The large format options are more limited.
In reality there are dozens of possibility, but the larger the format the more difficult to find a good camera for a cheap price.
And the admission ticket starts to skyrocket too…
UP TO 150€
- Graflex Speed Graphic (various models) with one lens
- MPP (various models) without lens
- An old Arca / Linhof / Plaubel 4×5 studio camera (non folding)
UP TO 300€
- Bush Pressman model D with one lens
- A Toyo / Horseman folding, without lens
- Linhof Technika III (4×5 or 5×7) with one lens
UP TO 500€
- Shen-Hao / Tachihara 4×5 without lens
- A Toyo / Horseman folding, with one lens
A few notes
When you buy a large format camera you have to be sure that the bellows is light tight. If there are just a couple of holes, however, you may use them to get a discount, and then fix the leaks with a bit of black heavy tape or liquid rubber.
The Speed Graphic are a bit limited with regards to the movements, but are still capable of great results.
The Linhof are on the heavy side, being all metal, but tough as rocks and beautifully engineered. Various MPP models are essentially Linhof copies.
An old – but good – non folding, studio camera is difficult to carry, being heavy and large; however many great masters do just fine this way, and it is the ultimate solution for the ones who want every possible movement. Besides, if you often shoot near your car and do not hike long stretches, it is not a bid deal.
Shen-Hao and Tachihara are a beauty to behold, but are a tad pricey and, being made of wood, more delicate – but also more light.
Next time we’ll talk about films, developers and scanners.