View Full Version : How many years have you being doing LF photography?

James Phillips
18-Nov-2003, 07:21
When I bought my first LF camera about four years ago I was on the receiving end of quite a few opinions by those who knew me. The most common thought was that "This was just a phase and would not last. Give him a year or so of carrying that thing around and he'll be back to 35mm in no time!"

Well I have demonstrated that this is not the case. In fact if anything I am really catching the LF bug. I am now seeking out a larger (8x10) camera and have just started down the road to Pt/Pd printing.

So I am curious.

How many of the people here have been doing this for quite some time and how many are newcomers? Has anybody given up on LF?

Perhaps for you old timers a quick blurp on "How it all began?" might be an interesting touch. Just for the record I am 48 years young and still packing that gear sometimes 5 kilometers into the mountains and back.

Kind Regards,

Frank Petronio
18-Nov-2003, 07:32
Since 1984... started with a Wista and one normal lens, which was a good way to learn.

Mark Sampson
18-Nov-2003, 07:41
I bought a 3-1/4"x4-1/4" Speed Graphic in college, around 1977, for $70. And have never looked back....

John Cook
18-Nov-2003, 07:44
1967. Hollywood, California (almost before smog) Photo school commanded me to purchase one 4x5 view camera, 210mm lens, six holders. All work was required to be done with 4x5 Plus-X in D-76, printed on 11x14 Medalist SW fiber paper developed in Dektol. In 37 years the equipment and materials don't seem to have improved much...

Walter Foscari
18-Nov-2003, 07:50
Since early 2002. A rewarding and expensive couple of years.

18-Nov-2003, 07:54
It sounds as if you might be related to my father-in-law. He was and still is quite free with his opinion about my LF gear. "Takes too much time to set up, takes too much time to shoot, too heavy, too expensive blah blah blah" He is also against the use of a tripod. Needless to say I do not look to this man for any photographic advise.

I started about 6 years ago with a Galvin then a Busch Pressman I call the tank because you could not hurt it if you tried. A 150 and a 105(until the wife threw the storage box away thinking it was something else) Now a 135.

Nick Morris
18-Nov-2003, 08:01
I started with LF using a 4x5 Super Graphic, which I still have, about 7 years ago. Last year I built a B & W darkroom in my house, and bought an old Eastman 2D 8x10, with both 8x10 and 5x7 backs. Since then all I use is the 8x10, contact printing the negatives. I've stopped using 35mm, and 120 film cameras altogether for work I will process and print. At 57 years old, I often think of scaling back to a 5x7, but as long as I can haul around the 8x10, I think I'll continue to use it. I don't think you'll regret moving up to 8x10.

Bruce Wehman
18-Nov-2003, 08:03
Started in the Navy with a Speed Graphic in 1962.....used LF continuously ever since.

Ben Calwell
18-Nov-2003, 08:11
Since 1982 -- started with a brand spanking new Calumet 400 model with 22-inch bellows. Came as a package deal from Calumet with a 210mm lens, dark cloth, case and loupe (which I still use). I started using a Wista DX about 10 years ago, but still miss the feel of a monorail. As an aside, I'm treated like some odd duck-Matthew Brady by the pixel boys down at my local camera store, who think I'm an idiot for still shooting film -- much less sheet film - and getting my hands wet in a darkroom. "Film and darkroom stuff will be gone in a few years," they keep telling me.

18-Nov-2003, 08:19
Since 1951! With a "WW2 Liberated" 9x12 rosewood and brass Gaumont & Cie. Just last month, while cleaning my Mother's attic after she moved to a nursing home, I discovered a shoebox with many negatives and prints from those first two years, (before I traded for a 35mm Japanese Leica copy). Got my first Graphic View II the following year.

Steve J Murray
18-Nov-2003, 08:19
In 1972 I quit trying to do landscapes with 35mm and purchased a 4x5 (Calumet with a 254mm Caltar). Later got a 135mm Fujinon. I shot Tri-X and Plus-X developing in tanks and later trays with d-76 and d-23. Had a Beseler 4x5 enlarger. In the 80's I did some commercial work out of my house. Then came kids and grad school. The camera was stored from that point on until recently. I just bought an old 90mm Angulon for wide angle shots. I have my basement set up to develop sheet film in trays, but now I scan the negs on an Epson 2450. There are definitely pluses and minuses to printing digitally. The debate will go on forever, probably. For the weekend shooting I do I am satisfied with my setup. I won't stop using LF until digital surpasses it in quality and cost, and maybe not even then, because I believe film has certain qualities that are unique to the medium. I'm 53 BTW.

Walter Glover
18-Nov-2003, 08:59
1965 was my kick-off, albeit with my employer's kit. By 1969 I had bought myself a Speed Graphic for weekend work. There followed a succession of Cambos, Linhofs, Plaubels, Sinars. These days most of my commercial work is done using a Linhof Technikardan 45S while the shooting-for-pleasure stuff is on either a Toyo 810M MkII or a Sinar 8x10 F. My passion and involvement will cease when I cease.

Ellis Vener
18-Nov-2003, 09:00
Bought my first 4x5 in 1986; a Sinar C assembled from different components that were sitting in the warehouse of a camera store.

Tony Galt
18-Nov-2003, 09:08
I've been at it for about 3 years. I bought a flatbed scanner to scan 6x6 negatives from my old Rolleiflex TLR and included was a frame for holding 4x5s. In the distant past I did darkroom work, but creating a decent darkroom would require house remodeling and that wasn't an easy option so I had gone digital for the printing end with 35mm. Three years ago I had my Rollei CLA'd and began using it and had to solve the problem of scanning larger negatives. The 4x5 frame included with the scanner opened the LF possibility and I began to look around for an affordable camera and lens to buy with a little windfall I'd had (some book royalites). (I had used 4x5 back in the distant past to photograph archeaological sites when I was in graduate school in anthropology. The department had a Crown Graphic.) I found the Shen Hao (I live 20 minutes from Badger Graphic Sales) and bought a 150mm Rodenstock to go with it. Since then I've acquired a 90, a 120, and a 210. I'd like to have something longer as well, perhaps a 300mm Fujinon T. So my story is that I came to LF through possibilities opened by digital processing. (By the way, I do develop my own black and white sheet film in a tank.)

I mostly do landscape with my Shen Hao, although last year I gave myself the assignment of photographing 19th century rural churches here in Norteastern Wisconsin (some of which are being abandoned). (See http://www.uwgb.edu/galta/bairds/ for some samples of earlier 35mm landscape work and newer large format.) I still use 35mm for foreign travel photography (I'm an anthropologist.) because I am daunted by the idea of hauling my LF rig through multiple airports and by not being able to find sheet film where I go. For domestic landscape and architectural work, however, LF is where it is at. I don't use the Rollei very much. I prefer a graflex roll film adapter on my Shen Hao for medium format color work (getting E-6 processing for sheetfilm is problematic around here). That gives me the possibility of movements.

So oddly enough, digital technique opened the possibility of LF in my case.

18-Nov-2003, 09:11
1988 i was working as a lab-guy for a large format portraitist in providence, ri. i borrowed her 4x5 pre-anniversary speed graphic a few times and soon after bought pacemaker speed graphic of my own with a 127 tominon in a press shutter. now i have a strange addiction of buying and using large format "stuff" is there a 12 step program for this?

John Kasaian
18-Nov-2003, 09:15
Six years I suppose, though I'd been reading View Camera for a few years before actually getting my mits on a LF camera. First, I traded my Hasselblad for an 11x14 B&J which I immediately traded again for a Kodak Masterview 8x10 after I found out how much 11x14 film holders cost. Along the way a junk shop 4x5 Anniversary Speed Graphic(in near terminal condition) became a book-end and an 8x10 Elwood enlarger took up residence in my home. The Masterview got traded for a Deardorff V8 which is still my favorite....then I got a computer and discovered ebay and this forum, which enabled/inspired me to add a 5x7 Agfa Universal, a Gowland 8x10 Aerial, a homemade 16x20 pinhole made from one of the boxes my computer came in(which was a ridiculous idea)a ton of surplus aerial cameras and parts(and a "ton" is probably a fairly accurate estimate of wieght) a 4x5 Pacemaker Crown, an Omega D-II elarger I've been able to rebuild, a 12x20 Folmer and Schwing Banquet, and lastly a 5x7 Pre Anniverary Speed...oh, and the pinhole I'm putting together out of a Woodbridge wine cask---it'll take either 12x20 film or 9-1/2" aerial film---I haven't made up my mind yet (The "tripod" will be the tailgate of a Chevy pick-up!) To paraphrase G.K.Chesterton, LF Photography for me is a great adventure or raid, not judged by what difficulties are encountered but rather by what banner it follows and by the high ground it assails. Have FUN!---------Cheers!

Ted Harris
18-Nov-2003, 09:33
1954, picked up the shiny new Graphic to shoot sports for the junior Hig newspaper. First monorail in 197? All through college and for a few years after that I used only Leica M's and MFand then returned to LF and haven't looked back since (still use the other formats too of course).

Ed Pierce
18-Nov-2003, 10:05
Started in 1980 with borrowed equipment...finally got my own Zone VI 4x5 in 1992...thinking about also getting an 8x10.

Richard Boulware
18-Nov-2003, 10:06
Since 1958 when I entered Art Center to get my BFA. Since then it has been one happy and rewarding adventure, and with a room full of gold and silver medals, and national awards,.. from the fields of advertising and industrial illustration and magazine photography, ...I've never looked back. Your only as good as your last assignment. Be well..... Richard Boulware - Denver.

Matt Miller
18-Nov-2003, 10:06
I bought my first LF camera, a Graphic View II, one year ago. A couple of weeks ago I purchased an old 8x10 Korona C-1 Ground Camera (military issue) in beautiful condition. I am 34 and feel like a child with my new toys. Big negatives are amazing. I'm learning more & more every day. I am obsessed with it, just ask my wife.

George Hart
18-Nov-2003, 10:10
MF 9 years, LF 16 months. Mainly b&w using the Ebony 45S whenever I can. When I can't, it's the Rolleiflex 2.8 GX (phenomenal camera, IMHO!)

Andrew O'Neill
18-Nov-2003, 10:24
10 years...started with old bent up cambo 4x5, then picked up an old banged up Linhof tech 4, and 3 years ago purchased a nice 8x10 Canham light weight. I used to draw, had shows after university, did a lot of printmaking (lithography) but that all stopped when I got hooked on photography. Maybe someday I'll combine my photography with lithography.

Brian Ellis
18-Nov-2003, 10:27
About eight years. I started with a Linhof Technikardan. I didn't like the camera at all and that put me off of large format photography for about six months. Fortunately I decided not to give up, sold the Technikardan, bought a Tachihara, and have been at it ever since. I eventually replaced the Tachihara and also added a 5x7 and then an 8x10. 8x10 is great if you can handle the weight.

Jim Rice
18-Nov-2003, 10:36
It was 1973 or 1974. I had saved up enough to get a Yahica Mat-124G, and needed an enlarger for the bigger negs. There was a classified ad for a D-2 in the local paper. I happened to mention the the seller that I couldn't use its full capacity, and he drags out a Pacemaker Speed. Paid $50 for it with a 135 Optar and a few holders. He spent about ten minutes explaining how to load holders, and work the Graphic. A year or so later, I picked up a 90 Raptar for $100 from one of the camera store bums, er regulars. 1976 saw the aquisition (a gift) of a Kodak Master View that had been worked to death by an old New Oleans pro.

I spent the next decade or so working in MF (the Yashica had been replaced by a Koni-Omegaflex outfit)when for some reason I dug out the old Master View, mail ordered a recessed board for the 90, and started shooting chromes. Color and the Raptar didn't get along well at all with each other, so started saving for some modern glass. Jim at Midwest sold me a 210 Sironar-N and 90 Caltar II-N. Upon seeing my first chromes with these lenses my doom was assured.

I have since aquired a Wisner Tech, a real tripod (Ries), and a 16 1/2" RD Apo-Artar. The Master View was given to a deserving LF newbie.

Alan Davenport
18-Nov-2003, 10:38
A 150 and a 105(until the wife threw the storage box away thinking it was something else)

...and how is the replacement wife doing? :oD

Scott Walton
18-Nov-2003, 10:43
I started LF in the late 70's but have been doing photography since around '65 and I am on my 10th anniversary of my 36th birthday. My Dad brought me in his hobby darkroom when I was 10 and it was instant love. I can still feel the magic of watching the print come up in the tray and my wife is instructed only to pry my Linhof out of my dead rigamorticed hands and give to my son when that day comes (that and embalm me in Dektol LOL).

George Losse
18-Nov-2003, 10:57
I was a senior in High School in 1981 when I bought my Speed Graphic. I tried a couple of medium format cameras during the 80's. I liked them but there was something missing. So in 1990 I made the move up to 8x10. Within two years of shooting 8x10 I started shooting 11x14 and 8x20. Now I shoot mostly 8x10 and 8x20. But I have to say I did shoot with medium format camera this past weekend and it was fun. I do kind of miss the ease of use of the smaller formats, but I love to see those big negatives.

18-Nov-2003, 11:02
Almost three years ago. I had bought a mediumformat camera a few month before and while searching for an enlarger I stumbled over a L1200 durst....which is....capable of 4x5".......

Dave Benfer
18-Nov-2003, 11:15
since 1996, started out with an old 5X7 Korona, then bought a 4X5 Wisner Tech. I found a 8X10 Calumet C-1 and have used that for 5 years.

David Karp
18-Nov-2003, 11:37
I have been at LF about 4 years now, after a couple of years of research, reading and saving. I wish I started sooner! I have been doing photography (mostly black and white) almost as far back as I can remember, and this LF stuff is such great fun. Started with a used Calumet 45NX, then picked up a used Cambo 45SF almost a year ago. A friend gave me a Crown Graphic (in great shape) that was sitting in his garage forever. I use the both Cambo and the Crown in the field (day hikes only). The Crown is for times when I want to carry less weight, or when I have to be quicker than I can be when using the monorail. I use it with a 125mm Fujinon W and either a 210mm Caltar II-E or Nikkor 300M and it makes a great field camera. Of course, now I have the bug for a folding field camera that has a bit more movement than the Crown. Plus a bug for an 8x10 camera. Do we all catch these bugs?

Steve Baggett
18-Nov-2003, 11:47
A little over 4 years. I'm strictly amateur, as being a software engineer is supposedly my "real job". I've been playing with photography since 1978. In 1998 I bought my first medium format camera. That gave me just a hint of what I had been missing. I sold it a year later and bought a Canham DLC. It was love at first exposure. I still have the Canham but last year I bought an Ebony, in addition. I've been doing my own printing (color and B&W) since 1985 and I could kick myself for thinking for so many years that 35mm was all that there was, photographically speaking. I still do some macro "bug" photography in the warm months with 35mm, but that's all I use it for now. Interestingly, my wife (of 23 years) says that I've become a "somewhat better person to live with" since switching to LF. Our photographic sortie's are more "pleasant", according to her, and I'm a lot less "spaz" over when/what/where to visit and photograph. (She says I still walk too fast when we're shopping together, though.) We've taken numerous "photographic vacations" together around the USA, and she's had more fun because I've "slowed down", and it's not just because of my age. She's even very tolerant of new lens, new gadget, new whatever purchases if they "further the cause" of my hobby. Of course, how my wife's mind works sometimes is truly God's own mystery. Go figure.

18-Nov-2003, 11:58

Still with her but she has never understood the whole photo thing. I even bought her an easy PS camera and she won't use it. Oh well her loss.

Arne Croell
18-Nov-2003, 12:24
12 years, since 1991 (I am 46 now). As most people, I started with 35mm and used it for about 19 years, seriously for 7 years, then switched to 6x6cm (Mamiya TLR) for 2 years and it wasn't enough, and then to 4x5. I went for a Technikardan in 1991 which is still my main camera. In 1994 I added an 8x10, but 4x5 is still my favorite format.

Andy Eads
18-Nov-2003, 13:28
In 1958 my dad put me behind a Busch Pressman. Speed & Crown Graphics for group shots in High School (1968 grad). Calumet 401 at Brooks in 1973. Horseman 450 in 1979 for personal use. Linhof Kardan Color 4x5 and Calumet C2 at work. Recently restored a Kodak Century #2 8x10 and a B&J 4x5.

QT Luong
18-Nov-2003, 14:02
It's been exactly 10 years. In the summer of 1993 I was looking for a format larger than 35mm, and was considering all kind of things, when I picked up an issue of View Camera that had a couple of articles about the 5x7 format. I also had a French guide to Medium Format systems where the author seemed to admire the 2x3 view and field cameras. So I bought a 4x5 tachihara with a roll-film back, then a 5x7 back, then a 5x7 camera that I still use today. My wife says she gets tired just looking at me lugging the gear.

Christopher Condit
18-Nov-2003, 14:13
Been at it since around the turn of the century, adding 8x10 this year. Though I prefer doing movements on the larger ground glass, I am not yet sold on the preferability of contact prints (heresy, I know), due presumably to poor eyesight and sloppy technique.

Oh, and I have a 5x7 on order. 8x10 with big old tripod are more than I enjoy carrying for more than a couple-three miles.

David A. Goldfarb
18-Nov-2003, 14:50
I tried 4x5" a couple of times in the past and finally bought my own 8x10" camera around 1998/99, and have been doing it fairly seriously ever since. 8x10" had more immediate appeal than the 4x5" cameras I had tried before, though now I also have a 4x5" and 11x14" and like those too.

Gregory Owens
18-Nov-2003, 16:50
I bought a Calumet 45n in 1986. I had been shooting 35mm and Med. Format since High School and one day while working in the darkroom decided if 6x6 cm was good 4x5 in should be better. It was and 8x10 is even better. 12x20 maybe someday??????

Gary Meader
18-Nov-2003, 17:02
Bought a Calumet Wood Field w/ Schneider 150 Symmar S in 1983 on the advice of the guy who taught me a lot of what I know. His other good piece of advice was to skip graduating to medium format from 35 and go straight to LF. Good advice it was. I now use a B&J 8x10 w/ two reducing backs. Still have the Calumet 4x5, only next to the B&J, it feels like a point and shoot.

Ken Cravillion
18-Nov-2003, 17:14
About 5 years ago with a Wista Field 45 and a 150mm lens. Sold it becuse I thought it was too expensive to shoot. Now in 2003 I buy a Shen-Hao with 90mm, 150mm, and 210mm. Now shooting nmore than ever with a 65mm, 150mm, and 210mm. Having fun!

Lyle Aldridge
18-Nov-2003, 17:21
I began in the mid-80's with a homemade 4x5 monorail. It was truly awful -- ridiculously thick mahogany frame, bellows from Naugahyde rubber cemented to construction paper, hacksaw blades for back springs, and it had no gears. Focusing was the unclamp-slide-tap-clamp variety. Pretty heavy, but flimsy, too:). But somewhere along the way, it started making actual photographs. Cameras improved as finances did, but I almost gave it up about four years ago, when I moved from a house that had a darkroom, and into a house with a new wife and no room for all that smelly old darkroom stuff. Thank God for transparency scanning.

Martin Miller
18-Nov-2003, 17:35
In 1971, after several years in 35mm, I bought a 1950's 3.25 x 4.25" Speed Graphic and backpacked with it. Within 2 years I bought a 4x5" Sinar f and did prints up to 30x40" the old-fashioned way. After a complete hiatus from photography from 1984-1998 and having given my equipment away, I bought a Technikardan 45s. This time I went the way of digital printing and have never looked back. After a lifetime of periodic hankering, I recently ordered my first 8x10 camera, an Arca Swiss. Once this stuff gets in your blood, it's with you for life. www.millervisuals.com

Mike Troxell
18-Nov-2003, 17:50
Somewhere around 1978 or 79 I saw this ad from a little place in Vermont called Zone VI Studios for something called a 4x5 view camera. I had been using 35mm for about 2 years and wasn't happy with the amount of detail and sharpness I had been getting. I wrote them a letter (no boys and girls, an actual paper letter, there wasn't email in 1978) and recieved a catalog in the mail along with a nice note from Fred Picker. I've been using a 4x5 camera ever since. I'm planning to move up to a 8x10 or 11x14 later this year.

Jay DeFehr
18-Nov-2003, 18:37
Looking at the dates on my first LF negatives, it looks like about 4 1/2 years since I bought my Crown Graphic from the pawn shop. Loved it then and still do, but I've been moving up one format size every two years or so since I started printing my own work about six years ago. Love the big negs for enlarging, and contact printing is even better. I seem to be very comfortable with the toe of the learning curve!

tim o'brien
18-Nov-2003, 18:48
1984 - Fall semester of photo school. Commanded to buy thee a 150mm lens, a darkcloth, a half dozen film holders and a meter. Trudged through the streets of Boston with a rediculous box containing a Calumet or Orbit or some such thing.

Liked it but what a PITB. Next summer I found a good deal on a 4x5 Pacemaker. Put my 150 Fujinon on it. Did a number of projects involving the Speed Graphic and Kodalith. I was concentrating on photo screenprinting and this was ideal.

From 1988 till this year, it's only seen action using chrome on an occasional trip to the SW. That changed this year with the aquisition of a DII with both condensor and cold light heads. I have stocked up on several hundred sheets of Agfapan100 which should last me a couple of years at the rate I shoot. I also shoot Efke25 and Classic200, both very nice films.

Still have the Speed. It recently went up into the canyons of western Montana with me. It's been joined by three 3x4 sheet film cameras and a couple of 2x3 press cameras. I keep thinking about an 8x10... maybe when the stock options are worth something. Oh yeah, along the way I wound up with a degree in engineering and a real job that allows me to finance this sort of photographic nonsense. I anticipate showing my daughters the ins and outs of LF and MF photography in the coming years.

tim (47) in san jose

N Gray
18-Nov-2003, 19:52
1992-93. Started shooting with a Linhof Technikardan borrowed from school. I hated that camera, but was seduced by the negatives (and the ground glass).

1994. Bought a Sinar Alpina 4x5 (basically an F1 with a cheaper rail) and a Rodenstock Apo-Sironar N 150mm. I've been happily shooting that ever since.

Some day I'd like to get a big camera :-) I'm still seduced by the negatives (and the ground glass).

Tadge Dryja
18-Nov-2003, 20:02
First looked through a groundglass in august. I'm 21. My school has like 14 horseman LE monorail cameras. I think I'm the only one who's taken one out, and they said I could have it for as long as I want.

The whole 4x5 thing is cool, but even though I've got the camera and 90 and 210 lenses for free, it's still way too expensive. Just bought another $80 box of NPS.

The prints I have at critiques are certainly... different than those of all the other students. Bigger, certainly.

I have a 4x5 enlarger at home (a hospital lab was throwing it out) and got a free old box of HP5 from my photo teacher, so I will try some black & white stuff over thanksgiving. Up to now it's all been color 4x5 which is really expensive cause you have to pay as much in processing as you did in film.

Honestly I'm not taken in by the whole "contact prints" thing. Just an opinion, of course, but I don't think there's much point in shooting LF unless you're making big prints. So now I'm trying to concoct a way to print big... really big.

Jim Galli
18-Nov-2003, 20:44
1994 for me. I traded a 6X7 Pentax with 105 lens straight across for a 4X5 Cambo with the Schneider Caltar 210 at a camera show. Looking back I could have really gotten taken because I knew nothing about large format or the lenses etc. but he assured me that was a good lens. It wasn't good, it was great. So I fell into a bottomless pit with no desire to extricate. Tonopah Nevada isn't the most handsome of towns but there really is a lot of cool stuff to shoot near by. http://www.tonopahpictures.0catch.com

Alex Batchinski
19-Nov-2003, 03:59
I started my LF photography in early 2002. I bought Linhof Technikardan 45S and happy with it. No thought to quit!

Colin Carron
19-Nov-2003, 05:29
I've alwaya liked photography since someone gave me a 127 half frame Foth Derby in 1963 or thereabouts. 15 years ago I acquired a 5x4 Sanderson dating to 1905, with the idea of doing some serious architecture pictures. Fitted a 90mm Angulon, made up some film holders out of card as it only came with a film envelope adaptor. Pictures were mostly terrible but the potential of LF was obvious. The bug had struck. Went out and bought a MPP 5x4 metal field camera. I'm still using it and the lens count is seven and climbing. Holiday destinations are often decided by my wife (a dab hand with the P&S) asking 'where would you like to photograph next?'

Jorge Gasteazoro
19-Nov-2003, 06:02
About 20 years, started with 35 mm, but did not like the quality so went straight to 4x5, stuck with that for about 17 years and the last few years I have been using 8x10 and 12x20 exclusively.

James Phillips
19-Nov-2003, 07:21
Well it is nice to see that we have so many friendly LF photographers back on the forum getting to know each other. I am eagerly anticipating learning something new about photography from all of you during this winter session. Hopefully I can find something useful to contribute in return.

Thank you for taking the momment to share and provide a little insightful knowledge about yourself.

A tidbit about myself is that I have just ordered a Pt/Pd kit from Bostick & Sullivan yesterday (a Christmas present from my wife). Quite looking forward to contact printing a few 4x5 negatives over the holidays and see where that leads me to.

Kind Regards,

Anne Williams
19-Nov-2003, 10:19
Moved to Alabama from Southern California. There's a lot more house available here for a lot less money, so finally, I could pursue what I've always loved doing which is photography. I took a class from a local photographer 2 1/2 years ago. The only camera I had then was a 50 year old Zeiss Ikon Contessa. It works great, but the viewfinder is microscopic.

Since then, I built a very nice darkroom in our house and bought a new 35mm camera. A year ago I bought a Super Speed Graphic w/135mm lens. I also bought a 210mm lens. It is almost the only camera I use now, except for school events that my daughter is participating in.

I bought my husband a Minolta Dimage Xi last year. We're very funny looking when we travel since he is taking pictures with his pocket sized camera while I'm out there with a 4x5 camera.

Matt Long
19-Nov-2003, 11:03
I started LF in 1986 while in college using a well worn university-owned monorail. I believe it was an old Calumet. All I remember is that the camera and it's industrial strength case had roughly the same mass as an average sized neutron star. Despite (or perhaps due to) this initial LF experience, I later acquired a Toyo monorail of my own.

Following a period of relative LF inactivity (most of my work was produced with medium format equipment), I sold the Toyo and purchased a metal Wista technical field camera. Sometimes there is nothing like a new toy to get the creative juices flowing again! The Wista has continued to serve me well for many years. Last year, I picked up a mint Korona 8x10 that was just begging for me to give it a home.

While there are other formats that may be more managable or appropriate for certain jobs, when it comes to whetting my creative appetite, nothing satisfies me more than the view through my ground glass. Long live large format!

19-Nov-2003, 13:01
Since 1976 when I went to work for my uncle(a photographer) My first experience was with Sinar 8x10s. Nothing like diving in head first! I received my BFA in photography in 1985. Although I have all formats covered. I still enjoy using my 4x5 wista SP with Fuji NPS and making C Prints in my darkroom.

21-Nov-2003, 19:40

I'm a "relative" newbie when compared with some of the folks on this site. I used 35mm for years before going to a Blad. Then, I went back to 35mm and have used Nikons for the past 15 years.

I'd always been curious about the Sinar 4x5 though and, one day while on Ebay... I got "slightly" carried away and ended up with 2 brand spanking new Sinars. One was an X and the other was an F2. That was two glorious years ago.

The X is the only camera I kept...the F2 was dispatched.

On a separate issue... how would people feel about posting an image of themselves on this site? It seems to me that we see a lot of the same people responding to questions/comments and it would be nice to put a face to the note.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the folks celebrating down in the US of A!


Řyvind Dahle
22-Nov-2003, 07:08
Just before I took a trip to Svalbard midsummer 2001, I bougth a 4x5 Cambo, but needed something smaller for the trip and bought a 6x9 rollfilm Horseman. Did not trust it, and took no good pictures with it, changed it to a 6x6 Minolta.

The Cambo with a 150 Apo-Gerogon took some lovely pictures, landscapes, flower, trees, and later added a 210 and a 90. The Cambo was to heavy for me, so I bought a finished Bender at Ebay. See a example with a 135 Kodak here: http://foto.no/cgi-bin/bildekritikk/vis_bilde.cgi?id=86915 The Cambo is now sold, and I am making large format box cameras 6x12" and 10x12" for lens and pinhole.

I have plans for a 8x10" add on on my Bender, but I will need the bagbellows to make it work. The 210, 305, 360 and 480 will fit both 4x5" and 8x10". I also have plans for a 8 or 12x20" boxcamera to be used with the 360 Apo-gerogon, but still needs to finish the 6x12" with 210mm first. Drawing for this will hopefully end up on my website.


Alex Hawley
22-Nov-2003, 09:30
Less than a year for me. I started serious photography three years ago at the tender age of 48, progressing from 35mm to MF then to LF. Early this year, I bought a 4x5 Graflex View. That was it! I was hooked. The view camera seemed wholy intuitive to use. Now I've just gotten an 8x10 Deardorff, which handles like a fine shotgun. In retrospect, I wish I would have started out in LF. I think its the best way to learn instead of the snap, snap, snap of the 35mm.