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feppe
13-Mar-2016, 14:58
I've been shooting 4x5" for a few years and enjoy it quite a bit, along with some 6x6 and lot of digital small formats. I develop the chromes myself (tediously) with a hand agitated Jobo tank which fits only six sheets - a typical shoot is 40-60 sheets so I develop for an entire day. I get them drum scanned, and print digitally. I'm also getting increasingly worried about the rug being pulled from underneath by the possibility of discontinuation of LF Provia (RIP Astia).

For years I've had a dream of starting to shoot 12x20" some day to do contact prints to skip the drum scanning and Photoshop. Mainly landscapes, possibly nudes in the studio; but not sure if Calumet in Amsterdam has enough lights for that :P

I recently attended a cyanotype workshop, and was shocked at how straightforward the process was. And was hooked. Did some research, and platinum/palladium seems like a similar process, and the tones are more appealing to me. To learn the process and to see if it really is for me, I'd like to test the waters before dropping a few thousand euros on a 12x20 system.

I consider 4x5 too small for contact prints, so 8x10 would be a good step up towards 12x20. I found this nice-looking pinhole camera (http://www.ebay.nl/itm/8x10-LARGE-FORMAT-PINHOLE-CAMERA-LENS-0-25-F-LENGTH-125mm-F-Stop-500-104-DEGREES-/181450179222?hash=item2a3f460296:g:3TkAAOxyD9JR9n1k) made by a guy in Greece which is very reasonably priced. This should be a good way to get into developing 8x10, and doing contact prints.

So, the plan is:

Buy a 8x10" pinhole camera
Buy developing system for 8x10"
Buy chemicals and UV lamp for contact pt/pd prints
If it's for me, start acquiring parts for a 12x20" system


To future proof my purchases, I'd get a Jobo 2850 or 3063 which do both 8x10 and 12x20 for hand agitation. The former is reasonably priced at around 50, while the latter shockingly expensive at six times as much - just like other "expert" drums -, not sure why. It's a tank for holding liquid, costing hundreds of euros.

Another much cheaper option would be tray processing which I've never done, and my bathroom is tiny so might not really be an option for 12x20. I've also never done B&W developing.

So my questions are: is the above plan reasonable? Is there much to learn going from chrome to negative developing? Any pointers regarding contact printing 8x10 or 12x20 with pt/pd process? Is 12x20 insanity?

gary892
13-Mar-2016, 15:19
Is 12x20 insanity? In a word yes, but an wonderful kind of insanity.

I own and use a Korona 12x20 and make contact prints.
Keep the following in mind:
1.) it is expensive. Film can be purchased through the special orders from Ilford once a year.The cost is several hundred dollars.
2.) Film holders cost at least $200.00 U.S. each for my Korona.
3.) The Korona I have is oriented for Landscape. If I want to shoot vertical I would have to devise some system to mount the camera vertically yet provide the necessary support for the camera. I stay with Landscape.
4.) To the best of my knowledge there are no 12x20 paper sizes so 20x24 is what I use. Maybe someone else has a suggestion on paper.
5.) I tray process so I don't use a drum.
6.) Storage of processed negatives can be a bit problematic(costly).

That is all I can think of now, that should give you something thing to think about.

I am sure others will have comments and may even disagree with my opinion.
Take it all in before you make your decision.

Gary Fairchild

Denny
13-Mar-2016, 16:35
I think before I'd jump to 12x20, I'd consider shooting 4x5, scanning the originals on an Epson flatbed, and printing 12x20 digital negs. I honestly don't know if the results would be as sharp, but I suspect they would be close, because in my experience the finest detail in the neg is lost in the platinum print due to the texture of the printing paper. Much lower cost to begin, and the scanner and printer are always useful even if you decide to go with a very large format camera. There's a lot to be said for burning and dodging in photoshop, and the ability to create a "final" negative that can be reprinted if damaged. Not to mention how much easier it is to travel with a 4x5, and develop negs. Just my $.02.

Vaughn
13-Mar-2016, 16:47
Price out the amount of platinum and/or palladium you will need for a 12x20! Then consider other hand-coated processes, such as salt prints (using silver instead of platinum). I believe salt prints can a toned with platinum, though).

Why an 8x10 pinhole? With the availability of x-ray film (can be handled under a red safelight) in ULF sizes, you could cut down some 14x17 to 10x17 (very close to the 12x20 proportions) and make a pinhole camera for that size film. Cardboard and tape -- or as fancy as you wish. And working this size will tell you quickly if you have the space for 12x20! The largest I have dealt with is 11x14 -- and just the space needed for handling the film is big enough without throwing processing in! But even a couple of 8x10 negs can be exposed and developed to print together as a 8x20 or 10x16!

But I would suggest buying a solid 8x10 camera with a good lens and a few holders. Practice with the real thing. Prices are fairly stable (buy used), so you can re-sell it when you want to move up in format, or decide to forget the whole thing.

I tray process 11x14, and used Jobo Expert Drums for 8x10. Processing B&W will be easy after doing chromes. You will just have to think in reverse working with negative materials!

Jim Noel
13-Mar-2016, 17:58
Yes salt prints as well as kallitypes are both much cheaper than Pt/Pd and can be toned with platinum/palladium much cheaper than one can make such a print. When well done they cannot be separated visually from the real thing.
Both salted paper and kallitypes use only silver nitrate as the metal.

John Jarosz
13-Mar-2016, 18:16
You have a tall order. Some thoughts:

12x20 is huge. I think about things like darkroom size. Sink size. Everything else is disproportionately more costly. Lenses to cover 12x20 are hard to find. S&S filmholders (new) are way more than $200.
Xray film does not come in 20" dimension. You'll need to cut 14"x36" down to size unless you want real film which is also hard to get. And all these things are heavy. You'll need a big car and you won't be taking many photos far away from it.

7x17 or 8x20 is much more manageable (IMO). You'll be using a lot of platinum. If you make your own tissue, carbon transfer is fairly economical and it gives wonderful results. The learning curve is steeper than platinum.

When you are successful, you'll be making wonderful prints. I'd do some kind of two-step learning of the size and process you'd like to use. As Vaughn says, do everything and become proficient in 8x10 first. Then jump into the big stuff. It will take a while to complete this journey. Best of luck.

John

Will Whitaker
14-Mar-2016, 08:52
I'm generally in agreement with the preceding comments, but want to add that a developing tube such as the Jobos you mention may or may not be a viable option. At one time I tried a 2850 for 7x17 and got horrid flow marks from the internal structure of the tube and from using a staining developer. I much prefer tray development also because even on the best day a developing tube will only allow me to process one negative at a time. And that's very slow, tedious and inefficient.


I consider 4x5 too small for contact prints, so 8x10 would be a good step up towards 12x20.

Yes, BUT... Paul Strand didn't consider 4x5 to be too small. He did some wonderful 4x5 contact prints. (The first Pt prints I ever saw were 4x5 by Strand...)
Remember, too, that an 8x10 print is 4x the area of a 4x5 which means 4x the materials cost. Or put another way, you could make 4 times as many prints with 4x5 as with 8x10 for the same investment in materials. And for the record, 12x20 is 12x the area.

My advice is to stick with 4x5 for now and get comfortable making Pt/Pd prints with that format. When you get to the point where you are very comfortable and confident, consider moving then to a larger format.

This is good for me to write out this stuff because I am in a similar situation. I have a 12x20 which I love to use. I adore the big ground glass and find the limited depth of field to be more of a benefit to composition than a hindrance. And I want very much to use it for Pt/Pd prints. But I need to stick with my smallest format (5x7) to gain facility in alt processes before I can commit the money to a larger format, even 8x10. So I do feel your pain.

If it's any consolation, while you're practicing your craft, keep your eyes open for a good 12x20. Something good most often shows up when you're not actively looking for it.

gary892
14-Mar-2016, 09:36
Something good most often shows up when you're not actively looking for it.

Will, your statement is the absolute truth. I have experienced that many times.

Gary

angusparker
14-Mar-2016, 14:18
I think before I'd jump to 12x20, I'd consider shooting 4x5, scanning the originals on an Epson flatbed, and printing 12x20 digital negs. I honestly don't know if the results would be as sharp, but I suspect they would be close, because in my experience the finest detail in the neg is lost in the platinum print due to the texture of the printing paper. Much lower cost to begin, and the scanner and printer are always useful even if you decide to go with a very large format camera. There's a lot to be said for burning and dodging in photoshop, and the ability to create a "final" negative that can be reprinted if damaged. Not to mention how much easier it is to travel with a 4x5, and develop negs. Just my $.02.

+1 I'd go down this route first as a test. Create digital negatives with an Epson 3880 and contact print. No need to invest in the hardware at the start. If you like the results you can move to in camera negatives. More reasonable to handle than 12x20 would be 7x17 - approximately the same pano format but much lighter and cheaper to buy/operate. You'll get many more negatives made. The upside is you can develop the negatives in a 2500 series Jobo tube combo which will be much cheaper than the 3063.

angusparker
14-Mar-2016, 14:20
Yes salt prints as well as kallitypes are both much cheaper than Pt/Pd and can be toned with platinum/palladium much cheaper than one can make such a print. When well done they cannot be separated visually from the real thing.
Both salted paper and kallitypes use only silver nitrate as the metal.

+1 Although Pt/Pd process is pretty simple it is expensive at ULF sizes. I'd look into Kallitypes as a cheaper and virtually indistinguishable alternative.

feppe
14-Mar-2016, 15:58
Thank you so much for the reasoned and reasonable suggestions!

I think it would make most sense to start out with my current 4x5 camera for learning pt/pd contact printing, and perhaps get the 8x10 pinhole for travel, as a 4x5" TLR just barely fits in a carry-on.

Based on the suggestions I'll also check out 7x17 as an alternative to 12x20, as I'm not familiar with that format.


Is 12x20 insanity? In a word yes, but an wonderful kind of insanity.

That's a good answer! This is one of the main reasons why I want to do 12x20.


I think before I'd jump to 12x20, I'd consider shooting 4x5, scanning the originals on an Epson flatbed, and printing 12x20 digital negs. I honestly don't know if the results would be as sharp, but I suspect they would be close, because in my experience the finest detail in the neg is lost in the platinum print due to the texture of the printing paper. Much lower cost to begin, and the scanner and printer are always useful even if you decide to go with a very large format camera. There's a lot to be said for burning and dodging in photoshop, and the ability to create a "final" negative that can be reprinted if damaged. Not to mention how much easier it is to travel with a 4x5, and develop negs. Just my $.02.

That hadn't occurred to me, thank you for the suggestion! I have an Epson V700 or I could do drum scans if necessary.

Incidentally just today I did two cyanotypes with digitally printed negatives with a very basic tone curve. One turned out really nice, and I'm sure I could get much better results with a properly tweaked curve and better transparency.

Michael Mutmansky
14-Mar-2016, 16:41
If you have the process figured out for digital negatives, don't waste your time using a LF camera (unless you like the PROCESS of composing on a large ground glass and, and like or don't mind the time and work required to develop the negatives in the darkroom) I found I used trays for all my ULF developing. It was the only way to eliminate surge marks on the negatives.

Using ULF cameras is excellent and very enjoyable for many people, but if it is simple a means to an end, there are much more direct methods to get there that may be much less expensive, involve less time, and actually have fewer technological limitations to deal with.

Part of this is to decide what you want out of your own personal work. Is the shooting the enjoyable part, or is it the printing? Is this for commercial work or personal? Etc...

My suggestion regarding pt/pd and other processes is that you need to consider the cost of the time and the paper in the decision whether you might try to print pt/pd toned kallitype instead of straight pt/pd. My opinion is that you should not waste your time learning a process that is only peripherally related to making the final print. Sure, if you want to learn how to coat paper, it is cheaper to use cyanotypes or something similar, but each of these processes has their own nuances, and if you want to master the printing process, it would be better to actually work in the printing process you actually want to use.

Scratch the itch all you want with cyanotype or kallitypes, etc., but if you decide to get serious, and if you want to print pt/pd then use that process. If you can't afford it, print smaller as you work through the process. Digital negatives help here considerably, because it makes it much easier to get consistent results in the prints once you have the process mastered, so you can get the final print much more quickly, and you can make a small version of the same image for trial purposes before you coat up that 20x24 sheet of paper.


---Michael

feppe
15-Mar-2016, 00:22
One of the main reasons would be to avoid Photoshop and the digital path. I've always done a hybrid process with film, even before digital cameras were affordable. Shooting film, developing myself, scanning them, edited in PS, and printed with inkjet.

Doing contact prints is obviously the most direct way to go from camera to print, and seems, dare I say, more honest way to do photography due to the very limited editing possibilities. It would also cut down on time spent in front of the computer - which I'm fine with, but looking for a change in pace.

I get that digital negatives offer a lot of opportunities for adjustments impossible with contact printing, but if control and convenience and low cost was all I wanted I wouldn't be shooting LF in the first place, and would have gone fully digital years ago.

This would not be for commercial use. Mainly for personal use with fine art as the end goal. Perhaps there is a market for such prints, but although I do sell some travel and nude photography prints, I'm not planning to retire on photography any time soon.

Based on the discussions in this thread, now I'm really curious to compare in quantifiable quality terms enlarged digital 4x5 negatives versus contact prints from 8x10 (and perhaps ULF).

MartinP
15-Mar-2016, 08:38
As someone who just makes a few simple pinhole cameras, how about using paper-negs for contact printing, at least to start with for strange sizes? Silver contact-prints can look good, and you don't have any paper texture if you use a diffuse light source. Secondly, make the pinhole camera out of a couple of layers of black foamboard, and a few strips of wood from a model-building shop. You can make any size you need, and could even fit a meniscus lens if a pinhole is too slow.

Michael Mutmansky
15-Mar-2016, 08:38
With few exceptions, a properly done digital negative will beat an in-camera negative. This is why I stated what I did.

The resolution of these contact printing processes is low enough that you don't gain anything from a 'super sharp' negative in the same way that you do when enlarging on silver gelatin paper, for example. The effect of digital unsharp masking and other contrast and edge enhancement techniques will produce a greater perceived benefit in a digital negative than can be achieved through any film based process, with the possible exception of well-controlled semi-stand developing in the way that Steve Sherman teaches in his workshops.

Look here:

http://www.steve-sherman.com/workshops.cfm

At one time, he had a sample page of a negative developed in a traditional process, and the same image developed with semi-stand. It brings out the microcontrast in the negative in a way that is simply unfathomable for film. In fact, it's possible to take it too far, but in the case of pt/pd, I think it is a very good compliment to the contrast requirements needed to produce a solid negative for that process.

(Oh, and don't be spooked by the fact that he looks a lot like Walter White. No meth cooking going on in his lab, I can assure you!)


---Michael

Randy Moe
15-Mar-2016, 10:28
Why have I recently read and I cannot quote source, that contact prints show digital negative individual ink jet drops?

Just reading that possible scenario makes me chase traditional negs.

Perhaps course watercolor paper hides detail and sharpness compared to SG prints?

Michael Mutmansky
15-Mar-2016, 10:34
Randy,

Yes. The resolving capability of SG is much higher than alternative processes. I'm not speaking of SG when I said this, and I thought I made it clear that this was in the context of alternative process printing (like cyanotype, pt/pd, gum, kallitype, etc.).



I can't speak for SG either way, but some people are using digital negatives for that as well.

You could even use a digital negative in an enlarger, but clearly, the ink droplets will become enlarged in a way that would likely be far inferior to film.


I think Sandy did some testing of this 5 years ago...

Here on this forum (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?54560-Digital-Negative-Resolution)

For some reason, I recall an article but don't see it anywhere... Anyway, Carbon is one of the highest resolving of the alt process printing methods, and it is suitable for digital negatives, as Sandy can attest to. Pt/pd and other similar processes don't come close to that demanding on the resolving power of the print.

---Michael

bob carnie
15-Mar-2016, 11:02
I so both silver gelatin digital negative via Lambda and I do inkjet negatives.

The reason I would go to silver gelatin is mainly blocking power of a silver negative and it is extremely sharp for out put.

We have made 20 x24 enlarger prints on Ilford Warmtone from 4 x 5 negatives, then scan the same negative High Rez and made Lambda negatives to 20 x24 on silver film.

A contact on Ilford Warmtone is then done.. FWIW both prints are very, very good and almost impossible to tell which route we went.

If I tried to use inkjet negative it would be obviously of lesser quality.

But for Alternative process on rag paper one can get extremely excellent results from inkjet negative.- The only reason I would use silver negative in this situation
is to archive the large contact film.

Randy Moe
15-Mar-2016, 13:10
Is the PT/PD resolution problem the paper or the tissue/image container?

Randy Moe
15-Mar-2016, 13:13
Who can make Lambda negs? I need to try this. From DSLR files.


I so both silver gelatin digital negative via Lambda and I do inkjet negatives.

The reason I would go to silver gelatin is mainly blocking power of a silver negative and it is extremely sharp for out put.

We have made 20 x24 enlarger prints on Ilford Warmtone from 4 x 5 negatives, then scan the same negative High Rez and made Lambda negatives to 20 x24 on silver film.

A contact on Ilford Warmtone is then done.. FWIW both prints are very, very good and almost impossible to tell which route we went.

If I tried to use inkjet negative it would be obviously of lesser quality.

But for Alternative process on rag paper one can get extremely excellent results from inkjet negative.- The only reason I would use silver negative in this situation
is to archive the large contact film.

tgtaylor
15-Mar-2016, 15:26
With few exceptions, a properly done digital negative will beat an in-camera negative. This is why I stated what I did.

The resolution of these contact printing processes is low enough that you don't gain anything from a 'super sharp' negative in the same way that you do when enlarging on silver gelatin paper, for example. The effect of digital unsharp masking and other contrast and edge enhancement techniques will produce a greater perceived benefit in a digital negative than can be achieved through any film based process, with the possible exception of well-controlled semi-stand developing in the way that Steve Sherman teaches in his workshops.

Look here:

http://www.steve-sherman.com/workshops.cfm

At one time, he had a sample page of a negative developed in a traditional process, and the same image developed with semi-stand. It brings out the microcontrast in the negative in a way that is simply unfathomable for film. In fact, it's possible to take it too far, but in the case of pt/pd, I think it is a very good compliment to the contrast requirements needed to produce a solid negative for that process.

(Oh, and don't be spooked by the fact that he looks a lot like Walter White. No meth cooking going on in his lab, I can assure you!)


---Michael

LOL....Here's a contact print from an 8x10 in-camera negative printed as a Kallitype:

http://spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/2016-02-28-0003.58102455_large.jpg

As you can see, it is SHARP. Check out the coal deposited between the rails. And this was printed on a matte surface paper. And the negative was developed in plain old' Xtol.

Thomas

Denny
15-Mar-2016, 16:53
Thomas, I have to tell you that at least on my computer, the jpg that you posted looks pretty fuzzy. I think it would take a much larger file to show anyone the sharpness you're achieving. Also, pertinent would be the paper you printed it on, there's a wide variation among papers in terms of finish, and consequently sharpness. (As an example, in the platinum printing world, there's a very large difference between printing on Bienfang marker paper and BFK Rives.)

sanking
16-Mar-2016, 10:30
Is the PT/PD resolution problem the paper or the tissue/image container?

Assuming the use of very good LF and ULF negatives (well focused, exposed and developed) the limit to resolution in printing pt/pd with these negatives is the texture of the paper itself since the image resides partly in the texture of the paper. Resolution will vary some, highest on very smooth surface papers, lowest on those that have a lot of texture or a pebbly look. As a general rule, however, the highest resolution of pt/pd on art papers like Platine, Revere or the new Hahn Rag is about the same as what you get with an inkjet print on smooth matte surface ink papers, about 7-14 lpm, which corresponds closely to setting your file dpi to between 360-720 dpi. Reflective Dmax is also limited with these papers with pt/pd, with a practical maximum for pt/pd of about log 1.6, about the same you can get with inkjket prints on mattte papers using Matte Black ink.

The immediate conclusion one reaches in comparing pt/pd prints made with good in-camera negatives and with good digital negatives is that image quality is approximately equal. This comparison would also apply to a number of other alternative processes where thin emulsions are surface coated on art papers. Those processes would include kallitype, vandyke, salted paper and cyanotype.

In a separate group of alternative processes we have those that have an emulsion that consists of a light sensitive component mixed with a colloid such as albumen, carbon or silver gelatin. In these cases the image is formed by a metal or pigment encapsulated in a thin hardened albumen or gelatin. These processes have much higher potential maximum resolution, up to 30 - 40 lpm, and also much higher reflective Dmax as log 1.8 or above is easily obtained with these processes. These processes are indeed capable of taking advantage of most of the resolution/detail in an in-camera negative, which makes these processes attractive for use with negatives made with ULF cameras. But, as appealing as this may be, bear in mind that the use of a 12X20 camera in the field presents levels of difficulty that are far more challenging than the use of FF-DSLR, MF, 4X5 or 5X7 fim cameras.


Sandy

Randy Moe
16-Mar-2016, 10:37
Great detailed reply.

Explains a lot.

Salt prints here I go.

Thank you.

Michael Mutmansky
16-Mar-2016, 17:12
LOL....Here's a contact print from an 8x10 in-camera negative printed as a Kallitype:

http://spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/2016-02-28-0003.58102455_large.jpg

As you can see, it is SHARP. Check out the coal deposited between the rails. And this was printed on a matte surface paper. And the negative was developed in plain old' Xtol.

Thomas

I think your reading comprehension may be missing. Check your pockets.

Do you understand that I did not state that film was deficient, but that the higher resolution that is achievable in a film negative does not necessarily translate into greater perceived sharpness on the print? Further, the ability to unsharp mask in a digital negative can produce a print that is perceived as sharper, even though it doesn't have higher resolution in the negative.

Add to that the ability to contrast control the negative, build in dodge and burning, make enlargements, cropping and other adjustments makes a very strong argument for using a digital version of the image as a intermediary source for contact printing.

However, none of this is necessary, as film is capable of great results; they just won't be as flexible of a source for most alt process work, so they will be a bit more demanding to produce equally masterful images (if they are able to do it at all, due to the ability to control contrast with the digital negatives).

My point was, and remains, that a person shouldn't take up ULF shooting because they want to make pt/pd prints. They should consider taking up ULF because they want to shoot ULF.


---Michael

Thom Bennett
18-Mar-2016, 23:19
I just uploaded some videos that one of my darkroom mates made of me making a 7x17 gold-toned Kallitype from an in-camera negative. Very similar to Pt/Pd as far as coating, exposing, processing, etc. so it may give you an idea of the scale of the print as well as the look of the Kallitype.

https://vimeo.com/user50078189/videos

feppe
19-Mar-2016, 11:30
How would one go about testing the lp/mm of a printing method paper combination?


I just uploaded some videos that one of my darkroom mates made of me making a 7x17 gold-toned Kallitype from an in-camera negative. Very similar to Pt/Pd as far as coating, exposing, processing, etc. so it may give you an idea of the scale of the print as well as the look of the Kallitype.

https://vimeo.com/user50078189/videos

Thank you, I'll check them out!

Michael Mutmansky
19-Mar-2016, 13:16
get a negative lp/mm printing gradient resolution wedge like this:

http://www.stouffer.net/Specialtyguides.htm#Transmission Resolution Guide

Then, print it on a few different papers with a few tries each, and see what you can see. This will only test the final step in the process, the paper resolving capability, but it should show differences.

The differences in the optical paths to the paper are different, but in theory, if you are contact printing in both cases, they should be similar. That is, if you are using the same camera for both, etc., the results will be comparable. However, if you are comparing a ULF negative (with relatively low resolving power optically because of limitations in the lens, the camera, and the filmholder, etc.) to a smaller source like a 4x5 or digital source, there will be differences in the results that may favor the smaller negative or digital if your lens/camera/filmholder combination is not capable of resolving at a comparable level of the smaller camera (even with the enlargement happening).

And, as I said, the ability to enhance the negative in the digital realm is a major asset for alt. process work, and that won't really be a factor in this testing you are doing.

It's all good and worth trying this! I strong;y encourage people to try these types of things as the go to learn more about what their process is capable of.

One last thing, note that the sharpness of a contact print image is dependent on the light source, even though you wouldn't think it should be prima facia. So, you will want t use the same light source if at all possible. If not, you aren't necessarily testing the resolving power of the paper in the process you are testing as much as the paper/process including the printing method. That is, you really are testing all three, but if you don't change the printing method, that is a constant that you can normally disregard.


---Michael

bob carnie
20-Mar-2016, 06:52
I will be starting this service up in 6-12 months using my Durst Lambda.

Who can make Lambda negs? I need to try this. From DSLR files.

h2oman
8-Jul-2016, 21:27
dare I say, more honest way to do photography

The only "honest" photos are the ones made by non-photographers! :)

John Kasaian
9-Jul-2016, 07:26
Build a pinhole. Shoot cut down X-ray film or paper.
This will tell you if you enjoy and want to continue shooting 12x20.
If you already have an 8x10, a 450 M should cover 12x20 when you find your camera.
Have fun!

Jim Fitzgerald
9-Jul-2016, 10:20
A lot of good advice here. Now as someone who shoots 3 ULF formats all I can say is that I do it because I love it and the process of the big cameras. Using them in the field and studio. When I manage to get everything right on the negative I'm in heaven. Also, as a carbon transfer printer working with in camera negatives I have to get it right on the negative. No dodging or burning for me when it comes to printing. Not a right or wrong way to do it, just my way. Carbon transfer is inexpensive when it comes to materials but takes time to really master. My 8x20 negatives and prints are something to see and I've always be one to just go for it and learn as I go. That is one of the reasons why I learned carbon printing, because it was cheap but most importantly because I found my soul when I found carbon printing years ago.
Do what moves you. It may be expensive but the rewards are great. Good luck.

h2oman
10-Jul-2016, 18:26
Nice words, spoken with heart and humility, Jim.

Jim Fitzgerald
10-Jul-2016, 21:09
Nice words, spoken with heart and humility, Jim.

Thank you. I appreciate you nice comment.