wide angle shift cameras for landscape and architectural photography
companies make beautifully machined wide angle shift cameras. The
best selection of models is available from Silvestri,
a well known camera manufacturer
wide angle camera at PhotoPlus Trade Show '02
would be Cambo Wide or Gottschalt Kameramanufactur. All three can
be seen at Photokina trade show every two years.
Cambo Wide is
a model we tried. Probably we were too spoiled by having full tilts
and swings of a Linhof, Wisner, or the two Cambo Ultima 4x5 cameras
that we have.
we do not have direct experience with a Silvestri. Obtaining European
cameras from their American distributors is generally not easy so
we never had a Silvestri to try out, nor a Gottchalt. European companies
do not seem to understand that a true and honest review has to be
on-going more than a weekend try out. We have the Cambo Ultima under
test for three years so can document exactly how it holds up to
real world usage out on location as well as in the studio.
advantage of a shift camera over a full-featured 4x5 or medium format
is that the film plane can't get off kilter. The Linhof TechniKardan
is sort of sloppy and things don't really align as well as you would
expect from such a renowned German brand (I have the early model,
circa 1990's; perhaps the replacement model is more rigid).
A camera that
is off kilter means some part of your image will be poorly focused.
But all that
aside, the Silvestri, Cambo Wide, and Gottschalt are highly specialized
cameras. We recommend you try one out and make sure this is what
you need. There must be a market, and a need, since Silvestri in
particular has developed an entire company around this kind of camera.
We are not familiar
with any web site for Gottschalt Kameramanufactur nor any distributor
in the US. Not a word on any other web site that we could find.
equipment of this class it is best to stay with a reputable dealer.
The camera company we have experience with is Calumet Photographic.
contact firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 312 944 2777 ext 2202,
fax 312 944 4035