Folding vs. Non-folding Ebony Cameras : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am looking for comments or experiences with the non-folding Ebony cameras. Do you feel that this design is better or is it a compromise design to the folding variety? I know that these models do not have as much bellows extension but other than that it seems these offer a lot in the way of movements, especially direct lateral displacements and wide angle capability. Thanks for your feedback.

-- Jeffrey Scott (, January 08, 2002


Every design is a compromise of some sort. You choose your camera & you live with it. Great movements, enough to twist the camera into a pretzel & live with the weight & size. Fewer movements & lighter weight & you live with the minimized camera and a more limited choice of usable lenses.

-- Dan Smith (, January 08, 2002.

I use an Ebony 45SU non-folding camera. I find that it will do everything I need it to in landscape and still-life work. I use it both as a 4x5 camera and as a medium-format camera with Ebony's 6x9 back. It is a pleasure to use. Still, I do not have any experience with an Ebony folding camera. I would imagine that the Ebony SV series is also fine. One reason I like the 45SU is that the set-up time is about the same as a medium-format camera. That is, it's quick!

Now, to answer your question more directly, when using my camera I do not sense any compromise in its design. It was intended as a worthy alternative to a more complex folding camera, and it functions with real mechanical and aesthetic elegance.

There is a good discussion by John Sexton of the different types of cameras on Ebony's website. And there are previous discussions of various Ebony cameras in this forum. Also, you will receive good information from Jeff at Badger Graphic Sales.

-- Michael Alpert (, January 09, 2002.

There is an informative article by Richard Sexton on the Ebony website (link at the bottom of the home page), on this subject.

-- Åke Vinberg (, January 09, 2002.

The non-folding Ebony cameras are really suited to using wide angle lenses where, I've been told, the need for front and rear alignment is paramount. The non-folding design is very rigid and well aligned. I am perfectly happy with the SW45, it handles landscapes admirably and is a joy to use! If your "thing" is wide angle, then the non- folders are perfect. Paul

-- paul owen (, January 09, 2002.

I ordered a 45SU from Badger, looking forward to getting it. I bought a brand new Linhof Master Technika 2000 but returned it within a few days because it had too many things wrong with it for such a quality brand. I've had Tech III's and V's that have been wonderful and expected the new model to be as good. Perhaps I just got a fluke but that is partly what made me decide to try the Ebony. Every review I have read speaks glowingly about them, I just had to trust them since for the past 15 years all I have used were technical type cameras.

-- Jeffrey Scott (, January 09, 2002.

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