Gowland Pocket View

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Any experiences using the gowland pocket view as a backpack-able camera - specifically:

1) How short a lens and still be able to tilt some? (Im planning to primarily use it for 6x9)

2) As a newcomer to LF will i find it OK to learn with?

I'll be using it for landscapes and perhaps macro here and there and plan on lenses that emulate 24 mm, 50 and 100mm in 35mm format.

Thanks in advance, Pete

-- Pete Biro (pbiro@ucalgary.ca), January 13, 2002


Pete, I don't have any experience with the pocket view, but I do have another model Gowland camera which I purchased new from Mr. Gowland. I would suggest going to Peter Gowland's website www.petergowland.com- --fun website by the way---and contact him directly with your questions as he would surely know more about his own designs than anyone else. He's a great person to talk to on the phone and is a wealth of information. You can get his number from the ads(or is it adds?) in Shutterbug but you can also contact him through his website. He is legendary in the field of glamor photography, but after all, topography is topography and its all pretty much undulating terrain!

-- John Kasaian (www.kasai9@aol.com), January 13, 2002.

Every Gowland camera is a little different. He seems to be tweaking constantly. I have an 8x10" PocketView, which I like, but it's not for everyone. You sacrifice precision movements for light weight, but once you get the hang of adjusting it and the sequence of movements, you can have quite a lot of control.

I think he offers a bag bellows these days for short lenses with 4x5".

Do call him. He is very personable and loves to talk about his cameras. I was amazed when he actually called me to check up on an order for some lensboards and an extension rail.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), January 13, 2002.

Peter Gowland's pocket view 4x5 is my number one choice for a backpacking camera due to its combination of ruggedness, light weight and versatility. Cost was also a factor when I first bought it in the late 1980's. Peter has done a number of modifications on my camera since then and the latest one, a multi-segment screw-together focusing rod, will make the camera even faster to use (but I am not sure he wants to make any more of these rods). The camera will be very packable with my choice of either a 4" or 6" section attached to the standards. I think the minimum bellows draw would be 2" without a custom recessed lensboard; that would be achievable by moving the tripod block either in front or behind the bellows supporting blocks. The 'pocket view' is so light, that sort of configuration would not be a problem in use. Whether 2" is short enough to accomodate a wideangle (on 6x9 format) lens, you will need to check into. You really should call Peter and discuss your needs.

-- John Burnley (oreamnos1@fnol.net), January 14, 2002.

Hi Pete,

I've been using a Gowland "All Moves"model in the field for about four years. It is an excellent camera, will focus with a 47mm lens when using the bag bellows and allows plenty of movements. I highly recommend the "All Moves" as it is Peter's most versatile and convenient view camera and yet it still weighs a mere 3.5 pounds.

I have, somewhat hesitantly, decided to concentrate on other formats so my 4x5 equipment is for sale. If interested email me or you can view my ads on photo.net.

Joseph A. Dicke

-- Joseph A. Dickerson (jadphoto@aol.com), January 14, 2002.

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