View Full Version : New to LF, from St. Louis MO

18-Dec-2013, 09:19
LF photography is on my bucket list.

I am interested in learning and using movements, primarily in landscape photography, with attention to cliffs as well as flat scenes. As a teen in the late 1960s, I started serious photography with an all manual 35mm SLR, my beloved Mamiya-Sekor DTL 1000, and did all my own darkroom work, B&W of course. After college, I had a half-time medical research tech, half-time darkroom/ photo/ graphics tech for the anatomy department at my hometown's medical school. Then - large hiatus - went to medical school myself, then residency, where I saw the waning days of professional medical photography - I took a pathology specimen I was working on to the photography department for a book cover illustration, 4x5 macro camera B&W. Wow! Then I became a faculty member in a different medical school's department of Pathology, and my for-pleasure photography snoozed throughout the dawn of digital. Four years ago I went from merely photographing pathology specimens at work to shooting for my own pleasure, and have been active in nature photography (birds, macro, landscape) using small format DSLR.

I have never had and do not have a LF camera. That's why I am hanging out here, reading, figuring out what I will need in a basic set-up (beyond box with pinhole). Soon enough I will buy something and start floundering. I have been studying Stroebel's View Camera Technique, Adams 3 part Camera-Negative-Print series, Jack Dykinga LF Landscape Photography. I plan to start with B&W because 1. more control, and cheaper failures! Fail often, fail BETTER! 2. I can pick up developing and contact printing easily enough (like riding a bike, you never forget?) 3. I have a waterbath for temperature control, and access to no-longer-functional, but still properly dark, darkrooms at work.

18-Dec-2013, 09:32
Cool. Dive in.

Leszek Vogt
18-Dec-2013, 12:08
Welcome. The x-ray film (available in various LF sizes) is v. reasonably priced and; therefore, allows for mega failures/learning. Yet, some peeps like to use it and with some superior results. It's almost like a 3-wheel bike, that you can get used to and stick with it as long as you wish.....and no one will snicker at.


18-Dec-2013, 13:22
Welcome to the retro-revolution! I would suggest picking up a 4x5 Speed or Crown Graphic and starting with "normal" sheet film, like Ilford FP4, Delta 100 or TMax, rather than starting right off with a specialty film. Finding a Speed or Crown Graphic with a lens is easy on ebay or Craigslist - it's hard to NOT find a bunch to pick from for less than several hundred bucks.


Nathan Potter
18-Dec-2013, 14:44
Most welcome Nancy. Your pick of initial books for study is first rate. You could get an inexpensive 4X5 for starters with a more or less normal 150 mm lens. Ebay is a good place to start for equipment - or even better at this forum - where the people are first rate to deal with and ever so helpful.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

18-Dec-2013, 15:27
I AM the retro-revolution, at this rate (sees bag of 40 to 50-year-old lenses sitting on the shelf, each lens waiting for its debut on digital 35mm format - yes, I also hang out a bit at the manual focus forum www.mflenses.com). I tend to run digital cameras on manual mode and manual focus my autofocus lenses unless I am shooting fast action. View Camera lesson #1: pronounce and spell "Scheimpflug" principle correctly..... lesson #2 Visualize the Sch... principle...... Yes, I had classical optics about a zillion years ago, I don't remember a great deal other than good old Mr. Snell.