Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Hello, and stupid question

  1. #1

    Hello, and stupid question

    Hi folks, I've been interested in photography for most of my life and an avid shooter for a lot of it. LF has always been of particular interest but I've never owned one. I'm feeling the need to try something new, so here I am. The process of working with one of these cameras really interests me.

    My first thought was to learn about the camera by using instant film, but now I find out that Fuji is getting out of that market as Polaroid did a few years ago. I have done 35mm and MF developing with daylight tanks since I don't have access to a darkroom, or a good space to put one. I'm mainly (but not exclusively) interested in b&w over color for this, and hoping that the BTZS tube developer set might work with a changing bag.

    But from there my big (stupid) question is, what do I do with those great big 4x5 negs? I don't see wet printing them myself any time soon (if ever). Huge prints aren't really my thing, but is home scanning on a flatbed and printing to 8x10 to 16x20 worth the trouble? And I know that 4x5 chromes are incredible too, but basically I'd have the same question for that.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Large Format Rocks ImSoNegative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    McCaysville Georgia
    Posts
    1,587

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    I normally scan my 4x5's and print to 16x20, a 4x5 neg enlarged to 16x20 looks great. definetly worth the trouble,
    "WOW! Now thats a big camera. By the way, how many megapixels is that thing?"

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR USA
    Posts
    696

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    Home scanning works very well from 4x5" negatives, especially at smaller magnifications. I print most of my MF, 4x5 and 6x8 negatives on 8.5x11" paper. They look good on 13x19" paper when printed at that size as well. You will find detail resolution in scans from 4x5 much better than with smaller negatives, especially if you own an Epson 700 or 750. Just as in traditional enlarging, size matters.

    Peter Gomena

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,217

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    I agree that it makes sense to develop 4 x 5 negative film, scan it, and then make prints from the scan. You would get higher resolution by enlarging the negative to make a print, but you gain so much by being able to manipulate the digital scanned image, that I think you are definitely better off. This is particularly true if you are doing color. I spent years making color prints from medium format color negatives. with at best mediocre results. When I switched to scanning, I found it much easier to get the color to do what I wanted.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
    Posts
    6,402

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    Alternative processes -- intimate little 4x5 images. A full-on darkroom is not needed. Many of the steps of the various processes can be done in normal room light.

    Vaughn

  6. #6
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    2,961

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    Trust us. The addicts. Yes, trust us. Of course it's worth it!

    When I bought my Graflex Super Graphic, the ground glass had been replaced, and the focus was ever-so-slightly off. It took me a while to figure that out, and I went through a bit of film during my learning curve. One of the photographs I made was of a crane at Grand Coulee dam. I photographed it both with my Pentax 645 and my Graflex. I scanned the image on my then Epson 1600, and then I spent some time sharpening the image.

    Know what? Size matters.

    The crane had various OSHA signs on it. The 645 image was nice and crisp, and I could see that there was lettering on the signs. After I got through with the 4x5 image, I could read the signs. And that started with a slightly out-of-focus slide.

    Since then I've replaced the ground glass, and now everything is nice and sharp. I still use that camera, and I'm very happy with it.

    But it's not just size that's important, it's the control that the camera gives to the photographer. Swings, tilts, rise and fall, it all comes free with the camera.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    8,254

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    You'll need a dark space in order to load your holders. At the very minimum a changing bag, but if you have the luxury of counter on which to load your holders in darkness, you may well have the space for a 4x5 enlarger and trays. Just sayin'
    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.

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Suburbs of Atlanta
    Posts
    1,511

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    If I didn't have a darkroom and do wet printing I wouldn't personally bother with LF.

    Well, in fact, if I didn't do wet printing I wouldn't bother with film, but that's just me. That's the fun and rewarding part of it to me. If I were going to do it all digitally I'd just shoot it digitally.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NW England
    Posts
    105

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    And its not just the end product/print, the whole act/event of shooting large format is an experience/joy/frustration in itself.

  10. #10

    Re: Hello, and stupid question

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Alternative processes -- intimate little 4x5 images. A full-on darkroom is not needed. Many of the steps of the various processes can be done in normal room light.

    Vaughn
    Thanks - that might be just the ticket. Can you point me in a direction with some more info about what's possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    But it's not just size that's important, it's the control that the camera gives to the photographer. Swings, tilts, rise and fall, it all comes free with the camera.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtoes View Post
    And its not just the end product/print, the whole act/event of shooting large format is an experience/joy/frustration in itself.
    That's just it - the process. It's not a computer, and there are a lot of skills to master. Small format digital has just made the 'falling over backwards' problem more obvious with pointing a camera above horizontal to the point that I think people expect to see the world that way. Someday maybe I'll have a wet darkroom, but plenty to try until that time.

    Thanks for the replies!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •