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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> 4x5 camera?
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08/06/2007 11:53:49 PM · #1
One of the requirements for the college I am going to attend is a 4x5 camera and I was curious on what is the best brand? As well as which models I should check out. thanks!
08/07/2007 12:38:55 AM · #2
There are tons of 4x5 cameras out there, but you will most likely be asked to get a view camera...

Some EBAY 4x5 Auctions

The Crown Graphic is not a view camera and it may meet the needs of the class, but I would inquire about it. Even older model used 4x5 rigs are expensive if they are in working order.
08/07/2007 12:46:43 AM · #3
If it is primarily used as a studio camera by all means go with a monorail, as it will give the most movements. I prefer a light field camera such as a Horseman or a Toyo-View. I think the best value in new large format the Shen-Hao. It is very well constructed, uses standard lens board, and is quite cheap compared to most others in its quality range.

The absolute cheapest alternative would be an old Speed/Crown Graphic press camera. They can be found for next to nothing on eBay. They can be modified for more movements, although limited in how short a focal length lens can be used. Some even have focal plane shutters so that you can use inexpensive barrel lenses and even enlarger lenses. If you go the Graphic route make sure to get a Graflok back so that you can use roll film backs.

Currently the only LF camera I have is a decades old calumet monorail. It is a tank, and I'd never take it in the field.

Here is my old Crown that I wished I'd never sold. $85 investment that produced some of my best images...

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As far as lenses are concerned I'm sure they require something in the normal range, which for 4x5 is usually 135-150mm range. If your only shooting B&W old single coated or uncoated lenses are fine if not preferred. If shooting color I'd get something modern and multi-coated.
08/07/2007 12:47:01 AM · #4
Sinar is best brand in Large format.
08/07/2007 01:21:15 AM · #5
Originally posted by sanjivdada:

Sinar is best brand in Large format.


I agree, but the prices are hefty, and for student work, it would probably be an overkill, unless funds are unlimited :)
08/07/2007 01:30:23 AM · #6
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Originally posted by sanjivdada:

Sinar is best brand in Large format.


I agree, but the prices are hefty, and for student work, it would probably be an overkill, unless funds are unlimited :)


I agree 100%.Prices r on higher side.But after digital revolution one can get secondhand F1 or F2 at quite reasonable prize.
08/07/2007 03:41:22 AM · #7
Originally posted by sanjivdada:

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Originally posted by sanjivdada:

Sinar is best brand in Large format.


I agree, but the prices are hefty, and for student work, it would probably be an overkill, unless funds are unlimited :)


I agree 100%.Prices r on higher side.But after digital revolution one can get secondhand F1 or F2 at quite reasonable prize.


...and even better deals on Calumet, Toyo and Horseman.

Sinars are great cameras, but, unless you plan to use it a lot, something more reasonably priced might make more sense.

When I was in school, I bought a used Calumet 4x5 NX studio camera with an 8inch lens. I used that for a long time afterward as well.

Unless specifically directed to get a field camera, I'd stick with a studio camera since they have full movements and greater range. Just because a studio camera is called a studio camera, doesn't mean you can't take it outside.
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