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Thread: new to large format - advices on camera

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    Arrow new to large format - advices on camera

    Hi all,
    I am brand new to large format photography.
    I'd like to buy my first camera and wanted some advice.
    I would use it for city landscape photography.
    Since my favourite focal length is 35mm (in 35mm format) I thought I'd buy a large format camera and a lens that would have the equivalent field of view of a 35mm.
    Actually I thought to start by using a 6x7 roll film back (I already shoot medium format) so a 75mm lens that is more or less same as a 35mm fov.
    As per cameras I thought either a second hand Linhof Technikardan 45(though I noticed it is 3kgs!!!) or a Shen Hao TFC45 IIB.
    I like the fact to have a non folding so I can leave the lens on and set up the system quickly.
    The question would be if the shen hao allows full movements at 75mm (I guess I need a bag bellows at that length).
    Also I got quite intrigued by Shen Hao TFC69-A which is only 6x9.
    It'd be nice to have such a small camera (again the question if you can have full movements at 75mm).
    Any users used those?
    Last edited by sergiofigliolia; 17th June 2013 at 23:29.

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    I personally use monorails for both my 4x5 and 5x7. They're not too bad lugging around but I am not hiking for hours with them either. Do some research & decide what best suits your needs: monorail or field camera. I would buy used. You can get some great cameras at the fraction of their cost new.

    Here is some helpful info about LF lenses:
    lenses for 4x5 in
    35mm equivalent in 4x5 works out to 135-150mm lens range. 75mm is very wide on 4x5.

    Personally, if I was planning to use a 4x5 camera, I would want to take advantage of the film size associated with it rather then attaching a 6x7 or 6x9 film back.
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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Hi, and welcome to the LF world.

    I agree that going LF no need to use smaller format on it, if i want 6x7 i better buy MF of 6x7, i know it can be done on LF, but i advise you just start from 4x5 and ignore 6x7 back on it.

    I can't comment on the lenses, check out 90mm focal length, i have 72mm and i am planning to use it mostly for wide scene including landscapes and cityscape and architecture indoors or outdoors.

    As an LF camera, don't know why you don't want folding camera, it is lightweight and you can carry it in the bag easier, i can't imagine how i carry non folding LF camera specially if it is not lightweight one, think about folding, setup is easy, and as long you go with LF then you should learn patience and slow down, also with folding camera you can keep it un-folding and carry it around with just one lens until you finish all your shooting then fold it for next time, really don't ignore this feature.

    I have Shen Hao HZX45 IIA, it is so lightweight, has almost all movements except front shift, good design, and so cheap, i bought it as a kit [Rody Sironar-N 150mm was included], i am happy with it unless i want a front shift for any reason, you can look at those models of Shen Hao as well:

    - Shen-Hao TZ45-IIB
    - Shen-Hao XPO 4X5
    - Shen-Hao PTB 4X5
    Tareq

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    The easy thing is the focal length. A 90mm LF lens on 4x5 will be around 27mm in 35mm, and a 127mm LF lens will be around 38mm. So take your choice.

    As regards the camera I to am baffled why you wouldn't want a folding camera, unless all you plan is to jump out of your car and set a camera up on your tripod. If you are going to walk anywhere, even half a mile, you want a backpack and a camera that fits inside, you get places quicker so then have the leisure to look around and set your camera up while contemplating the scene. Speed is the enemy of large format with camera movements, unless you don't plan to use movements in which case you might opt for the new Travelwide cameras.

    Assuming you do want movements a 90mm Super Angulon on a recessed lens board will easily fit a Shen Hao TZ45 IIA, which is my favourite 4x5, and you get as many movements as needed for city/architectural landscapes. You have as wide as 28mm (35mm equiv.) covered which means a 127mm will be easy, the 'standard' 150mm also, and don't discount longer focal lengths for city landscape either, a 300mm is a great focal length for places you can't walk close enough to. So unless you want even wider than 28mm (equiv.) I wouldn't go for the 'wide angle' Shen Hao TZ45 IIB.

    Steve

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    The easy thing is the focal length. A 90mm LF lens on 4x5 will be around 27mm in 35mm, and a 127mm LF lens will be around 38mm. So take your choice.

    As regards the camera I to am baffled why you wouldn't want a folding camera, unless all you plan is to jump out of your car and set a camera up on your tripod. If you are going to walk anywhere, even half a mile, you want a backpack and a camera that fits inside, you get places quicker so then have the leisure to look around and set your camera up while contemplating the scene. Speed is the enemy of large format with camera movements, unless you don't plan to use movements in which case you might opt for the new Travelwide cameras.

    Assuming you do want movements a 90mm Super Angulon on a recessed lens board will easily fit a Shen Hao TZ45 IIA, which is my favourite 4x5, and you get as many movements as needed for city/architectural landscapes. You have as wide as 28mm (35mm equiv.) covered which means a 127mm will be easy, the 'standard' 150mm also, and don't discount longer focal lengths for city landscape either, a 300mm is a great focal length for places you can't walk close enough to. So unless you want even wider than 28mm (equiv.) I wouldn't go for the 'wide angle' Shen Hao TZ45 IIB.

    Steve

    I agree. Longer focal lengths are very useful in cityscapes as well to help compress a scene. I even use a 600mm telephoto (about 150mm equiv on 35mm) for some of my shots around Wash DC. Bellows draw can be a bit of an issue on some cameras & wind becomes a huge factor.

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    when I say I don't want a folding camera I mean I want a camera I don't need to take the lens off in order to put it in the bag.
    The shen hao I suggest above (TFC45-IIB) as well as the XPO45-A(which I am also considering as it has got more movements) is considered a non-folding camera.
    The Advice to consider 4x5 sheet film is much appreciated as I am seriuosly thinking about it.
    I'm just a bit concerned about costs with it but I guess I gotta deal with it :-)

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Quote Originally Posted by sergiofigliolia View Post
    when I say I don't want a folding camera I mean I want a camera I don't need to take the lens off in order to put it in the bag.
    The shen hao I suggest above (TFC45-IIB) as well as the XPO45-A(which I am also considering as it has got more movements) is considered a non-folding camera.
    The Advice to consider 4x5 sheet film is much appreciated as I am seriuosly thinking about it.
    I'm just a bit concerned about costs with it but I guess I gotta deal with it :-)
    You won't be shooting 4x5 anywhere close to the volume you would shoot 120 film.
    I usually use 2 sheets (both sides of the holder) per a given composition and the "keeper rate" is a much higher percentage then MF. My definition of "keeper" is an image I would send for drum scanning.
    So actually, I spend less on LF film & development then I do for 120. The scanning costs are a bit higher, but it's a much larger surface area.
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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Sergio, I mainly shot with Leica M (including the M9) and XPan for many years, with occasionally Oly E-3 for event stuff thrown in.

    Last year I bought a 617 view camera (the Shenhao 617). I was hooked.

    This Feb, I bought a Chamonix 45F1.

    Then in April, I bought a Gaoersi 4x5 P&S

    Then in June, a Chamonix Saber.

    So yes, I guess I am hooked.

    I process all my film, B&W, color and slides. I do all my post processing / printing digitally.

    Once you are used to the 4x5, there's nothing else like it.

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Cool Richard, as I also shoot Leica M9 (and M7, M8).
    I am now selling a few bits to fund my large format kit.
    Currently using a Plaubel Makina 67 which I find great.
    For architectural stuff I use a Mamiya 645 with 50 shift but I don't like it much.

    Can anyone suggest good online resellers/forum where to buy second hand LF equipment in Europe? Feel free to do it in a private message if this goes beyond the rules of this forum.

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    If you want camera that closes in with medium wide or normal lens and got movements - look at toyo field, wista or technika. Wont be super cheap thought.

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    I have found a Linhof Kardan (which is not really my cup of tea) but with a set of 4 lenses and accessories at an appealing price.
    The guy says all is fine with the kit but it has not beeing used in the last 10 years.
    He suggests a revision for lenses (I guess he means the shutters?).
    Do you think I should stay away from this or maybe a revision is an inexpensive thing to do (remember it is 4 lenses) and in general not having used lenses for 10 years is not an issue?
    AFAIK shutters should get frequent use, shouldn't they?

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    ^ FWIW, all of my view camera lenses are much older than 10 years. In fact, my 90 Super Angulon is probably approaching 30 years. Some get used regularly, others much less frequently (and I'd venture a guess that the 90 only gets used every 5 years or so). I can't say that the shutter speeds are exactly accurate as I've never tested them, but they are at least consistent. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a lens this old, after firing it a few times in-hand to insure that the shutters and aperture blades work.
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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    I ended up going for a Chamonix 045-F1.
    I also bought a 75 f/5.6 Schneider Super Angulon MC and a 135 Fujinon W.
    Also a Schneider 150 f/5.6 APO Symmar is on the way.

    For now I enjoy the results :-)

    Am looking into a solution for shading the lenses (I've got the flare buster but perhaps better to get something more comprehensive?). I have seen the Lee lens Hood but not sure how it is. It is also quite expensive...

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Although I am not an expert and am only just starting out with MF/LF I bought a Linhof Technikardan and am very happy with it. I got the 23 as I was buying it to use with a digital back and it packs up very small, about the size of a hardback novel. It isn't too heavy and is beautifully built.
    www.markmullenphotography.co.uk
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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    Quote Originally Posted by sergiofigliolia View Post
    I ended up going for a Chamonix 045-F1.
    I also bought a 75 f/5.6 Schneider Super Angulon MC and a 135 Fujinon W.
    Also a Schneider 150 f/5.6 APO Symmar is on the way.

    For now I enjoy the results :-)

    Am looking into a solution for shading the lenses (I've got the flare buster but perhaps better to get something more comprehensive?). I have seen the Lee lens Hood but not sure how it is. It is also quite expensive...
    I really like the 150mm. Regarding shade, I used something like this:
    Video: Dinkum Systems at Filmtools | The Filmtools Blog
    But the thing I had was just the arm with clamps in both ends and a piece of cardboard for shading. Quite cheap and very effective.
    Leica Monochrom, Olympus EM-5, Ricoh GR

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    Re: new to large format - advices on camera

    There is an elegant Ebony part as well:
    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=1613

    very nice but a bit heavy. I find using the hand just as effective.

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