View Full Version : Seattle neophyte

village idiot
22-May-2007, 09:10
Hi, all.

I found this forum during my research into LF. I have so much to learn. I used to shoot 35mm back in the late 70s early 80s, then fell out of it til I got back into photography with digital. My digital kit is Nikon, and is good quality stuff, but I have been getting increasingly frustrated with its’ (or my) limitations, which came to a head about a month ago when I went up to Skagit County to shoot the tulip fields, and just couldn’t get the shots I envisioned.

Thus began my search and research into LF. Which way to go? View? Wood field? Technical? This morning I ordered up a Linhof Technika V from one of the better NYC camera stores, and now will be waiting for its arrival like an eight year old waiting for Xmas. I got this camera for less than the cost of a perspective control lens for my Nikon, but of course, the camera isn’t coming with a lens, Polaroid back, shutter release, etc, etc.

My screen name reflects my understanding of my almost total (current) ignorance of this format. I thank you all in advance for your patience with what I am sure will numerous basic questions.

I look forward to the journey….

Walter Calahan
22-May-2007, 09:26
Welcome Village,

LF is easy as along as you remember all the details of pulling off an image. I'm always doing idiot things when I don't follow my normal shoot pattern.

Remember, never pull the dark slide until you have a shutter fully cocked.

Michael Graves
22-May-2007, 09:32
I'm sorry, but the role of village idiot is already taken. Get in line and wait until I'm finished with it.

Paul Metcalf
22-May-2007, 12:38
I'm sorry, but the role of village idiot is already taken. Get in line and wait until I'm finished with it.
It takes a village....

steve simmons
22-May-2007, 14:28
Dear VI

May suggest some reading to help elevate your status to village neophyte

Using the View Camera that i wrote


User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga

check your local library

Also, the Free Articles section of the View Camera web site


More unsolicited advice

pick one film, one film developer if you are working with black and white and doing your own, and stay with them for at least a year. Joining the film of the month club is a sure way to nowhere.

Find some other lf photographers and go out with them. You will feel much less lost and they will accelerate your way through the mistakes we've all made..

steve simmons

Benno Jones
22-May-2007, 14:54
No such thing as a stupid question.

Greetings from elsewhere in Seattle.

village idiot
22-May-2007, 15:00
Steve, this should make you happy:), I bought your book and just received it via USPS yesterday, and the other two are on hold at my library, along with Stroebels' "View Camera Technique". I have some studying to do. Thanks for the other suggestions as well...

Michael, you may have taken on the role of village idiot, but I hold the title:D

Thanks for the welcome(s)!

steve simmons
22-May-2007, 15:09
Stroebel's book is probably not a good place to start. It is better, IMHO, as a long term reference rather than an intro text.

good luck


Scott Knowles
22-May-2007, 15:25
Also, greeting from a near-Seattle photographer. I agree with Steve, read the books first to get some background. Since you have the camera, you need to get the lenses and other equipment, and that's where the books and a checklist is handy. I only started in 4x5 recently and have a blog on my experiences and mistakes as I learn, see my LFBlog (http://www.wsrphoto.com/lfbloglist.html). I can't say enough to determine a budget because it can very easily get away from you if you don't account for the equipment and film.

On the good side, Seattle has some good resources, Glazer's and Ivey Imaging (next door to each other) to find equipment, film, processing, and experienced people. And there are some excellent on-line resources for cameras, lenses, etc., such as KEH and others.

To everyone else I got my first sheets back (16 b&w, 6 Provia), mostly to get the basics, exposure and camera controls. All the b&w were exposed correctly and 3 of the color were off about 1 f-stop, one for the polarizer adjustment. Next in line is a scanner, but I have to say it's really cool to see a 4x5 sheet properly composed and exposed.

As for the field process, that's turning out to be the easiest part, mostly because I'm a process thinker and spent 13 years of field work where consistency was necessary to do everything correctly and in order. The hard part for me is the exposure. After that are the camera controls, so it's more learning exercises (stupid buildings, don't they know to stand up straight?).

23-May-2007, 07:47
Oh, and you couldn't be an idiot because you just purchased one of the finest technicle field cameras ever made!!!! Now be on the look out for the grip with cable release, and a 150mm lens and a 545i and your set

village idiot
23-May-2007, 17:39
Thanks for the nice compliment, but just because I have good taste in equipment, doesn't mean I know how to use it:)

I just missed a 545i on the Big Auction Site yesterday. Damn work got in the way...

23-May-2007, 19:16
Hello Village, and welcome from the other side of the water. I've also been on this forum for only a few weeks, but I've found it to be a friendly and helpful place.

Congratulations on the jumping right in with the wonderful new camera. You will have a great time learning to use it.

Gordy Bushaw
Silverdale, WA

Ben Hopson
24-May-2007, 08:03
Welcome from Olalla VI. It is nice to see so many Western WA village people here.

Doug Herta
25-May-2007, 11:10

Welcome to LF in Seattle. Get to know the guys at Rainier Photo in Burien. The Seattle Public Library has a pretty good selection of LF books to peruse. Let us locals know if you need something.

Doug (Seattle - Columbia City)

village idiot
25-May-2007, 14:32
Doug, I was down at Rainier/Dicks last Friday for their "garage sale" and didn't see much in the way of LF anywhere. Do you need the secret password? I also asked about a Bogen-Manfrotto 410, as they had 20% off on B/M heads, and was told they hadn't had that model in the store since 2000??

Yeah, the Seattle library is great. I have a stack of LF books on my desk right now from there, which probably wasn't the smartest thing, as I will never get through them all before they are due back.

Thanks for the welcome(s)!

25-May-2007, 16:25
Glazer's carries LF equipment, new and used. They also rent equipment. If you haven't been there, stop by and look around. The staff is very helpful. If the person you are talking to cannot answer your question, they will take you to someone who can.


9-Jun-2007, 20:47
I am in Seattle as well. Give me a shout if you want to chat etc.

See my bio for contact info...