Where's a good place to shop for a used 4x5?

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AlvinYap

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Sep 22, 2004
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Singapore
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35mm RF
Hi all!
I want to get a large format 4x5, *specifically for shooting indoor and outdoor architecture*. My budget is rather low, about 500++... any brand/camera/shop recommendations? Definitely going for a used equipment here, no issues with that. More concerned about sufficient movement.

Thanks!

Alvin
 

Steve Hamley

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Sep 7, 2002
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Alvin,

I'm assuming you mean camera only and not camera + lens.

Architecture, especially interiors typically require short lenses with relatively (to landscapes) large image circles - quite pricey. Cameras need a full set of movements for interiors. Trying to effectively shoot interiors on $500 for camera + lens is likely to be near impossible.

I'd probably try an Cambo SC or SCX, or a Sinar F-series (F2 is better than F1 is better than F). A good used F2 will likely run more than your budget, but an F or F1 should be ballpark. A Sinar P-series would be ideal, but you won't find a good one until about 3-4 times your budget. Older Toyo and Horseman studio monorails may also work for you.

Try Midwest Photo Exchange (talk to Jim Andracki). They're one of the best for used gear.

Steve
 

esearing

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Joined
Aug 17, 2004
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North GA
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4x5 Format
I picked up a 1970's Calumet Monorail with older 180mm/315mm convertible lens,plus holders, and accessories from e-bay for $350
Added a 545i polaroid back for another $50
Added a 150/256 convertible lens for $100
> Typically you have to find a good lens on a body few people want. The bargains are there but you have to wait for them and not overbid. I Have seen older schneider angulon 90mm lenses go for around $200 and 135s around $250.

KEH.com has some camera bodies for under $200. and some lenses under $400.
 

steve simmons

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Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
367
Before buying a camera may I suggest reading

Getting Started in Large Format that is free on our web site

www.viewcamera.com


Here are a couple of books

Photographing Buildings Inside and Out by Norman McGrath

Using the View Camera that I wrote

or

User'sGuide to the View Camera by Jim Stone


MidWest Photo is a good place to shop as is Quality Camera

steve simmons
 

mark

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Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
5,686
Completely doable on your budget just watch ebay, and have tons of patience.
 

wdemere

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May 11, 2004
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I'm not a professional, but I can speak to how to do the 4x5 thing cheaply, being a cheap photographer.

There are used cameras with the movements necessary for architecture out there for less than $500. I own two, though I don't shoot architecture so I'm not sure how good/bad these are for that particular application- a Gowland Pocket View and a Meridian 45B. The Gowland is a monorail and has all movements. You rotate the graflok back by using the tripod :smile: Some people don't like them, but for 1/50th - 1/100th the cost of a Linhof....

A Super Speed Graphic might work too. My point is just to keep looking and you can find something in your budget range. However, I will warn you that the other stuff you need (lenses, film holders, film, black t-shirt, cheap loupe, meter, shutter release) can add up if you aren't careful. If you already have a 35mm just use the meter in that. Sheet film, developed in trays, is the cheapest route though it is easy to make tubes from pvc pipe if you want. Make lensboards from pressboard with ultra-flat black spray paint.

I have a Schneider 90mm Angulon in a Linhof shutter that didn't set me back too much (I think around $200), but I don't know about anything wider in the cheap range. I got a great deal on a Schneider 150mm Symmar-S/MC on that auction site ($150) too, but, it takes some looking.

Good luck,

William
 

John Kasaian

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
1,024
Alvin, lots of good sugestions already. You might also consider an old Burk and James or Agfa Ansco woodie for around $300 and a late model 90mm Wollensak or Ilex for a similar amount. I'd look at Midwest Photo and Igor's Photographic for starters. You might also find a Calumet Cadet kit with bag bellows and a caltar lens within your price range as I've notice that they're eginning to show up "second hand."

Good Luck!
 
OP
OP

AlvinYap

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
5
Location
Singapore
Shooter
35mm RF
Dear all,
Sorry for the late reply! Thanks for your suggestions - I will be looking into them!

Thanks!

Alvin
 
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