Industrial/Building Photography and Camera & Lens Rec. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

After deciding on my subject matter of Industrial and Building photography, with a minor emphasis on interior architecture, a perusal of various threads has left me in overload. Thru previous dicussions it appears that the Acra Swiss and Sinar lines would offer me the most benefits. My basic need is "point it up / point it down; Correct for perspective; Shoot" Since my Super Graphic lacks rear movements it's soon up for sale. The only other option I would like, is a light system that I can easily carry and setup, as I have a tendency to move alot. In addition, next year I will be traveling and will use it for some landscape work after work hours. The last need is for a used camera. I currently have two 6x7 rollfilm backs for 4x5, but I sure do like dem big transparencies. Otherwise I was thinking of a 6x9. My lenses aren't great but cover 90mm and 203mm; A 135 Optar is on the Super. I'm thinking of getting a nice 75mm to replace the 90 Optar which I'll sell, and latter getting a 110 or 150. I'll keep the 203 Kodak Ektar. Sometime down the road I'd like a 300. I'm not cash rich so I have to watch for deals. In other words, don't recommend the 110XL; I can't afford it!

-- Wayne Crider (, September 02, 2000


There are many great cameras available for your needs. One thing to keep in mind is that most architectual clients almost always insist on 4x5. I know of very few architects that would allow me to shoot medium format sizes.

With that in mind, the Arca Swiss F-Line would meet your needs quite nicely. Excellent, stable, and relatively ligtweight. These are available used from time to time and would allow you to roll film if youhave to and are light enough to carry into the field to do landscapes.

They set up incredibly fast, and have all the movements you could need.

Sinar, is another excellent choice, but personally I like Arca.

I have one friend who shoots a Linhof 679. Nice camera but very expensive and a bit limiting for my use due to it not being a 4x5.



-- Bill Smithe (, September 02, 2000.

I'll continue to flag for the Ebony SW45 which is ideal for architectural photography. With a front rise of 60mm and a back rise of 50mm. It will except lenses from 35mm(with 10mm recessed Linhof type panel) to 180mm, up to 250 or 400mm tele. with back extender. The camera is light and compact, 1.5kg. without lens. And being a non-folding type is very quick and easy to set-up. I have their folding focusing hood attached to the GG back at all times the camera is that compact. I carry mine in a compact Tamrac backpack usually with 3 lenses (1 on camera), 6x12cm. or 6x9cm. back, some 4x5 slides, Polaroid 545i back and film, couple of filters, cable release and cleaning kit. All quite comfortable to carry for long periods of walking to locations. If you need any further info. please do not hesitate to e-mail me, regards,

-- Trevor Crone (, September 03, 2000.

I'll second everything Trevor has said regarding the Ebony SW, you couldn't want for a camera more suited to architecture / industrial / interior and its forte, landscape. Expensive ? Perhaps, but you won't be able to resist it if you handle will then understand what all the fuss is about!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, September 03, 2000.

The Ebony did sound very interesting, and according to past convesation a bit expensive from what I hear. I must check out their pricing. I wonder how available usd units are?

I just re-read an older article in Popular Photography on LF equipment, and became interested in the Walker Titan, due mainly to the fact that the extension is good and has both base and axis tilts on the back. In addition, due to it's unique construction, it seems it would be quite impervious to backpacking. I have also always considered the Wisner Technical, but the Walker appeals to me more.

The one thing that holds be back from the Arca Swiss is the base tilt thing. Since I don't have a camera that uses rear base tilt (the Super has only front axis tilt) I have read that it can be more of a problem when trying to focus by needing to be refocused often. I will ahve to read more threads on this.

-- Wayne Crider (, September 03, 2000.

The Linhof TechniKardan is a stadard tool of many photographers doing indoor and outdoor architecture. It has a 20" bellows for lenses up to 500mm and can take lenses as short as 35mm.

Optical axis swings and tilts, front and rear, limited only by the bellows, lots of shift front and rear and front rise/fall and rear rise.

Folds flat for travelling and sets up and closes faster then any other field camera.

-- Bob Salomon (, September 04, 2000.

Wayne, I looked at the Walker before opting for the Ebony. The Ebony was more expensive but a hell of a lot lighter in weight than the Walker. The Ebony just "felt" right (but each to his/her own!!!!!!)

-- paul owen (, September 04, 2000.

Bob Salomon wrote that the TK S 45 has a 20 inch bellows for lenses up to 500 mm and can take lenses as short as 35mm. However, an HP Marketing Corp/Linhof advertisement at p. 34 of July/August edition of View camera says that the TK S 45 extends only 19 inches. A previous advertisement in the January/February edition at p. 3 states that the extension is 20 inches and handles from 45 wide angle to 500 mm telephoto. I believe, but am uncertain, that the TK S 45 extends 485 mm (19.09 inches), not 500 mm. Twenty inches is 508 mm. Possibly the lens board can be fitted with some extender that allows use of a 500 normal focal length lens. It is my understanding that the 35 mm lens covers only a portion of a 4 x 5 inch format but can provide full coverage for 6 x 7 cm and perhaps 6 x 9 cm format. It is also my understanding that there are some telephoto lenses of 600 or 720 mm focal length that possibly can be used with the TK 45 S. Some of the non-telephoto 480 mm lenses have too large a rear element to fit the TK S 45, but the Nikkor M 450 mm lens will fit. However, you would have to shoot only at or near infintity focusing with the 450 mm Nikkor M lens, because there is not much remaining bellows or monorail extension for closer focusing. The advertised weight of the TK S 45 is said to be 6.4 lbs, but some web page contributor recently posted a message saying that his TK S 45 camera weighed about a lb more. Hopefully, Bob Salomon can clarify this. He is the Linhof Product Representative for HP Marketing (US distributor of Linhof products) whom I regard, and I believe most would agree, as the most knowledgeable expert on Linhof contributing to these web pages. Go

-- David Caldwell (, September 11, 2000.

I was referring to the 1998 editions of View Camera magazine.

-- David Caldwell (, September 11, 2000.

My choices would be between the Arca Swiss FC and the Linhof TK45s. Unless you get the heavier Sinar C, C2, P, P2 or X camera I think you'll be disappointed. As for lenses I mostly use a 90mm over a wider focal focal length, but that may be related to how I see. I think either the Nikkor 90mm f8 SW Nikkor , the 90mm f/4.5 SW Nikkor or the Rodenstock 90mm f/4.5 Grandagon (also sold by Calumet as the 90mm f/4.5 Caltar II) are excellent choices. My next choice would be a Nikon, Rodenstock ( or Caltar II version) or Schneider 150mm.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 13, 2000.

Wayne Crider ( kindly asked me by e-mail if I had considered rearward extension. I had not. The TK S 45 can be racheted rearwards past the O marking. Perhaps this is the explanation for the different descriptions of TK's extension capabilities. xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx

-- David Caldwell (, September 16, 2000.

" Possibly the lens board can be fitted with some extender that allows use of a 500 normal focal length lens."

Wista makes this.

" It is my understanding that the 35 mm lens covers only a portion of a 4 x 5 inch format but can provide full coverage for 6 x 7 cm and perhaps 6 x 9 cm format."

No it covers 612cm with a bit left over for adjustment. View Camera Magazine did a test on the lens and printed full 45 images. It cuts the corners but it is still the widest available lens for view cameras.

-- Bob Salomon (, September 16, 2000.

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