R.H. Phillips 4x5 Large format field cameras

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I am in the market for a 4x5 large format camera to use for landscapes. I plan to do a lot of hiking over sometimes rough terrain, primarily in the Blue Ridge Mountains so I would prefer a rather light but sturdy camera. I have researched Winser, Wista, Toyo, and Canham cameras. Does anyone have experiece with the Phillips 4x5 camera and how does it compare to other field camera in your opinion. I tried searching the photo.net but could only find information on his 8x10 cameras. Thanks for any help you can give me.

-- Mike Hegerfeld (mdheger@gateway.net), August 20, 1999


I don't have much personal experience but since no one else has responded, here goes. Phillips made, or at least used to make, at least three different models of 8x10 cameras. Unfortunately I don't remember which model used which name. However, the least expensive model (the "Explorer" maybe?) was an amazingly light 8x10 camera that would be wonderful for back packing. I believe it weighed around 6 pounds or so. It did have two downsides. First, the back couldn't be rotated from horizontal to vertical so if you wanted to do a vertical photograph the only way was to turn the camera on its side on the tripod, a little scary with an 8x10 camera, even one this light. The other was a short bellows for an 8x10 camera- I think something in the 20 inch range. If you could live with these two drawbacks, it was a great 8x10 for back packing. The other two models were more expensive and were more like "normal" 8x10s - the back could be rotated, the bellows was longer, the weight and cost were more. I've never seen these two models so I have no experience with them. There was a review of all Phillips 8x10 cameras in "View Camera" magazine a few years ago but I no longer have the magazine so I can't give you a cite. Hopefully someone will be able to provide you with more detailed information than this. I saw the basic model for sale by Mike Jones, I think in the photo.net large format section, a month or so ago but I don't know if it's still available.

-- Brian Ellis (beellis@gte.net), August 24, 1999.

Sorry for the above useless response. I see "Phillips" and I think 8x10 camera since they just started making 4x5s a short while ago. I didn't see that you were asking about the 4x5 until after I posted the message. Sorry. Brian

-- Brian Ellis (beellis@gte.net), August 24, 1999.

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