View Full Version : First Ten Answers To A Newbee Question

8-Jan-2008, 22:18
Q. I am just starting out in LF photography, but don't want to spend much on it until I know whether it's for me. I can get a Crown Graphic with 135mm lens for $250, or a Kodak Master View with a 203mm lens for $275, both in good condition. I shoot landscapes and pictures of my family. Which do you think would be a better starter for me?
A1. I think you should get the best camera/lens you can find. I would recommend an Ebony PDQ with a 110mm Schneider Super Apo-apo LAX Simonize, like I have.
A2. Since you are going to be shooting landscape and portraits, you should get a Arkus-Swsser Model Z with a Cooke quad-convertible Mark 3 lens, like I have.
A3. I agree with A2, and don't forget that you will need a Quartzo Carbon-fiber optic tripod and Arkus-Swizzer ball-head. That's what I use. If you don't buy the very best, you'll just be wasting your money in LF.
A4. Well I have an Arkus-Swizzer Model Z and Ebony PDQ, but I don't use them any more since I started shooting with my 12x20 Wisher Panoramic. They're both good cameras, but I think that you will prefer a really big negative if you're going to shoot LF.
A5. There's a 1935 Speedy Grabit on Fleabay right now for $3.95 (plus $50 S&H). I think that you should get this to start.
A5 (same poster). Of course you will need a lens for it, and I just happen to be selling my 1935 Goats Dagor on the correct lensboard for it. The shutter is stuck open and the lenses have been sandpapered, but it won't affect the results. I don't know nothing about cameras, and it is sold as is.
A6. Does anybody know where I can get a main spring for a Goats dagor shutter?
A7. Is it multicoated?
A8. I see on the Digital Camera Forum that you just bought a Canon 1DSMk3. That will give better pictures than you can get from a 4x5 camera. So forget switching to LF.
A9. Ansel Adams used a Hasselblad -- and they are very inexpensive now, and as good as 4x5.
Q2 (original poster). Thank you for your answers. Do you think that I should use Kodak TMax 100 or Fuji Velvita film? And can anyone recommend a cheap lab near HotSpot, Nevada?
A10. TMax is black and white film whereas Velvita is color. I use both of them, and send my film to Super-Duper Labs in Zurich for processing, where it is cheap but slow. I am also looking for someone in the USA to buy some photo equipment for me. I will send you a certified check. Please respond to Dr. Ngaabi@Nigeria.com.

John Kasaian
8-Jan-2008, 22:44
Scanning or traditional dark room?:D

Steve Hamley
8-Jan-2008, 23:03
You forgot "Do I need a center filter with the Goats?"

Gordon Moat
9-Jan-2008, 00:13
A11. You should consider the Shank-Ho or maybe getting a ShameOnIck; nearly the same thing as one of 'em 'ere Ebonery cameras.

9-Jan-2008, 07:48
A12: And don't forget the meter. For LF work, one must have a super-duper spotmeter. I recommend the SuckOnIck model 87975M. It'll keep your inner thigh warm in winter.

A13: You'll need a loupe too. Without a loupe, you simply won't be able to generate a critically sharp image. I have a Sneezer atmospheric but I recommend the Rollerspock because it is longer and weighs less and costs more.

9-Jan-2008, 09:17
A 10-1: Personally, I prefer Provialone and Velveeta. That way, if the light is crummy, I can put it on a Ritz.

A14: I didn't see a tripod mentioned. You'll need the Gitzoid 1224 wit the Airheadtech Ball head and Arca-Sweezer plate.


9-Jan-2008, 09:26
A15: Wrist straps are preferable to neck straps. Also don't forget to consider a protective filter.

John O'Connell
9-Jan-2008, 09:43
A16 (mocking Bill): A true, Leitz Tiltall can hold a Wisner 12x20.

A17 (mocking me): Skip 8x10 and go straight to 11x14. Me? I shoot 8x10. Also, get Sironars, they're wonderful. Me? I sold all my Sironars.

Daniel Grenier
9-Jan-2008, 10:00
A18- If your Feardorff , Winer, or Zone 666 cameras breakdown, take em to Richard Fritter... he can fix anything.

A19- Take your Kojak Eektar, Rottenstock and Red Hot Fartars to SK Krimes.

A20- Always look for typos.

9-Jan-2008, 10:56
A14: I didn't see a tripod mentioned. You'll need the Gitzoid 1224 wit the Airheadtech Ball head and Arca-Sweezer plate.

:cool: Preston, see A3.

9-Jan-2008, 11:51

Soooo many questions and soooo many answers...I guess I missed that one. I'll be sure to read more carefully in the future. :-)


9-Jan-2008, 13:53
Really if you don't start out shooting 4x5 pinhole, you're just an LF wannabe.

John Kasaian
9-Jan-2008, 14:46
A20 Don't ferget theres uncooted, single cooted and multicooted lenses. Ya git more bang fer your buck with uncooted lenses.

Don Sparks
9-Jan-2008, 15:11
Don't forget to throw in a hammer and chizel and maybe a crowbar to make all this stuff fit together nicely.

13-Jan-2008, 21:40
F. -- Both A. and C. are correct and sometimes, B and D providing that G and H are wrong.

Richard Ide
14-Jan-2008, 11:04
Does having your subject say "cheese" at the appropriate moment cause any undesirable side effects when you use "Velvita" colour film??

14-Jan-2008, 11:58
"Does having your subject say "cheese" at the appropriate moment cause any undesirable side effects when you use "Velvita" colour film??"

Ritz cracker crumbs magically appear on the front element of cooted lenses. I heard similar complaints when Provialone was used, as well. :-)


john borrelli
22-Jan-2008, 16:13
For the landscape photographer, a Range Rover is needed to help keep you, all that equipment and all the photography assistants cozy. No LF photographer carries their equipment themselves!

24-Jan-2008, 04:09
:cool: Preston, see A3.

That would be A21-27 :)
Bummer I should have listened before I bought my Salar Lorna :eek:
kind regards

28-Jan-2008, 01:43
you forgot to include just enough rope to hang yourself with.

28-Jan-2008, 01:53
I would recommend a ShameOnMe 45N-1 camera.

Emmanuel BIGLER
28-Jan-2008, 04:00
Following John Borrelli's idea about the SUV to carry the equipment

Q : I'm really on a tight budget and the maximum I can invest for my LF gear is $200 all included (camera, lens, film holders tripod, spotmeter) What would you recommend ?

A : OK, but what is your project ?

My LF project for the next 6 months is focused on landscape photography and aims at re-visiting those famous places in order to get my own LF images : Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, The Great Wall of China, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Giant Causeway in Ireland, Ayer's Rock in Australia, the top of Kilimandjaro and eventually if I have some time left, Lake Hazen (Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada) and Longyearbyen, Svalbard, where I've read here that I can meet other LF photographers.

28-Jan-2008, 08:25
A28: Those cameras will be useless to you without a complete understanding of how they work and how phogotraphy works. My limited enrollment LF course ($5,000 in advance) teaches the Ozone system and applied optics in 3 short days to qualified students. If you have $5,000, you qualify...

Robert Hall
28-Jan-2008, 09:07
John, I would skip the Range Rover and go directly with the Hummer as it weighs much more and with the optional machine gun turret could mount almost any LF camera on it thus providing the same view point of Ansel Adams had with his station wagon.

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but tire tracks.

Mike Tuomey
3-Feb-2008, 05:39
i am a real noob. honest. i've been googling and yahoo'ing all these great suggestions, but coming up empty 'cept for the fartars which seem to be an ethnic group whose digestion and love of legumes distinguishes them from their geographic neighbors in northern mongolia. further study is clearly needed.

you're no help at all. i've read about these *transparent* cameras? where do you buy them?

16-Feb-2008, 14:50
Buy a Llama and be like John Fielder.