View Full Version : Hello from London

Federico Agostino
28-Aug-2012, 02:02
Hello everybody!

I thought I'd say hello since I'm spending my spare time reading as much as possible in the forum. I'm very grateful for all the information available here! My first large format camera is on its way and this is a new beginning for me.

My analog experiences are far in the past. When a child I was shooting with my father's OM1, for which I had bought few used lenses - a 24mm and a 300mm in addition to the standard Zuiko 50mm. Then a new millennium arrived, I left the house and entered the digital world - long walks during the night, exploring the secret corners of my city with a friend, uploading shoots online since I couldn't afford to print. Now I find myself living in a new country, speaking a new language and waiting for the delivery of a new camera - the courier should pop in today.

It's a second hand Wista 45DX and I don't really know what it will look like. Yes, of course I've seen some photos, but I guess it will be something different from all I know. At the moment I barely manage to understand which are the minimum requirements to shoot in large format. It might take some time before I can build up a basic kit and go out in the field. Two days ago I found a used Gitzo 1340 tripod on ebay and yesterday a very old Goerz lens, purchased for few pounds. Still missing: lens board, film holders, tripod head and all the darkroom equipment.

This is the plan! -- shoot paper negatives without shutter, learn to develop a negative and to contact print, then explore alternative techniques. I have no experience of darkroom and this is London, so I'm not even sure I have the space for a darkroom. But hey, I'll just print in my [bed]room or keep my flat mates queuing out of the bathroom while a fix my prints :rolleyes:

Federico Agostino
4-Sep-2012, 16:54
Slowly getting ready. During today's visit to the Teamwork shop in central London I bought the Silvestri 4x loupe and found a little rucksack on sale for 22! In the main compartment, with adjustable padded dividers, there's enough space for my Wista, couple of lenses, the loupe and some film holders (which are still missing). Also received a 210mm Xenar from the States (few dollars on ebay, no shutter).

Peter De Smidt
4-Sep-2012, 17:24
Welcome Federico!

You might want to check out the following book at a library or store: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Beyond-Monochrome-Traditional-Photography/dp/0240816250 .
It's a great book, and, unlike many darkroom books, it's very up-to-date.

Federico Agostino
4-Sep-2012, 23:39
Thank you, Peter! a darkroom book is something I definitely need. At the moment my photographic library is limited to Ansel Adams's "The Camera". I found it very helpful to understand some basic concepts that were never really clear to me, and also for an overview of camera movements.

Peter De Smidt
5-Sep-2012, 02:44
Federico, make sure to check out the book I recommended before buying it. It may be too much as a first BW technique book. It's big and quite technical. The advantage is that it's quite thorough and up-to-date. For basic exposure and development testing, Fred Picker's The Zone VI Workshop is simple and effective. For printing, my favorite is Tim Rudman's http://www.amazon.com/The-Photographers-Master-Printing-Course/dp/0240803248. Have fun!

Federico Agostino
5-Sep-2012, 04:12
Peter, thank you so much for the very useful links! That's great!! do you know whether in the books you mention paper negatives are also covered? ..in the meantime I managed to snap 5 film holders (ebay, 21 total). Thanks again.

EDIT. Peter, I've just been on your photoblog. (http://www.peterdesmidt.com/) That's the London Eye! Beautiful shoot!

Peter De Smidt
5-Sep-2012, 06:05
Thanks Federico! I'm not sure about your paper negatives question. I'll do a little looking and get back to you.