have used an Ebony 57SVU for 10+ years and can't say enough good things about it. However, as many other users here have indicated, it was not my first view camera (thought it will be my last).

    I second Thrice's comments regarding the fresnel. consider it a necessity for accurate focusing and composition - which is on of the view camera's great strengths.

    Regards,
    George Pappas

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    Thank you all so much! It's a big help hearing from people that actually use these cameras.

    George, thanks for your views on the asymmetric tilt. I've been reading all sorts of opinions on that (and everything else), and it's great to know it helps you in practical use.

    Also, thanks for the advice to you guys regarding the fresnel. Is there a particular one (model) you guys would recommend?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    980
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    Sean,

    Ebony makes very nice cameras. I have had four of their models, starting with the SV45, then the 45SU, RSW and today a 45S. I found the 45SU nice, but I did not need the asymmetrical rear tilts & swings, but others swear by them. One thing I did learn after the 45SU was I definitely prefer the non-folders.

    I currently have a 45S that has been used for demo purposes only in the classroom environment (like new). I also have a used wide-angle ground-glass back and new boxed 4x5" film holders inside f/64 cases, plus a modified (by Ebony Camera) Cambo viewer. If any of this interests you, send me a PM.

    Good luck with your 4x5 adventure!
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    157
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: Ebony help!

    Another 45SU user here - also purchased from Badger. Great camera- asymmetric tilt is very useful, took me a bit to get my mind around it.

    And I'm a non-folder convert as well, one less set of things to fiddle with when your light is disappearing on you.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leeds, UK
    Posts
    127
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    As far as getting a cheap camera first - yeah it's a nice idea but you'll be put off if it's a camera that you don't enjoy using. I would recommend a 45SU because they're cheap for what you get at the moment and you won't lose money.

    The main downside is weight. A good compromise camera is a Chamonix 045N1 or 2 which is about half the weight. Big advantage if you're walking a long way!

    Either way you won't lose. Just avoid cameras with only front base tilt

  13. #13
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    17
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Ebony help!

    I bought an SV45U as my first large format camera, and still use it today. I did plenty of research before purchasing, to make certain I knew what I wanted.

    Personally, I am glad I did not follow the path of "buy something cheap, and keep buying and upgrading." The SV45U has been a joy to use for the last 14 years.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •