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Thread: Orlando Traveler New To LF

  1. #1
    My Passion Is Learning
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    Sep 2016
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    Orlando, FL
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    Red face Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Hello, all! I'm new to this forum and new to LF photography as a whole! I've been doing a bunch of reading as a slowly amass my collection of equipment. Of course the Ansel Adam's series and various web resources I stumble upon (this forum included, of course!). I got a Graflex Graphic View that came retrofitted with a Graflok back and a no.32 Kodak Anastigmat lens (162mm), mounted in a Kodak no.3 Supermatic Shutter. I sent the shutter off to Flutot's Camera Repair because it didn't function in bulb or time mode, and I figure it'll be good to have the speed calibration chart also. I'm looking to shoot B&W and develop my own film as there are no local labs that process 4x5 and the shipping would end up costing fortune while I'm learning! If anyone wouldn't mind, I would love to propose what I am considering getting and cross-checking it with what your experience has been to make sure I'm not making any fatal errors!

    For the Camera:
    I have just a sheet of black duvetyn that I think will do a fine job of being a dark cloth
    For a loupe I was considering the Carson LumiLoupe Plus 11.5x due to its focusing ability and its cheapness
    I just bought a Soligor Spot Meter on eBay
    I plan on starting on Arista EDU Ultra 100 film, again because its the cheapest 4x5 film and I'm sure I'll blow through it quick while I'm learning!
    I did a fair amount of research and for the price/portability (I plan to travel with this camera) and I found the Slik 504QF-II System to be what I liked, but the load capacity is only 11lbs. I haven't weighed my camera but sources around the interwebs say its anywhere from 8-9lbs. Is this cutting it too close? Are there better tripods for view cameras in this price range?
    Short of getting a carry-on sized bag and modifying it, the best option I can find is the (pricy) Think Tank Airport Security. Has anyone else found a better option? I wouldn't want to check the camera. Also, any thoughts on lead lined bags to protect film? I've traveled with ASA400 35mm film a lot and have never had adverse effects but is sheet film any more sensitive to the low level x-rays carry on bags see in the US?

    For the developing:
    I was thinking about the Ilford chemistry set (Ilfosol, Stop Bath, Rapid Fixer)
    Considering Kodak Photo-Flo but I hear mixed reviews on whether it is really necessary? The same thing with Hypo-Clearing agent, is it something I should use as well?
    I was considering getting a paterson two reel tank and using the rubber band "taco" method, any thoughts on that? Course I did just happen upon the SP-445 that looks like a much better option, thoughts there?
    I was looking at the Paterson changing bag, anybody use that kind? Any better options (short of lightproofing my bathroom)?
    Also, I was thinking about how best to identify film holders in the dark and I thought if I made small engraved notches in the top of the film holder I can use a system to identify the holder number, and which side of the holder I'm "looking" at. Has anyone used any other sort of system? Is it safe to cut into the wood on the front of the holder so as to not poke a hole light can get through?

    Sorry if I got way off track there, I just am trying to put this all together and I figure with the massive wealth of knowledge here even if only a small fraction of you weigh in, it will mean so much and I'm sure I will learn a lot! Also, if anyone has any recommendations for further reading outside the Ansel Adam's Series, I do love my research!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Re: Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Welcome aboard, TroyG!
    You've certainly got a lot on your mind right now.

    I'm not familiar with duvetyn material, but if it works, it works. Set up your camera on a sunny day and see if the duvetyn works well for you.

    Arista EDU Ultra 100 is good film. For night photography I find the reciprocity characteristics downright challenging, so if night photography is in the cards you may want to check out Ilford FP-4+ or HP-5+ when that time comes.

    For my Graphic View I use an old Tiltall tripod. You can find these for around $70-90 on the auction site.

    It's the same with loupes. I used a cheap Agfa 9x for years. Some use magnifying eyeglasses or even linen testers. Whatever works for you is good.

    I haven't used Ilford chemistry so I can't comment on it.

    Others here are more up to snuff on flying with sheet film. The last time I flew with sheet film
    I packed new, unopened and factory sealed boxes and requested a hand check. I then loaded film holders in a changing bag at my destination.

    I hope this helps!
    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.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    New Jersey
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    Re: Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Welcome, Troy!

    Not quite sure what you are asking about marking holders. What many want is a way to match a developed negative with the holder it came from, in case the negative shows a light leak or other holder flaw. In that case, you normally mark the lip inside the holder, the lip which holds the film in place when you slide the film into the holder. You either make small notches in the lip, or drill tiny holes in the lip (my approach). When you develop the negatives the notches or holes show as exposed areas on the clear edge of the negative, so the negative with one "dot" came from the side of the holder with a single hole, etc.

    As for flying, always keep film in your hand luggage, the X-Ray scanners for checked bags are stronger and more likely to fog film. I typically fly with 4x5 HP5+ (nominally 400 ASA) and have not had any fogging issues, either with unused or exposed film. I suspect the TSA will ask you to open lead bags because they would appear opaque under X-Ray. There have been a few threads on this subject, and the consensus is that as long as the film is in your hand luggage it will be fine.

  4. #4
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyG View Post
    For the Camera:
    I have just a sheet of black duvetyn that I think will do a fine job of being a dark cloth

    A. Probably. I usually use a black t-shirt

    For a loupe I was considering the Carson LumiLoupe Plus 11.5x due to its focusing ability and its cheapness

    A. I don't know this loupe, but I have a cheap one, and an expensive one, and use them interchangeably.

    I just bought a Soligor Spot Meter on eBay

    I plan on starting on Arista EDU Ultra 100 film, again because its the cheapest 4x5 film and I'm sure I'll blow through it quick while I'm learning!

    A. Good choices!

    I did a fair amount of research and for the price/portability (I plan to travel with this camera) and I found the Slik 504QF-II System to be what I liked, but the load capacity is only 11lbs. I haven't weighed my camera but sources around the interwebs say its anywhere from 8-9lbs. Is this cutting it too close? Are there better tripods for view cameras in this price range?

    a. That will be fine. Weight loads for tripods are calculated assuming unbalanced SLRs with long, heavy lenses. View cameras typically have similar loads in front and behind the tripod, making them more balanced, and enabling heavier loads on lighter tripods than would be advisable for an SLR.

    Short of getting a carry-on sized bag and modifying it, the best option I can find is the (pricy) Think Tank Airport Security. Has anyone else found a better option? I wouldn't want to check the camera. Also, any thoughts on lead lined bags to protect film? I've traveled with ASA400 35mm film a lot and have never had adverse effects but is sheet film any more sensitive to the low level x-rays carry on bags see in the US?

    A. I would check the camera, if you are checking bags. I check everything but film, unless I only have carry-on. I have used lead lined bags, but sometimes they ask to see inside. Just carry on your film and you should be fine.

    For the developing:
    I was thinking about the Ilford chemistry set (Ilfosol, Stop Bath, Rapid Fixer)

    A. Should be fine.

    Considering Kodak Photo-Flo but I hear mixed reviews on whether it is really necessary? The same thing with Hypo-Clearing agent, is it something I should use as well?

    a. Some do, some don't.

    I was considering getting a paterson two reel tank and using the rubber band "taco" method, any thoughts on that? Course I did just happen upon the SP-445 that looks like a much better option, thoughts there?

    A. Both work (I just used my SP-445 for the first time tonight). I would prefer the SP, but if you have a tank, that will work.

    I was looking at the Paterson changing bag, anybody use that kind? Any better options (short of lightproofing my bathroom)?

    A. Changing bag works. I used one for several years, but now I usually change in a bathroom with no window, sealing the bottom of the door with a towel. This sometimes works best at night when lights in the hallway are turned off.

    Also, I was thinking about how best to identify film holders in the dark and I thought if I made small engraved notches in the top of the film holder I can use a system to identify the holder number, and which side of the holder I'm "looking" at. Has anyone used any other sort of system? Is it safe to cut into the wood on the front of the holder so as to not poke a hole light can get through?

    A. google around and you will eventually find a guide to marking holders. I did it, but seldom use them.

    Sorry if I got way off track there, I just am trying to put this all together and I figure with the massive wealth of knowledge here even if only a small fraction of you weigh in, it will mean so much and I'm sure I will learn a lot! Also, if anyone has any recommendations for further reading outside the Ansel Adam's Series, I do love my research!
    Good light! Tim

  5. #5
    My Passion Is Learning
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    Sep 2016
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    Re: Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Hello there, all! Sorry for the late reply, but I do thank you all so much for sharing this information with me!
    You've certainly got a lot on your mind right now.
    Why yes, yes I do! I always get obsessed over details and I want to make sure that I can hit the ground running once I get everything in line! Heard from the shutter repair folks and my shutter should be in tip-top shape soon! Hurray!
    For my Graphic View I use an old Tiltall tripod.
    Sold! Found one on Freestyle's website for less than what I was going to drop on the other one, and it does have a much higher weight rating. I appreciate pointing me there! p.s. How do you like your graphic view? It seems like a great camera to me!
    have not had any fogging issues, either with unused or exposed film
    Phew! I'm happy to hear that! I've never had my ASA400 35mm film fog and I'm glad that it's no different for sheet film. Begs the question why people buy the lead lined bags
    I have a cheap one, and an expensive one, and use them interchangeably.
    I'm glad the pressure isn't on to buy the most expensive loupe I can find!
    I would check the camera
    Really? I tend not to check anything that I would risk breaking. Have you checked a view camera in the past? I suppose as long as I pack it very carefully, have you got any advice on how to prevent breakage?

    Again, thank you John, Peter, and Tim! Your insight is invaluable and very much appreciated!

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
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    1,008

    Re: Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Can't help you with processing, but I think you're off to a solid start with the gear. I'll mention a couple of things based on my own experience. First, as to tripod load capacity, I generally try to find one that is double the load I typically put on it. They're just so much more stable, and less subject to vibrations from wind etc. Second, I've not had any problem with airport screenings of ISO 400 film BUT.....do NOT put it in checked baggage. Neither unexposed film or exposed but not processed. The xray for checked baggage is a killer. Loupes--I use a fold up linen tester. Works great, fits in my pocket. Dark cloth--I either use my jacket or a heavy black t-shirt. It isn't rocket science.


    Kent in SD
    Die Gedanken sind Frei

  7. #7
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Orlando Traveler New To LF

    Welcome to the forum, Troy!

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