View Full Version : Another noob (sort of)

22-May-2009, 19:35
Hi all,

My name's Jan, and I hail from a place called Saranac Inn, smack dab in the middle of the northern Adirondacks in New York. I'm a long time aficionado of everything obscured by the camera, having cut my baby teeth on Mirandas, Minoltas, & Nikons back in the early '70's. I've been shooting Digital (Nikon D300) and MF for a while now (RB67), and I did some time back in the second half of the '80's with a Technika I picked on the cheap while living in Germany. But I haven't used a view camera since those days and had been feeling somewhat incomplete as of late. So, I started to do some research a few months back with the goal of recapturing a little of what I lost in my youth, so to speak.

Anyway, given what my photographic interests are (just about everything, *I mean everything*), I decided a Technikardon would just about suit all my needs, even if I might have to compromise a little here and there. And I was just about to spend a lot of money on a used copy, when lo and behold, a mint 4x5 Norma caught my eye. Gears ground and crunched, churned, then started to mesh somewhat seamlessly, and to make what could be an incredibly verbose story short, I bid low, sniped high, and won the auction for $475.

It should be here in about a week.

Now I've got to decide what I want to do about a lens. I'm tending toward something like a 150mm Sironar S if I decide to blow my current budget on one lens; or going with something cheaper and picking both a 90mm and a 210mm (maybe a 240). Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I should also mention that in addition to the camera, the fellow that sold me it is also sending me a 30.5" extension that he had a machinist custom make for the Norma. And though I had to pay extra for that one, it'll definitely come in handy making little things big.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself, say hi. Looks like I'm going to be here for a while. From what I've seen of the forum thus far, it's certainly a wealth of knowledge, founded on the many years of its users' experiences.


22-May-2009, 20:36
Welcome Jan -- you live in a beautiful place to make pictures!


Ron Marshall
22-May-2009, 21:04
Hi Jan, welcome to the forum and to LF.

Check out KEH camera brokers for an idea of used prices. Also Midwest Photo and Badger graphics.

Nathan Potter
23-May-2009, 10:42
Great welcome Jan. I've used a Technikardan for years as well as a Norma for some macro work. But it's not the camera or the lens that matters so much as what the eye sees and how your brain processes it. Then finally the skill of getting it recorded on film.

Have fun.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Vick Vickery
24-May-2009, 14:43
Welcome to group therepy! :) I'd second the advise to check out KEH...they sometimes offer some pretty good deals on used lenses and many of us have found their "bargain" grade items better than expected (a few, though, have reported having less luck in this respect).

Ernest Purdum
24-May-2009, 15:31
The main thing about a first lens is to make sure you have a large enough image circle to allow good use of your mvements. In general, anything that will cover 5" X 7" will get you started on 4" 5". The nice thing is that you don't have to consider it a lifetime investment. After you've used it for awhile, your experience may lead you to want something else. If so, you can very likely sell your starter for near what you lpaid for it. Maybe even more, since you will be buying during a buyer's market.

24-May-2009, 15:47

i am a few hours south of you....we get up your way for rockclimbing and photography....maybe see you around.


27-May-2009, 07:52
Thanks for the welcome all! I've since managed to get my hands on a 90/4.5 Grandagon-N and a 210/5.6 Sironar-N, both with Copal 1's and Sinar lens boards. I'm already set up for film processing, just got to get a few more odds & ends and the fun can begin.

Jan C.

27-May-2009, 08:37

I am just starting LF and looks like the lens selection process was similar for both of us. You will probably bypass me since you have MF experience. This summer should be fun!

J D Clark
27-May-2009, 09:40
Thanks for the welcome all! I've since managed to get my hands on a 90/4.5 Grandagon-N and a 210/5.6 Sironar-N, both with Copal 1's and Sinar lens boards. I'm already set up for film processing, just got to get a few more odds & ends and the fun can begin.

Jan C.

This selection of lenses will do you fine for quite a while. I started with a 150mm lens, and while I made some nice photographs with it, when I later got 210mm and 120mm lenses (the 120mm later replaced with a 110mm Super Symmar to save weight), I found that about 85% of my "exhibition"-level prints were made with those two.

John Clark

William McEwen
27-May-2009, 11:29
Hi, Jan:

Many days of satisfying picturetaking await you!

Lens choice:

When I bought my 4x5 after graduating from college, I got a Rodenstock 210mm lens. 210 was what the college camera had, and it worked well, so that's how I made that choice.

I used it for portraits and landscapes + also some paying jobs. I never felt I needed a wider lens. Had I not traded up to an 8x10 camera, and if I'd continued doing a lot of landscapes, I probably would have ended up getting something in the 120mm range for a wider view.

Hope this helps!