I just returned my Zone VI 4x5 field camera and I thought I'd let you know
The camera looks beautiful, with its polished mahogany standards and
gold-plated fixtures; people always stop to ask you if it is an antique (with a
Sinar, they just stop to ask if you are sane).
- the camera is heavy and bulky, almost as bad as a Sinar F2 and not nearly as
small as a Horseman FA
- the lensboards are big losers. First of all, they have to be almost forced
into the camera since the clips don't retract far enough. Secondly, after
laboriously removing a lens, one must then push the clips back to fold the camera
(a Horseman would let you leave a small lens mounted so I hear). Finally, the
dish around the rear element isn't large enough for either of the two spanner
wrenches I tried to work, i.e. you have to spend $150 for a special wrench or you
can't share lenses with another camera.
- the camera would be way better if it had a collapsible focussing hood so that
the ground glass was protected in transport and also so that one didn't have to
carry a bulky focussing cloth
- folding up the camera is a tedious nightmare of unscrewing what seems like
dozens of crudely knurled knobs -- not much fun on a freezing day.
- focussing involves manipulating knobs on both sides of the camera
- even with all knobs tightened, the standards seem to move without my wanting
Using one of these for just a day will remind you of why they invented
This was originally posted in 1992 on rec.photo.