Fotoman Camera ceases production

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Fotoman Camera ceases production

Post by Nando on Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:23 am

MORE BAD NEWS!!!!

Fotoman Camera, makers of excellent medium format and large format cameras, has ceased production!

http://www.fotomancamera.com/news.asp#5668

Fotoman is mainly known for their medium format panoramic cameras. Personally, I always considered their 45PS camera for use as a ultra-wide, 4x5 press-type camera with a Schneider 47mm Super-Angulon XL. There is a 12mm and several 15/16mm lenses available for the Leica but I found that going so wide in such a small format is a bit of a compromize. The 35mm negative is just too small to capture all detail in such a wide field of view. With medium format, there is no ultra-wide solution. The widest lens available, I think, is the Rodenstock 35mm. Certainly wide but not ultra-wide. Moreover, medium format wides are extremely expensive. However, step up to large-format and you have the 47mm Super-Angulon, which gives an extremely wide view on 4x5 and every little detail will be captured beautifully. A Fotoman 45PS set up with a 47mm Super-Angulon is much less expensive than something like a Hasselblad SWC or an Alpa 12WA and it gives a much larger negative.

Another standout in my opinion, is their modular 69H camera as it is a (much) less expensive alternative to the Alpas. It is also gives medium-format negatives in the more aesthetically pleasing 3-by-2 format.

If you want a Fotoman, now is the time! Once the current inventory is gone, that's it!
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Re: Fotoman Camera ceases production

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:51 pm

I hate it when stuff gets discontinued even before I can try it.
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Re: Fotoman Camera ceases production

Post by Nando on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:31 pm

I was very close to buying an Fotoman 45PS with a Schneider 47mm Super-Angulon XL from Badger Graphic about 3 months ago. I wrestled with the thought of adding yet another format to the mix and eventually decided against it. I normally don't shoot so wide - I'd need to come up with some sort of project just for that lens! In addition, for the type of printing I would like to do, medium format is more than sufficiently for a 3 foot wide print and I'd never imagine doing anything larger. Then the thought of only being able to shoot only 2 shots before changing film holders. There is a film holder out there that can carry 6 sheets of film but I'm not sure if it would work with this camera.

With 4x5 film, the 47mm Super-Angulon would give me roughly the same FOV as 15mm on 35mm format. The whole set-up would cost approximately $3000 less than a Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon ZM lens by itself. Yet the setup would still considerably more expensive than the excellent Voigtlander 12mm or 15mm Heliars. Without a doubt, the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon is one of the finest lenses ever conceived but it wouldn't be able to compete with something on a 4x5 negative. The Fotoman 45PS is roughly the same size as a larger DSLaaarrrgggh and with such a wide-angle, it can be used hand-held quite easily.

Here's a photo of a Fotoman 45PS but with a 90mm Rodenstock Grandagon (which is roughly 27mm on 35mm format). It is equipped with an auxiliary rangefinder and spirit-level.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kavandje/2512623447/

Here's a photo taken with the 47mm Super-Angulon XL on 4x5. The camera used is not a Fotoman but a Gaoersi. A similar camera from another Chinese company but no where as well made as a Fotoman and Gaoersi doesn't have a stellar reputation for customer service. Keep in mind that this is on a big 4x5 negative - even the tiniest details would be crystal clear.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjsfoto1956/324141476/sizes/o/
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