I'm looking to buy a small, light and practical view camera to shoot on indoor locations. It will go through airports and I will carry it as hand luggage all folded flat if possible.
Currently we use Sinar P cameras in the studio, with Leaf backs attached to sliding backs. These work very well, contrary what some people say, you just have to be careful when focussing and do it very gently, but once you get used to it, they are absolutely fine. However, they are big and bulky, no good for travelling from country to country.
My requirements are:
-A high percentage of relatively close up work (almost 1 : 1 sometimes). Unlike architecture guys, I don't need wide angle. I normally shoot with 100 to 180 mm lenses.
-Self lockable friction knobs on all movements, like the Sinar. I definitely don't want to lock anything, it always tends to move the focus in doing so.
-Good amount of shift and tilt on both front and rear standards, all self lockable and capable of bearing the digital back weight without sliding.
-Small and lightweight and beautifully made. Made to last.
-Maybe with asymmetrical tilts like the Sinar for quick focussing, even though the Sinar axis are not meant to work with sliding backs and small chips. However, I've used Sinars for 20 years, I haven't known anything else, except some Cambo in the distant past, the focussing was a pain by comparison with the really quick Sinars. I'm not familiar with centre axis focussing, I guess it's very similar, will I have a problem in adjusting?
I've been considering the small Arca, they just look beautiful, even their leather bellows are a work of art. Arca also makes a sliding back that allows rotation of the back without removal.
There is also a Silvestri camera coming up. I found the Linhof 6x9 nice, but perhaps too heavy.
Any recommendations from the still life guys?