Support our Sponsors, they keep FADU free:   AG Photographic   Keyphoto   The Imaging Warehouse   Process Supplies   RH Designs   RK Photo   Second-hand Darkroom Supplies   Silverprint Ltd

Notices

Go Back   Film and Darkroom User > Equipment > Cameras - Large Format

  ***   Click here for the FADU 2015/2014 Yearbooks   ***

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17th June 2020, 12:59 PM
DaveInElland's Avatar
DaveInElland DaveInElland is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 299
Default DeVere 5x4 Monorail + 150mm Xenar

Further to my Intrepid post I’ve been browsing FFordes today and wondered what the views were on monorail cameras?

For example there is a DeVere 5x4 Monorail + 150mm Xenar lens, would this type of set up be suitable for a newcomer to the format? By the way, I’m not thinking of this particular one as it’s not in tip top condition and the optics are hazy, but seeing it made me wonder about this style of camera

Cheers
__________________
Dave
www.whenham.net
It's never too late to start again

Last edited by DaveInElland; 17th June 2020 at 01:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17th June 2020, 01:57 PM
DaveInElland's Avatar
DaveInElland DaveInElland is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 299
Default

I should have added that Iím aware that this style are generally heavier and as Iím not planning on hiking with it the weight, whilst important, is not one of the highest priorities on my list. I want a camera with which I can learn first and foremost.

TIA
__________________
Dave
www.whenham.net
It's never too late to start again
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17th June 2020, 02:30 PM
Bob's Avatar
Bob Bob is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London
Posts: 2,212
Default

In general monorail cameras are more rigid and have more movements over a wider range. The metal design allows for a smoother action and they usually have a longer bellows draw (for close-up shots) and are generally less fiddly as each movement tends to have its own locking knob.

The Arca Swiss series are relatively light; tho' I imagine they won't approach anything like the Intrepid on that score.

They are the most versatile option but the additional weight and bulk (they are not designed to fold down at all) makes them awkward for hiking with - although I have used my Arca Swiss in that mode.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17th June 2020, 02:37 PM
DaveInElland's Avatar
DaveInElland DaveInElland is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 299
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
In general monorail cameras are more rigid and have more movements over a wider range. The metal design allows for a smoother action and they usually have a longer bellows draw (for close-up shots) and are generally less fiddly as each movement tends to have its own locking knob.

The Arca Swiss series are relatively light; tho' I imagine they won't approach anything like the Intrepid on that score.

They are the most versatile option but the additional weight and bulk (they are not designed to fold down at all) makes them awkward for hiking with - although I have used my Arca Swiss in that mode.
Thanks Bob. So, bulk and weight aside, these style of 5x4 camera represent a reasonable way for someone to learn and experience LF photography?

Cheers
__________________
Dave
www.whenham.net
It's never too late to start again
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17th June 2020, 02:54 PM
Bob's Avatar
Bob Bob is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London
Posts: 2,212
Default

Probably the best way from a technical standpoint as there is no compromise made for portability or weight. Wooden cameras may for example have the front rise/fall and tilt both controlled by the same locking knob whereas a monorail will likely have separate controls. Focussing on a monorail will typically be via a rack and pinion but a wooden camera may be via friction or a (rather cheap and cheerful) threaded rod. None of these compromises are major problems against the field camera, they just make the monorail easier and more precise in use.

I would point out that I am by no means an expert (on anthing!): I currently have two 4x5s (Arca Swiss and Shen Hao) and have owned a total of three and mostly shoot 6x6 so by all means wait for other's opinions before taking my word as gospel!

Last edited by Bob; 17th June 2020 at 02:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17th June 2020, 03:02 PM
DaveInElland's Avatar
DaveInElland DaveInElland is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 299
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Probably the best way from a technical standpoint as there is no compromise made for portability or weight. Wooden cameras may for example have the front rise/fall and tilt both controlled by the same locking knob whereas a monorail will likely have separate controls. Focussing on a monorail will typically be via a rack and pinion but a wooden camera may be via friction or a (rather cheap and cheerful) threaded rod. None of these compromises are major problems against the field camera, they just make the monorail easier and more precise in use.

I would point out that I am by no means an expert (on anthing!): I currently have two 4x5s (Arca Swiss and Shen Hao) and have owned a total of three and mostly shoot 6x6 so by all means wait for other's opinions before taking my word as gospel!
Cheers Bob, that all makes sense to me and reassures me that Iím reading the available information correctly too
__________________
Dave
www.whenham.net
It's never too late to start again
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 17th June 2020, 03:47 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is online now
Friend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Glasgow, Scotland.
Posts: 2,185
Default

I agree with Bob about the precision, and benefit of separate movements you have with a monorail camera. I have one, made by Horseman, and it has all the basic movements.
There is usually a good number of monorails on the market, and it pays to know what to look for. Personally, I would try to get something quite modern, and of a type that is quite common. Most of these cameras would have seen regular professional use, and older models can show some battle scars. Sinar made some excellent models in their F and, more expensive P series. The older Sinar Norma is a great camera, but not as up to date. The Sinar bellows and lens panels are interchangeable with the Horseman monorails, which gives a greater pool of parts. Iím not sure about interchangeable parts among other makes, but perhaps other members can advise.
Cameras with ĎLí shaped standards make it easier to fit the film holders in vertical or horizontal orientation.
Value for money can vary a bit, which is why it is worth learning a bit about the various models. I have the basic Horseman which I bought for a reasonable price. Not long after, a friend picked up a similar, but much higher spec version for the same price. His has an expanding rail and additional movements.
I hope this helps. There are some good books on the subject. Search for ĎView cameraí books and Iím sure you will find something of interest.
Alex


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 17th June 2020, 03:56 PM
B&W Neil's Avatar
B&W Neil B&W Neil is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: West Cornwall
Posts: 4,017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInElland View Post
I should have added that I’m aware that this style are generally heavier and as I’m not planning on hiking with it the weight, whilst important, is not one of the highest priorities on my list. I want a camera with which I can learn first and foremost.

TIA
It would be a good combo to use for studio or at home work etc., but would be heavy to carry to outside loactions.

You would also have to invest in a substantial tripod to keep it well supported.

Most of my early home alternative work was done with the simialr Sinar Norma 4x5 monorail, it taught me a lot and was a joy to use.

Neil.
__________________
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." Aristotle

Neil Souch - www.mono-inthedark.co.uk

Last edited by B&W Neil; 17th June 2020 at 04:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 17th June 2020, 04:15 PM
DaveInElland's Avatar
DaveInElland DaveInElland is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 299
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W Neil View Post
It would be a good combo to use for studio or at home work etc., but would be heavy to carry to outside loactions.

You would also have to invest in a substantial tripod to keep it well supported.

Most of my early home alternative work was done with the simialr Sinar Norma 4x5 monorail, it taught me a lot and was a joy to use.

Neil.
Thanks Neil, one of the things I do have is a very substantial tripod

Funnily enough I’ve also been looking at a Sinar 4x5 and a Calumet Cadet. The former appears to be better served in terms of lens boards etc from what I can see.

My aim is to buy whilst I am still “shielding” as I can’t be distracted by the need or requirement to leave the house
__________________
Dave
www.whenham.net
It's never too late to start again

Last edited by DaveInElland; 17th June 2020 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Typo
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 17th June 2020, 04:19 PM
MartyNL's Avatar
MartyNL MartyNL is online now
Friend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: based in The Netherlands
Posts: 2,474
Default

Dave, it really does depend on what it is you're going to be taking pictures of?

If studio really is your thing, then it's a monorail.
If it's out in the field and on location then it's a field camera.

Yes, both styles of camera can be used in each others domains but don't let the tech-spec's be the deciding factor. Each job has a tool and each tool has a job.
__________________
MartyNL
Reply With Quote
Reply
Support our Sponsors, they keep FADU free:   AG Photographic   Keyphoto   The Imaging Warehouse   Process Supplies   RH Designs   RK Photo   Second-hand Darkroom Supplies   Silverprint Ltd

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MPP mark 7 with 150mm Xenar Michael Sale or Wanted 1 12th October 2016 10:29 AM
Schneider xenar 210mm f:6.1 Keith Tapscott. Cameras - Large Format 9 3rd November 2015 07:48 AM
FS: Graphic view II monorail Xpres Sale or Wanted 2 11th June 2014 07:03 PM
FS: Cambo 4x5 monorail with lots of accessories Alastair Sale or Wanted 1 7th January 2014 10:16 PM
MPP 5x4 Monorail Andy Cameras - Large Format 6 26th May 2010 08:08 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.