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Thread: Teen photographer

  1. #1

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    Teen photographer

    Hi all,

    I am 16 and I have been shooting digital with a Nikon D700 for a while now. I shoot sports for school, but my real love is landscapes.

    I wanting to branch out from my little digital bubble and experience what the photographers did before digital.

    I have been looking around for some good deals on cameras (4x5 mostly), but I would like some suggestions.


    I look forward to learning and participating in this community.

  2. #2
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Re: Teen photographer

    What is your budget? knowing that would help us make suggestions on camera lenses etc?
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  3. #3

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    Re: Teen photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Guru View Post
    What is your budget? knowing that would help us make suggestions on camera lenses etc?
    I'll bet I can guess.

  4. #4

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    Re: Teen photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Guru View Post
    What is your budget? knowing that would help us make suggestions on camera lenses etc?
    Sorry, forgot about that.

    I selling off some of my unused lenses right now and I can probably manage ~$500-$600

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Teen photographer

    A rail camera (rather than a folding field camera) will be more affordable, as long as you do not want to carry it too far. Though in my youth (anything in the 20's seems youthful to be now!), I carried a rail 4x5 (Calumet) for miles in a heavy case.

    The Calumet rail cameras are not expensive on the used market. Graphic Views are older but very usable. I would tend to look for a complete kit (camera, lens, a few holders...perhaps a darkcloth...all in some sort of case) can be a good deal.

    Lens -- and modern lens in a Copal shutter would be my first choice...150mm to 210mm as a start. Caltars (rebranded German lenses) can be found at a good price...the same as their German branded equivilents.

    A solid tripod is needed. All should be doable on your budget.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Vaughn

  6. #6

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    Re: Teen photographer

    Get and read Chavez Ravine; a Los Angeles Story by Don Normark. One of my favorite books. The images were done with a little rollfilm 120 camera that won't fetch $24 on Ebay, and yet I am mesmerized every time I read it.

    It was 1949, and Normark wasn't much older than you, a college kid. The camera was a little tin can called a Ciro Flex. (disclaimers etc. just to show what I'm talking about) Everything about it is manual. Like driving a '40's british car with a crash box. You're busy all the time. But it can pay you back handsomely.

    Not trying to talk you out of 4X5, just what came to mind when you mentioned 'old school'.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  7. #7

    Re: Teen photographer

    Why stop at 4x5. Those are more popular and more dollars. I saw a Calumet C1 on Ebay for three something. You can lift it.

  8. #8
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Teen photographer

    Do you want to carry it around with you? Try and get your hands on a field camera. They'll probably cost a bit more than a rail camera, but your back will thank you for it. I started out on an old Cambo 4x5 monorail. Soon packed it in for a old beat up Linhof IV. Maybe someone on this forum could give you a good deal on what you are looking for. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!

  9. #9
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Teen photographer

    If you can find an affordable field camera i think you'll be a lot happier than with a monorail. My college had calumet rail cameras in big cases and I did not enjoy the bruises i got hauling them around.

    You can start with one lens. I used one lens for years. Since you've been taking pictures with another format, you already have an idea of what angle of view you use most often. Take your favorite focal length and multiply by 3-1/3 to get the approximate equivalent in 4x5.

    Do you know how you plan to print? If you want to make contact prints, or have access to a scanner than can take big film, then going bigger than 4x5 may be practical. Otherwise I suspect it will cost more and limit your choices more.

  10. #10

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    Re: Teen photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    A rail camera (rather than a folding field camera) will be more affordable, as long as you do not want to carry it too far. Though in my youth (anything in the 20's seems youthful to be now!), I carried a rail 4x5 (Calumet) for miles in a heavy case.

    The Calumet rail cameras are not expensive on the used market. Graphic Views are older but very usable. I would tend to look for a complete kit (camera, lens, a few holders...perhaps a darkcloth...all in some sort of case) can be a good deal.

    Lens -- and modern lens in a Copal shutter would be my first choice...150mm to 210mm as a start. Caltars (rebranded German lenses) can be found at a good price...the same as their German branded equivilents.

    A solid tripod is needed. All should be doable on your budget.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Vaughn
    Thanks for the advice! As for the tripod, I have a Manfrotto 055xprob with a 410 geared head, would this be sturdy enough?

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