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Murph
30-Dec-2008, 19:50
I am looking at the possibility of perhaps moving to a whole plate camera. I need to know some things first, such as which lenses would work well with a Whole plate camera? Also are there any whole plate users on this forum who care to share their experiences?

David Karp
30-Dec-2008, 21:01
I have been using a WP Improved Seneca for a while now.

The disadvantages I see of the WP format are (1) the expense of new holders (Chamonix, Ebony, Lotus - I think) until Fotoman gets their WP holders out the door, and (2) the requirement of ordering WP film in advance during special runs each year (an alternative would be to cut down 8x10).

The advantages:
-I like the shape of the 6.5 x 8.5 photo.
-It is a nice size contact print. Not too small, kind of just right. Most people would probably think it is an 8x10 if they don't have a comparison close by.
-Lots of lenses work with this format. You don't need to buy expensive lenses with loads of coverage. If you have a 210mm Plasmat type for your 4x5, you have a nice gentle wide lens for your WP camera. My old single coated 180mm f/5.6 uji W also makes a nice wide on WP. Many lenses designed for 4x5 and 5x7 work great.
-It is easier to pack and carry than an 8x10. Everything is smaller, not all that much bigger than a 5x7.

So far, I am happy with my venture into the WP world.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
30-Dec-2008, 21:56
I have a 4/4 (whole plate) reducing back for my 8x10 as well as few wooden holders from the 1920s. All of my 8x10 lenses, and most of my 5x7 lenses work fine with it. Like David, I really like the ratio (pretty similar to 11x14), but unlike him I never get my act together and order at the correct time, so I never have film for it.

Of course, many of the collodion cult (ether-heads) pour their own 4/4 plate, and when I can afford it I occasionally make 4/4 plate Daguerreotypes, but that is a different story...

Jim Galli
30-Dec-2008, 23:40
I'm a fan. It just looks fantastic on a sheet of 11X14 paper with white rebate. My method has been to simply use a reducing back on my venerable 2D 8X10. I've been able to hoard a few holders and I cut down 9 1/2 inch aerial recon roll film. It is a lot of messing around but my shots are good and cost me pennies. I have a reducing back for the big Century studio camera also. Next to 8X10, full plate is my most used.

Steve Hamley
31-Dec-2008, 04:14
I'm a fan of the size also, but my method is 8x10 and a "pair of scissors" which solves all the problems except bulk.

Cheers,

Steve

Ash
31-Dec-2008, 05:47
I think RJ Lam has his own Whole Plate group on Yahoo?? He's a member here so probably will reply in time.

dwross
31-Dec-2008, 08:27
Of course, many of the collodion cult (ether-heads) pour their own 4/4 plate, and when I can afford it I occasionally make 4/4 plate Daguerreotypes, but that is a different story...

Don't forget silver gelatin dry plate! So far, I think I'm probably a cult of one, but as soon as a few more people figure out how easy and fun it is, I'm sure I'll have company :).

I'm not known for being at a loss for words, but I'm hard put to describe what it is precisely that is so perfect about the WP format. I just know that it seems right. Both horizontals and verticals stage well without looking either unstable or static. It's easier to find subjects than with most other aspect ratios, and (at least for me) it's the easiest size to contact print with a bit of burning and dodging. But, for some real advice, you'll want to talk with RJ.

RJ is my go-to guy for WP (and photographic philosophy). He's always willing to answer questions and talk photography. He's in Great Britain and is out of time sync with most of the rest of us, but he's sure to be along soon. He's done a hero's job in reinvigorating a whole plate community. His forum is putting together a terrific collection of information and inspiration.
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate?hl=en

Good luck and Happy WP,
d

redrockcoulee
31-Dec-2008, 09:40
Both Glaziers in Seattle and BigCameraworkshop who is on this list advertise whole plate film. We ordered a box of FP4 from Rob as soon as we purchased the Seneca Improved just in case film became scarce and as of today still have not used the camera.

Film Holders seem to be the scare commodity.

sanking
31-Dec-2008, 09:47
BTW, S&S made a small batch of the WP holders recently, in cherry wood. If interested please contact me through the S&S site for details.

http://ssfilmholders.com/?page=film_holders

Sandy King

venchka
31-Dec-2008, 15:26
Howdy Murph! Glad you joined. Welcome to the Asylum.

I can't add much to what has already been said. I had the privilege of seeing several Ansel Adams whole plate contact prints recently. Jim's right. Whole plate prints do look right. Very nice. You could get a feel for the look by making whole plate size inkjet prints.

Processing the film does come to mind. If you have a dark space, trays would always work. Pure specualtion: the various print drums from Unicolor, Beseler or Jobo mayb work as well.

There are a lot of old lenses around that would be period correct for whole plate. You could even do wet plates on glass or aluminum.

I feel a Perdnalez Falls Big Camera weekend coming on. Road trip!

Good luck.

Happy New Year!

Wayne

Murph
31-Dec-2008, 16:45
Hey Wayne, want to come to Brackettville with us on the 24th? We are shooting the Alamo Village, the old John Wayne movie set. Love to have you join us, and perhaps show some of these youngsters what film is like...:D


Howdy Murph! Glad you joined. Welcome to the Asylum.

I can't add much to what has already been said. I had the privilege of seeing several Ansel Adams whole plate contact prints recently. Jim's right. Whole plate prints do look right. Very nice. You could get a feel for the look by making whole plate size inkjet prints.

Processing the film does come to mind. If you have a dark space, trays would always work. Pure specualtion: the various print drums from Unicolor, Beseler or Jobo mayb work as well.

There are a lot of old lenses around that would be period correct for whole plate. You could even do wet plates on glass or aluminum.

I feel a Perdnalez Falls Big Camera weekend coming on. Road trip!

Good luck.

Happy New Year!

Wayne

venchka
31-Dec-2008, 17:19
Sorry, Murph. Schedule conflict: That is the day that several of us are going to do a "road trip" on the Houston Light Rail. We'll figure something out.

RJ-
31-Dec-2008, 21:10
I am looking at the possibility of perhaps moving to a whole plate camera. I need to know some things first, such as which lenses would work well with a Whole plate camera? Also are there any whole plate users on this forum who care to share their experiences?

Hi Murph,

Welcome to the LF forum. I'd cohere with everyone's views about the advantages of the whole plate format given here too.

If you've not already moved up to a whole plate camera, Viewcamera Magazine has started running a series of articles on the whole plate renaissance. There probably will be an article (early next year?) reviewing four of the current whole plate cameras out on the market.

Many of the forum members here have shared their experiences with whole plate lenses as well as lenses appropriate for whole plate format on another thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=44003): this information has been aggregated here under: "Which Whole Plate Standard Lens shall I start off with?" (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate/web/3-01-which-whole-plate-lens-to-start-off-with), along with more qualitative brief field reports (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate/web/lenses) from users of specific lenses on the Whole Plate Column.

The list probably isn't exhaustive, however with those pages, I hope it makes it less arduous than having to trawl an internet search engine to filter out the relevant information!

Happy New Year.

Kind regards,

RJ

Whole Plate Column (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate)

Murph
1-Jan-2009, 11:28
Thanks a lot! The link was just what I needed, I am still in the early planning stages (and cash collection stages), but when I do get back into film, I have decided Whole Plate is the way to go.


Hi Murph,

Welcome to the LF forum. I'd cohere with everyone's views about the advantages of the whole plate format given here too.

If you've not already moved up to a whole plate camera, Viewcamera Magazine has started running a series of articles on the whole plate renaissance. There probably will be an article (early next year?) reviewing four of the current whole plate cameras out on the market.

Many of the forum members here have shared their experiences with whole plate lenses as well as lenses appropriate for whole plate format on another thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=44003): this information has been aggregated here under: "Which Whole Plate Standard Lens shall I start off with?" (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate/web/3-01-which-whole-plate-lens-to-start-off-with), along with more qualitative brief field reports (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate/web/lenses) from users of specific lenses on the Whole Plate Column.

The list probably isn't exhaustive, however with those pages, I hope it makes it less arduous than having to trawl an internet search engine to filter out the relevant information!

Happy New Year.

Kind regards,

RJ

Whole Plate Column (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate)

RJ-
2-Jan-2009, 13:33
Thanks a lot! The link was just what I needed, I am still in the early planning stages (and cash collection stages), but when I do get back into film, I have decided Whole Plate is the way to go.

Hi Murph,

I don't know if you already use a large format system; most of the 4x5" format lenses which I've had the privilege of using have all had sufficient covering power for whole plate format without movements.

May I ask why you have decided that the whole plate format is the way to go?

Kind regards,

RJ

Whole Plate Column (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate)