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Thread: The little guy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    The little guy

    Ebony SW23. Fits in a (very large) pocket.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Very cute!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Some technical notes:
    - 6x9 cm non-folding field camera, made in ebony and titanium.
    - Image area with Horseman roll film holder 56 x 84 mm.
    - Extension 46-157 mm, I use lenses from 47XL to 180. 47XL with full movements on flat board. I also have a back extender which adds 60-90 mm, and the 180 sits on a tophat board.
    - Bottom plate is a RRS rail configured for 76 mm shifting for panoramic stitch. Two frames give a 56 x 160 mm frame which has to be stitched digitally after scanning.

    Modifications:
    - A Toyo level was added on top, original levels removed. The camera usually sits on a small low tripod, original levels were mounted under and on the side.
    - Front tilt was modified from 20 to 30 degrees by machining the titanium hardware slightly (Dremel and tungsten carbide router bit required).
    - A Horseman angle viewer was added - the frame was permanently attached to the viewer frame.

    My smallest travel kit is something like this:

    - SW23 with Apo-Symmar 100 or Apo-Digitar 120 attached
    - Gitzo G1128 CF tripod with a small ballhead and short center column.
    - focusing loupe
    - Light meter
    - Horseman 6x9 rollfilm holder

    All in all, it doesn't even require its own camera bag. The camera goes into a pouch, and the tripod packs well inside any daypack once the head is removed.

    Roadside lupins catching the last sunlight. Ebony SW23, Apo-Digitar 120 @ f/11 on E100SW (straight scan).
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Oh well, I was just successfully out of “compulsive photographic gear acquiring” therapy
    I really did not need to se this little beauty...

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    If it's any consolation Shen Hao will make a copy of this camera, in aluminium and walnut: http://www.shen-hao.com/TFC69A.html

    The entire setup in a MiniTrekker.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    wow just saw this, I really need to get that viewfinder..nice looking set up!!

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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    If it's any consolation Shen Hao will make a copy of this camera, in aluminium and walnut: http://www.shen-hao.com/TFC69A.html
    Already available in their store in Shanghai in both the normal Shen-Hao wood and aluminum, and in a darker wood and black metal. The first one looks very lovely .

    Although weight-wise it would be only 300g less than TFC45-IIB.

    Anders

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Although in my heart I can't imagine returning to film, this "little" camera is enormously appealing to me. So much so that I zipped over to the Ebony site and spent (rather too much) time looking at the different models and reading the explanation on folding versus non-folding cameras.

    Out of interest, could one use a MF digital back with the SW23?

    Thanks for the post!

  9. #9
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    and how good is that viewfinder? is it worth it?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    If it's any consolation Shen Hao will make a copy of this camera, in aluminium and walnut: http://www.shen-hao.com/TFC69A.html
    Lars,

    I decided to follow your lead and give the Shen Hao TFC69-A copy a try for my 6x9 kit. Latest construction is with Burma teak and anodized aluminum. Seems to be well built and has full movements on the rear as well. Images below.









    Camera, two Horseman backs, three lenses (one on camera), assorted tools, loupe, meter, film, etc. all fit nicely into a Domke F2 shoulder bag.



    Just received the camera so not much output to show yet. Ran a roll of TMAX100 through to check things out and here is one image from that roll.

    http://www.pbase.com/scho/image/130402605/original
    Carl
    Gallery

  11. #11
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    Re: The little guy

    Carl -

    That's extremely cool. A couple of questions if I may:

    * How rigid is the rear standard? Is there any apparent flex when you load it with the weight of the rollholder?

    * How much rise/fall does the bellows allow with the 100 you've got on it? How about if you compressed it further to mount a 75 instead?

    Thanks...

    ...Oren

  12. #12
    Super Duper
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Carl -

    That's extremely cool. A couple of questions if I may:

    * How rigid is the rear standard? Is there any apparent flex when you load it with the weight of the rollholder?

    * How much rise/fall does the bellows allow with the 100 you've got on it? How about if you compressed it further to mount a 75 instead?

    Thanks...

    ...Oren
    Oren,

    The rear standard exhibits no apparent flex with the rollholder loaded - very rigid.

    I can get about 40mm rise on the front standard with the 100 on board and about 8mm fall. The rear standard rise is also about 40mm. I haven't tried my 65mm yet.
    Carl
    Gallery

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Here's are two questions from someone who will of course never, ever consider buying into yet another format:

    - What does the Chinese TFC69A cost?
    - I see that they also have a 6x17 version, a kind of TripleXpan with movements. Is there any reason to believe that the wider format would introduce unexpected loss of quality or other problems? Is there a way to shoot with these in vertical format?

    Edit: Does it make sense to use a compact camera for test shots/metering with these, or is a conventional meter more appropriate?

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Badger Graphic lists the TFC69-A at $685, without film folder.

    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=3164

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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    The rear standard exhibits no apparent flex with the rollholder loaded - very rigid.

    I can get about 40mm rise on the front standard with the 100 on board and about 8mm fall. The rear standard rise is also about 40mm. I haven't tried my 65mm yet.
    Thanks - that sounds very promising indeed, and all the more so at the price.

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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Edit: Does it make sense to use a compact camera for test shots/metering with these, or is a conventional meter more appropriate?
    Whatever works for you is fine. I use a meter myself - it's simple and transparent and I'm used to it.

  17. #17
    tokengirl
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Ebony SW23. Fits in a (very large) pocket.
    Sweet!

    I have been pondering the MF film question for a while now. I have a Horseman 6X7 roll film back that I use for my pinhole camera, but being able to use it with an actual lens would be nice too. I have not really thought about a view camera because I have zero interest in fooling around with sheet film, but roll film backs are readily available so maybe it's something I should consider. Maybe next year's project.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Out of interest, could one use a MF digital back with the SW23?
    I second this. I would love a small camera that could run an AFD back with some movements using a 35 Schneider or Rodenstock and bag bellows.

    How big are the lens panels and the minimum extension I wonder?
    Last edited by mediumcool; 18th November 2010 at 02:32. Reason: added text

  19. #19
    Super Duper
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Here's are two questions from someone who will of course never, ever consider buying into yet another format:

    - What does the Chinese TFC69A cost?
    - I see that they also have a 6x17 version, a kind of TripleXpan with movements. Is there any reason to believe that the wider format would introduce unexpected loss of quality or other problems? Is there a way to shoot with these in vertical format?

    Edit: Does it make sense to use a compact camera for test shots/metering with these, or is a conventional meter more appropriate?
    Jorgen,

    I've never used a 6x17 back, but only issue I can think of might be film flatness in the holder.

    You just unlock the back (two simple slide locks on top of camera) remove and rotate for vertical use.
    Carl
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Lars,

    I decided to follow your lead and give the Shen Hao TFC69-A copy a try for my 6x9 kit. Latest construction is with Burma teak and anodized aluminum. Seems to be well built and has full movements on the rear as well. Images below.

    ...
    Wow, that looks very... familiar.
    Looks like a great camera, for a great price. At below $700 it's really a steal.
    TIP: Get a Toyo two-directional level and attach to the top of the rear standard. If you look at the pics of my SW23 above you can see that I did that mod to my camera. The Ebony originally had levels at the side and bottom, and sincy my tripod is not very high it was a bit of a hassle to line up the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Here's are two questions from someone who will of course never, ever consider buying into yet another format:

    - What does the Chinese TFC69A cost?
    - I see that they also have a 6x17 version, a kind of TripleXpan with movements. Is there any reason to believe that the wider format would introduce unexpected loss of quality or other problems? Is there a way to shoot with these in vertical format?

    Edit: Does it make sense to use a compact camera for test shots/metering with these, or is a conventional meter more appropriate?
    6x17 flatness is really up to the film holder, but since the film isn't very wide and curved the other way it's usually not a problem unlike with sheet film. Besides, with all the movements you are more likely to mess up the plane of focus anyway.

    I've been staring at that 6x17 for quite a while. I really like that format, and I'd be willing to replace my Ebony 4x5 with a 6x17 (just not a $7K Ebony).

    Quote Originally Posted by tokengirl View Post
    Sweet!

    I have been pondering the MF film question for a while now. I have a Horseman 6X7 roll film back that I use for my pinhole camera, but being able to use it with an actual lens would be nice too. I have not really thought about a view camera because I have zero interest in fooling around with sheet film, but roll film backs are readily available so maybe it's something I should consider. Maybe next year's project.
    Yeah these 6x9 cm cameras are so much more manageable than 4x5 if that is a priortity. Just have your reading glasses handy - the groundglass image is not very big so you need to look closely when composing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    I second this. I would love a small camera that could run an AFD back with some movements using a 35 Schneider or Rodenstock and bag bellows.

    How big are the lens panels and the minimum extension I wonder?
    My SW23 focuses down to 46 mm on a flat board which means about 35 mm on a recesses board. It allows for plenty of movement with a 47 SAXL on a flat board. The Shenhao looks like an exact copy so it should be the same.

    However they are made for a much larger image format than MF digital (56x84 mm versus 35x50 mm) so extremely short focal flange distances might be a problem. You'll probably be ok with a 35, especially if it's a retrofocus design - Schneider 38 SAXL works on a recessed board.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: The little guy

    Lars,

    this is SO bad

    Could you please tell me a little more about how "A Horseman angle viewer was added - the frame was permanently attached to the viewer frame." You don't mean the wooden frame around the ground glass, or do you? If so, does that extra weight/bulk of the viewer stress the setup when you swing the GG out of the way to insert the roll film holder?

    In the photo of your kit, is that bag bellows in the top right of the picture, next to the angle viewer, or is it the regular bellows, or...?

    Finally, that wooden "box" at the bottom left of the photo- ??

    What a cool setup!

    Thanks,

    Rick

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    What a wonderful looking camera .
    But I would not dare using it , because I would be afraid , that the screws
    will not hold the weight and fall out .
    Who can convince me of the opposite ? ? ?
    Regards . Jürgen .
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Rick View Post
    Lars,

    this is SO bad

    Could you please tell me a little more about how "A Horseman angle viewer was added - the frame was permanently attached to the viewer frame." You don't mean the wooden frame around the ground glass, or do you? If so, does that extra weight/bulk of the viewer stress the setup when you swing the GG out of the way to insert the roll film holder?

    In the photo of your kit, is that bag bellows in the top right of the picture, next to the angle viewer, or is it the regular bellows, or...?

    Finally, that wooden "box" at the bottom left of the photo- ??

    What a cool setup!

    Thanks,

    Rick
    Let's see... There's no need for a bag bellows as this is a wideangle/short focal length camera by design (46-157 mm). The bellows is permanently attached. The puffy black thing in the pic is a lens bag.

    The Horseman Angle Viewer is no longer made, and could be a bit hard to source at this time. It consists of an aluminum frame with groundglass, and a plastic 90 degree hood with funder loupe. It has the same mount as the 6x9 rollfilm holders. I removed the groundglass and mounted the aluminum frame outside the wooden viewer frame, so I had to drill four holes in the ebony wood for my screws. If you look at the lower left of my pics you will see a frame extending at the back of the camera, about 10 mm. That's the frame that the finder hood attaches to.

    The wooden box is an extension for the rear standard. You remove the back, attach the extension, then attach the back to the back of the extension. It gives 60 to 90 mm more extesion. I don't use it often, and Ebony no longer sells it for the SW23 series. I think they make it for the SW45 model.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  24. #24
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: The little guy

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    What a wonderful looking camera .
    But I would not dare using it , because I would be afraid , that the screws
    will not hold the weight and fall out .
    Who can convince me of the opposite ? ? ?
    Six months backpacking in South America with the SW23, twelve months in the Australian outback.

    Because these cameras are so small (compared to 4x5's) they are quite sturdy.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Super Duper
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    Re: The little guy

    Gorgeous!
    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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