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  #1  
Old 15th January 2013, 04:00 PM
DavidR DavidR is offline
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Default Aspiring LF owner needs help/reassurance!

Hi

I've come back to film after a few years eaking a living from being a professional portrait/wedding photographer and am again enjoying taking photographs for the simple joy of taking photographs.

I started my return with a Zorki 4 35mm then dug out my Bronica ETRsi and have now just bought a Franka Solida 6 x 6 via having found my father in laws old Kodak 6 x 9 and put a film through that. I am also developing my own films.

The larger negatives are very appealing.

All this is leading me to want to try LF but before I commit myself to the expenditure involved I wondered if there are any members on here who might be prepared to let me tag along on a photoshoot so I can see if large format is for me.

I live in Suffolk, UK so if there is anyone nearby who would be happy to show me the ropes I'd love to hear from you. Or alternatively just convince me that I'll love it!

Thanks
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Old 15th January 2013, 05:21 PM
paulc paulc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
I live in Suffolk, UK so if there is anyone nearby who would be happy to show me the ropes I'd love to hear from you. Or alternatively just convince me that I'll love it!
Once the snow clears, you're welcome to head up to Norwich and I can loan you a 5x4 and we can go out shooting - You'd need to bring a tripod, preferably with a 3/8 attachment (although we could probably borrow one for the day).

You do realise that once you are hooked on large format, there is no going back to the minature formats
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  #3  
Old 15th January 2013, 05:30 PM
DavidR DavidR is offline
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Originally Posted by paulc View Post
Once the snow clears, you're welcome to head up to Norwich and I can loan you a 5x4 and we can go out shooting - You'd need to bring a tripod, preferably with a 3/8 attachment (although we could probably borrow one for the day).

You do realise that once you are hooked on large format, there is no going back to the minature formats

Thats brilliant Paul. The tripods I have will not, I think, cope with a 5 x 4 and in any case dont have a 3/8 attachment so if its possible to borrow one thats great. I dont mind if I dont shoot anything myself but just follow you round would be fine and yes I do realise the danger of getting hooked!
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Old 15th January 2013, 07:23 PM
EdBray EdBray is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
Hi

I've come back to film after a few years eaking a living from being a professional portrait/wedding photographer and am again enjoying taking photographs for the simple joy of taking photographs.
That statement could almost have been mine, I gave up full time Social Photography in the late 90s and got 'a real job', not as financially rewarding but much less hassel.

Went through the Digital thing in the noughties culminating in a Canon 1DsMk3 and a Hasselblad H1D but was not satisfying 'a need' then I decided to get a Fuji GX680 for the movements, then I decided that as it was so heavy I might as well get a Large Format camera, this I did approximately 12 months ago and don't regret it at all, digital all gone except for a Fuji X10 for holiday snaps and a Canon something or other for work.

I now have a 4x5 Horseman monorail, a Shen-Hao PTB45 field Camera and a Canham Metal MQC57 Field Camera & I love them all, never been happier. There is something really great about film, and more so for Large Format film, its tactile.

I have also started mixing my own developer from the raw chemicals, I started with Caffenol CL, and have now progressed to Pyrocat HD and Alkaline Fixer. I have also just bought a 5x7 Devere Enlarger so the full darkroom will be the next thing to take shape.

Once bitten, forever smitten, be warned
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  #5  
Old 15th January 2013, 09:16 PM
Keith Cocker Keith Cocker is offline
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I can't offer you a try-out as I'm a long way from you but I can offer you encouragement. I took the plunge (with a bit of help and advice from Ffordes) with the purchase of a Toyo Field Camera and assorted lenses and bits and pieces and I haven't looked back. i thoroughly enjoy using Large Format. Its even more contemplative than medium Format and the results are lovely. Do try it out if you can and I'm sure you will be hooked!
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  #6  
Old 15th January 2013, 11:03 PM
paulc paulc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
The tripods I have will not, I think, cope with a 5 x 4 and in any case dont have a 3/8 attachment so if its possible to borrow one thats great. I dont mind if I dont shoot anything myself but just follow you round would be fine
Send me a PM when you are ready, and we can make some arrangements - If nothing else, it gives me an excuse to use up some of the film sitting in the bottom of the freezer.
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Old 16th January 2013, 11:45 AM
JimW JimW is offline
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Addictive,yes, prohibitively expensive, no. You shoot fewer frames, as you have to think more. But the ones you do shoot tend to have more keepers in them. I went the same route as most, and have never enjoyed my photography as much as I do now with the LF gear. Satisfaction (almost )guaranteed.
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Old 16th January 2013, 01:32 PM
Adrian Adrian is offline
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I agree with JimW - LF need not be expensive. My LF gear is very simple - a home made camera (built from a 160 kit), 90mm lens and board (about 200), and a stack of dark slides (about 8 I think for 50).

The camera, lens + slides all fit in a small rucksack and it's lighter than my MF camera gear so happy to walk miles with it.

The film isn't cheap (about 1.60/exposure and colour film is stupid prices now at nearly 3x price of B&W for some) but as JimW says, you use less - I've only shot 2 boxes of HP5+ all year (50 exposures) - so probably not addicted yet...

I love LF for architecture and the occasional landscape and find it very satisfying. But I still use MF a lot for landscape work because often the light changes quickly so I like being able to shoot fairly quickly to catch the light. With LF one gets used to waiting a lot, cable release in hand - watching the light, people walking into the frame, wind etc. Patience is required.
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Old 16th January 2013, 09:20 PM
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Martin Aislabie Martin Aislabie is offline
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A few words of caution from an LF'r

Beware LF is highly addictive and those small format cameras seem tame when compared to one of these huge beasties

LF doesn't have to be expensive - well - that can be true but you would need to shop wisely.

Compared to the price of a second hand Mamiya RB67 and its lenses, LF kit is much more

LF is also large and heavy (my camera bag and tripod come in at a touch under 25Kg)

I cannot imagine "just taking" my LF kit with me if we were to just go for a walk - no; carrying around for a day feels like you are on an expedition and there are no two ways about it

I also had to replace almost all the photographic equipment in my darkroom too, from Dev Tanks to Enlarger and its lenses

So, LF is huge fun and you can take lovely photographs with it.

However, if you are on a tight-ish budget or think 15+Kgs worth of photo equipment is a bit on the heavy side for a day out, you might want to investigate the MF route

Sorry for sounding a bit like Eeyore

Martin
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  #10  
Old 16th January 2013, 11:09 PM
paulc paulc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Aislabie View Post
LF is also large and heavy (my camera bag and tripod come in at a touch under 25Kg)


Even when going for a week shooting in the hills, I doubt my kit weighs much more than 10Kg. Either you are lugging around a heavy old studio camera or shooting real big LF (like 11"x14").
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