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Thread: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
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    116

    Talking A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    I've been shooting medium format TLR pretty much exclusively for 25 years.
    Finally took a plunge and purchased a Chamonix 045n when the 3.5F Planar Rollei broke down after getting suds at the beach a few times.

    Camera:
    Chamonix 045n w universal bellows
    210mm f/5.6 Symmar S MC, late Fujinon W EBC 150mm f/5.6, Goerz RD APO Artar 4" f/9.0, 135mm f/3.6 Xenar Press Coated
    6x9, 6x12, 4x5 backs

    Camera movements:
    Wow, this is very cool... Amazing actually.
    Seems almost like it all makes sense which way to tilt, etc,...
    Close far, left right, Tall short.... WILD.
    You can get many different planes of focus on scenarios I'd never of had in focus using the old Rollei.

    Light meter:
    Jesus H. Christ.... where did all the light go compared to the Rollei???
    No more shots of kids moving around at the beach!

    Not much more to say than...
    Work in progress!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,789

    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    Congrats!

    You'll enjoy it, although the experience is different as you note - I'd probably fix the Rollei too.

    The light went with the f/3.5 although a good dark cloth will help. Many Linhof Technikas had a folding hood similar to the Rollei, and they worked well with f/3.5 lenses.

    Cheers, Steve

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
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    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    Thanks,

    The camera was used and came with a new hood that has a Velcro seam and elastic on both ends. Still fumbling around a bit with glasses and a large lens from a copy machine to look at details...

    In the camera and accessories forum I've seen many responses from people either entering LF,... or have decided to leave it/ put it aside/ use another format as the primary photographic toolkit.
    I took somewhat a leap of faith. Loading film and not being able to see what you are about to shoot except from setup... is a whole new game.
    Things in motion will be challenge. And for all the constraints of the view camera, the ability to manipulate the focus plane is obviously an entirely different way to think and operate.
    Regardless, the more positive the experience shared,... the more likely we will continue to do the voodoo we do...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,695

    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    I'd suggest not getting too hung up on movements. There are many situations in landscape photography at least where they are unnecessary and can actually do more harm than good. And a little goes a long way. I sometimes think that when we get started we remember the LF camera ads that show the camera all twisted up like a pretzel and believe that someone actually uses a camera that way, which they don't. A little movement goes a long way.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    S.W. Wyoming
    Posts
    1,137

    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    If you want to shoot action shots with a view camera you need to be somewhat of a psychic. You can focus on a point where you expect the action to take place and wait. Or, you can do as I often do with a press camera and use the hyperfocal distance method and use it as a point & shoot. Shutter speeds are a problem with large format lenses, though. Usually not fast enough to stop the action. That's the beauty of a Speed Graphic with 1/1000 top speed. Anyhoo, have fun and I'll second the recommendation of going easy on he movements.

  6. #6
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    2,128

    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    Welcome to LF! For kids at the beach: Pre-focus on a space and arrange for them to run into that space. With bright sun you should be able to shoot at 125th and f/16 . . .right?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    120

    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    As a "relative" greenhorn (certainly as compared to *many* of the people here) with a very similar setup, BTW, I just wanted to reiterate what Brian said-- if I had a buck for how many times I started screwing around with various movements only to find myself nearly "zeroed" (e.g. back where I started) in the end.

    I also found investing in a fuji holder for instant film to be very helpful in the beginning and I still always carry it when I think that I am "missing" something in the exposure or my approach and want to check before I start burning film.

    Oh and a notebook (I have a nice quad-lined Moleskin) to sketch the scene and my readings, exposure choices, etc -- not to mention the last section of every page: "What would I do differently next time" . Haven't left that one blank once...

    Enjoy,

    JT

  8. #8
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,832

    Re: A Greenhorn's first impressions for an afternoon with the new camera...

    Regarding movements, it is possible that you will use 100% of the rise available using a particular lens. This is especially true when photographing architecture. This is the only time I have found myself using "extreme" movements, but it has happened quite a lot.

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