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Thread: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

  1. #1
    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    So I might have a chance to pick up a nice condition Linhof 679cs. I enjoyed using the Alpa although I decided it wasn't for me at this point in time. I've always wanted to get some type of experience shooting a view camera.

    I've tried to find some prices on lenses. but it's proven a little difficult, and thought it might be easier just to ask. Bottom line, does an equivalent Rodenstock lens for a camera like this cost less than it would for a tech camera because it doesn't need to be mounted in a special way? Don't you just buy the lens itself and put it in a lens board, no calibration required? If so are we talking a couple hundred less or more like a thousand or two?

    Also with a camera like this I assume it's either LiveView (if you can make it work) or ground glass for focusing, one advantage of the tech is you can actually use a laser rangefinder and get good focusing? Is my assumption wrong on this?

    I will admit my main interest in the Linhof is the thought I may someday play with some 8x10 film so I'd like to get some experience with full movements of a view camera. This is all for personal pleasure and challenge, not really needing to make any money with it, thus the choice of trying to buy some used stuff so I can sell it later if I want and recover most of my expense.

    I'm also leaning towards trying the tech camera someday but the the ArcaSwiss for the tilt, but only if I come across a sweet deal on a nice used system (with no Schneider wides.)

    Thanks for any insight.
    wayne
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    I use a Linhof 679c. Just buy a lens board and mount the lens yourself. No calibration required.

    I use a Linhof sliding back with my camera. I just focus on the ground glass and move the back into place.

  3. #3
    dwhistance
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    One quick thought, if you want to try 8x10 then do so - using tilts and swings on an 8x10 (with its almost TV size screen) is much, much easier than even 4x5, let alone a MF view camera. So much so that I suspect that, if you base your opinion on using a view camera on the MF version, then I doubt you will move up in format.

    David Whistance

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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    Pretty much what Shashin says - though I use the Techno.

    You certainly can save a lot of $ by avoiding the factory installed mounts - e.g. Rodenstock 32 lists at around $6250 ... so you could put it on the 679/Techno for about $6380 all in.

    In an Arca 'R' mount that becomes $7335, in an Alpa mount $9500, and in a Cambo mount, $8000 (or $9600 in a T/S mount).

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    Badger Graphic has LF lens prices here: https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/...uct_list&c=183

    There's a significant difference in price between the LF lenses with and without focus mount.

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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    I use a Linhof Technikardan 23 with great results. I picked up a mint Sinar 35mm Apo Digital lens for under $1k in a copal shutter. Also picked a Schneider 47mm xl and 58 xl for under $1k each. Remarkable lenses. You don't have to buy the super expensive stuff to make beautiful sharp images.

    I would agree shooting digital on a view camera is much more demanding than 4x5 or 8x10. Large format film was the dominant format for 30 years in my commercial work. Both focus and composition are much more difficult the smaller the focusing screen.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    Hi Wayne-

    Just a thought - you might consider the Arca Swiss M Monolith as a view camera. That way if you ever decided to utilize a tech camera for certain applications where the size and bulk of a view camera wasn't desired, the R Series (RM2D/RM3Di/RL3D) integrates very well with the M Monolith, as the R mounted lenses can be used with the Monolith and the R series cameras can also utilize the rail system that is used as the base for the Monolith. The R Series can even be swapped out with the front standard for the Monolith. This opens up a lot of creative possibilities with various combinations of bellows extension, helical focusing, and only needing one set of lenses to work with both systems.

    ....Though the 679 and Techno are fine cameras in their own right.....


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar Authorized Reseller

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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    An 8x10 outfit is so cheap nowadays that you could get one on top of whatever other camera you may also fancy.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    Thanks for all the great feedback. I'll see what kind of shape the Linhof is when the the seller brings it by my shop next week and how much he wants for it. In the meantime the other suggestions are most helpful.
    wayne
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    I use an AS Monolith for studio work. In a way it is easier because you know what is in the image right after you take it. I tend to mess something up with the Sinar and don't know about it until two days later (just sloppy I guess). Yes, movements are very fussy on the small format but the IQ back has made this easier. Still, it is nothing like 8 x 10.

    It is great that lenses are much cheaper with the universal mount, and you can pick up lots of used ones. Downside is wides are touchy to focus and tilt/swing is limited (or absent) as the standards get closer to each other. I would say 50mm is about the limit for tilts.

    Tried the 679CS. Really nice camera but the rear shift is poor if that matters to you.

  11. #11
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    Wayne,

    I want to repeat and expand on a few things said above.

    1) An 8x10 view camera is orders of magnitude easier to set up and focus using tilts and swing on its groundglass as compared to attempting same on a 1-1/2" x 2" groundglass. The effects of every movement is increased about 6x on the small camera and can be challenging and frustrating to get exactly right, especially on a tiny groundglass -- and yes, IQ technology of Focus Mask and Live View will aid you greatly here. Even 4x5 is a *much* better entry and intro to LF view camera use than any MF view cam will be, and 4x5 gear is CHEAP right now.

    1B) And you can scan 8x10 on an Epson flatbed and get extremely good files to work with; even Epson scanned 4x5 will print to 24" with excellent image fidelity. If you go the film route, and I suggest you do try it, I reco starting with good color neg emulsions -- they have more usable DR and scan better than tranny. In fact, I was talking with Lars the other day, and we both agreed we wished we had never met Velvia or Provia during our LF film days!

    2) The Linhof is an excellent camera and extremely well built, however you will be limited to relatively longer lenses as the shortest you can use because its minimum bellows extension is rather long. Somebody can correct me, but IIRC the shortest lens you can use on it is a 60mm -- IOW its not going to be a wide-view landscape rig.

    3) The Arca M-Line 2 has a distinct advantage given your initial parameters: the lenses you buy for it can be the exact same lenses you'd buy for the RM3Di tech camera -- Arca makes a special front board for the M-Line that accepts the RM lenses in their mounts. In this, you would at least be buying the lenses you will end up wanting right from the start, no exchanging or remounting necessary. Finally, Arca makes their cameras modular, so the entire RM3Di camera body can be mounted as the front standard on the M-Line 2 view camera for added flexibility in complicated shot sets.

    4) The reality is the body cost in MF view and technical cameras is the minor consideration -- the lenses and accessories all drive the total system prices. So even at a screaming deal, a used body that does not or cannot fulfill your needs becomes a white elephant in your camera cabinet in a hurry. So my recommendation is get into a "system" that can deliver on your anticipated needs now, and then expand on them later.

    My humble .02,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Somebody can correct me, but IIRC the shortest lens you can use on it is a 60mm -- IOW its not going to be a wide-view landscape rig.
    Would never even think about that.

    But since I am here...

    I use a 55mm lens with my 679 in a recessed lens board. The manual states you can use 45/47mm lens with a recessed lens board and a 35mm lens with a double recessed lens board. You will need bag bellows, which are very nice BTW.

    Personally, with a loupe, I have not found focusing the 679 anymore difficult than a 4x5 or 8x10. The small GG is not as nice, but focusing is really not that difficult.

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    Re: Lens cost of view vs technical cameras

    BTW, a neat thing about the Linhof is if you don't point your camera up or down more than 45 degrees, you don't need a tripod head, although Linhof recommends a leveling head.

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