Portable 4X5 For Unrestricted Wide Angle Use

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Please Help. I'm looking for advice on a portable 4X5 for landscape use with rollfim. While digging through specs, I'm encountering problems with use of very wide (47mm) lenses and operational restrictions. Obviously, I've been hipped to the dilema of using a full range of lenses with one camera and finding it is virtually impossible without modifications. Since my main choice would be the wide end, perhaps someone can suggest the best 4X5 for this (47mm- up). Also, camera must be portable, resonably priced, accept viewing and quick change accessories. Concerned about movements and camera parts appearing in the frame. Would prefer a bag bellows design or conversion. Thanks. Chris.

-- Chris Montuori (cmontuori1@aol.com), August 27, 2001


Arca-Swiss 45FC (no recessed board needed, but needs bag bellows)

Arca-Swiss 69FC

Linhof TK45S

Linhof TK69S

Canham DLC w/ Technika adapter board and with 55mm or shorter lens mounted in the special Linhof recessed board. (bag bellows is also an option).

-- Ellis Vener Photography (evphoto@heartstone.com), August 27, 2001.

Also the Linhof Master Technika 2000 will take a lens as short as 35mm and doesn't use a bag bellows to do it.

-- Bob salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), August 27, 2001.


The Ebony SW45, SW23 or 45S would match your criteria, except for the price. Lightweight, 45mm with flat board (SW45 & 23) and standard bellows, easily setup and carried and plenty of accessories available. Beautiful cameras made for wide angle photography.


Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (photo_illustration@bigpond.com), August 27, 2001.

Hi Chris,

I had the same problem and solved it with a Gowland Pocket View (All Moves Model) I use lenses from 55 mm (did use a 47 mm for a while) to 300mm (non-tele) and a 400 mm tele. The standard bellows is 16 inches and a wide (bag) bellows is available. Camera weighs 3.5 lbs and mine is about 6 years old with no problems so far.

Peter makes many different models, all of which are subject to change without notice, so contact him to discuss your needs.

He did need to ever so slightly shave the mounting blocks for the front and rear standards to accommodate the 47 mm lens but when your dealing with the maker of your camera little modifications are a simple matter.

Iíve seen post in which the robustness of the Gowland cameras was questioned but I have two (4x5 and 6x9) and have had no problems with either. By the way, on ebay a while back there was a 6x9 Gowland with a bag bellows offered for sale. I think this was a Gowland custom one-off as Iíve never seen another like it.

Peterís phone is

-- Joseph A. Dickerson (jadphoto@aol.com), August 27, 2001.

I saw the bag-bellows-Baby Gowland on eBay too. But it's not one-of- a-kind - I had Peter build one for me a few years ago. I still have it...

-- Oren Grad (orengrad@world.std.com), August 27, 2001.

Chris, INVEST in an Ebony, either the SW45 or S. Big cash outlay but WELL WORTH IT in the long run. Good prices here in the UK (Robert White). Regards Pa

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), August 28, 2001.

forget the Linhof Master Technika 2000 is you need to rise short lens (less than 90mm), it's almost impossible ! and if you don't need to rise the lens, and you want to use roll film, then buy a mamiya RZ or hassaeblad, fuji, mamiya 7... if money is not concern, and if you want to rise and shift the lens, buy an arca F line 6x9 and a gitzo carbon fiber tripod and very good lens. Keep in mind that if you buy an arca f line 4x5 inch, it's a bigger camera than the 6x9 but with it, you will be able to use 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 roll film backs, standard polaroid back, 4x5 holders, ready load, quick load...and upgrade the back to 20x25. i think they produce a 4x5 camera call traveller kit 4x5, with the front of a 6x9 and the back of a 4x5 to reduce the weigth, but then you can't upgrade to larger format quickly. I've got a linhof, it's a great tool for 4x5 use, but i'm looking forward to buy something else for rollfilm use...

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), August 30, 2001.

'inhof Master Technika 2000 is you need to rise short lens '

That is why there is a lift up flap on the top of the body housing. That, combined with the front mounted crank for rise, makes front rise with short lenses easy.

Older models then the Master did not have the flap, and models older then the V did not have the crank. These would be difficult to use with short lenses.

-- Bob salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), August 30, 2001.

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