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Thread: Essentials.

  1. #1

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    Essentials.

    Over the years, I've collected and sold a lot of gear. I'm left with a number of outfits and formats that I like having, and from which, I would not want to part. This includes many lenses, a few camera bodies, a good darkroom, etc.

    But this prompted me to think, what are the absolute essentials in all of this? If I had to trim down to just the minimum, what must I retain to keep photography worthwhile? Otherwise, I might just as well not bother?

    So, here are a few things that come to mind.

    This might sound silly to some, but I would have to have a densitometer. Without this, I wouldn't know what I could expect from film, the actual film speed, and the development times for this or that situation. In trimming down, I would have to do B&W photography, and I would have to have a densitometer to get the results I wanted.

    As for a camera, I think a 4x5 with bag bellows capability. For lenses, I would want the two focal lengths with which I began, which are 120mm wide field and a 180mm Plasmat. It would be be nice if this camera could have medium format capability. But, this would probably not be essential.

    In the darkroom, I would want to keep my Zone VI developing and enlarging compensating timers. Fill in with anything else, but keep these two timers.

    These would be included on my list, what would be included on yours? And, why? I think that hearing the different perspectives would be really instructive.

  2. #2
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Essentials.

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    These would be included on my list, what would be included on yours?
    For landscape shooters who enjoy cross-country exploration, a sturdy and comfortable pair of hiking boots!

    Also a dependable walking stick.

    In my book, both are essential, esp. if you have creeks and slippery rocks to cross.

  3. #3

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    Re: Essentials.

    You seem to mean "absolute" essentials. I suppose for me that would be a lightweight 4x5 field camera, 90mm + 135-150mm + 203-210mm lenses, lightweight tripod, decent spot meter, dark cloth (anything to shade the GG), decent focusing loop, at least 2 DDS film holders, film, a way to process/print... or have processed/printed. I guess that's my minimum although, if I were to really push it I could do with one lens, one DDS and no meter.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Essentials.

    The least important thing would be a densitometer. A 5x4 camera that can take 65mm to 300mm lenses with out needing to change bellows, that folds to a compact size, maybe can be used hand held. Good walking boots etc.

    It's a US obsession needing a densitometer, practical Zone system test are far more valuable.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Re: Essentials.

    I find this an interesting topic because I haven't shot 4x5 in years and I've been vetting through my 4x5 "stuff" as I thought I'd keep just the "essentials."
    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.

  6. #6

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    Re: Essentials.

    I would add film holders to the list.:-)

  7. #7
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Essentials.

    I have used on rare occasions, but never "absolutely needed" a densitometer*, but do need a light sturdy folding camera, a few filters to taste, a real light meter (not an iPhone or DSLR), dark cloth, lightest tripod that will do the job, wind break (a light disk), lens cloth and brush, changing tent, cable releases (with extra), loupe, "enough" lenses (5), "enough" film holders loaded (30 in the car every morning-8 in my bag), post it notes and pencil to mark dev/times on the film holders. This is not just my stripped down kit for hiking-it is my only kit.

    *Picker's method of a proper proof works fine actually.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  8. #8
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Essentials.

    Essentials are a camera (5x4) with sufficient movements, Super Graphic is OK, a good 90mm and 135 or 150mm lens, luxury is a 203/210,and/ or wider 75mm/65mm, the camera must have a good bright screen. A dozen good DDS goes without saying.

    Actually that's what I keep in Turkey, along with a Jobo 2000 dev tank and basic chemistry for film processing.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Re: Essentials.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    ... *Picker's method of a proper proof works fine.
    ___

    Speaking of the 'late' Fred Picker... I just spotted this:

    http://www.parkersmithphoto.com/clie...FredPicker.pdf

    The old VHS Tape... Was of course much better.
    But perhaps, some can still benefit from this information.
    --
    Best regards,

    -Tim.

    __________

  10. #10
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Essentials.

    cool.I remember that.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

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