Walker Ultrawide XL, Hasselblad Arcbody?

Kodachrome Skies

A
Kodachrome Skies

  • 1
  • 0
  • 95
The Dive

A
The Dive

  • 4
  • 2
  • 124
Edinburgh nights

Edinburgh nights

  • 1
  • 6
  • 180

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
178,730
Messages
2,458,794
Members
94,629
Latest member
swededreams
Recent bookmarks
0

brent8927

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
465
Location
CA Central Coast
Shooter
Medium Format
Hello,
I'm looking for a camera that gets movements and is pretty compact. The main thing I need is shift for architecturural shots, but I absolutely do not want a monorail camera; I need something that I can take with me on a hike. I've been looking mostly at the arcbody because it's very small and I already have Hasselblad backs. I know it's quite overpriced but I thought it was perfect when I tried one out.

I've looked at the Arca-Swiss F-line cameras, but with all the accessories, lens, etc., I don't have enough money. I've also looked at the Hoseman 6x9, Bahrami, Hasselblad Flexbody (which I tried and absolutely could not stand), Linhoff medium format view camera... pretty much everything.

However, I just heard about the Walker Ultrawide XL. Calumet sells these with a 47mm lens for about $2700, which semmed pretty good. My first question is if anyone has experience with this camera? Is that 47mm lens going to be an equivalent of a 47mm in Medium Format, or is that almost a fisheye lens in large format? What would be the best wide angle lens for this camera (the equivalent of a 24 or 28mm in 35mm)? Do you get the full range of movements with these lenses (when shooting 4x5)?

Most importantly, how compact is the Walker Ultrawide? Can it fit into a normal sized backpack (my lowepro rover aw) with room to spare? Also, how large is the reflex viewing hood? One of the main things I liked about the arcbody is has the reflex finder and it can also be used to compose (but not take) a picture by hand. I also like the arcbody because it can be set up pretty fast. I also want to be able to take a number of photographs within an hour when I go out to shoot, I know taking your time and using a nice view camera gives great photographs but I'm not a professional and shoot because I love taking photographs (and I'm getting much better at it too...)

If there are any other recommendations I'd be interested in hearing them, though I've most likley heard and/or considered them already, I've done all the web searches I could do! My main concern is I don't want to spend more than $4000, and I would much prefer to spend about $3000, (or less if it's possible!). However, I want to buy something of good quality and I'd rather spend the extra money on that now then have to purchase a new camera in a couple years. Thanks!

Brent
 

wfwhitaker

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
565
Location
Lobsta
Shooter
Multi Format
The Plaubel ProShift 69W is another possibility. 47mm f/5.6 Super Angulon; 6x9 on 120/220 film.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
465
Location
Sacramento
Shooter
Medium Format
Brent,

Well, if you want 4x5 capability, I think you must at least consider the Ebony non-folding cameras, the SW45, 45S and 45SU. They are similar to the Walker, but in some ways are a little better of a camera. For example, they offer more back movements than the Walker.

While the top of the line Ebonies are expensive, the inexpensive models are in the same price range as the Walker.

I can't say whether they will meet your needs, but I think they may, and it is worth considering them for your application.

While the Arcbody is an appealing option, I think the system is seriusly flawed in several ways, the first being the limited number of lenses available. The second being the extreme cost, and the third being the relatively limited wide angle options with the camera. Lastly, the relatively small viewfinder makes composition a real chore, and I think that the critical nature of architectural work demands a large enough interface for good control of compositional elements.

I don't think the Arcbody is a good solution except for some limited applications.

Let me add that I have only worked with an Arcbody briefly, so my comments are based on a limited use of the equipment. I much prefer a 4x5 or larger for architectural work.


---Michael
 

wfwhitaker

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
565
Location
Lobsta
Shooter
Multi Format
brent8927 said:
...However, I just heard about the Walker Ultrawide XL. Calumet sells these with a 47mm lens for about $2700, which semmed pretty good. My first question is if anyone has experience with this camera? Is that 47mm lens going to be an equivalent of a 47mm in Medium Format, or is that almost a fisheye lens in large format? What would be the best wide angle lens for this camera (the equivalent of a 24 or 28mm in 35mm)? Do you get the full range of movements with these lenses (when shooting 4x5)?
...

Brent,

I would agree with Michael on the Arcbody. I had one for a while and found it to be just as slow to operate as a 4x5. Further it was very limited both in terms of negative size and available lenses.

A 47mm lens on 4x5 is going to be very wide, much wider than on medium format. It's roughly equivalent to a 12mm lens on 35mm. You would probably want a 90mm to 120mm lens for 4x5 if your desire is to approximate a 24mm or a 28mm lens on a 35.

For 4x5 I have a Wisner Pocket Expedition which is both lightweight and capable of handling short focal length lenses. It easily accommodates my 75mm Super Angulon with limited movements using the standard bellows. The bag bellows is easily interchanged and allows lots more movement. The camera is small and quite backpackable. They're expensive new, but show up occasionally on the used market.
 

jl

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2003
Messages
6
Location
Vancouver
Shooter
Large Format
One piece of advice which is frequently given is: rent or borrow first if you can. It's very easy to drop a lot of money all at once and find out that the camera is much different in use than you thought it would be. One thing you didn't mention is the film format you're planning on using. The 47mm lens will not cover 4x5 - it's meant for 6x7 and 6x9. If you're going 4x5 a 90mm is probably the best place to start for a wide angle. With the movements that you have available on a view camera, it'll seem wider than it is. Another concern is the reflex viewer. Although I haven't used one, I know that with wide angle lenses I end up having to move my head around under the dark cloth a lot to align my sight with the rays coming from the lens through the groundglass, which hit the glass steeply and at widely varying angles. Because a reflex viewer fixes your line of sight, I think you'll find portions of the groundglass will black out when you're using lots of shift. Someone with more experience correct me if I'm wrong. Again, try if you can (it sounds like you've been able to look a few cameras already). I use a Technikardan which is a supremely flexible camera (great for wide angle and long lenses alike), but on the heavy side for hiking at 8lbs.

Oh, and don't worry about having to buy another camera in a couple of years....it's inevitable that you will!

Jim
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP
brent8927

brent8927

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
465
Location
CA Central Coast
Shooter
Medium Format
Michael Mutmansky said:
Brent,

Well, if you want 4x5 capability, I think you must at least consider the Ebony non-folding cameras, the SW45, 45S and 45SU. They are similar to the Walker, but in some ways are a little better of a camera. For example, they offer more back movements than the Walker.

While the top of the line Ebonies are expensive, the inexpensive models are in the same price range as the Walker.

I can't say whether they will meet your needs, but I think they may, and it is worth considering them for your application.

While the Arcbody is an appealing option, I think the system is seriusly flawed in several ways, the first being the limited number of lenses available. The second being the extreme cost, and the third being the relatively limited wide angle options with the camera. Lastly, the relatively small viewfinder makes composition a real chore, and I think that the critical nature of architectural work demands a large enough interface for good control of compositional elements.

I don't think the Arcbody is a good solution except for some limited applications.

Let me add that I have only worked with an Arcbody briefly, so my comments are based on a limited use of the equipment. I much prefer a 4x5 or larger for architectural work.


---Michael

Thanks Michael. I hadn't ever heard of the ebony camers and the SW23 seems like a great match for me, it means I can keep using roll film (Agfa has no 4x5 slide film) and it's a great size. I think I've pretty much decided the arcbody, as much as I loved it, isn't the best investment.

Brent
 

Ole

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 9, 2002
Messages
9,250
Location
Bergen, Norway
Shooter
Large Format
If you want to use 4x5" - and rollfilm with a rollfilm adapter - I think you should take a look at the Gandolfi Variant cameras. There's a wide-angle version which takes lenses from 38mm to 90mm, and the "normal" versions which can take from 47mm to 480mm (!). An 80mm lens on 4x5" will be about the equivalent of a 24mm on 35mm film, so there's plenty of WA capability on all these cameras.

I've recently bought an older 5x7" Gandolfi traditional - if I were buying a new camera Gandolfi Variant just jumped to the very top of my list. The 5x7" camera feels even steadier than my 5x7" Technika, I had never thought that possible!
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
465
Location
Sacramento
Shooter
Medium Format
Brent,

Unless you specifically want a 6x9 camera, and will never, ever use 4x5 film, I think the 4x5 version may be a better option. You can use a 6x9 or 6x12 rollfilm back on it, and you still have the option of using 4x5 when the situation demands.

The 6x9 and 4x5 have the same minimum bellows and minimum lens focal length specifications, so they will both be able to work equally well for shorter lenses. The 4x5 will provide more front rise, which will be a useful feature for architecture, especially when using a lens with excess coverage, l;ike an 80mm or 110mm.

The 4x5 camera will probably be a bit easier to sell later on, if you decide that the camera isn't to your liking.

The 6x9 camera is a little smaller and lighter (but not much in both cases), but I would prefer to have the added flexibility of the 4x5 version for most purposes.

Truely dedicated rollfilm users would probably not bother with the 4x5 version, but I think the added flexability that the 4x5 camera offers is offset by only a minor penality in weight and size.


---Michael
 
OP
OP
brent8927

brent8927

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
465
Location
CA Central Coast
Shooter
Medium Format
Michael,

Interestingly enough I came across that idea too... I thought, what's the point of getting a large format camera if I'm going to stay with the smaller negatives? I'll have to find a new film, but that's ok. The most important thing I want is camera movements, but then, the entire reason I went from 35mm to 6x6 was because of the larger negative (which of course came with a larger pricetag when I decided I "had" to have a Hasselblad).

I''ve ordered an Ebony 45RWE and I'm going to see how I like it. Unfortunately I don't know any place that will rent one, but I can return it for seven days so if I don't like it then I'll just send it back and be out a couple bucks for shipping. I thought it would be the best universal camera because I'm pretty sure I am going to sell my Hasselblad to finance this move (I unfortunately don't have the money to keep all my old cameras, I sure do miss some of them though!).

Brent
 

paul owen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
109
Shooter
4x5 Format
Another (Ebony) option would be the 45SW. It is VERY compact and combines all the movements you would need, front and rear rise and fall, front lateral shift and front centre tilt. The SW is a non-folding design (like the WAlker) and is very quick and easy to set up. It is priced in the same league as the Walker too. Robert White in the UK is worth checking - also check the Ebony RSW (exclusive to Robert White) and the ultimate wooden lightweight field camera!
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom