R.H. Phillips 4x5 Feedback From Experienced Users

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I would like to hear from experienced users of the Phillips 4x5. I will be purchasing my first 4x5, and am leaning towards the Canham DLC but would like to know more about the Phillips.

-- Bruce Erik Steffine (kaizen1@earthlink.net), October 08, 1999


Is this the one that is partially made from salvaged sunken "old growth" logs?

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), October 08, 1999.

Aaahhrr Matey! Shiver Me Timbers!

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), October 08, 1999.

Hi Bruce,

I think you will have a difficult time finding too many comments on the Phillips 4x5. It is just too new. I am also interested in this camera. I have had two very informative talks with Dick Phillips about the camera and its options. He has even done a little testing for me concerning ground glass options. The bottom line is that you can buy the camera and, if you don't like it and return it within either ten of fifteen days, you can get your money back. You will have to pay shipping and insurance.

I have ruled out several cameras including the Canham (I think) and am down to the Phillips 4x5 and the Arca-Swiss F line Field camera. I have only been into large format for about a year now and this will be my second camera. I have learned that you need to have them in your had to see if they are right for you.

Good luck.

-- Paul Mongillo (pmongillo@thurston.com), October 13, 1999.

The lightest, sturdiest, most beautifully crafted and innovative large format around. I have owned several other makes, and i wouldn't consider using anything but the Phillips. Hard to get, but BUY ONE if you can find

-- jim knipe (jknipe@radford.edu), April 17, 2001.

I have been doing a survey of people selling LF cameras, going on for over a year now. I have emailed a few hundred folks advertising LF cameras for sale as well as talked personally with a few hundred others over the past 3 years. Philips cameras have never come up for sale due to lousy workmanship, poor performance or lousy service. Neither have Canham. Nor Linhof or Sinar or Arca Swiss.

The few folks who I have met who have sold Philips have been because they were moving to a larger format, getting out of LF, needed cash or wanted more bellows than they had on the Philips. The bellows draw was design philosophy, not a shortcoming. Some makers put a lot of bellows and others don't. Those selling Philips all gave them high marks for quality and Dick Philips very high marks for candid exchange on his cameras, including his design philosophy. None were selling it because they were unhappy with quality. Canham is also right up there with satisfied users, with those selling them having pretty much the same response as the Philips users.

Very few brands got major complaints and in over 700 total answers from sellers, only one brand got many complaints, and it had so many really negative ones I wouldn't buy that one for anything now.

But, Philips doesn't make a lot of cameras. Even so, the major lack of complaints is telling. Dick Philips makes good cameras, a conclusion I would come to just from those who answered my query as to why they were selling the camera. Having met Dick and seeing his cameras first hand, and having used an 8x10 a bit, I would second the recommendation that his gear is first rate.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), April 17, 2001.

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