Galvin 2x3 pros cons, comments : LUSENET : Bulletin Board for Medium and Large Format Photography : One Thread

I am expanding my photographic horizons from 35mm into another format. My first inclination was a 4x5 view camera (my main discipline is landscape photography) It has been suggested to me to begin with a medium format view camera, utilizing a roll back. This would, I was told, reduce my cost(quickloads)lighten my load (I backpack frequently) and allow me to expirence working with Ground Glass without investing thousands. I am looking for other opinions and comments. Should I invest in a Galvin, or would I be better off starting with a 4x5 field camera and initally use a roll back? It seems the more I research the mpore confusing it gets. I would like to keep my start up expenditure to around $500.00. As you can see I could really use some honest straight forward advice.

-- Bob Kubiak (, September 02, 2000


Pro: It's not a 4x5. Con: It's not a 4x5. You can always use a rollfilm back with a 4x5, if you want to. Galvin's were really restrictive as to the focal lengths that you could use with them. If you want a light camera, a Toho or Gowland 4x5 weigh less than 2lbs, many others weigh around 4lbs. There aren't that many lenses specifically designed for the 2x3, most are actually designed for the 4x5. There are no "Quickloads" in the 2x3 format (a DEAD sheetfilm format). A 2x3 groundglass is a miserable thing to look at. Check out the following links, pay special attention to the sections on 2x3 cameras and lightweight 4x5's. Enjoy.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, September 02, 2000.

For $500 you'd have to search hard to put together a Galvin outfit as their prices are around that without lenses. That aside, they have their use, but not as a first camera. The other problem is getting lensboards; Their around but you have to hunt. Best get a Graphic 4x5, use sheet film holders and later get a rollfilm back. You can get a nice camera in the $300 to $500 range with a lens. Look for an Ektar around 127mm to 150mm. Although these cameras don't have alot of bellows draw for larger lenses, with a rollfilm back added you get a telephoto effect without buying another lens. Additionally you can sell the camera for about what you bought it for if kept in good condition.

I personally shoot a Century Graphic 2x3 with a rollfilm on all the time. I shoot by sportsfinder. These cameras are extremely light and durable for hiking as they are made of hard plastic. I can shoot mine handheld. If you get film holders, FP4+ and HP5+ film is available at B&H photo; Otherwise you have to cut the film down. In rollfilm of course your choices are large. BTW, the Century negative is 6x8 not 6x9, although they are considered 6x9 cameras.

-- Wayne Crider (, February 01, 2001.

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