What boards fit what cameras?

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Is there a FAQ or listing somewhere that might show what boards fit what cameras? I.e., Sinars seem to fit Toyos; Linhofs fit lotsa stuff, etc.

On my quest for The Right Camera, meaning enough movements to tie it in a knot for the close-up product photography I have to do, but enough portability so that i don't invent excuses not to stuff it in the backpack for things I want to do, I'm finding that one camera to do it all translates into muy $$$$$, and maybe I'm better off with a generic low-ball monorail for the studio/close-to-home stuff and a lightweight field camera for lugging into the sticks.

If, of course, they both take the same board.


-- James R. Babb (jbabb@agate.net), October 21, 1997


I don't know of a source that tells which boards fit which other cameras; there are so few perfect fits but a lot of "in a pinch" ones. Some view camera companies, like Toyo and perhaps Horseman, list in their catalogs a wide variety of adaptor boards that let you easily switch between systems; call Mamiya America for the Toyo catalog and Calumet for the Horseman.

I cannot affirm strongly enough your sense that you might need two view cameras. There is no way to make a view camera that excels in both the field and the studio; some do both duties better than others do, but in almost every area (movements vs. foldability, sturdiness vs. light weight, bellows extension vs. compactness, modularity vs. simplicity) the needs of a close-up indoor camera are directly opposite those of a field camera. You can pick up some very good monorails for a song and still have plenty left for a state-of-the-art field camera.

If lensboard-sharing is desirable, when shopping around you might watch for appealing cameras of different brands that share boards. For instance, Canham makes very popular field cameras that use the Toyo board (and Toyo makes some highly acclaimed monorails as well as field cameras).

Finally, you could consider investing in a good ($50) spanner wrench and simply remount your favorite lenses when you go out into the field. I do this constantly--a couple of times a week--and it takes no more than two minutes per lens. Compared to changing a pile film holders, that's nothing....

Good luck!

-- Sterling Black (go bw@aol.com), November 04, 1997.

I don't know of a universal source of information about lensboard/camera compatibility. However, Linhof, Wista, and Horseman lensboards are all the same size and will fit those respective cameras and also in Tachihara, Calumet Woodfield, and Nagaoka(sp?) cameras.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis@fowlerwhite.com), December 02, 1997.

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