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Thread: Help get me into a view camera..

  1. #1
    Senior Member faneuil's Avatar
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    Help get me into a view camera..

    Thanks for looking. I am a happy user of an AFD III and P45 back.
    I'd really like to try out the p40 on a small view camera (4x5 or smaller)
    I know just enough to buy the wrong gear.. so..

    1- Can anyone advise what would be a good used small view camera (the more front & back movement, the better)? Japanese folder? Calumet?
    2- Decent starter lenses for portraiture?
    3- Back adapter advice? Gather I need a sliding focus screen/back plate for the P45)
    4- Any general lessons learned / common pitfalls ?

    cheers & thanks,
    Eric

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    Re: Help get me into a view camera..

    difficult question...
    I have no (zero!) experience shooting portraits with large format but thinking about it I'd certainly would try it first with a camera with sliding back.
    Sliding back = Sinar arTec. Period. ... or the Hartblei Cam.
    If you are located somewhere in Europe it should be quite easy to get one in your hands. Outside of Europe... I don't know.
    Lens for portrait... I think it depends on how you want to direct your models. If you want them to stay in a certain posture (i.e. they can't move) you could certainly try a somewhat longer lens and less DOF. But Ithink it also depends on how close/far you want be placed to the model (i.e. it depends on the way you want to communicate to the model).

    edit: oh, and I think one of those Kapture Group release cables might make sense for your P45. I think shooting portraits a wake up cable and a second release cable are cumbersome...
    Last edited by thomas; 31st March 2010 at 15:24.

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    Re: Help get me into a view camera..

    Hi Eric,

    I would recommend a more recent view camera that is "digital friendly". As mentioned above, the Sinar arTech and the Hartblei H-Cam are good choices due to the sliding back being integrated as part of the camera body itself (i.e., you can never remove it), and as a result there is more stability/rigidity when sliding the digital back. However, there are very limited movements with these cameras (none on the Hartblei, which limits you to tilt/shift lenses), and they are more intended for architectural use.

    On the other hand, there is one highly regarded sliding back from Arca-Swiss, the Rotaslide. Many people have tested stability of various sliding backs, and this one always comes out on top. There are very meticulous people (like Joe Holmes) who claim this would be their only choice for a removable sliding back adapter. In addition, Arca-Swiss have been refining their view camera lines to become extremely digital friendly (lightweight and with movements designed knowing there will be a digital back). For example, take a look at their M2 system. This would be my recommendation for you, as it offers a rich set of movements and with a lot of growth potential to the system itself to evolve with your needs.

    As for a portrait lens, I believe a very good choice would be the Rodenstock APO-Sironar Digital F5.6/135mm. This is another very well known and respected lens among view camera users.

    Good luck ... and have fun.

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    Senior Member faneuil's Avatar
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    Re: Help get me into a view camera..

    much thanks for the info. the arca swiss m2 system would be very cool.
    unfortunately blood ran from my nose when I saw the price..which didn't surprise me!

    cheers,
    eric
    www.korenman.com

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    Re: Help get me into a view camera..

    The M2 with MFDB adapter is about USD5K. I think the R135 lens is probably under 1K in the used market, so the entire package with adapter and lens is less cost than a Nikon D3X body. In my opinion, the M2 is the best value in the market today. And, the R135 lens is all you will need for awhile, at least for your portrait work. The Sinar arTec system will cost almost three times this price. (Even the Hartblei cam is more expensive than the M2.)

    For a much lower price, I would have to say the Rollei X-Act II would be my next best recommendation for you (and with same R135 lens). I have seen used kits for USD1.5K. This camera is a lot heavier than the M2, and has less movements, but it is fairly compact and offers excellent rigidity. The problem I have with it though are the sliding back adapters for it. They are just not as stable/rigid as the Rotaslide, so I am not sure you will be happy with it in the end, even though you save significant money. Of course, if you will be shooting strictly in the studio and not on location, then you can forego the sliding back altogether and shoot tethered.

    Again, good luck!
    Last edited by David Klepacki; 1st April 2010 at 15:43. Reason: spelling

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    Member Analog6's Avatar
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    Re: Help get me into a view camera..

    Have a look here. Click on 'more images' to see it with a digital back attached.

    Or have a look at this one
    Odille

    H2 | P20 | HC 50-110 | HC 150 f3.2 | HC 210 f4 ~ My Website

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    Re: Help get me into a view camera..

    I still have a Cambo Ultima 23D with sliding back adaptor that I'm not using.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9515
    Feel free to contact me if this model fits your needs ;-))

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