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Thread: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

  1. #31

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    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    I wouldn't bother with a framing tool (you have eyes and a camera for this)
    To me a framing tool (director's viewfinder in my case) is an essential tool in landscape photography. Especially when hiking with large format gear. I consider the viewfinder as my 'camera'. The 4x5 gear stays in the backpack until I'm done with 'taking the image'. When I'm done I take the gear out, set it up and record the mental image on film. With the viewfinder it's easier to try different angles (in some occasions different focal lengths too) and walk around to find the best spot to take the photograph.

  2. #32

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    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrim View Post
    To me a framing tool (director's viewfinder in my case) is an essential tool in landscape photography. Especially when hiking with large format gear. I consider the viewfinder as my 'camera'. The 4x5 gear stays in the backpack until I'm done with 'taking the image'. When I'm done I take the gear out, set it up and record the mental image on film. With the viewfinder it's easier to try different angles (in some occasions different focal lengths too) and walk around to find the best spot to take the photograph.
    I do something similar. I carry my camera on the tripod so that its easier (and faster) to shoot. I find I'm more spontaneous this way. However, when I see something I want to photograph I put the tripod and look all around. Like you, I take the shot before I set the camera up...

    I use only 1 or 2 lenses, and after a while I can see exactly what the camera will see (or frame). I find that its an important step, this being able to imagine what will be in the camera. I find this tool we are talking about a hindrance... of course, that's just me... everyone has their own way of working.
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  3. #33

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    Dec 2001
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    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    I find that a Swiss Army Knife is a valuable tool. The #2 Phillips and especially the cork screw & bottle opener
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #34

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    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    Although brain, hands, camera, meter, lenses, light-tight holders and film are certainly essential, I think the OP is after valuable accessories that make the process of making a photograph more streamlined and successful.

    So, in that vein... I second (or third...) the viewing frame/filter. I have the Zone VI incarnation (they were cheap when I bought mine, now they're pretty spendy on the used market), but you can easily make one from a card or the like. The advantage here is that you can frame up your shot, decide if it's even worth setting up for and have a pretty good idea of which lens you need before you ever start unpacking. It's one of my most valuable time-saving tools (of course, you need your brain to use it...).

    Second on my list is a field notebook with exposure records/worksheet, bellows extension factors, reciprocity adjustments, filter info and whatever other information you need to consult regularly. While I'm good at math, I hate calculating (in my head or otherwise) when I'm shooting and concentrating on other things like composition and exposure.

    Third (and especially with architecture) is a well-positioned quality gridded ground glass. Levels and angle finders are nice, but if you really want things square, you need to use the grid.

    Finally, I focus using the near-far method, and a good rule on the rail or bed of the camera coupled with a table of optimum f-stops like the one posted above are really a boon to me.

    BTW, I like my 4-diopter flip-up glasses and an 8x loupe for focusing.

    Best,

    Doremus

  5. #35
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    Most valuable?

    I'd have to say that film is the most costly recurring expense and without it you just have gear.

    There are alternatives to traditional films such as X-Ray films or paper negatuves. Whatever the case, the sensitive medium is the choke-point in the LF creative process . . .without it you just have equipment.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  6. #36
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    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    This thread reminds me of the old joke:

    All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was the one in charge.

    "I should be in charge," said the brain, "Because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."

    "I should be in charge," said the blood , "because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you'd all waste away."

    "I should be in charge," said the stomach , "because I process food and give all of you energy."

    "I should be in charge," said the legs , "because I carry the body wherever it needs to go."

    "I should be in charge," said the eyes, "Because I allow the body to see where it goes."

    "I should be in charge," said the rectum , "Because I'm responsible for waste removal."

    All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight.

    Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic. They all decided that the rectum should be the boss.


    The Moral of the story?


    The ass hole is usually in charge!

  7. #37

    Re: Most valuable tools for working LF photographers

    A sturdy case so you sit down on it..

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