Show Us Your Camera

Discussion in 'Talk About Large Format Gear' started by Ian-Barber, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Carl Hall

    Carl Hall Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Production Support Engineer
    Location:
    Somerset
    Home Page:
    We already get enough funny looks for using large format cameras, not sure that wearing a cape is going to help! :D :p
     
  2. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    None (retired)
    Location:
    Sussex - but originally from Wakefield.
    I have no problems at all with the ABS. It's solid and stable. I have three 5x4 cameras, all vastly different from each other: a Wista DX, a Canham DLC45 and the Walker Titan shown here. I'll put up photos of the Canham later, but I'll add a photo of the Wista at the end of this thread.

    The Wista is the prettiest, hands down. Everyone like the look of it, as it's a traditional looking camera in wood. It's also the lightest of the three, and is the easiest to get into my Lowepro backpack (which was actually bought when I was using a Mamiya RZ67 as my main camera, and purchased after taking my outfit to the shop to see if it would fit). The downsides are, first and foremost, the ground glass. As I mentioned in another post, I find the Fresnel rings really distracting (I have no problems with the other two). Added to that, the front rise and fall seem imprecise (but I started with a camera that had geared rise and fall); coupled with a slight stiffness (and, no, I've never tried lubricating it) it makes it more difficult than I'd like when I'm behind the camera and under the focussing cloth to adjust. The fixed 12" belows also place a restriction on lenses, the more so as I favour longer rather than shorter focal lengths.

    The Canham DLC45 is best described (if you haven't seen one) as made from Meccano. It's metal, but with more holes than a Swiss cheese to reduce the weight, which comes in between Wista and Walker. It packs down into it's own padded bag (which has a shoulder strap) and so doesn't go into the back pack. The movements are smoother than the Wista and about the same as the Walker. The bellows are the longest (by a whisker) of the three, and are interchangeable (as are the Walker's). The downside is the setting up time. Setting up requires that a couple of locking catches are first released, but the pivot is a vertical one, meaning that the camera can't easily be erected on a table (or car seat) - it's best done on a tripod. Packing down is the same, and it is difficult (probably down to lack of great experience doing it) to pack down unless it's on the tripod. The other feature that the others don't have is an extra step with the front standard - it's collapsed with the front standard out of a groove that it needs to be in to operate, so there's an extra small step in the setting up to ensure that it's in the groove. In use, it feels "right", and operates smoothly. The packing down is more of a problem because the camera does not have a strap for carrying it, and so needs to be packed down to move, unless carried on a tripod. I'm happy carrying the other two for reasonable distances set up, but off tripod, by their straps and it saves time as I only have one lens that can be left on camera and the camera still packed down. The Canham is more fiddly in this respect. On tripod, it's probably the smoothest operator of the three (but if so, only by a whisker over the Walker).

    The Walker is, as noted, made from ABS. It's just as rigid as the others (well, actually it's more rigid than the Wista) and works smoothly. It's as easy as the Wista to pack down - slightly less fiddly in fact, and takes the same lens panels as the Wista (the Canham doesn't). The ground glass screen is an Ebony one - or marked with the Ebony name at any rate). The only two cons are the weight - it's the heaviest of the three - and the size. The other two have the front and rear standard the same area, so the cameras pack down into a normal box shape; the Walker has a larger rear standard which protudes beyond the front when packed down, making it larger. It still goes in the backpack, but it's a close thing.

    If I'd been able to buy a Walker earlier, I wouldn't have bought the Canham which I got second hand from Robert White some years ago when they had one of their events in Poole. At that time, the Titan was out of production, and secong hand ones never seemed to appear. When Mike Walker finally made the last ten, I snapped one up. From the serial numbers (mine is 995) I suspect that the production run was only 1000 cameras. If I had to get rid of two of my 5x4s, the Walker is the one I'd keep. I rather like (in theory - we don't have a dishwasher) being able to clean a muddy camera in a dishwasher. You have to remove the bellows, but even so it says something about water resistance and lack of warping.

    WistaFolding.jpg

    The next photo shows the Wista ground glass without any shading from a focussing cloth or hood on a sunny day.

    ViewCameraScreen.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  3. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    None (retired)
    Location:
    Sussex - but originally from Wakefield.
    :D

    But it makes me feel like Alfred Steiglitz...
     
    Isabel and Ian-Barber like this.
  4. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    I was surprised to hear that the Walker was heavier then the Wista.

    The Wista does look nice though, I have seen what I believe to be the DX model for sale complete with a 150mm f/5.6 lens at a a fair price but the condition of the brass puts me off.

    I know its not going to impede the performance but I have always liked a clean tidy desk if you know what I mean :)

    P6030048June5_8.JPG
     
  5. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    None (retired)
    Location:
    Sussex - but originally from Wakefield.
    Wista 1.6 kg (from memory)
    Canham DLC45 2.13kg (from site)
    Walker Titan SF 4x5 2.9 kg

    And my original LF camera, a Calumet monorail 4.2 kg.

    There's more material in the Walker than the Wista, and ABS isn't a lightweight plastic. It's more like body armour than a car bumper made to crush under impact.
     
  6. Doug

    Doug New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Loveland, Co
    Now if I only had time and skill to equal the performance of some of these fine gentlemen. image.jpeg
     
    Isabel likes this.
  7. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Denmark
    It is such a pity that they are completely sold out, what a wonderful camera and I like the material on my Titan pinhole.
     
  8. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Denmark
    What a beautiful collection!
     
  9. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, belgium
    Home Page:
    LEO, Isabel and Stephen Batey like this.
  10. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    May I ask where you got your dark cloth
     
  11. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, belgium
    Home Page:
    Handmade darkcloth, Ian
     
    Ian-Barber likes this.
  12. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Denmark
    I think I have the same cable release just in red (same length as yours) and black (longer) :)
     
  13. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Denmark
    Yippee...she is finally here!!!
    This morning she was still grey, dirty and quite "stinky" but after a few hours cleaning and adjusting and with the right lens I think she now looks beautiful and I can even see something on the ground glass - had to take it completely apart (fresnel and glas were badly taped together and all mucky in-between) - actually I basically took the whole camera apart but who cares...now she is reasonably clean ;-).

    20160830_172941.jpg
     
  14. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    She looks a beauty, now you just need to get her out there and make some photographs
     
  15. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Denmark
    I definitely will :) I have some Fuji 100C and 3000B polaroid film packs and a polaroid back to start experimenting with - not 4x5 but still a good starting point.
     
  16. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, belgium
    Home Page:
  17. Bill Martindale

    Bill Martindale Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Furness Peninsula
    Looks like you did a good job. Now go and enjoy.
     
  18. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    Looks great, Isabel! I don't know much about these cameras, but now I want one.....
    Alex
     
  19. Diz

    Diz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Co.Roscommon, Ireland
    Beauty and the beast. Just as I think I've think I have sorted the FKD, it throws another hole or loose screw hole at me. Good fun though. cameras.jpg
    Cheers
    Diz
     
    Andy Grant likes this.
  20. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, belgium
    Home Page:

Share This Page