Granview camera...Any experience? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, Has anyone out there actually used a Granview 4x5? What are positives/negatives? Easy to travel with? How precise is focus...will it rival sharpness of field camera with comparable lens? Can Quick Loads be used? If movements aren't critical, is this camera as good as it looks? Any dirty little secrets to be aware of? Thanks!

-- Matt Docis (, December 26, 2001


Yes Matt, I have. For a bit more than 3 years. This after a couple of decades of using a Linhof Technica V. The camera is every bit as good as it looks, maybe a bit more so, because it delivers a few attributes you do not expect and are not available in other packages.

I have lenses ranging from 53mm to 135mm at present but have used longer ones. I tend to always focus via the ground glass. Focus is always perfect. The helicoids are crude looking and stiff until you work them in, but solid as a rock and precise. Once set they stay set. The little Ground Glass magnifier accessory that slips into the back is eminently useful, and seems like a toy until you use it. It works very well despite its short focal length. There are no focus surprises with a granview.

Quickloads, Polaroid, rollfilm backs all work perfectly. Sharpness is perfect and dimensional integrity is better than any LF camera around. This camera is strong rigid and very rugged.

The granview is very easy to travel with because it is so light. Unless you break it down, which requires a quick set up, (just do not forget your lens locking tool) with long lenses it can become bulky. But nowhere near the bulk of a rail based camera. If I need to make it small, unscrew the lens and the mount and store them wrapped, inside the cone.

The dirty little secret is that the camera is impervious to water. You can clean it with a wet sponge if you have a mind to. The longer you have a Granview the more you will use it to do things you never considered before with a LF camera.


-- Fred De Van (, December 29, 2001.

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