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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Das Kapital
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I was the first bidder on this at $99 and it went until pretty much the last hour without another bid (I know, the usual deal). I tried not to get excited but near the end I was getting my hopes high that I'd snag a deal (with thanksgiving, "black friday", christmas shopping, and economic downturns all conspiring against the ebay norms). It sold for $200 which is still a bloody steal for a pacemaker speed graphic in mint condition. I've seen these go for upwards of $500 in this condition. Shame I didn't have more money available, I'd have happily paid $300 for it if I did. I have a few unshuttered lenses that just are just crying for one of these, as now I can only use them for 1 second + exposures:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... AA:CA:1123

Oh well. Another day. Or maybe I'll just have to stop chasing magic bullets.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:26 am 
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I actually don't have much desire for one, though I've looked closely in the past. For truly portable photography, I prefer medium format. My only wish with 4x5 is that I had a very light field camera, but not necessarily a hand-holdable one.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:38 pm 
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I've had a speed and I must say your Shen is a better camera build wise. Of course if it's the shutter you need then it's a no brainer.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:09 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Eric Rose wrote:
I've had a speed and I must say your Shen is a better camera build wise. Of course if it's the shutter you need then it's a no brainer.


I want a beater that I can haul around on the rocks in the sea spray, in the wet forest, etc. The shutter would be useful because I'd also rather use some bargain lenses without (or in broken) shutters than my nice ones. In that respect the nice mint one would have been a bad idea because it'd be too pretty to abuse and wouldn't get used the way I intend.

I also have a bunch of rough lenses I'd like to be able to use for non-hazardous purposes and the speed graphic will see some duty in that respect too.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:31 pm 
Yep, that was a nice camera Walter. But, there was probably something wrong with it. :wink:

I've searched for the perfect camera from quite some time. I'm starting to wonder if a camera that meets my criteria exists.

1. Uses 4x5 sheet film & standard double sided holders
2. Long extension bellows for macro
3. Accepts lens boards
4. Fairly light weight and fairly compact
5. Waist level finder
6. TTL viewing with mirror lock-up
7. No battery requirements
8. Can be used handheld

I may build one myself. I've looked at the Graflex, but they don't look very compact.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Das Kapital
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My Shen Hao is great for most things, but there's one problem with it that keeps me on the lookout for a second 4x5: it's too precious and nice looking to throw loose in a bag with a couple of ziplocked film holders and lug around in nasty conditions. I keep it carefully protected in its 40 lb bag along with all its serious accessories. It also won't fold up with any lens installed, whereas you can do that with the speedies w/ certain lenses.

I built my own 4x5 but it's too awkward to use in most real conditions... and also I spent so much time on it that I feel bad about mistreating it, and I don't think it's sturdy enough. I end up carefully packing it and then cursing it when I try to use it because of its awkward construction. Cute to look at, and I'm kind of proud of it, but it's not very practical.

So now I'm looking for a bashed up speed graphic. I may have a horse trade going down on LFinfo. At first I offered up my 8x10 Conley but then developed some serious second thoughts, despite it needing a bellows. It's kind of a rarity given the near perfect condition of the wood, and in 5 or 10 years I'll probably really regret having traded a fantastic condition antique for a common beat up speed graphic that I could pick up for $100 on 'bay. So I'm trying to wrangle a deal for a butt-ugly speed graphic in exchange for my 150/265 convertible lens.

The focal plane shutter curtain of the speed graphics is also a bonus as I like to muck around with makeshift and unshuttered lenses. Otherwise I'd think about a crown graphic... though those tend to be in pretty nice shape compared to some of the real dog speed graphics I've seen, and as I think about it I realize a beat up speed would be just the thing. No guilt in mistreating it if its already trashed. I don't like taking nice condition vintage gear and mistreating it - nobody's going to be making any new ones!

DannL wrote:
Yep, that was a nice camera Walter. But, there was probably something wrong with it. :wink:

I've searched for the perfect camera from quite some time. I'm starting to wonder if a camera that meets my criteria exists.

1. Uses 4x5 sheet film & standard double sided holders
2. Long extension bellows for macro
3. Accepts lens boards
4. Fairly light weight and fairly compact
5. Waist level finder
6. TTL viewing with mirror lock-up
7. No battery requirements
8. Can be used handheld

I may build one myself. I've looked at the Graflex, but they don't look very compact.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:06 pm 
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Posts: 375
Location: Calgary AB, Canada
Camera: Nikon F5, N90s, D700, Rollei TLR, Linhof Tech IV, Blad and on and on
Lens: To many to mention, I'm an addict, what can I say.
Favorite Type: landscape and small stuff
Inspiration: Edward Weston and a good single malt scotch
Walter I know what you mean. I will be out in Tofino Dec 28th for a few days and plan on slugging through the wet underbrush with my Linhof. Would rather have a beater but what the hell it's just a tool and it can be wiped down.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Eric Rose wrote:
Walter I know what you mean. I will be out in Tofino Dec 28th for a few days and plan on slugging through the wet underbrush with my Linhof. Would rather have a beater but what the hell it's just a tool and it can be wiped down.


Oh man, too bad - I'm going to be in Calgary at the time. Otherwise I'd be tempted to drive up and meet you for a coffee or beer one night or something. I'm back on the island on Jan 4th if you're still around (and don't mind the intrusion on your vacation. No hard feelings if you just want to be left alone!).

BTW, looks like I wrangled a trade for this ugly dog of a speed graphic. Anniversary model, wartime, and ugly as all hell. Giving up a 150/265 schneider symmar for it, but I never use that lens anyway (and I didn't pay much for it).

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:00 am
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Location: Calgary AB, Canada
Camera: Nikon F5, N90s, D700, Rollei TLR, Linhof Tech IV, Blad and on and on
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Favorite Type: landscape and small stuff
Inspiration: Edward Weston and a good single malt scotch
Ugly is good. Gives it some character. I hate pristine cameras. Looks so poser if ya know what I mean. A beer would be nice however we are will not be anywhere near Victoria.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Yeah, and I'll have no reservations about treating it like a dog. Well, maybe not like a dog - you should see how my little dog gets coddled.

Eric Rose wrote:
Ugly is good. Gives it some character. I hate pristine cameras. Looks so poser if ya know what I mean. A beer would be nice however we are will not be anywhere near Victoria.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:01 pm 
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Inspiration: Van Gogh
Walter, something else to think about is the optics. If you're shooting handheld on 4x5 film, you probably don't want to be using a substandard lens, at least not for anything that has a lot of fine detail. Think about it, you're going to the trouble of using a large film format, but you've got a low res / low contrast lens, and you can't stop down and still handhold it so you can't atone for lens aberrations. Handholding will introduce its own blur.

Point is, you're losing so much resolution that you don't have much of an advantage over shooting medium format; and since many MF lenses are so good it may actually be worse than shooting, say, a Zeiss 6x9 super ikonta or something. The only advantage I could see would be the nice tonality you get from larger formats.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:16 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Hah, you should see some of the substandard lenses I have in mind for this thing. A nikon eyepiece diopter, a polaroid plastic lens, etc. That's the point - that APUGGY trend of exploiting lens aberrations in order to call your crappy tree snapshots "fine art". Next thing you know I'll be posting nude women in the woods shot through a Petzval (if I can find any nude women).

I have an enlarger lens that I plan to use as the primary high-quality beater - a 135mm Schneider Componon (assuming it covers at infinity). It's a nice sharp lens and I'll shed no tears if it gets ruined by rain or something.

In no way is the point here handheld shooting though. This is for odd shutterless lenses and bashing around in inhospitable places (there's a lot of water, mud, salt, sand, wind and stuff out here).


drpablo wrote:
Walter, something else to think about is the optics. If you're shooting handheld on 4x5 film, you probably don't want to be using a substandard lens, at least not for anything that has a lot of fine detail. Think about it, you're going to the trouble of using a large film format, but you've got a low res / low contrast lens, and you can't stop down and still handhold it so you can't atone for lens aberrations. Handholding will introduce its own blur.

Point is, you're losing so much resolution that you don't have much of an advantage over shooting medium format; and since many MF lenses are so good it may actually be worse than shooting, say, a Zeiss 6x9 super ikonta or something. The only advantage I could see would be the nice tonality you get from larger formats.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:15 pm 
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walter23 wrote:
Next thing you know I'll be posting nude women in the woods shot through a Petzval (if I can find any nude women).
If Frank Petronio gets them, then you can...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:45 pm 
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Das Kapital
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drpablo wrote:
walter23 wrote:
Next thing you know I'll be posting nude women in the woods shot through a Petzval (if I can find any nude women).
If Frank Petronio gets them, then you can...


Frank gets them by promising them a photo shoot in a dingy cheap motel room. I don't have that kind of charm :)

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