4x5 Camera Comparison

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I want to buy a 4x5 monorail camera. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the following cameras is practical use? Sinar X Sinar f1/f2 Arca-Swiss F-Line Arca-Swiss Discovery Toyo 45CX Toyo 45C Toyo 45GX

-- Mike George (mike@potelcom.com), February 02, 1999


Well what are you looking for in a monorail, features and in terms of what (and where you are going to shoot? If you don't like base tilts that rules out Arca and Sinar; if you dont like on-axis movements that leaves out the Toyo. My experiences led me to the Arca Swiss F-line, but what I shoot may differ from what you'll be doing. if you are staying in the studio, no question, go with the Sinar X.

My mix of shooting is 80% location (architecture and big industrial product), and 20% studio (portraits, still life, small "creative" product, copying artwork) so I choose the Arca Swiss F-line. I like it because it is yaw free, extremely flexible and precise, expanadable/adaptable, and because the rise is in the focal plane. But it is a base tilt camera.

Toyo makes very good cameras (as does Horseman and Calumet) but I don't like axis tilts and they are very bulky cameras which limit them (for me) for location work.

So what is it you'll be shooting and why do you want a view camera in the first place?

-- Ellis vener (evphoto@insync.net), February 02, 1999.

Major differences between the toyo 45C and 45 CX: C has a revolving back (CX you have to manually detatch the gg and then switch the back), CX has a smaller lens board, C has fine controll over rise and falls, C you can get other monorails (interchangeable with the rest of the Toyo line from what I was told).

-- stuart goldstein (satgre@worldnet.att.net), February 03, 1999.

I agree that the Sinar X, F1 or F2 is the best choice for studio work. If you need the portability of the Arca-Swiss F-Line but want axis tilts, consider the Linhof Technikardan 45 or 45S.

-- Sean Donnelly (seand@io.com), February 03, 1999.

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