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Thread: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

  1. #1
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Red face Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Hello all you fine gents and ladies. My name is Austin.

    Excited to be around the forums and start my plunge into large format in the not-so-distant future. I am looking at a 4x5 Chamonix, along with a 135mm or 150mm lens to start.

    As for me. I am self taught. Well my dad has taught me a lot over the years. Started about 4-5 years ago with a Hasselblad 500C/M (well actually bought a Holga first!), then dove in and bought a Leica M2, then a Rollei 3.5F, and here we are. Shoot mostly B/W, but enjoy color as well. Try and develop all my own B/W and as of the past year started printing my own work. The lab in Houston has been very kind in letting me sit in printing sessions and learning. Now I can do my own printing, still have to pop out and ask a question every now and then.

    I bought a house last year, have two cats, Sudek and Cartier, was in a long time relationship that ended earlier this year, and spend time reading, gaming, or in my "art" room.

    Other than that, I have lived most my life as an introvert, but a ton of great changes this year, so I am fairly active in my church, community work, networking events for my industry (career wise), etc etc. Positive person, very humble, overly nice, hard worker, honest, and raised with manners.

    There you go, now you know a bit (and more) about me. Hope to stick around for a while and use the search bar a lot as I build a set.

  2. #2
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Nice to meet you Austin. Welcome to the forum!

  3. #3
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Welcome, Austin. You won't go wrong with the Chamonix. Several members here use one.

  4. #4

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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Welcome! Normally I don't post in the Intro Forum, but with a daughter in Austin (no idea how far that is from Cypress, distances in Texas tend towards the ridiculous), two cats, and the interest in large format, figured we had too much in common not to say hello!

  5. #5

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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Welcome, Austin!

    When I was in the US Air Force, I was stationed in San Antonio then San Angelo and finally Waco so I know Texas fairly well.

    Will you have some room in the house you bought last year for a darkroom? Is there a basement with plumbing where you might be able to build one?

    Since you are going to be getting into 4x5" photography, I suggest you start shopping now on Craigslist and eBay for things you will eventually need. Otherwise you will have the camera but then will be faced with locating needed accessories.

    A suggested shopping list:
    a sturdy tripod (Manfrotto and Gitzo are always good)
    lens boards
    tools to mount lenses on lens boards: an adjustable spanner-style lens wrench (eBay about $15)
    cable release (I like the one that is a rubber squeeze ball with an air hose because it imparts no mechanical vibrations to the shutter)
    dark cloth
    4x5" sheet film holders (over time I have purchased over 100 via eBay and try to budget no more than US $5 to $8 each - if they are more, I don't bid)
    a small blank page notebook (to record exposure information or notes about the shot)
    a transport case for camera, lenses, dark cloth, sheet film holders, etc.

    If you will be developing your own film then you will probably need:
    4x5" stainless steel sheet film processing racks
    an instant read dial thermometer
    mixing beakers, etc.
    a darkroom timer (a GraLab is always a good choice)
    a developing tank (I use 106 ounce clear rectangular plastic tubs from Dollar Tree)
    brown glass bottles (ask your local dispensing pharmacy to save some for you)
    4x5" enlarger (you may have to look in larger towns such as Dallas or San Antonio on Craigslist for one)
    135mm or 150mm enlarging lens
    an enlarging timer
    a way to store and file your developed negatives (I use PrintFile pages designed to hold four 4x5" negatives in three ring binders)
    a black Extra Fine Sharpie marker or India ink marker (to record information on the edges of your negatives or on the PrintFile pages)

    I am sure other folks here might have other shopping suggestions for you.

  6. #6

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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Hey Austin, I'm glad that you joined the forum. There are a lot of nice, knowledgeable members here and I think you will really like it. LFPF is similar to what you are used to on APUG but with the emphasis being on large format.

  7. #7
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Hi everyone! Sorry I had a busy busy weekend. Thanks for the warm welcomes!

    And @AtlantaTerry,
    Yes I have a lot of things I need to acquire as time passes by.
    - Camera
    - Lens (was trying to eventually stay with one or two filter sizes but if getting 90/150/210 that is nearly impossible). Although, I am using a chart from 2002, so not sure. I was looking at starting with a 150mm first. Specifically I have the Rodenstock APO-Sironar S highlighted. Not too expensive, not too cheap, doesn't weigh a ton, but has nice image circle and other attributes.
    - Tripod
    - Lens Boards (still figuring out what sizes work with what and Linhof vs Sinar boards, etc etc)
    - I have a nice cable release...probably do need a longer one though.
    - I will look into a spanner wrench. I know there is someone that makes them and a set is ~$50...lots of people speak very highly of this/him.
    - Dark Cloth (leaning towards BTZS)
    - Film holders (I know Chamonix sells carbon fiber ones, but they are pricy). I will try to find some nice lighter ones and maybe travel with ~7-10 and a changing bag (I assume I load and remove negatives all via a changing bag and then store the negatives somehow in a box or similar)
    - I have notebook that I currently use for all my photography
    - I saw a case company that is/was going out of business. Also saw a nice bag setup from Fstop (medium shallow ICU). I travel with a backpack so main thing for me will be a nice and light case to hold my setup in.


    And a darkroom is a whole other story. I think in time I would like something in my house, but in Texas we don't have basements. And upstairs is all carpet. Don't really have an ideal place for one. I know the really really nice thing about the lab downtown is a really long and large sink area. I do understand supplies/equipment are dirt cheap nowadays.

    I develop my own black and white at home, so I will need to figure out developing 4x5 (but this is far off...still need the entire kit!)...to which I am sure there is plenty of info on the web.

    Thus for most stuff I own everything, beakers, timers, amber bottles, store all my negatives, dated and noted on, in binders, etc etc.


    Thanks for all the kind advice and information.

  8. #8

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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Austin,
    Welcome to the forum. Try the Cokin or the Lee system for filters, you just need to buy a ring that fits each filter thread.
    Pete.

  9. #9
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    Ahh technology. Great to hear. I was pinning down lens selections based on 67mm for both the 90mm and 210mm since 46mm on the 150mm is an oddball. I figured surely there is some sort of enlarging/reducing crossover...that was I don't have to lug around 10 different filters due to 3 various sizes.

  10. #10

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    Re: Howdy from Cypress, Texas

    I shoot 8x10 and settled on 77mm filter size which fits my largest lens. I use step-up rings and Nikon pinch lens caps on the other lenses. That's just the way I did it. I used to shoot an RZ67 and already owned a bunch of 77mm filters.

    The Rodenstock APO Sironar-S is said to be fantastic in all respects. It is pricey though.

    The Chamonix 4x5 takes Linhof style boards.

    This is the lens wrench that I use if you are interested: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ns_Wrench.html It works great.

    You can use a changing bag but they are a pain. Do yourself a favor and buy a Harrison tent. They are worth the money! http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ging_Tent.html

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