View Full Version : Results of my cheap Toyo and poor lenses
Well, I had to divest myself of my better quality equipment a few years ago due to circumstances beyond my control. I was able to keep the Hasselblad , but I missed the control over image, that large format afforded. Well, she's gone now, (the wife), and I was able to purchase a meager Toyo 45D,($104) with a beautiful plastic(sarcasm) bellows. I purchased an old f8 Super-Angulon from ebay for $140 and had one old lens left. A sturdy 210 Symmar. The single coating(#11xxxxxx) is poor, coatingwise, Really poor. Crystal clear glass though. So, I took the kit out last weekend to the cliffs overlooking the Pacific here in Santa Cruz, Ca. Just wanted to see if my bellows held out to the sun. I checked it with a flashlight at home. Seemed good. I focused , using the Angulon, down from the cliff, to an old wharf leftover from the 1900's. I used a cheap Agfa 4x loupe. f8 is an aperture that makes for a lot of work getting it right, especially to the corners. I can only imagine how the 5.6 must be. Easier I'm sure. I ended up with a good shot! The Symmar, I sheilded from the sun, and I am amazed at the clarity both of these venerable old lenses gave me. I use a Bessler 45 with a Dichro head, and I ended up with a 16x20 that I am very happy with.(one, I,m picky) I used an orange filter on that shot with the Symmar. Actually, I can't believe the crispness of detail, that I certainly could not see from that distance, that the Symmar picked up. I,m way jealous of you guys who can afford an Apo-Symmar. I like crystal clear magnifying glass clarity. But, these lenses make me work harder for the image. AND I get lucky some times. That one shot that no-one else has ever gotten, because of right place, right time. Timing. It's good to be back here. You guys have a lot of knowledge. I learn a lot here. Anybody need an assistant?
Most times it aint the camera or lens. It's the photographer! Glad to hear to you got a good one!
Thanks Thomas. I'm reminded of Ansel Adams saying how he got that famous shot in New Mexico as the sun shined just right through the storm clouds. He said he had seconds, really , to get the camera out of the Suburban, set up, and shoot. Man, I hope to be so lucky. Robert(ain't no Ansel Adams)
As Thomas wisely says; it's not the equipment; it's what you feel and see in the exercise of the equipment that refreshes your soul. The camera is only a link between me and the marvelous world about me. It forces me to see what I would otherwise never know.
Strange, but coming from a science background the best advice I ever took about art was delivered by Albert Einstein when he was describing his method of simplifying the seemingly incomprehensible complexity of the physical universe. The advice is still in my head with camera in hand.
"Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of adversity
Yes, I lost my dear wife 15 years ago, and she stares back at me through the camera lens every time I take an image.
Nate Potter, Austin TX.
Those are wise words Nate. It seems to me that the camera, a simple mechanism,(albeit that there are so many complexities in lens formulai)seems to connect us with the simple/complex beauty in the natural world around us. We often find ourselves up on a desolate mountain top, or still desert, or pounding ocean scenario, enraptured with that powerful strength and beauty of the Earth, upon which we live. Especially, the large format camera, takes patience and endeavor, to achieve the end product. An idea of the shot. Hiking there to see which light is best, and when. Getting there in time to make the exposure you , in your minds' eye, have envisioned, and then, as with me, developing, and printing that vision. It's special. It takes time, vision, and work. Many don't want to give that. Photoshop is easy and amazing. Anybody can do it. But don't you remember those quiet mornings as the sun rose, and you were ready to go, and the excitement of tripping the shutter and reloading another holder. I do. And I look forward to more of this experience. I like that your beloved is still there with you when you are out there shooting. Best to you, Robert
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