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  #11  
Old 15th February 2017, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MartyNL View Post
It makes very interesting reading what everyone has to say about LF. And I would just like to add, that I haven't as yet, been able to get out of large format what I'm capable of getting out of medium format.

It's probably all part of the learning curve, more practice and experience should lead to better control, results and consistency. But that is both the challenge and frustration. Unfortunately, I lack confidence in my LF technique which is not on par with MF know how.
No one ever said LF was easy - and if they do, then they are being at best "economical with the truth"

Practice, practice and practice are the three main ingredients to success.

Personally, I like the logical methodical precision required to work with LF - but it is a HECK of a big step up from MF.

When I first started using my LF I did wonder if I had taken on something I couldn't/wouldn't be able to quite manage.

It takes quite a while to get on top of the very deliberate process/method you need.

I made the very deliberate choice of only buying one lens to begin with and sticking with just than one lens until I felt I was starting to get on top of the format - which for me was over 2 years.

My only advice to someone struggling to get on top of their LF camera is KISS (keep it simple - stupid).

Its the method I use.

Just because your camera can to vertical and lateral shifts and tilts doesn't mean that every shot needs them.

I hardly ever use tilts - vertical or lateral.

I do use the shifts quite a lot - both vertical and lateral on their own and about half the time a combination of the two - but a little bit of shift goes a long way.

Martin
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  #12  
Old 16th February 2017, 08:30 AM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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My experience of showing others how to use LF is that with the right guidance it's very easy to begin to master LF with fairly consistent results.

I guess I learnt most myself about using LF from reading Michael Langford's Basic Photography, and Advanced Photography, both of which were essentially text books for Photography students. He was head of Birmingham School of Photography (part of the Polytechnic) at the time, before moving to the RCA. While neither book is specifically about LF they have sufficient detail and more importantly give a better understanding of film based photography at the level needed for LF work.

Movements seem the most daunting aspect of LF but with some extreme demonstrations the principle is quickly grasped. Unlike Martin I use front or rear tilt quite a lot for landscape work, even when shooting hand held, often with compensating rise.

Ian
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  #13  
Old 16th February 2017, 04:13 PM
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I was a backer of the Intrepid camera, this is my first and only 4x5 and I find it very lightweight and good to use. I recommend it - unless you need rear standard movement. You can use lenses down to 75 or maybe 65mm (with recessed lensboard) up to 300mm (with limitations, close focus is a few m out. The one thing I did - but this would apply to most cameras - I immediately swapped the standard ground glass against a higher brightness one.
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  #14  
Old 17th February 2017, 06:49 PM
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Purchased a couple of books for some in-depth reading: Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons and View Camera Technique by Leslie Stroebel. I am not in any hurry to try a view camera but I am intrigued by all the different designs, I guess its a matter of horses for courses. I will have a better idea of what I want once I have explored all the options.
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  #15  
Old 18th February 2017, 06:56 AM
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The Chanonix models are great cameras, a bargain for what they are, and it's a current company so getting spares etc should you need em is not a problem. But second hand there's no doubt Linhof, Wista, Toyo, MPP etc all made superb cameras. It's all down to how much you want to carry and spend.

A few further thoughts:

- one of the main day-to-day usability factors is the quality and brightness of the ground glass screen, which is the one thing the technical spec or online photos doesn't tell you.

- give some thought to lensboards, don't buy a camera where lensboards are unavailable. Ideally stick with the technica type ones because they are widely available, and you can then easily and painlessly switch cameras with the same set of lenses should you decide to change camera later.

- don't ignore the weight of the camera, because with a lighter camera you can get away with a lighter tripod and tripod head, which then further reduces your load.

- don't bother with a expensive or inconvenient hood solution, its easy and effective enough to shade the lens with your hand if need be.

- decide what the biggest filter you're likely to need is and then use stepup rings to being smaller lenses up to that size. Or use a square system (Lee etc) and fit an adaptor ring to every lens.

- 50 or 60 year old lenses can perform perfectly well, no need for anything too modern and expensive.

- when buying a lens the operation of the shutter is as if not more important than the condition of the glass. Old shutters are fine if working, modern copal shutters do have the edge on ease of use.

- a 210mm f5.6 should work well for head and shoulders shots, they were ubiquitous among studio photographers back in the day so are plentiful, and hence often cheap.

- don't forget all the other stuff you'll need to accumulate. Loupe, film holders, darkcloth, cable releases (one per lens), light meter, means to develop, neg storage sleeves etc.
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  #16  
Old 18th February 2017, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
The Chanonix models are great cameras, a bargain for what they are, and it's a current company so getting spares etc should you need em is not a problem. But second hand there's no doubt Linhof, Wista, Toyo, MPP etc all made superb cameras. It's all down to how much you want to carry and spend.

A few further thoughts:

- one of the main day-to-day usability factors is the quality and brightness of the ground glass screen, which is the one thing the technical spec or online photos doesn't tell you.

- give some thought to lensboards, don't buy a camera where lensboards are unavailable. Ideally stick with the technica type ones because they are widely available, and you can then easily and painlessly switch cameras with the same set of lenses should you decide to change camera later.

- don't ignore the weight of the camera, because with a lighter camera you can get away with a lighter tripod and tripod head, which then further reduces your load.

- don't bother with a expensive or inconvenient hood solution, its easy and effective enough to shade the lens with your hand if need be.

- decide what the biggest filter you're likely to need is and then use stepup rings to being smaller lenses up to that size. Or use a square system (Lee etc) and fit an adaptor ring to every lens.

- 50 or 60 year old lenses can perform perfectly well, no need for anything too modern and expensive.

- when buying a lens the operation of the shutter is as if not more important than the condition of the glass. Old shutters are fine if working, modern copal shutters do have the edge on ease of use.

- a 210mm f5.6 should work well for head and shoulders shots, they were ubiquitous among studio photographers back in the day so are plentiful, and hence often cheap.

- don't forget all the other stuff you'll need to accumulate. Loupe, film holders, darkcloth, cable releases (one per lens), light meter, means to develop, neg storage sleeves etc.
Thank you for all the useful information Dave, there is a lot to consider.
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  #17  
Old 18th February 2017, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveP View Post

- don't forget all the other stuff you'll need to accumulate. Loupe, film holders, darkcloth, cable releases (one per lens), light meter, means to develop, neg storage sleeves etc.

Dave missed an obvious big one - an enlarger.

5x4 Negs are not really big enough to cut it as a contact print - so you need an enlarger capable of handing 5x4.

Second-hand Darkroom is a good source for an enlarger - but be warned they are both big and heavy

Martin
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  #18  
Old 18th February 2017, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Aislabie View Post
Dave missed an obvious big one - an enlarger.

5x4 Negs are not really big enough to cut it as a contact print - so you need an enlarger capable of handing 5x4.

Second-hand Darkroom is a good source for an enlarger - but be warned they are both big and heavy

Martin
I have a couple of Omega 4x5 enlargers stashed away, one has a cold light head. They both need a good fettle so they are also sat on "the back burner at the moment".

The more I read the more I am convincing myself that I do not need to buy a large format camera, its more of a want.
I think that I would probably enjoy making a large format camera, I can get use of a: lathe, milling machine, router and router jig to make fine dovetail or finger joints. A winter project for 2017-2018.
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  #19  
Old 18th February 2017, 05:25 PM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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Originally Posted by GoodOldNorm View Post
The more I read the more I am convincing myself that I do not need to buy a large format camera, its more of a want.
I think that I would probably enjoy making a large format camera, I can get use of a: lathe, milling machine, router and router jig to make fine dovetail or finger joints. A winter project for 2017-2018.
Ideally you need to use one before you build one, see what features you really need.

Adding to Dave P's comments I use quite a few 50/60 year old lenses and well as more modern, actually most are as easy to use as those in Copals, a couple are more finicky. Results are indistinguishable even with large prints - I'll qualify that by saying you need to know how to get the best from older lenses, also which to avoid.

Dave's point about lens boards is very important, most of my lenses are on Linhof/Wista boards but I have a second set on Pacemaker Graphic boards, with my MPP's I've made a converter to use Wista boards. I've done the same with my 7x5 & 10x8 cameras

Ian
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  #20  
Old 18th February 2017, 08:13 PM
Pete O Pete O is offline
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Default 4x5 I am tempted

My first 4x5 was a Wista 45DX, this was in the last century. I still have it and I would recommend it. Don't fail to look up Bulldog cameras either. I wouldn't even consider any MPP, not enough movements and I don't like the build quality. My main camera nowadays is a Sinar Norma. Great cameras but a bit on the heavy side. You could always consider a 5x7 with a 4x5 reducing back, wide lenses are not really practical with the 4x5 back but 5x7 is a great format and contact prints are a nice size. Sinar made a 5x7 back and bag bellows but this is exceptional but a bit heavy although I take mine out from time to time. I'm in Tamworth if you want to look at some of this stuff.
Pete
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