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Thread: Greetings!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Smile Greetings!

    Hello all,

    I've become fascinated with large format photography after visiting the Eastman house a few weeks ago. I recently moved over to digital after selling my Nikon F3's and FM kit in the late 90's. Since then I've owned a D1, D2X, D300 and a D3s. But about 2 years ago my girlfriend gave me a Nikon F4s for Christmas, I shot a few rolls the next day and since then picked up another F4s, an F5, Mamiya 645 kit and a RZ67 with 4 lenses. Not to mention a few odd-ball Polaroids and 120 Brownie folders. Honestly I haven't touched my digital cameras in about year. I won't go into details about why I love film so much, because I think we all know why.

    I've been thinking about picking up a 4x5 to dabble in some landscape work, and also some portraits and nudes. I honestly know nothing about LF other than the difference between a monorail and folder. Hopefully I will get a deal on a used 4x5 kit and start shooting, and learn as I go. I don't want to spend a fortune, actually under $500 is my plan. I just picked up a 4x5 enlarger so I need a camera to go with it anyway.

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

    Re: Greetings!

    Welcome to our asylum! We don't have straight jackets here, but we do have dark cloths to drape over our heads. Under $500 for a camera and a lens is completely reasonable. You can pick up many good Graphlex cameras, either Speed Graphics or Super Graphics, for under that amount. They will usually come with a 135mm lens, which is really quite good. (I bought my Super Graphic years ago for $500, and I still use it.) There are many monorail cameras for cheap, especially the Calumet or Burke and James Orbit cameras. Ansel Adams used an Orbit (proof on YouTube!), and they are still a great camera. You might get one of those for typically $100-$200.

    As for film, Freestyle carries cheap east European 4x5 film. If that's still too expensive, you can get 8x10 x-ray film really cheap and cut it to size. We have a number of threads on using x-ray film, and there's also a section in the Images forum.

    So welcome and enjoy your new addiction! Remember, you just need one camera and one lens, and spend the rest on film and paper.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  3. #3
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Elkhart, IN

    Re: Greetings!

    Welcome! You can probably find a used 4x5 monorail and a 150mm or 210mm lens for under $500. Add in a few used film holders and some film and you're in business. You can use one of your 35mm cameras as a light meter to start with, and an old sweatshirt will serve as a focusing cloth (goes over your head, so you can see the image on the ground glass better.) There are a variety of articles on the home page of this web site which can help you and, of course, we're happy to answer questions. Good luck!

    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  4. #4
    indecent exposure cosmicexplosion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Re: Greetings!

    welcome to to to to the madhouse, you can sign in but you can never leave!!! muh ha ha ha

    mmm i am sure i had some else to say, some thing useful, .... um, welcome to the for, um. oh yes thats was it.
    through a glass darkly...


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