PDA

View Full Version : Hi from Torquay, UK



greenbank
22-Feb-2014, 06:33
Hello to the LF world. I've been taking pictures in SF (small format - 35mm) for a long time, and more recently in MF (Mamiya RB67) too. Now retired, I have indulged myself (my credit card hates me!) with a long-desired move up to LF with an Omega 45C (4x5) monorail, Fujinon 90mm and 180mm lenses, and various add-ons like a bag bellows and some film-holders. All from Keh Camera in the US - a really helpful bunch, but their website should carry a Surgeon-General's warning about its addictive properties!

No film exposed yet, though. Since I don't have a vehicle, I'm working on a back-packing system to get the gear out and about; and the recent series of winter storms has kept me indoors. But spring is on the way, so interesting times await. Meanwhile, I'm learning my way around the camera and the LF way of working.

I have to say that already this forum has been a great part of the learning experience, with so much knowledge and experience available from just a few taps of the keyboard. Thanks a bunch, guys!

Will Whitaker
22-Feb-2014, 07:25
Welcome. And do give my regards to Sybil and Basil!

Pete Watkins
22-Feb-2014, 08:47
Welcome,
LF dosn't have to be that expensive. Read up about lenses and really cheap stuff is out there. I recently bought a 7 1/2 inch Bauch and Lomb lens (it was described as Kodak as it was in a Kodak shutter) for 2.99. There is an un shuttered Carl Zeiss Jena 210mm lens on the UK bay at the moment, looks tatty but it's probably about 90 years old. I had a 13 inch projection lens for a tenner recently as well. Once you've got 2 or 3 reliable shuttered lenses start playing. Antique fairs and shops somtimes have old lenses going cheaply. Keep your eyes open. If you can mount the thing the meniscus lens from a clapped out Kodak box camery will cover 4x5 close up and gives great colours, not necessarily accurate but fun.
Pete.

Andrew O'Neill
22-Feb-2014, 09:27
"Whatever you do, don't mention the war!" Cheers and welcome, Basil... er, I mean greenback! ;)

Ed Bray
22-Feb-2014, 12:08
I'm just up the road so if you need a hand with anything give me a shout, only been doing LF myself for a couple of years but I might be able to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made early on. I might also have the odd book that may be helpful.

greenbank
22-Feb-2014, 19:28
I did mention the war by accident, but I think I got away with it.

Thanks for the welcome, Andrew - and I'm delighted to find that a British comedy classic has made it as far as BC!

greenbank
22-Feb-2014, 19:32
Another county heard from! So Basil's fame has spread as far as Maine too - I'm impressed, Will.

greenbank
22-Feb-2014, 19:47
Welcome,
LF dosn't have to be that expensive. Read up about lenses and really cheap stuff is out there. Pete.

Hi, Pete, and thanks for the advice. (Now he tells me!) No, actually I've read quite a lot, particularly on this forum, about adventures with older lenses and cameras - and to be frank, I'm not that adventurous, or that technically-minded (and not at all good with my hands). The stories of people building their own cameras, and the pictures of the beautiful results, get my admiration - but not my desire to emulate them. The same goes for rebuilding or refurbishing old lenses. I simply couldn't do it; six decades on, I know my limitations.

Before I retired I worked out a budget, and I've stuck to it so far - and the major expense (hardware) is behind me now anyway.

greenbank
22-Feb-2014, 19:56
I'm just up the road so if you need a hand with anything give me a shout, only been doing LF myself for a couple of years but I might be able to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made early on. I might also have the odd book that may be helpful.

Thanks, Ed. Actually I'm pretty well off for books (Simmons, Adams, the Kodak book, plus more general titles). In another life I was a librarian, so I've always had the habit of reading up on a subject I'm interested in right at the start. And forums like this are also brilliant in providing advice and information on more topics than I had imagined possible - including beginners' mistakes!

The thing now is to buy some film, and get out there and do it. However, if you can think of any particular mistakes I'm likely to make, I'm happy to listen and learn.

Andrew Plume
23-Feb-2014, 03:28
Hello 'mr greenbank'

Pete is of course, spot on, in what he's said, and stick to what you're happy with......................maybe look at the older stuff when you're 'down the track' etc etc

you may need another lens, say, somewhere is the middle of what you already have, a 135mm would be a decent alternative

good luck and best - plenty of guys/gals on here who readily step up to the plate to help

best

andrew

greenbank
24-Feb-2014, 18:59
Hello 'mr greenbank'

Pete is of course, spot on, in what he's said, and stick to what you're happy with......................maybe look at the older stuff when you're 'down the track' etc etc

you may need another lens, say, somewhere is the middle of what you already have, a 135mm would be a decent alternative

good luck and best - plenty of guys/gals on here who readily step up to the plate to help

best

andrew

Thanks for the good words, Andrew.

My initial lens selection was based on my 35mm habits - using a 24mm and 50mm for much of the time, plus a 135mm and 200mm occasionally - so I figured I should start off with a wide-ish wide-angle and a standard (yeah, I know 150mm is officially "standard" for 5x4, but the Fujinon 180 was available at a good price at the right time). I have a lot to learn - well, everything to learn - about the handling of perspective and "look" in LF, so it will be a while before I consider any more lenses. However, my thinking at this stage is actually biased more towards the possibility of longer lenses for that sense of flatness in a distant landscape, which is a look I sometimes enjoy in a picture. Certainly a 135mm is something to consider; I've been surprised to find that so many LF photographers have an extensive and comparatively "close" series of lenses, and they must be doing this for a good reason!

As to this forum - yes, I'm delighted to see that there really is a strong and supportive community out there, all over the world, whose members are always ready with advice and support. Really great.

Andrew Plume
25-Feb-2014, 01:45
thanks 'mr greenbank'

yes, we're all here to help anyone whether old or new to this Forum

it's also a great source of different photographic attitudes, any time spent looking at the 'images section' is useful even for those who are pretty experienced in this - fwiw, I 'honed' my initial interests in View Cameras on what appeared bi monthly in Steve Simmons' 'View Camera' magazine during the late 1990's - back then we didn't have this little asset known as the web, so stuff like this was comparatively very difficult to obtain

initially, you will probably find using a LF Camera pretty frustrating, plenty have tried and given up, I believe, it's not an easy tool to initially understand but on the other hand it can be an amazingly beautiful one too, after some time 'seeing back to front and upside down' it becomes like looking at anything else, a normal view etc etc

good luck and pm me if I can help, I'm also very happy to have a phone chat too

regards

andrew