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christian.rudman
11-Jul-2014, 13:15
Hello folks,

Just trying to get a better grasp on what all movements can be used for/applied to so that I may better understand how to look for my first LF camera. I am really keen on field cameras for their portability, but if I need more movements for the portraiture/landscape/cityscape/cinematic scene looks that I am hoping to use it for, then a field camera would be pointless.

I took a cursory look on the googles for illustrations or short informational pieces on the uses of all the various movements LF offers, but that was unfortunately a bit lacking in results with any clarity or real use.

Suggestions? I do plan on picking up some of the AA series on camera and negatives, but anything summarizing for purchasing's sake would be appreciated.

Heroique
11-Jul-2014, 13:33
Ansel Adams is known to be a great practitioner who also happens to be a great educator, so your plan to start with his famous series is a great idea. The first one, The Camera, would cover movements – its photos, diagrams, and explanatory captions are super helpful.

Three oft-recommended books:
1) The Camera, by Ansel Adams
2) View Camera Technique, by Leslie Stroebel
3) Using the View Camera, by Steve Simmons

In addition, monographs by the "Masters" often have illustrations and explanatory text.

Are you near a local library? The titles above are common in most libraries. That way, you can "test-taste" a book before committing to a purchase for your permanent home shelf.

It just occurred to me that Half Price Books in your Austin, Texas area would likely have these books, softbound and hardbound, for a good used price.

Also, the search function here would be my next choice. Try key terms like "plane of focus," "front movements," "back movements," "DOF," (that's for depth of field), etc. You can type your term in the rectangular box, upper right, and click the magnifying glass. Remember the search function makes no judgments about knowledge in its results, but you'll quickly learn whose posts to trust and study!

Greg Davis
11-Jul-2014, 13:56
Kodak made a book about view cameras that is easy to understand with a lot of pictures.

geekofnature
11-Jul-2014, 14:25
For my 4x5 black & white class we used Beyond Basic Photography by Henry Horenstein. I found the illustrations in the book to be very helpful.

Tim Meisburger
11-Jul-2014, 15:34
The OP is looking for a first camera, and worried he might get a camera lacking essential movements. I can answer this. Almost any modern field camera you buy will have all the movements you need. The more limiting factors are bellows length and lens board size.

Avoid press cameras, as most (but not all) lack some movements.

Field cameras with fairly complete movements include Chamonix, Ebony, Wista, Tachihara, Shen Hao, Lotus, etc. If you find a camera you like but are unsure, just ask here and you will get specific information for any model.

Good luck!

analoguey
13-Jul-2014, 04:36
AA's books are very good - but they are not for the beginner, IMHO. One should look at a few videos on youtube before one tries to read and understand his books - sometimes the feel of them being more of a science textbook than a photographic book comes across. (I am no stranger to physics/chems/math, I hold an engg degree)
I frequently have found that his books yield better with a 2nd/3rd reading - especially after one has a bit of experience.

Drew Bedo
13-Jul-2014, 06:41
I started with a press camera—many of us here did —because it was within my budget. Movements are minimal. In the early 2ks, View Camera Magazine had two how-to articles on modifying a Graflex for front tile and swing. I watched a friend do the tilt mod in less than five minutes.

By the time I had gotttenused to working in LF with my limited gear, I was ready for something more elaborate (expensive). Had I decided to get out of LF at that point, I didn't have that much in it.

Now I have a nice Zone VI kit and a Kodak 2D in 8x10.

christian.rudman
15-Jul-2014, 08:41
Thank you for all the responses folks! I'll be taking all these responses into consideration as I begin choosing my gear.

I have decided to move beyond the press cameras for the first one, as I am confident in my desire to shoot LF for a long time coming and do want something contemporary and solid. This thread is a great place for me to get started, thank you everyone!

alavergh
18-Jul-2014, 23:20
I started with a press camera and it wasn't horrible. It had a little front rise and tilt. You could also raise or lower the bed, i think that's what you call it. Then I got a monorail because I was 25 and thought it'd be fine. If I had a better way to carry it, it might have been better, but there's no good way to carry one of those in the field.

I love my Wisner 4x5 technical field camera. It's pretty portable in my Lowepro backpack and can do...gosh, almost all the movements you can think of....but maybe not as much as studio monorails.

I think the guy from the view camera store made a video on how to use these cameras (just in terms of what the knobs do) so I would second the use of YouTube.

Ari
19-Jul-2014, 06:36
This is the most basic of information pages: http://www.toyoview.com/LargeFrmtTech/lgformat.html

ScottPhotoCo
19-Jul-2014, 07:37
118554
118555

See if this helps.

Preston
19-Jul-2014, 16:47
See if you can find a copy of The View Camera-Operations and Techniques by Harvey Shaman (ISBN 0-8174-0598-4). My copy was published in 1977 by Amphoto.

It's a well-written book that is profusely illustrated.

--P

Bob Sawin
27-Jul-2014, 00:26
Fred Newman, The View Camera Store, has some resources on the VCS website…worth a look.

Mark Sawyer
27-Jul-2014, 00:42
There have been some good resources listed, and any will work well. But the big learning will come when you buy a camera with lots of movements front and rear, and put them to use. Then you'll start to understand, oh, this does this and that does that, I can compromise here or I can compromise there, I can use these movements for this and those for that...

I'd suggest a good cheap 4x5 monorail, Toyo, Calumet, Cambo, even an old Graflex monorail. They're dirt cheap right now, sturdy and tons of movements. Trying to learn camera movements from a book is like trying to learn to drive a car from a book. The information is there, but you're not really learning much til you get behind the wheel...

jbenedict
27-Jul-2014, 07:03
Here's an interesting one from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. It appears that it is possible to check out a Calumet view camera kit if you are a student and this is the usage manual which comes with the camera. You have to pass a proficiency test on the camera before you can have it. Loading it, exposing it, movements with it...

http://www.evergreen.edu/medialoan/docs/photo_4x5.pdf

Here's a manual on the Calumet from Butkus.org It is what Calumet paced with their CC400 camera and would be a good primer on view camera use:

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/calumet_4x5/calumet_4x5.htm

Lenny Eiger
27-Jul-2014, 10:16
Find another LF photographer in your home town and go shooting with him for a morning... Anyone experienced should be able to explain he whole thing in about 10 minutes, or certainly plenty to get you started.

We have a Meetup group out here in the Bay Area that goes shooting together once every month or so, and you can see beginners to experts and all sorts of cameras, lenses, light meters and everything else. Very nice group of people, they're all friendly and all happy to show you how their Chamonix does it vs the Ebony, etc.

Good luck,

Lenny

christian.rudman
28-Jul-2014, 06:44
See if you can find a copy of The View Camera-Operations and Techniques by Harvey Shaman (ISBN 0-8174-0598-4). My copy was published in 1977 by Amphoto.

It's a well-written book that is profusely illustrated.

--P

I'll have to see about locating a copy here in town, thanks!


Fred Newman, The View Camera Store, has some resources on the VCS website…worth a look.

I actually found a few of his videos on YouTube a couple weeks ago, they were very helpful. Good advice there.


There have been some good resources listed, and any will work well. But the big learning will come when you buy a camera with lots of movements front and rear, and put them to use. Then you'll start to understand, oh, this does this and that does that, I can compromise here or I can compromise there, I can use these movements for this and those for that...

I'd suggest a good cheap 4x5 monorail, Toyo, Calumet, Cambo, even an old Graflex monorail. They're dirt cheap right now, sturdy and tons of movements. Trying to learn camera movements from a book is like trying to learn to drive a car from a book. The information is there, but you're not really learning much til you get behind the wheel...

That's definitely my most trustworthy method of learning, but I'm still trying to determine if my application is more big rig or sportscar, hence the reading stage for now. Thanks for the camera suggestions though!


Here's an interesting one from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. It appears that it is possible to check out a Calumet view camera kit if you are a student and this is the usage manual which comes with the camera. You have to pass a proficiency test on the camera before you can have it. Loading it, exposing it, movements with it...

http://www.evergreen.edu/medialoan/docs/photo_4x5.pdf

Here's a manual on the Calumet from Butkus.org It is what Calumet paced with their CC400 camera and would be a good primer on view camera use:

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/calumet_4x5/calumet_4x5.htm

Those are interesting resources, thanks!


Find another LF photographer in your home town and go shooting with him for a morning... Anyone experienced should be able to explain he whole thing in about 10 minutes, or certainly plenty to get you started.

We have a Meetup group out here in the Bay Area that goes shooting together once every month or so, and you can see beginners to experts and all sorts of cameras, lenses, light meters and everything else. Very nice group of people, they're all friendly and all happy to show you how their Chamonix does it vs the Ebony, etc.

Good luck,

Lenny

I'm still hunting around to see if I can find some LF photographers here in town. Good way to start by observing real practical application in the field, thanks!


118554
118555

See if this helps.

This is very helpful and a bit more like what I was looking for in my OP, thanks man!

TXFZ1
28-Jul-2014, 10:32
snip...

I'm still hunting around to see if I can find some LF photographers here in town. Good way to start by observing real practical application in the field, thanks!

...snip

There is a Austin meetup group call Texas Large Format Photography but their last meeting was held in April.

David