large format "primer"

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ces1um, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Apr 24, 2005
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Multi Format
    In the lower mainland, trilingual: English, Punjabi and Mandarin. The old guard would add Cantonese.
  2. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Oct 16, 2009
    St. Louis, M
    Large Format
    If you want every possible movement then you need a monorail. Most monorails are dirt cheap today on the used market. The only problem is that they are heavier and bulkier than a field camera. You can get a real nice monorail for $200 or less. I've seen some on Ebay buy it now as low as $50. Of course that is without a lens. A monorail would be great to learn on because it has all the movements and the movements are straight forward in their use. You may want to keep it even if you buy a field camera later as there are certain advantages to a monorail camera.

    Most people want a field camera. A field camera will have less movements especially the back movements. Most photographers are plenty happy if they have all the front movements and back tilt.

    Everyone is different though and there is no such thing as a perfect large format camera. You really won't know what you like until you shoot one for a while. Most of us suggest getting into it cheaply and then you can always sell what you have for a minimal loss if you desire a different camera later. If you want new then I suggest that you take a look at an Intrepid.

    I also suggest joining the Large Format Photography Forum. It's a forum like Photrio but specializes in large format only. There are quit a few forum members here including me who also belong to LFPF. We would be glad to have you!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  3. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

    Jun 15, 2017
    4x5 Format
    The route I chose was to get one monorail and one press camera. That way I have one camera with all of the movements I could possibly want, and one small portable camera that has a focal plane shutter for use with barrel lenses. It also has a rangefinder for quick shooting, but that rarely gets used (since it only works with one lens). And somehow, buying those two cameras was still cheaper than buying one decent field camera!

    And to be honest, movements are overrated. I basically just use front rise or nothing. Every once in a while, I'll use a front forward tilt, but that's about it. And I still do a lot of landscape photography with my monorail. It's heavy, for sure, but even a "light" 4x5 isn't going to be light. To me, the difference between 30 lbs of camera gear and 33 lbs isn't significant.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.