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Thread: Going to New York

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Going to New York

    Hi Everyone,

    I'll be leaving for New York (with my wife, of course :-)) next Tuesday, January 13th, to stay for a week (leaving January 21st). We'll stay in center Manhattan, 50th street, and plan to walk quite a bit and do a lot of sightseeing (first time in NY).

    I'll be taking a small digital, but I would like to know if it's worth the trouble taking a 4x5 camera ? I have a Shen-Hao PTB, very light, and I can get everything in a Lowepro rucksack (with 90mm and 150mm; should I take a 75mm and/or 205mm ?), tripod, about 10 filmholders, lightmeter and some filters and small stuff.

    Thanks for any advice,
    Stefan.

  2. #2
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    Re: Going to New York

    Quote Originally Posted by gliderbee View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I'll be leaving for New York (with my wife, of course :-)) next Tuesday, January 13th, to stay for a week (leaving January 21st). We'll stay in center Manhattan, 50th street, and plan to walk quite a bit and do a lot of sightseeing (first time in NY).

    I'll be taking a small digital, but I would like to know if it's worth the trouble taking a 4x5 camera ? I have a Shen-Hao PTB, very light, and I can get everything in a Lowepro rucksack (with 90mm and 150mm; should I take a 75mm and/or 205mm ?), tripod, about 10 filmholders, lightmeter and some filters and small stuff.

    Thanks for any advice,
    Stefan.
    Although I haven't shot LF in NYC, I have lived there. There are many areas that are like canyons with high buildings on both sides and little space to move from a visual perspective, so your 75mm might be useful. Central Park has numerous features that would be good for a more normal lens like small buildings, statues, lakes, bridges and you can have space to compose, not like on a busy sidewalk.

  3. #3

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    Apr 2012
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    Re: Going to New York

    Be aware that opening a tripod in NYC (especially in any public access building) requires a special permit. Otherwise, you should have fun in the dirtiest city in recent memory, but that has a police force that is the tenth largest standing army in the world .

    One more thing - the MET museum is FREE, even though they make it sound like you HAVE to pay to get in. It is a suggestion, and you should take full advantage of the great shows they always have on.

  4. #4

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    Jan 2012
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    Re: Going to New York

    Take the digital, leave the 4x5, you will enjoy your visit a lot more. NY is too large to be hauling large format gear without a definite "plan" - in my opinion.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    953

    Re: Going to New York

    Suggest a medium format system and 400 speed film. There are too many opportunities to be harassed by NYC's huge anti-terrorism department cops. Use, handheld, they will probably be less suspicious. Just don't photograph bridges, modes of transportation or anything related to government.

  6. #6
    Scott Davis
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    Washington DC
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    Re: Going to New York

    Second the emotion of leaving large format at home, especially on your first visit to NY. It is overwhelming your first time there (unless you call Hong Kong home). As previously mentioned, large format is what you bring when you have a specific photographic agenda in mind, and know where to go to find what you're looking for. Sidewalk+tripod=recipe for disaster. Definitely go for medium format loaded up with 400-speed film (New York and Tri-X are a classic combination).

  7. #7

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    Re: Going to New York

    Quote Originally Posted by koh303 View Post
    Be aware that opening a tripod in NYC (especially in any public access building) requires a special permit.
    This is not correct. Using a tripod in NYC is allowed and does not require a permit. There are some common sense rules against setting up a tripod and blocking traffic (auto or pedestrian). Some venues will have their own restrictions. Using strobes requires a permit. But in general using a tripod in NYC is allowed with no permit.

  8. #8

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    Re: Going to New York

    My own experience includes several of the prior posts. I have used my tripod and 4x5 in Central Park, and on city streets without problem. I have also been told around Battery Park that I could not use the tripod, even though these were public streets as well. So it seems to depend on location, and possibly on the knowledge of local police (i.e. they sometimes say things are forbidden even if they are not, but unless one has the written statute in hand, it is a losing argument). My overall opinion agrees with those who suggest that NYC has so many things to see and do that a digital camera is simply more convenient; to use a view camera you would have to block out time, and have an idea of where you want to take pictures, while the digital allows for freedom of movement and spontaneity. Also, if you are caught in a cold spell as we are right now (today's high was around 20F/-7C), the methodical approach of a tripod-mounted view camera may be rather unpleasant.

  9. #9

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    Sep 2008
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    Oxfordshire UK
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    Re: Going to New York

    Yes, a decent medium format set up is clearly the way to go

    and do not miss The High Line:

    http://www.thehighline.org/visit

    this should give you a different phootgraphic experience etc etc

    regards
    andrew

  10. #10

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    Feb 2013
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    New York, NY
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    Re: Going to New York

    I think large format will not be much fun at this time because of the cold weather, as Peter mentioned. Will your wife tolerate standing around in the cold? I know mine will not.

    Sidewalks can get crowded and people will walk over, under, and around you while you're trying to use a tripod. New Yorkers can be pushy, especially when you're impeding their path and it's cold. This has been my experience while shooting 5x7 on the street. I've never been hassled while shooting large format in Central Park, although I've gotten a lot of questions from people.

    Greg, I'm glad to hear that using a tripod is allowed in New York without a permit. I think the regulations extend to film crews more than anything, and not individual shooters. Sorry to go off topic, but are you teaching another class soon? Maybe I'll take a class from you when the weather warms up. ;-)

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