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Thread: Whats the same & whats new & different?

  1. #1
    PureQuill Photo's Avatar
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    Whats the same & whats new & different?

    The last time I shot 4X5 was 1981.
    While the cameras & enlargers seem pretty much the the same.
    I know that, film, chemistry and a lot of things other things have changed in 3 & 1/2 decades. So what new tricks do you have to teach this old dog?
    Pure Quill is an old New England expression meaning “The genuine article...the real thing, authentic, or not phony”

  2. #2

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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    With the exception of Xtol and possibly a few others, B&W film developers have really not changed significantly. Of course, we now have much better film stock - Kodak TMX and TMY, Ilford Delta 100...Fuji Acros.

    I print on Ilford MG-IV and it is much, much better than the Kodak papers I used in the 1970's and 1980's (opinions will be all over the place on this though).

    We have a whole bunch of new, inexpensive LF cameras from China, Inc.

  3. #3
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    The biggest difference for me would be ...

    Quality VC papers and split contrast printing... o yea the resurgence/popularity of PMK developers by Gordon Hutchings.

    The biggest loss would be Ilfomar and Ektalure paper lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by PureQuill Photo View Post
    The last time I shot 4X5 was 1981.
    While the cameras & enlargers seem pretty much the the same.
    I know that, film, chemistry and a lot of things other things have changed in 3 & 1/2 decades. So what new tricks do you have to teach this old dog?

  4. #4

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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    Another difference is the decline of brick-and-mortar photo and camera stores and the appearance of online sources of information and equipment, like this site.

  5. #5
    PureQuill Photo's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    The biggest difference for me would be ...

    Quality VC papers and split contrast printing... o yea the resurgence/popularity of PMK developers by Gordon Hutchings.

    The biggest loss would be Ilfomar and Ektalure paper lines.

    Wow split contrast printing sounds exciting!
    Guess I am going to have to reeducate myself about the whole paper & film market place in the 21st century.
    Ilford was just starting to penetrate Kodaks market share and gain acceptance.
    Thanks for all the responses!
    I guess this is probably the wrong thread to ask about the quality of of Chinese cameras.
    Pure Quill is an old New England expression meaning “The genuine article...the real thing, authentic, or not phony”

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    The Chinese LF cameras are generally very good...to generally excellent. You'll find lots of threads here about them.

    "Alternative" photography has gone from an excuse to make artsy-fartsy prints without worrying too much about technique, to some pretty amazing work.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    Yes... Certain Chinese view cameras are made by very small dedicated shops with excellent quality control.... don't confuse this with the mass-produced junk mentality of big box outlets and the kind of things they import or "outsource" (a synonym for bait-and-switch marketing). Color films and paper have changed a
    great deal, with color negative materials now taking full dominance over chromes or slides. There is also that other way of making color prints, but I don't want
    anyone getting their mouth washed out with soap by mentioning digi... or ink....whatever. Kodak is now the underdog, but coming back to life after a pretty severe
    mauling. They still make some superb black and white and color neg films, and are also still in the color paper game, but not black and white paper anymore. Ilford
    is dominating that latter camp. And Agfa is long gone, though the brand name itself has been reincarnated on a few things. Fuji is the big dog in much of the
    world. View cameras have tended to get lighter and more ergonomic for field use, and now you can have an 8x10 for about the weight of an old school 4x5. Lens
    manufacture for these is dropping like flies, though there are a great many used lenses available at better prices than ever. Darkroom equipment can be had
    affordably if not downright free. It's a great time to be in large format. But tricks??? Our bag of those just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

  8. #8

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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    Letsee...Foma has made it's presence felt in the US market. Freestyle's house brand of sheet film is now made by Foma, not Ilford or the sadly missed, but doomed Forte.
    AFAIK, all Kodak B&W papers have vanished from the scene.
    Also X-ray film has become popular in larger formats because the film is so cheap.
    Kodak in any size larger than 4x5 is pita to find and expensive.
    Efke, Bergger, and a few others are out of the biz
    Agfa, as Drew Wiley mentioned, is long gone except for a few of the more popular(Zombie?) chemicals.
    Chemistry hasn't change all that much except for Kodak dropping some more products (but most, or very similar products, are still available outsourced from Kodak or other manufacturers.)
    Nacco, sadly, seems to have been a casualty. I can't find it in the Freestyle catalog anymore.
    I cannot comment on color materials as I don't use them.
    The good news is that Ilford is alive and well and plentiful! If you were using Ilford materials 30 years ago, getting back into LF should be like slipping on a pair of comfortable shoes.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Letsee...Foma has made it's presence felt in the US market. Freestyle's house brand of sheet film is now made by Foma, not Ilford or the sadly missed, but doomed Forte.
    AFAIK, all Kodak B&W papers have vanished from the scene.
    Also X-ray film has become popular in larger formats because the film is so cheap.
    Kodak in any size larger than 4x5 is pita to find and expensive.
    Efke, Bergger, and a few others are out of the biz
    Agfa, as Drew Wiley mentioned, is long gone except for a few of the more popular(Zombie?) chemicals.
    Chemistry hasn't change all that much except for Kodak dropping some more products (but most, or very similar products, are still available outsourced from Kodak or other manufacturers.)
    Nacco, sadly, seems to have been a casualty. I can't find it in the Freestyle catalog anymore.
    I cannot comment on color materials as I don't use them.
    The good news is that Ilford is alive and well and plentiful! If you were using Ilford materials 30 years ago, getting back into LF should be like slipping on a pair of comfortable shoes.
    I can't comment on kodak papers but if I wanted to shoot kodak sheets any larger than 4x5 I wouldn't have much trouble, B&H caries lots of larger sheet sizes in kodak and ilford, and Keith Canham regularly orders special cuts of ULF sizes from kodak, or wait till the Ilford ULF once a year to effectively buy any size you want (assuming enough people order it).

    So, there are many good things in films still happening

  10. #10

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    Re: Whats the same & whats new & different?

    PS: Freestyle is still there doin' the same old things, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose I grew up in Los Angeles a short drive away so I had to shout out to the homies.

    Finding information now is huge, you cannot overestimate how amazing the web is for hobbies like LF film photography. I can go and within minutes find specs, diagrams and discussion on obscure lenses and cameras, or share my love of my particular camera with others and get inspired by what others share every day.

    Supplies are strong and the hobby deep enough to sustain in the long term, new LF gear of quality is being produced. All in all it's a good time to come back.

    (yes, I'm opinionated and sometimes I'm very wrong but in this I think that my enthusiasm is founded)

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