Ebony SW23 Camera

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I have read many of the threads in this forum regarding Ebony cameras and 6X9 cameras in general. I have some questions regarding the Ebony SW23 6X9 camera. First, I will give you a little background.

I have been using a Fuji GSW690 camera for the last 3 years. I photograph landscapes exclusively mostly while backpacking. I love the 6X9 format. However, the 65mm lens in not as wide as I would like. I would like to use either a 47mm or 58mm lens for my wide angle lens. I would also like to add a 100mm or 105mm lens for my normal lens. I would like to utilize camera movements mostly to increase depth of field. Also, I like the convenience of rollfilm and would like to maintain some degree of portability.

My research indicates the Ebony cameras are high quality, and the SW23 is capable of utilizing a 47mm or 58mm lens without difficulty. I have two questions.

1. The Ebony SW23 only has front tilt. I have read that back tilt is useful in landscape photography. Will I be able to utilize the front tilt only to achieve adequate increased depth of field for landscape photography?

2. Please provide comments regarding any other 6X9 cameras that I should consider.

Thank you all for your time.

-- Bruce Arnold (Bruce.Arnold2@PSS.Boeing.com), August 25, 2000


Hi Bruce, I've been using the Ebony SW23 for sometime and I've found the 20 degree front tilt adequate. However I do wish it and the SW45 had rear tilt as well, not to control sharpness but to get a little extra front rise, although the SW23 has a fairly generous 45mm front rise. I think you will be hard pressed to find a lighter more compact 6x9 camera then the SW23. Without lens it weighs about 1.3kg. A bonus with this little camera is that you can fit the Horseman angle viewer for rightway-up viewing. With the 10mm recessed lensboard one can use with ease the 35 Apo-Grandagon and achieve in excess of 20mm rising front. Another camera to consider is the Arca Swiss F-Line Metric with geared movements(very nice). Although it is a little heavier at 2.45kg., not as compact and more expensive. Hope this is of some help.

-- Trevor Crone (tcrone@gm.dreamcast.com), August 25, 2000.


Thanks for your response. Do you use the Horseman 6X9 back? Also, do you know why the Linhof backs are much more expensive than the horseman backs? Do they keep the film flatter? Thanks again.

-- Bruce Arnold (Bruce.Arnold2@PSS.Boeing.com), August 25, 2000.

Bruce I do use the Horseman backs and find them to be well made and consistent with regards to frame spacing. They are also easy to load and reliable, keeping the film flat. I have never encountered any unsharpness only that caused by my focusing errors. With regards to Linhof backs unfortunately I have no experience with these. All the best,

-- Trevor Crone (tcrone@gm.dreamcast.com), August 25, 2000.

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