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Thread: Next bit of kit...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Next bit of kit...

    .... so I seem to be suffering from a mild to severe case of G.A.S and am looking for the next bit of kit to add to my small collection. However I hate getting things that I never use, so I really want to make a sensible purchase and was looking for some ideas or suggestions. I didnt want this to turn out to be "what should I buy" thread - that's why I'm really open to suggestions from other people's experience.

    I shoot landscapes, cityscapes, architecture or building-photos, and a few still lifes, using an ebony non-folding 4x5 and all types of film from B+W, colour neg, tranny, and fuji instant. I dev b/w at home and colour out of house, and contact print at home for fun or flatbed scan at home for web and reasonable prints, sending out for drum scanning for wall size when required. All my work is for me, not commercial at all, and happy that way.

    1. The first suggestion is naturally a new lens. I have a 75 and 210, clearly there's a big gap between the two, so maybe a 90 or 150 would suit well?

    2. Spotmeter. I dont have one. I have an old Sekonic 308B which does incident or reflected only, no spot. Maybe a 558 or 758 should be high on my list of priorities? However, I seem to manage ok(ish) with my current meter, only struggling really with low latitude tranny films.

    3. Roll Film Back. I shot a Horseman SW612 for a long time and loved the 2:1 format. Obviously I can crop my 4x5s but I am a little bit of a purist and love the discipline of not-cropping my images and using them full frame. I could get a 6x12 back for small-money....

    3b. 6x17 Roll Film Back for 4x5. Some exist out there dont they? Obviously I'd need to use a lens that covered 6x17 plus some movements, but does anyone have experience of using a 6x17 back on a 4x5 camera? I think I'd enjoy the 6x17 format.

    4. New tripod? Using an old Manfrotto currently, with a 3 way head. Is it worth upgrading to a new Carbon fiber Gitzo or something to save weight? Length of the tripod is possibly more important than weight - being able to get a tripod in carry-on handluggage on European carriers with their stingy allowance would be a real bonus... But checking it in in the hold is no real bother...

    5. A proper set of filters. Currently using a set of Cokin ND grads which I hold infront of the lens by hand - is it worth it getting a full set of Lee filters and a push on holder to fit all my lenses?

    6. Freezer full of QLs now Fuji are denying us a future with them?!

    Open to suggestions from people with similar experience....


  2. #2
    kev curry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    Would it not be better to tap further into your creative needs first, and then allow them to determine what gear your vision requires?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    Not knowing you, it is hard to say, but why not shoot up that freezer full of Quickloads before going with the roll film backs? And then weighing the cost of the back versus the film you'd shoot -- as you would probably need quite a volume to justify the roll film back.

    A newer Gitzo carbon fiber tripod is quite nice, as are proper filters, and a 110-135 lens would make a good threesome.

    I don't know if a spot meter makes it easier or not but you can always try. Most of this gear can be sampled and resold if it isn't to your taste.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    San Mateo, California

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    buy a book or a print? Or a ticket somewhere?

  5. #5
    Richard K. Richard K.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Etobicoke (west Toronto), west of the mighty Humber...

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    Quote Originally Posted by 612tom View Post

    3b. 6x17 Roll Film Back for 4x5. Some exist out there dont they? Obviously I'd need to use a lens that covered 6x17 plus some movements, but does anyone have experience of using a 6x17 back on a 4x5 camera? I think I'd enjoy the 6x17 format.
    6x17 back would be totally groovy but I don't think ANYONE has had the experience of using it on a 4x5 camera since 17 cm is over 6 1/2" will need a 5x7 camera / back
    When I was 16 I thought my father the stupidest man in the world; when I reached 21, I was astounded by how much he had learned in just 5 years!

    -appropriated from Mark Twain

  6. #6
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Elkhart, IN

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    If you don't know what to buy next, you probably don't need it. As they say, if you need it then you'll know it.

    How about some more film, paper, chemicals, treat yourself to a trip somewhere to photograph something you're interested in?
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    I know the feeling well.
    Sounds like you're pretty well fixed for the LF stuff. Why don't you consider a tiny little pocket digital so you can have it on you at all times, and make low-res backups of your 4x5s.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    I tend to agree with Kev Curry and Mike Sherk'ss sentiments... but I also know how sometimes there is money in the pocket now that mightnot be there later!

    How have you survived without a "normal" lens? Consider getting a 135 or 150mm. Lots of affordable options out there.

    Also, a roll film back -- 6x7 -- might be useful to you.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    I agree with Brian about the 135 or 150 if you can live with the fairly large jump between 75-135. If you want to keep the 75 and can afford it I suggest a 110 and a 150 to fill the gaps. Then again... you may not need/want the closer spacing. For 4x5 I would go for a 58-(or 65)-90-135-210 setup but that would mean selling the 75 and you may not want to do that.

  10. #10
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: Next bit of kit...

    Shoot film, and lots of it.

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