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Thread: Beginner's Large Format Question

  1. #31

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    Don't be in a hurry to spend money. Grafmatics aren't cheap! I suggest learning with three or four conventional holders first. Also too light of a tripod is never a good thing, especially since old Tiltalls go for little and they can handle most 4x5s with ease. Save the bag of rocks for blustery days.
    Graphmatics and rock bags solve problems, but they are problems you shouldn't have to be solving when you're just learning. Results are what is going to keep you interested. Stick with simple gear and shoot lots of film---experience = results. You can address any challenges when they come up (and they likely will, but just don't hurry them!--seeing the world upside down and backwards is challenging enough for now, no?)
    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.

  2. #32

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    207

    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    Also, not exactly an accessory, it might be worth picking up an umbrella. They come in very useful to shield the camera in windy conditions although you look a bit daft holding it.

  3. #33
    indecent exposure cosmicexplosion's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    sydney
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    659

    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    get a cheap camera, field or monorail, get out and shoot.

    hardest thing to do is realise that people here are experienced in stuffing up.

    its not about your gear

    its about your experience shooting film.

    thinking that better gear will make you better is like buying the stair way to heaven

    it might seem impressive, and alot of people like to try and talk up the gear that they spent thousands on, but it still doesnt take photo's.

    you do.

    so unless you have unlimited budget, you have to get out digital mind set where its all about the camera. once you get your LF camera, you will be spending alot on film.
    its like a high octane race car, or a very high maintenance girlfriend.

    you have her but now come the dinners, the clothes, the theatre, the booze the diamonds, pretty soon your broke and back on the old digital you left her for.

    so my advice, is reighn in your desire to show off a flashy camera, unless you have the bucks, and like others have said, spend your money on film, whilst learning.

    there is a lot to learn.

    i have a sinar P 4x5 and 8x10 and a kodak 2d field

    the sinars never leave the house, but i enjoy the 8x10 much more as the image on the ground glass is bigger and easier to focus, i also can make contact prints the same size as the negative, so 8x10" print which is fine for assesment and even display.

    4x5 some like i am sure but way to small for me. but you can use an enlarger, but you need an enlarger. i just need a light bulb and two bits of glass or a contact printing frame.

    so 8x10 can be fast to get a print of a decent size. often i shoot an image and ten minutes later i have a test print.

    if you are doing street photo's or you cant carry much stuff get a 4x5 and an enlarger.

    but my dark room is 4 trays and a light. simple.

    start as simple as possible get an 8x10 with a 300mm lens. doesnt matter which one there all good, or a 4x5 with a 120 or 210 not to sure, what they said above. say 3-8 film holders and go. oh and a light meter.

    again your gear wont make you a photographer, you will, by getting out and shooting.

    upgrade as you learn.

    my hard earned 2 cents
    through a glass darkly...

  4. #34

    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    Quote Originally Posted by rustyair View Post
    Thanks for letting me know. I guess I'm good to go with those two six sheets holder.
    I would suggest you start with regular two sheet film holders.

    Grafmatics are designed for use with a rangefinder style camera. Grafmatic film holders are mounted in place of the ground glass with the image composed and focused using the camera's rangefinder. They are useful where rapid film reloading is more important than composing, using camera movements and critical focusing; such as was the typical usage of the old press cameras like the Speed Graphic. For them to be properly mounted, they require the Graflok or Graflex (International style) back. Even if your camera has that style back, without a rangefinder it is tiresome having to constantly interchange the back and the film holder; first to compose and focus and, then, using the film holder to take the shot.

    Also, only using the Grafmatics will limit your options when it comes to using different films and being able to isolate the film that you might want for special film processing, such as changing development times.

  5. #35

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    116

    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmicexplosion View Post
    its not about your gear

    its about your experience shooting film.

    thinking that better gear will make you better is like buying the stair way to heaven

    it might seem impressive, and alot of people like to try and talk up the gear that they spent thousands on, but it still doesnt take photo's.

    you do.

    you have to get out digital mind set where its all about the camera.

    so my advice, is reighn in your desire to show off a flashy camera, unless you have the bucks, and like others have said, spend your money on film, whilst learning.
    I need to get out digital mind set? Well...I don't think you have read my first post. I shoot medium format with my hassel and I do my own developing....I've been shooting photos more than 10 years, I spent tons of money on film(and booze) over last 7 years. I'm not just a newbie who thinks 'better gear will make you better is like buying the stair way to heaven' and wants to show off my flashy camera. Also, I don't think a $779 Shen Hao HZX 4X5-IIA camera would be consider as a showing off camera. Thanks for other tips tho.

  6. #36

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    116

    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Don't be in a hurry to spend money. Grafmatics aren't cheap! I suggest learning with three or four conventional holders first. Also too light of a tripod is never a good thing, especially since old Tiltalls go for little and they can handle most 4x5s with ease. Save the bag of rocks for blustery days.
    Graphmatics and rock bags solve problems, but they are problems you shouldn't have to be solving when you're just learning. Results are what is going to keep you interested. Stick with simple gear and shoot lots of film---experience = results. You can address any challenges when they come up (and they likely will, but just don't hurry them!--seeing the world upside down and backwards is challenging enough for now, no?)
    I'm not in hurry at all but thanks for slowing me down more.

  7. #37
    Nana Sousa Dias's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ericeira, Portugal
    Posts
    860

    Re: Beginner's Large Format Question

    Ok, let's see....

    You want a camera to shoot landscape and seascape...so, that's a field camera....

    You want to spend 2200$....

    I suggest the Shen Hao HZX 45 IIA if you want a really steady cheap camera with lots of movements or the Shen Hao PTB 45 if you want a lihtweight cheap camera. That one is exactly like the Chamonix 45, except for the wooden base instead of carbon fiber bas of the Chamonix.

    For the lens, I would suggest secondhand Schneider Symmar S 150/5.6 and Schneider Super Angulon 90/8. You will find thes lenses very cheap on ebay.

    If you are more a wide angle guy, I suggest 90/8 and 47/5.6 XL. These are the lenses I use more for landscape and seascape. I have a homemade 4x5 camera with the 47, wich has been my main kit latelly but, I always carry my Shen Hao HZX 45 IIA with Schneider Symmar S 150/5.6, Schneider Super Angulon 90/5.6 XL and Nikon W 210/5.6, too.

    You may see waht I've been doing with those 2 cameras here: http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=299816




    You can use the 47 with the HZX 45 IIA if it's mounted on a recessed lensboard.

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