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Thread: LF is it really better?

  1. #1

    LF is it really better?

    Editor's warning: decide for yourself whether to take this thread seriously or not. email sent to has returned "Unknown Recipient".

    Yesterday my dad took me into the city. We went to one of the local photo stores so I could buy some 4x5 film. The guy behind the counter told me that LF photog raphy is dead and I can do everything I want better with 35mm and super small gr ain film like APX25. Is this true?

    I think maybe I made a mistake buying a 4x5 camera.

    Thanks Jonny

  2. #2

    LF is it really better?

    Sounds to me like the guy behind the counter is dead.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2000

    LF is it really better?

    Jon, Large format is certainly not dead, and my feeling has long been that anyone who seriously wants to learn photography, not just the technique, but also the "seeing", should start out with large format. I feel that you are choosing the best path available in the quest to becoming an accomplished photographer.


  4. #4

    LF is it really better?

    sounds like a troll..........

    Sorry, but I just don't see how anyone could make an investment in LF, and even consider for one second the CRAP that salesman said.

  5. #5

    LF is it really better?

    Jon: yes, you did make a mistake: Assuming that working behind a counter at photo store is accredits that individual as a knowledgeable photographic artist. To further reassure youself, spend some time at a library to see the kind of images that LF photographers make and then see if that kind of imagery can be found in books by 35 mm photographers. The images from such as David Muench, Jack Dykinga, Eliot Porter and many other LF photographers, can't be made with 35mm. Those people know that, even if your guy at the store does't. 35mm is indeed a great medium for other things, but if you are intent on "making" pictures rather than "taking" pictures, LF is your one and only medium.

  6. #6

    LF is it really better?

    Wow, thanks for all the answers. I like my camera but the photo man made me feel bad. My dad thinks that I waste money but I just love taking pictures. I thought that this man was right cause he sells film and cameras. When school starts again I will go the library and look up the people that was mentioned.

    Someday, maybe I will have pictures in the library.

    Your friend Jonny

  7. #7

    LF is it really better?

    Johnny, that was a real bad man at the photo store and if I were you I'd go tell him to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. He was a real bad man. But I think you made a big mistake too. You should shoot only 35mm so that you won't feel so bad next time some idiot tells you something like this. LF is for real men and not little boys that get their feelings hurt so easily. James

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    LF is it really better?

    Hey, I got the same 'advice' from several places. But just one question, if LF is dead, then how come Schneider, Rodenstock et al keep making lenses, how come film is avaliable in 'proper' photographic shops, quite clearly the fellow you talked to was more interested in selling 35mm, next time they say this take care to point out that most, if not all major product photography is done with LF equipment either onto film or high-end scanning backs. By the way, did you know that no-one ever uses 120 or 220 film any more as you can't processit anymore. (Or atleast that's what the buggers at a certain lab say - Klick photopoint in the UK do not go near them with a f***in' barge pole).

  9. #9
    Yes, but why? David R Munson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Saitama, Japan

    LF is it really better?

    Johnny, it seems to me that this guy has no idea what he's talking about. If it makes you feel any better, I sell cameras and film on a daily basis, have yet to sell a medium or large format camera (stupid P&S and digital cameras...grumble...), and can still say that LF is not even close to being dead. If you feel like proving to yourself (or your dad, for that matter)that LF really is better in quality than 35mm, shoot the same scene with both 35mm and 4x5, getting the two shots as similar as possible. Once the film is processed, get both negatives blown up to 8x10 or 11x14 and compare the final product. The LF shot will look better- guaranteed. Good luck.

    Just a thought...
    So apparently my signature was full of dead links after a few years away...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 1999

    LF is it really better?

    Well, it is true that you can make great enlargements from 35mm or 120 negs. if you are makeing prints 8x10 to 11x14, careful work will give excellent results. The real reason to use large format is that it gives total control over your work. Swings and tilts give you control over perspective and focus, individual negatives allow exact control of the processing of each one. If these things are important to you, you need to use large format. If not, use something else.


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