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Thread: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    New England
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    Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Good Afternoon!

    My name is Ray and I am from Southern NH, standing on the ledge and getting ready to make the plunge into LF photography - waiting for the right body to be found. A bit of history if you like: I grew up in the 80's shooting 35mm film and made the switch to digital in 2008 for a few years. Digital didn't do it for me, so got back into film in 2012 and quickly moved to medium format. Recently, sold off the last of my 35mm gear and am shooting all 120 (Rollei / Plaubel-Makina) and just picked up a Graflex Century 2x3 with the 120 back this winter. Hooked on the style (movements, slow pace and so on) now.

    This darned 2x3 I am calling it my gateway drug to LF.

    So now, the bug has bit and I am researching 4x5 LF cameras. My hunting has brought me in a couple directions. I have to say, I love the looks and light weight of wooden view cameras like the Shen Hao and Nagaoka. But in that same breath, the economy of the Graflex Crown and the like grabs my attention - though I've read about limited movements. That got me looking at Linhof III's thru V's which can be in the same price range as new SH - give or take, but what I really want is what'll do the job well.

    I plan to do a lot of walking with this body and plan to use with a tripod - which is why the woods first appealed to me.

    Would love to hear others thoughts on this!

    Thank you-Ray

  2. #2
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Location
    Brookline, NH
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    397

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Welcome neighbor!

    I can't help you much with cameras but I can talk your ear off about optics.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    New England
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    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Brookline - nice! Not far at all. Thanks for the welcome. Sure, fire away about optics as that will go hand-in-hand with the body I decide on. My 2x3 has a Linhof Schneider-Kreuznach 105 which I am hoping can be used with the body I end up with.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    363

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Hello Ray,

    Welcome to the Forum and the world of LF photography, once you get going. IMO your choice of which 4x5 camera should be defined by what photographs you envision making with it and how far you plan to walk/hike with it. For example, the Graflex Crown Graphic is a great body, but has limited movements; basically, you'll get some vertical movement on the front standard and can accomplish forward tilt with some trickery with the drop-bed. No back movements and you have to tilt the entire camera or dismount from tripod and re-mount on side to do a vertical. But, it's a tank of a camera which folds up into a nearly indestructible box which you could hike anywhere with and any distance you yourself can handle. Get a couple lightweight lenses and the other misc stuff and you'd have a nice field outfit.

    However, if you don't want to be restricted by the limited camera movements of the Graflex, then you're looking at the box-style folding camera, Linhof Tech's, monorails, etc. But, if you plan on hiking any distance a monorail wouldn't be my first choice. Lots to think about... But, I'll let ya in on a little secret... My opinion mind you; in my 35+ years of shooting LF landscape/outdoor scene style photography with both 4x5 and 8x10 I have rarely needed all the advanced movements that a lot of these cameras offer. Some front rise/fall, front tilt, back tilt, and occasionally (I'm talking VERY occasionally!) some swing movement. I use swings so rarely that I almost hesitate to include it here. But, please keep in mind that this is my way of working.

    Oh, and btw I lived in East Montpelier, VT for 18 years before moving out to the desert southwest. Spent many happy hours as a teen hiking the White Mountains and associated ranges, and photographing the area as an adult. Beautiful country...I do miss it sometimes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    New England
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    37

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Thanks so much for that reply Alan, and nice to meet you. Great points you bring up here for me, thank you. It's nice to hear your thoughts on what movements you really use for outdoor/landscape. For hiking, it's rarely more than 3 miles to get to a spot I want to shoot (though sometimes can be a challenge if it's up Mt Washington). But a lot of my shooting lately has been the seacoast. Harbors, ocean and so forth. With that, relatively no hiking - and guessing I am currently doing more of that then that mountains. I haven't researched anything on the monorails yet as it seemed like it'd be more on a mountain hike than I want, but glad you brought that up! Man, you've given me even more to think on.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    03082
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    222

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Hi Ray,

    Welcome to the group. I have a Zone VI, the camera is within reason for me (68 and wicked PsA, arthritis) to pack into the mountains. The wooden tripod is what kills me. Since this is a hobby, my wife's budget doesn't allow me to get a carbon tripod. I live in Lyndeborough.

  7. #7
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,090

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Welcome to Large Format Photography Forum
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
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    2,644

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    I've seen Shen Hao's (camera only) turn up on Ebay for as low as $600 which isn't that much more than a nice clean Crown Graphic. Nice Crowns are usually around $400 but do come with a lens. If you don't mind spending a bit more for a new camera then check out the Chamonix models. They don't turn up used often.

    Be sure to read the LF Home page to help get educated. You can use the advanced search to look up anything you have questions about. If you can't find what you are looking for then post a question. The members here are really nice and will be happy to help you. There is a lot to learn with large format but just take one a step at a time and you will have a lot of fun with it.

    Welcome to the forum!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Posts
    10,314

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Used to spend some summers at Mt Monadnock in Dublin with the Sagendorfs from The Old Farmer's Almanac. Fun days back then up there.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    37

    Re: Hello from Southern New Hampshire

    Another local, very nice! I looked a little at the VI's and like their look, and love they were once locally built in Vermont. Hearing you pack with it to the mountains is very positive in my book.

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