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Krisna Das
20-Dec-2008, 16:09
Hi

newb

am fascinated by alternative printing processes but have never created negatives large enough to experiment with contact printing on anything but a 'thumbnail' scale. the discovery of the Bulldog LF / 5x4 kit might change that - but is 5x4 suitable for gum brichomate work: i generally associate this with 8x10?

http://www.camerabellows.com/Bulldog.html

also, this kit comes without lens - and i wonder what the lens situation is here, with regard to availability and compatibilities?

i have seen some s/h 5x4 on the bay, but the lenses look pretty 'used' to me?

thanks

KD

Kuzano
20-Dec-2008, 18:55
Bender makes kits in 4X5 and 8X10. I built a Bender 4X5 and it was quite usable. Monorail with more movements than it appears the Bulldog supports.

Krisna Das
20-Dec-2008, 20:28
Bender makes kits in 4X5 and 8X10. I built a Bender 4X5 and it was quite usable. Monorail with more movements than it appears the Bulldog supports.

thanks Kuzano

looks like Bender are out of it for a while though?

http://www.benderphoto.com/index.htm

Brian Vuillemenot
20-Dec-2008, 21:34
I've never used one of these kit cameras, but I've read reviews that they are somewhat tricky and time consuming to put together, the finished product is not very precise, and they don't function or hold up very well under normal use. For about the same price as one of these kits, you can get a slightly used entry level field camera, such as a Shen-Hao, Tachihara, or Wista. I would recommend picking up one of these rather than buying a camera kit.

Yes, 4X5 is useable for gum bichromate or any other contact process. Your print will just not be as large as with an 8X10.

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 06:07
Thanks Brian,

i think 4x5 is for me - that should be just large enough for a decent contact print, at any rate, large enough for me to decide whether i want to upgrade to 10x8

yes, i'm having second thoughts about the kits - by the time you have sourced a lens you might be paying double anyway?

KD

Rafael Garcia
21-Dec-2008, 06:46
If you will be making your own emulsions, why not go 5x7? The old half-plate cameras will do both 4x5 and 5x7 if you build the backs for them, and 5x7 is a lot better size for contact printing!

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h285/ragc01/eager.jpg
This is my Japanese-made English Half-Plate camera, an Asanuma King 1, which I do 4x5 and 5x7 work with. There were some makers of similar cameras in India. Mine cost me around $140.00 US plus the lenses. I did eventually have the bellows replaced, although the original bellows were still good.

Edited so the photo would show up

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 06:52
If you will be making your own emulsions, why not go 5x7? The old half-plate cameras will do both 4x5 and 5x7 if you build the backs for them, and 5x7 is a lot better size for contact printing!

... my Japanese-made English Half-Plate camera, an Asanuma King 1, which I do 4x5 and 5x7 work with. There were some makers of similar cameras in India. Mine cost me around $140.00 US plus the lenses.

golly!

what a work of art!

that's one for the wish list ;)

when you say 'half plate' do you mean 8x10 / 2?

KD

Frank Petronio
21-Dec-2008, 07:08
It's $325 from lomo.com and 157 pounds from camerabellows.com. I looked at those Bulldog kits. They seem ridiculously overpriced for what they are, when you can easily buy an excellent older 4x5 with a good lens and shutter for less money from a seller on this forum's for sale section.

It's like the Lomo trend where they sell uninformed hipsters $20 Russian snapshot cameras for absurd 5x prices.

Rafael Garcia
21-Dec-2008, 07:18
Full plate, half plate and quarter plate were old English sizes. Half plate is close to 5x7 in size, with a slightly shorter length. The format still persists among some enthusiasts, but I know very little about it. I have the original half plate back, which ised custom bookform holders, but I have never used it, using instead the home-made 5x7 back more often.

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h285/ragc01/myholder.jpg
The original half-plate back

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 08:03
Full plate, half plate and quarter plate were old English sizes. Half plate is close to 5x7 in size, with a slightly shorter length. The format still persists among some enthusiasts, but I know very little about it. I have the original half plate back, which ised custom bookform holders, but I have never used it, using instead the home-made 5x7 back more often.

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h285/ragc01/myholder.jpg
The original half-plate back

these are such incredible looking things! - quite apart from the endlessly creative prints which can be made from them :)

KD

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 08:14
It's $325 from lomo.com and 157 pounds from camerabellows.com. I looked at those Bulldog kits. They seem ridiculously overpriced for what they are, when you can easily buy an excellent older 4x5 with a good lens and shutter for less money from a seller on this forum's for sale section.

It's like the Lomo trend where they sell uninformed hipsters $20 Russian snapshot cameras for absurd 5x prices.



the name Lomo confuses me - i have a Lomo film developing tank which is unbelievably excellent - work of art in plastic - if that is not a contradiction in terms - but the 'lomo' you are speaking about seems to bear little resemblance to the company i am thinking of?

pity Kiev-Arsenal didn't come in bellows format LF - i'd probably have one by now!

will check out the 'for sale' section ;)

thanks

KD

Pete Watkins
21-Dec-2008, 08:34
Sorry about this but if you look at the threads from the last couple of weeks Camera Bellows in Birmingham U.K. has shut down. A bellows making outfit might evolve from the ashes but I havn't heard anything about Bulldog Cameras. Silverprint in London might have some in stock.
Half plate is 6 1/2" x 4 3/4". Filmholders are readily availavble by the ton over here but film is in short supply. You can always cut down 5x7 though.
Best wishes,
Pete.

Tracy Storer
21-Dec-2008, 08:46
Actually CB has a page on the Bulldog on their new site and a link to a separate Bulldog website.
http://www.custombellows.co.uk/
http://www.bulldogcameras.com/

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 09:20
what about the later 4x5 format from the 30's to the 50's - how do these compare to the wooden models please?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/org/cameras/speed-graphic4x5.html

Nick_3536
21-Dec-2008, 09:34
If the bellows are good and the camera isn't too rickety then it's just a box to hold the lens.

If you're comparing modern wooden to older ones I'd guess the average modern [not all] will be lighter and have more movements.

Kuzano
21-Dec-2008, 09:39
Bender notice on their site that stopping operation in Nov 2008 and will notify if and when starting up again.

Gary Samson
21-Dec-2008, 10:31
I would suggest that you get a book on view cameras and their operation before purchasing a kit or camera. Steve Simmons of View Camera magazine has a book in print that would serve the purpose and if you check Amazon.com, I'm sure you will come up with other references. Good luck!

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 11:00
Nick wrote: If the bellows are good and the camera isn't too rickety then it's just a box to hold the lens.

If you're comparing modern wooden to older ones I'd guess the average modern [not all] will be lighter and have more movements.

Thanks: it looks like the Bulldog has no front movement?


I would suggest that you get a book on view cameras and their operation before purchasing a kit or camera. Steve Simmons of View Camera magazine has a book in print that would serve the purpose and if you check Amazon.com, I'm sure you will come up with other references. Good luck!

Yes, books are a must - i also have a brilliant intro to gum brichromate - only now just getting to grips with it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gum-Bichromate-Book-Photographic-Printmaking/dp/0240800737/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229885838&sr=1-1

;)

KD

Really Big Cameras
21-Dec-2008, 12:03
Thanks: it looks like the Bulldog has no front movement?

Actually, the opposite is true. The Bulldog has no back movements. It has the full compliment of front movements (rise/fall, tilt, swing and shift).

I built one of these a few years ago and wrote an article on the experience for View Camera magazine. I spent a LOT of time on the finish work for my camera to make it look halfway decent. I also replaced the stock knobs with some nicer ones from Reid Tool Supply.

Rather than repost the photos here, check out this post:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showpost.php?p=216216&postcount=10

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

Colin Graham
21-Dec-2008, 12:25
If you're venturing down the alt process road, you may want to consider digital negatives. It's a simple matter to make separation negs if you ever want to do tri-color gum, easier to enlarge negatives if (when) you want to printer bigger, easier to custom curve so you can print many different processes from the same original image, easier to standardize exposures, etc. You'd be surprised how fast you can rack up the price of a good printer just buying peripherals, even if you get a screaming deal on a camera. Also, and this is the main reason I started using digital negatives, the chance of ruining an original negative in a sticky process is completely removed.

I know this might not be a popular suggestion around here, but something to consider, especially if you already have some small format images you'd like to see as an alt print.

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 12:37
Actually, the opposite is true. The Bulldog has no back movements. It has the full compliment of front movements (rise/fall, tilt, swing and shift).

I built one of these a few years ago and wrote an article on the experience for View Camera magazine. I spent a LOT of time on the finish work for my camera to make it look halfway decent. I also replaced the stock knobs with some nicer ones from Reid Tool Supply.

Rather than repost the photos here, check out this post:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showpost.php?p=216216&postcount=10

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

wah! :)

i do notice though that some of these cameras can pivot back and forth as well as up and down, which may be an undesired quality, since it might result in a weird focus on the back plate, as in the LFPF logo?

KR

Krisna Das
21-Dec-2008, 12:40
If you're venturing down the alt process road, you may want to consider digital negatives. It's a simple matter to make separation negs if you ever want to do tri-color gum, easier to enlarge negatives if (when) you want to printer bigger, easier to custom curve so you can print many different processes from the same original image, easier to standardize exposures, etc. You'd be surprised how fast you can rack up the price of a good printer just buying peripherals, even if you get a screaming deal on a camera. Also, and this is the main reason I started using digital negatives, the chance of ruining an original negative in a sticky process is completely removed.

I know this might not be a popular suggestion around here, but something to consider, especially if you already have some small format images you'd like to see as an alt print.

intersting idea with thanks - i would use acetate to form a 'fake' negative in Adobe Elements, if i were to go down this road

KR