Sunday, May 10, 2009

Large Format (Part 3)

So I've touched on the pros and cons of Large Format cameras, but isn't film dead? Will I be able to get 4x5 negative film next year?

The View Camera isn't dead. Actually it is alive and well. Most of today's pro studio commercial photographers still use large format Studio 4x5 or 8x10 film cameras to get the quality required and demanded by high end business savvy clients. For this reason and for the fact that Digital still can't touch large format quality, the View Camera should be around for some time.

Two new companies have entered the View Camera marketplace in the past two years including a Chinese Company whose cameras have not been seen in the North American because of some Patent issues. Their Camera happens to be almost identical to a great looking wooden View Camera. Go figure.

There has also been some new 4x5 and 8x10 Sheet film introduced in the last year. Also, companies like Linhof with their new "Techno" 4x5 Field Camera and Sinar with their new digital camera back "Sinarback eVolution 75H" designed for large format cameras are proof that things are as they were in the world of large format. Things may be changing and evolving, but large format is here to stay.

Another great very cool very techie product is the BetterLight Digital Scanning Back "Super 10K-HS" Digital 4x5 Back. At 138,720,000 (Yes, 138 Million!) with a 48 bit capture you are looking at a single image file of 794 Megs. Time for a new hard drive.

I have recently found a new Back Plate for 4x5 cameras that allows you to mount new digital Canon and Nikon cameras to 4x5 view cameras. Why would you want to do this? Well, at roughly $100.00 for the adaptor, it's a great way to get "Tilt & Shift" for your camera. OH, and it's cheaper than buying Canons new 17mm TS-E f/4.0L Tilt & Shift Lens at $2499.00 U.S.

If this world of Large Format photography still intrigues you, I encourage you to check it out. I recently saw a complete Sinar F 4x5 Studio Camera Kits complete with 3 lenses, sheet film holders, Polaroid film holders, shade, shutter bulb, and a great Sinar case and some film sell on eBay for only $710.00 U.S. A great deal and a great Studio Camera for the price.

If your thinking about it, the full kits seem to sell at better prices than individual parts. Keep an eye out on eBay and in the mean time check out these links:

Sinar Bron Imaging at

Linhof at

BetterLight at

© 2009 Francois Cleroux

(Version 1.01 - May 2009)

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I value thoughtful comments and suggestions. If you like or dislike this post, please let me know. If you have any ideas or suggestion, comments or corrections (I do make mistakes) please also let me know. Thanks.

- Francois Cleroux