a recommended Best Buy for 4x5 inch large format professional studio
went to Photokina 98 to test everything that we could find. After
five days we found that one camera has all the necessary
features and is a definite winner.
Better Light) uses a Toyo and recommends it highly. Thus we
visited the Toyo booth and could see why it was a good recommendation.
They even have a newer model.
at the Arca Swiss booth we finally found the 4 x 5
inch view camera that we were really looking for. A rock-solid
4x5 camera that would not wobble. We have all kinds of problems
with wobble and bending from our older Linhof Technikardan.
In fairness to Linhof I would add that they too have recognized
this several years ago and no longer sell the model I have. I would
also add in fairness to Linhof that it is the basic L-shaped geometry
which is at fault. Linhof itself builds solid professional equipment,
indeed their tripod receives our highest recommendation.
4x5 cameras by any company are destined to bend with the weight
of a digital insert. Michael Collette recommends selecting other
structural solutions which are more stable, such as the Toyo, and
obviously the Sinar . Worse, the SCSI cable puts a heavy drag and
pull on the insert. No L-shaped camera can withstand the strain.
was hard to find in the USA for several years, but now their office
in Chicago is available. Of course most important is that the home
office in Switzerland is alive and well. Except for the fact that
Arca-Swiss recently moved out of Switzerland into France. This brings
their Arca-Swiss large format view cameras into the Common Market
(rather than having them exported from Switzerland, which is not
part of the European Union). Since Arca-Swiss itself either has
no web site or the web site is impossible to find, this makes it
rather difficult to contact anyone at their home office.
visiting all the 4x5 booths at Photokina over the entire
week period, both Andrea and I recognized that the Arca-Swiss
camera won in all respects as the ideal 4x5 camera for digital
is rather obviously Swiss-made, as solid as the Alpine mountains
of that country. Swiss precision is legendary so here is a camera
you can count on. Let us hope this tradition continues in their
new home in southeastern France.
camera is potentially portable. Keep in mind that the fully
portable cameras (field
cameras) do not have zero detents strong enough to hold up under
constant studio use. We prefer a portable field camera for on-assignment,
but we lost too many shots which were out of focus due to lack of
a stable front locking system. It is essential to have graduations
where you know your tilts and swings position at all times. Flexibility
is great when packing and unpacking and carrying, but if your resultant
photographs lack depth of field, then it is safer to have a full