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Bill, 70's military B&W
4-Apr-2012, 19:29
Hello everyone, my first post, I was trained in photography, USMC, back in the early 70's. We recorded detail, I did not appreciate the art aspects until I recently started reading about Ansel Adams' Zone System. I vaguely remember using Speed Graphic 4x5, and during training using an old wood framed 8x10. Other cameras too, but I do not remember names. About 4-5 years ago I bought a digital Rebel and I've been shooting since in 35mm format...then struggling with Photoshop. Sometimes the results are good, but I want to try to get back into the larger formats. Manual stuff, setting my own exposure, Camera with no electronics, smelly darkroom, dodging and burning, watching the image come to life...
My question for the forum is how to proceed, do I first try MF 6x6, or 6x7... or should I go to a view camera with all the adjustments? Was there once, a long time ago.
I kinda like the thought of focusing on the ground glass, composing carefully, "exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights".
All I have so far is a very strong tripod. I would need everything else for LF, including darkroom. Again, any suggestions on how to proceed there?
You guys probably get tired of newbies asking the same questions. I"d really appreciate any advice.

Bill

Jim Andrada
4-Apr-2012, 20:21
Monorail cameras are pretty cheap right now. Maybe not as easy to carry in the field, but not as bad as some think IMHO. My first LF was a rented Technika for a couple of weeks and then I got a monorail Linhof 5 x 7 which I've had for 40 years now - carried it pretty much everywhere uphill and down so it can be done. I had a rail shortened enough that I could drop the whole camera into a backpack all set up - worked out just fine. Put the short rail on the tripod, screwed in the extension, slid the front standard down the rail and I was in business.

cdholden
4-Apr-2012, 20:26
Get a Speed Graphic. You've done it before. That's where your familiarity will be. Once you get your comfort level back, then see if you need features of other cameras. You can buy and sell these and not lose much money in the process. You might even make a few bucks to pay for more film and chemicals.

Jim Andrada
4-Apr-2012, 22:43
I have a couple of Graphics - love them. Easy to carry in a compact bag on the plane, lots of fun. The flip side is the lack of movements. My Super has front tilt but you need 3 hands to do it. Other problem with the Super is that the tracks inside the body don't focus so really short lenses don't work as well as they do in, for example, a Crown. Grafmatic loaded with Tri-x or Portra 400 and the wire frame viewfinder and focus by guess - great fun.

But I like my monorail Linhof a lot better for serious stuff.

loweprobackpacks
5-Apr-2012, 00:28
i have the sam feeling,i am also a beginner,i want to study photography here,hopefully,you can teach me,also i want to talk about photography technologies with all of you.
thanks

John Kasaian
5-Apr-2012, 00:58
First get a copy of Steve Simmons Using The View camera Its not Ansel Adams, but it does give an excellent overview and discusses the merits of older, used equipment and lenses a lot of us start out with.

I'd suggest a 4x5 like a Super Speed (or Crown) Graphic or monorail or a field camera with a Omega D2 or D-II enlarger (or a graflarger if your camera has a graflock back.) You can probably pick up an old Calumet monorail for not much over $100 and a D-II for about the same. Add a set of trays, a timer & grain focuser, and a safe light and you're in business!
OR pass on the 4x5 & enlarger and find a 5x7 or 8x10 (if your tripod can handle it) and make contact prints---even simpler! Which is the most practical would depend on your budget, the size of your dark room and what your subjects will be (an 8x10 Calumet green monster isn't practical for back packing!)

Have fun!

Mark Barendt
5-Apr-2012, 03:37
I like to print about 11x14 and am truly amazed by how much difference I see in moving from 35mm to 6x7 then from there to 4x5.

I like MF when I want to shoot hand held or setup & focus quickly like in street shooting, it's also normally easier to get a lower camera position/perspective and roll film is great when I want/need say ten shots of a given subject/situation in short order.

I like LF for more control of DOF, focus plane, and the smooth sharp look of the prints.

The other thing I like about sheet film is that I can shoot one and develop one, well normally for me, two and two. My point here is that there is no need to "finish a roll" before developing. With MF I find 10 frames is, many times, too many. Then the film either waits in the camera or half a roll is wasted on nonsense shots or blanks.

Both have their place in my life.

Bill, 70's military B&W
6-Apr-2012, 19:14
Thanks everyone,
For all the suggestions, I have a lot to learn. I've looked up some of your suggestions on e-bay, and I know that there is a lot more to this than I know now. No hurry.
In a few more weeks I'll be allowed to see what is for sale at LFPF. A 4x5 view camera looks like the most fun.

If anyone knows of a great package deal, where someone is selling a complete set-up (dark room too), I'd be really interested.

I have Ansel Adams books, and a great book by John Schaefer "Basic Techniques of Photography". I'll look into "Using the View Camera" by Simmons, sounds like a great reference.

Question for everyone, do most photographers use the zone system? What about spot meters vs other meters? Is it true that Pentax spot meter is the one to get?
What size lenses do you need in 4x5 format? Wide/normal/tele/super-tele???

Thanks,
Bill

joselsgil
6-Apr-2012, 20:42
Bill,

Welcome to the forum and back into B&W photography.

As for a 4X5 camera, I would suggest the Crown Graphic over the Speed Graphic. It is lighter and without the focal place shutter that most likely will need servicing ($$$). As suggested, you can also find a Calumet monorail for under $100. The Calumet will work great, about it's only drawback is that it is not very compact or light weight if you plan on taking your camera on extended hiking trips.

For darkroom items, you can find some items on this site, the bay, and your local craigslist. I have found many darkrooms items on my local craigslist as many of the darkroom items are too bulky and expensive to ship, so they seldom are good deals on the bay.

If you read about the zone system, you will realize that most photographer use the principal of the zone system, once they understand how to expose, develop and make their own prints. This just becomes a natural progression. What Adams was able to do, was write down and explain it in a system. As he put it, he didn't invent it. Minor White, is another photographer that wrote "Zone System Manual, How To Previsualize Your Pictures", a zone system explanation in very easy to understand terms.

Your question concerning the meter is valid. The problem with Pentax spot meters is that they are very old now and may need servicing. I was suggested by Quality Light Metric, to obtain a newer Minolta digital meter. On some of the meters you can install a spot meter adaptor.

Lenses, like with your 35mm, it all depends on what you are photographing and what you are trying to accomplish. A 90mm is equivalent to a 28mm in 35mm photography. A 150mm is considered normal and 210mm would be considered a very good all around or portrait lens.

I hope you find some of this info helpfull,

Jose

Alan Gales
6-Apr-2012, 20:44
I started with large format a couple years ago and I highly recommend the Steve Simmons book. It really helped me.

The Pentax spot meter is like the benchmark of spot meters. What I mean is that everyone compares other spot meters to them. I own both a Spot meter V and the digital version. They are reliable and very easy to use. As far as being the best, well everyone has their opinion. There are other very good quality spot meters like the Minolta and Soligor.

What size lenses do you need for 4x5? All of them. :D Just kidding! That is very subjective. Only you can answer that question. I would start with a 150mm or 210mm. Learn to use that lens and then you will have a better idea what you may want next.

John Kasaian
6-Apr-2012, 21:31
You're in for a lot of fun!
You certainly don't need a spot meter, but you'll probably want one if the zone system is something you're interested in. I've got an old Weston Ranger 9 converted to use silver button batteries, but as other have mentioned, Pentax is considered the benchmark.
I usually just guess.

The lens you start out with really depends on the camera. A Speed Graphic dosen't afford much movents so press camera lenses are usually found quite cheap I bought a NOS 127 Ektar in shutter for $45---its an excellent lens on a Speeder but offers no movements so its not so usefull on non press type 4x5 cameras. Other considerations are bellows length and the size of the lensboard, which may or may not limit the suitability of some of the more esoteric lenses floating around out there. The used prices for 'modern" 210mm lenses from the big three are really cheap right now so I'd suggest one of those. John Sexton and Roman Loranc are 210mm users so for fun you might want to search their websites just to see how a 210mm focal length can "sing."

Micheal Clark
6-Apr-2012, 21:43
You don't have to use the Zone sytem to use large format, or have to use a spot meter. There are a lot of people here who use Gossen light meters and take incendent or reflective light readings for there exposure information.Learning the Zone system takes a little while so take your time and enjoy Photography.

Mike

Mark Barendt
6-Apr-2012, 22:10
Question for everyone, do most photographers use the zone system? What about spot meters vs other meters? Is it true that Pentax spot meter is the one to get?
What size lenses do you need in 4x5 format? Wide/normal/tele/super-tele???

Thanks,
Bill

No, most probably don't use the zone system explicitly or fully. Knowing its principles is important.

Incident meters are quite nice, and my preference is something akin to a Sekonic L358. In fact they are used in a variant of the zone system called, Beyond the Zone System or BTZS.

As to lens you need to decide what you want to shoot and how you want it to look. Portraits? Macro? ...

genotypewriter
6-Apr-2012, 22:16
My question for the forum is how to proceed, do I first try MF 6x6, or 6x7... or should I go to a view camera with all the adjustments?

Well it's like when learning to drive... just because the car has a top speed you're not forced to drive at that :) So you can certainly go for a camera that has "all the adjustments" but not use any of them until you get familiar with the basics.



Question for everyone, do most photographers use the zone system? What about spot meters vs other meters? Is it true that Pentax spot meter is the one to get?
What size lenses do you need in 4x5 format? Wide/normal/tele/super-tele???

If I'm speaking for myself, I have to say I follow very unorthodox techniques. So I don't do the "zone system". In fact, I can't even remember whether I ever looked it up even. Certainly wouldn't know how to explain the zone system if anyone asked but, I do get exposure, etc. exactly the way I want... which is what's important for me at the end of the day :) No offence to AA or his followers.

As for lens choice... "wide", etc. all depends on the field of view on a particular format and not the focal length. As you may be aware, 150mm is considered "normal" on 4x5. On 35mm systems, manufacturers refer to ~7 degree and narrower horizontal angular fields of view as "super tele" (approximately 300mm and above). To get the same effect on a 4x5 you'd need a 1000mm lens... they're not common.

I shoot a lot of formats and if you ask me, LF's strength is in the wide-normal range. The longer you go, the DOF benefits and quality differences between small format lenses and large format lenses reduce (generally). For example, to match the Canon 200mm f/2L (IS) lens which is, for all practical purposes, a super-achromat, on 4x5 you'd need a 670mm f/6.7 lens with similar colour correction... that's not easy to come by if you do a bit of searching. And even if you did find such a lens, you'd want something a bit more than just "breaking even" in terms of DOF with all the trouble you'd need to go through to use a 670mm lens with a 100mm front element on any 4x5. I'm sure the hardcore LF fans disagree... and rightly so too. Not saying one format completely dominates the other. There's no such thing.

Bill, 70's military B&W
7-Apr-2012, 05:52
Again thanks for the help,
Calumet monorail seems popular, and inexpensive. Do they have the precise controls and movements, that seem so prominent on the more expensive models? Is precise gearing really necessary? I have the book by Steve Simmons 'Using the View Camera' ordered. I'll have to go thru that book before I actually purchase anything.

I ordered the 'Zone System' by Minor White, there is more than 1 edition??? Someone else recom the Fred Picker book 'The Zone VI Workshop'.

I did not realize that the Pentax Spot Meters were so old, and the price on e-bay is very high. There are newer meters out there, are any "specific" models better than others? In this case, do you think newer is better?

Bill

Jim Jones
7-Apr-2012, 06:29
The Calumet, like the Graphic View II and Burk & James monorails, are as capable as more expensive cameras, but may lack certain conveniences such as precise gearing. Any of them give the beginner experience that will be valuable before spending money on more expensive equipment.

Mark Barendt
7-Apr-2012, 06:52
Newer meters like the Selonkic L358 and it's kin that do spot metering do some very nice math for you.

My favorite mtering method is actually called duplexing and uses two incident meter readings that get averaged. The L358 will do all the math for me and I can scroll through the various camera settings and adjust to alternate EI's (ISO) settings on the fly. That means my creative energy isn't wasted on doing math while I'm shooting and I make far fewer exposure mistakes.

Duplexing is described in "Exposure Manual" by Dunn & Wakefield. Great reasource for understanding why you might want to use one metering method or another. That book is generally available used http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/exposure-manual/author/dunn/ get one of the later editions, say third or better.

And yes many technical photographic texts have updated editions.

The fancier monorails are nice to work with and definitely add the ability to be more precise.

Whether that precision is important or not is up to you, for me in my current endeavors it is not. It is important to remember that the lens and the film don't care how fancy or precise or expensive the camera is, a shoe box used properly is good enough for them.

I have a Calumet CC-400 series mono rail and it has been a great camera for me, a perfect first LF camera IMO.

For $100 it allowed me get things figured out, to see if 4x5 was really something that fit me, and once I knew 4x5 was for me it allowed me to build the rest of my kit (lenses, enlarger, developing tanks...) around 4x5 film knowing that once I figured things out and understood what questions to ask I'd be able to upgrade to a shoe box that fit my needs better, just yesterday I received my next shoe box.

I'm trying to decide whether or not to sell the old shoe box now, probably will.

Bill, 70's military B&W
7-Apr-2012, 20:45
In a couple of weeks I'll be eligible to shop at LFPF, I hope to be able to find a complete outfit. Calumet sounds good. Keep me in mind if anyone is selling 4x5.
Questions: Who are the big 3 in lenses? Which ones should I avoid?
Anyone have an opinion on Sekonic Digi-Spot L-488? Sounds like it can do everything. Quality? Reliability? It seems to be readily available, and reasonable.
It seems like you can't mix Speed Graphics (parts, lenses, etc) with a monorail. I am esp concerned about the lenses and film backs. In fact it sounds like with LF you do not change the lens all that much. When I shoot 35mm, I usually have 2 zoom lenses with me.
To everyone who has responded to my questions, THANKS, I will be printing them off to use when I start buying. Before then I have some reading to do.
Bill

John Kasaian
8-Apr-2012, 00:32
Big three= Schneider, Rodenstock Nikkor(Nikon.) Fuji also makes highly respected lenses as well, but for some reason they weren't widely distributed in the past in the US. Other excellent lenses commonly found on the used market were made by Kodak, Goerz (Dagors & Artars,) Ilex and Wollensak. In good condition and a working shutter these are pretty safe bets. Steve Simmons discusses them in Using The View Camera and plenty contributors here will certainly add their 2-cents if provoked, lol!
The LF Homepage on the blue banner at the top of this page is a wealth of technical information on lenses both classic and modern.

cosmicexplosion
8-Apr-2012, 05:40
i bought about five or six books on LF photgraphy and cameras...and to me they are useless.

they complicate things to an almost mystical level of jibberish, to make them selfs seem smart to photo tech heads.

i could teach you to use an 8x10 in the international language of airports, no words needed. in three minutes.

for example i spent three months trying to figure out how to use a light meter to no avail. from books. i then went and saw a man who knew, and he said 'hold it here, point at camera and press button"

and that was it, sure you can then go deeper and get more complicated, but from my experience, which is very little compared to the long grey beards of the wizards here, and i say that with full respect, albeit with a little humour.

but my main point is i have found after banging my head trying to learn from scratch how to take a photo, that the books are crap and i hate them.

so many people said go buy this book and that book, i say go pay some one to teach you the basics. if you know no one, and your from the states so unlike here in sydney you will be sorrounded by oodles of people who need a buck, and you may make friends and gain a network, speed up your learning curve and get out of the house.

it amazing how stupid a book sounds when you ask it a question.

like try and find which way to put your film up in a book, they all assume you know.

the basics dont seem that hard, stick some film in, press the button on your light meter, decide if you want image darker or lighter than mid grey and press the button.

yes there is learning to do but what my point is is getting up and running should be like a quick start guide.

you can get some decent results whilst learning, not sit there for months being baffled by BS and having your enthusiasm wither and replaced by frustration.

like i have said before i know two of Australia's best photog's, who make a cracker, and cant use a light meter, but make fantastic art.

get a few trays some chemicals and some darkness, a light bulb, a red light, and away you go.

on the home page of this forum there is a bunch of stuff, some needs deleating, some updating, but there is heaps there. print it off if you can so you can sit in a chair and read it away from computer, ask questions, get a really simple set up one camera one lens, the shittier the better and burn your cash on film.

when you are compitent in using lightmeter and chemistry and camera etc, upgrade gear, some cameras like a kodak 2d for about 600$ will hold value, with a 300mm lens may be all you ever need.

but my strong advice, based on my own path of wasting money on gear, is to waste money on film, as its about the images you make not the gear you have.

or what you do with what you have.

so any one here will probley urge you to do the same thing, dont try and chase the magic bullet, and get caught up with all the excitement about this lens and that blah

get exited about the image, get one old camera, i would suggest a field camera like a kodak 2d as you can carry it easily. a monorail is heavy and cumbersome and you will not want to go shooting if you have to unpack a mono rail and then put all the pieces back together then unpack etc...

forget about it.

something like a kodak 2d is light and very pretty. people respond emotionally to the kodak, yet do not even blink at my two sinars as they are pretty ugly machines the kodak is a work craft, like an old car. almost art in itself.

so just incase you missed it

one camera one lens say 4-8 film holders 4 trays and a light.

and your good to go.

if you do that you will win. you will learn on the fly with help of humans.

that is what i wished i had done and was the advice given to me.

and remember to use the force. and welcome to the for ummm.

andrew

Jim Jones
8-Apr-2012, 06:37
This grey beard non-wizard owns perhaps the best library on LF and quality 35mm equipment for 50 miles around. Even college taught me much less about equipment than these books. Also, it's cheaper and far more conveninet than travelling to some guru who has an even better library. There are four kinds of photographers: us who learn best from books and online, Those who would rather have someone show them, those who enjoy or prefer solving problems on their own, and those who know little. All should be welcome here for what they offer and what they need.

Mark Barendt
8-Apr-2012, 07:49
We all learn differently.

I do agree that many times books and advice can get too complicated. Hanging out with people that can show you the ropes is a great way to learn and I would highly suggest that everybody in LF photography benefits when we all find ways to hang out together; but alas we all have limits in our access to resources and the time we can apply.

For myself living in the uncultivated sparsely populated wilds of the South West in the USA getting together with other LF'ers means signing on for at least a small journey. It happens but disappointingly to me, not even monthly.

I have of necessity taught myself how to meter well and can use just about any variant style competently. Books have been invaluable in this endeavor.

Also a surprisingly good resource for most tools is actually the instruction manual for say the film or light meter in question. What these nuggets of knowledge lack is context.

This lack of context is evident in many books too. Adams ideas are very important but significantly limited within the grand context of photography as a whole.

Books like Dunn's Exposure Manual though are important becasue they can dispassionately add the context we need to make good decisions about what type of metering to use.

Many of our buddies that we may hang out with have significant investments in time, money, and ego in one system or another and are reasonable resources for their systems but not necessarily for other systems that may fit our needs better.

John Kasaian
8-Apr-2012, 09:18
I'll agree that doing photography is better than reading about it, but everyone has got to start someplace. The OP was a military photographer fer Pete's sake---learned with a speeder no less! Asking questions about gear and technique here, and reading background material should save time and money when it comes time to build his kit.
I'll also agree that having someone to ask questions is a very good thing--there is a highly accomplished commercial photographer in my town who worked with an 8x10 and always enjoyed helping me out when I had questions---but these days, in most areas, that would be a rare luxury. Even a camera shop is a rare luxury (and if there is one in your 'hood they probably will assuredly try to sell you on digital anyway!)

Bill, 70's military B&W
8-Apr-2012, 16:09
i bought about five or six books on LF photgraphy and cameras...and to me they are useless.

they complicate things to an almost mystical level of jibberish, to make them selfs seem smart to photo tech heads.

i could teach you to use an 8x10 in the international language of airports, no words needed. in three minutes.

for example i spent three months trying to figure out how to use a light meter to no avail. from books. i then went and saw a man who knew, and he said 'hold it here, point at camera and press button"

and that was it, sure you can then go deeper and get more complicated, but from my experience, which is very little compared to the long grey beards of the wizards here, and i say that with full respect, albeit with a little humour.

but my main point is i have found after banging my head trying to learn from scratch how to take a photo, that the books are crap and i hate them.

so many people said go buy this book and that book, i say go pay some one to teach you the basics. if you know no one, and your from the states so unlike here in sydney you will be sorrounded by oodles of people who need a buck, and you may make friends and gain a network, speed up your learning curve and get out of the house.

it amazing how stupid a book sounds when you ask it a question.

like try and find which way to put your film up in a book, they all assume you know.

the basics dont seem that hard, stick some film in, press the button on your light meter, decide if you want image darker or lighter than mid grey and press the button.

yes there is learning to do but what my point is is getting up and running should be like a quick start guide.

you can get some decent results whilst learning, not sit there for months being baffled by BS and having your enthusiasm wither and replaced by frustration.

like i have said before i know two of Australia's best photog's, who make a cracker, and cant use a light meter, but make fantastic art.

get a few trays some chemicals and some darkness, a light bulb, a red light, and away you go.

on the home page of this forum there is a bunch of stuff, some needs deleating, some updating, but there is heaps there. print it off if you can so you can sit in a chair and read it away from computer, ask questions, get a really simple set up one camera one lens, the shittier the better and burn your cash on film.

when you are compitent in using lightmeter and chemistry and camera etc, upgrade gear, some cameras like a kodak 2d for about 600$ will hold value, with a 300mm lens may be all you ever need.

but my strong advice, based on my own path of wasting money on gear, is to waste money on film, as its about the images you make not the gear you have.

or what you do with what you have.

so any one here will probley urge you to do the same thing, dont try and chase the magic bullet, and get caught up with all the excitement about this lens and that blah

get exited about the image, get one old camera, i would suggest a field camera like a kodak 2d as you can carry it easily. a monorail is heavy and cumbersome and you will not want to go shooting if you have to unpack a mono rail and then put all the pieces back together then unpack etc...

forget about it.

something like a kodak 2d is light and very pretty. people respond emotionally to the kodak, yet do not even blink at my two sinars as they are pretty ugly machines the kodak is a work craft, like an old car. almost art in itself.

so just incase you missed it

one camera one lens say 4-8 film holders 4 trays and a light.

and your good to go.

if you do that you will win. you will learn on the fly with help of humans.

that is what i wished i had done and was the advice given to me.

and remember to use the force. and welcome to the for ummm.

andrew

Wow Andrew,
Thanks for that,I'll be looking up the Kodak 2d, I know nothing about it yet, but I will! I remember the basics of B/W, I am excited about the "new to me" increasing or decreasing the development time, using LF and watching "QUALITY images come out of the print developer. I'm sure that bracketing will be a large part of the learning curve.
My 35mm has a spot meter, I was playing with it today, zone 3 here, zone 5 there... results were not shall we say perfect!
That brings up a question, does anyone see any merit in using a digital 35mm, make your best choice on an exposure, shoot it on the 35, instantly look at it, and adjust if needed? It will probably only demonstrate really big errors.

I was in Bunderburg for 3 months, about 8-10 years ago on a job assignment, loved the place & people, (and the rum). When I first arrived, at night I saw, everywhere,
'XXXX' glowing in neon red, I thought that porn must be very popular 'Down Under', and I'd never heard of 4X porn... It took me a few days to realize that XXXX was the most popular beer in Australia.
IMO you have some of the most beautiful/photogenic scenery in the world, and New Zealand is available. A photographers dream.

Again thanks, I've got to wait until I am eligible to shop at LFPF. Is that the best place to shop, someone said auctions are too high, someone else said to look on Craig's list, I looked at a 500 mile radius, nothing I could recognize as LF or MF. It was all video and 35mm.

Bill

Bill, 70's military B&W
8-Apr-2012, 16:53
There is a Camera Club in my town, I will be going to the next meeting. Also a Junior College which has photography classes. I have not enquired about LF, but I'll bet some of them carry "Sheet Film" on weekends. I am one who likes to read, and be shown. I'm about an hour south of Atlanta, If anyone is in the area, I'd love to tag along and watch a photo shoot.
Yes, a very long time ago I used the military's equipment but that was early 70's, I'll admit I do not remember much, but I believe that IT WILL come back quickly.
I tried Craig's List for a 500 mile radius, no LF gear at all. I'll keep trying. I hope that the 'For Sale" section at LFPF will have what I need.
Bill

Mark Barendt
8-Apr-2012, 17:21
Viewing on an 8x10 glass is special and I have thought about up sizing so that I could contact print larger, a true bonus.

If I did the contact only print route though I'd want to go 11x14 because that's the print size I enjoy most.

Then I'd want an enlarger anyway because sometimes I decide to crop a bit and pull in a bit tighter on the subject so back to 8x10 (or 4x5 or 5x7).

And then there's the times I want a color shot so 5x7 and 11x14 aren't really good options there.

And, well, I think you probably get my point.

Before you jump to 8x10 or larger go shooting with some people that have them. Watch how they move around from house to shot an back.

John Kasaian
8-Apr-2012, 19:58
LFPF would be a good place to shop, but it is of course, buyer beware but I would have no qualms buying from sellers who are straight up good guys (like Jim Galli, for one) For online camera shops, Jim at Midwest Photo, Badger Graphic, Equinox Photo and Keh are commendable. I also think Igor & Photo Graphic Systems are pretty good (but some here have taken exception with me about that in the past.)
Ebay is a crapshoot. If you really know what you're after and can ask the right questions, and deal with legit sellers, and win cheap (since you'll very likely take a beating on shipping charges) thats about the best I could hope for on ebay. Sometimes you can get deals on good stuff. But be careful!