View Full Version : The straight scoop please?

dale robinson
15-Mar-2008, 07:23
I'm an experienced 35mm and digital shooter--just want to get into some 4 X 5 B&W; I have a lovely large pond out back that likes to get its picture taken all times of the year.
I purchased a mint Graflex Crown Graphic; it has a spring back, I believe. Bought a Polaroid 545 and 20 Polaroid 79s, just to do some testing. ($5.00 each sheet!). Camera makes nice images--Polaroids are hard to time for optimum development.
Now it is time to purcase the correct Back, the correct holders, and the best ISO 100 B&W film. I bought a 27 by 30 inch changing bag. I have Graphic Graflex Photography, the book, 1953.
So...do I look a Graphmatic back, or another? And which holders?
For film, it looks like Kodak TMAX 100 is being discontinued; it can take several weeks to obtain?
There must be an A (best back)+B(correct holders)+C (easily obtained and processed film) = Great hi-res B&W negative for enlargements,?
Thank you all--this is a great website.
Dale in Guilford, CT

15-Mar-2008, 07:34
You don't need to change the back. Just get some regualr 4x5 film holders and a box of Ilford FP-4.

15-Mar-2008, 07:46
TMAX 100 being discontinued? That's the first I have heard, Kodak doesn't say anything about it on their site that I saw, and in light of the new TMAX 400 just being released I find it highly unlikely that TMAX 100 is being discontinued.

If you have a spring back all you need are film holders. They simply slide in the same way that your Polaroid holder does. Just about any 4X5 film holder should work (I think graflex may have had a few funky ones way back that might not). Generally the consensus seems to be that the more modern plastic holders are better than the old wooden ones.

As you are in CT (I'm from MA in the summer) you should be able to get film from B&H in a day or two (most of my orders have shipped next day rather than same day). They have decent prices. Another option would be the Arista.edu firm which you can get from Freestyle (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_main.php) it is a bit cheaper than TMAX and the like but is an older style emulsion which means more grain and IMHO a slightly different look (which personally I find I like). The emulsion on the Arista film is softer than TMAX for that may be a consideration depending on how you are processing. You will also find that even a "grainy" film in 35mm shot in 4X5 will have much less visible grain because you are not enlarging as much. an 8X10 from 35mm is enlarged as much as a 32X40 from a 4X5 negative.

dale robinson
15-Mar-2008, 15:35
Thanks so much! It was not so complicated as I made it out to be. http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0033as
this was the link where I got confused about the Tmax. I think this is from year 2000. Sorry about that; I also look forward to shooting some Mystic Seaport mood shots in the fog. Protecting my camera, of course. I'm hoping to get the holders and film before the dewpoint equals the temperature. (There is an equation for everything) :)...

steve simmons
16-Mar-2008, 07:27
You have to be careful about what gets posted on some of the forums, people are forever coming on and telling us that film is dead and going away, etc., etc. Sometimes I think they like to see their name in print as an expert or they simply like to see what pot they can stir.

Here is my standard reading list for newcomers to lf

Jim Stone's User's Guide to the View Camera
Jack Dykinga's Large Format Nature Photography
my book Using the View Camera

and/all of the articles in the Free Articles section of the View Cameras web site


good luck

steve simmons

J D Clark
16-Mar-2008, 10:27
The article Dale was looking at referred to Kodak replacing double-sheet Readyloads with single-sheet Readyloads. I've found no problem getting them from the usual places, Badger Graphics, Freestyle Camera, or B&H Photo, and if they're temporarily out of stock, it's because they are selling!

John Clark