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Thread: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

  1. #1

    The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...
    ... a reintroduction --and a message to other starters

    In August 2015 I signed up here (from Cape Town South Africa), and had a friendly welcome ...
    but then I didn't follow up by posting on this forum.
    My apologies to those who responded so warmly. Now at last I'm calling in....

    I have hung in with 4x5, through several phases , the earliest in 1963. To new users I must say this. If, like me, you also have years of hand cameras behind you,
    have patience: eventually the big camera delivers.
    My big push was a recent trip back to North Portugal, working in a old mountain town I know well. BUT:
    --- Hanging a Sinar P from my shoulder ?
    --- and a Manfrotto over the other ? Plus stuff ? Me now in my mid-70's ?
    I really wondered if I would be up to it... but it all worked.

    The Sinar, PLUS an extra front standard and mask is (expletively) heavy.
    I put a wide nylon webbing shoulder strap onto the rail of the inverted camera.
    This hung over my shoulder - swopping shoulders regularly.
    Hanging on light cord from the rail, below and enclosing the camera is its "flight-case", haha. This is a feeble light cardboard carton with a sheet of bubblepack in it.
    When I put this down on the rocks (or at a pavement café) "O'Sullivan" *** sits open but safe, upside down. One other lens, meter and a few holders are in a light cloth bag. The camera is ready to plug onto the tripod.
    I found I could move this rig up to a kilometre on foot, and then work for a couple of hours in a surprisingly big work zone.

    Then comes the work. We are after the "decisive hours". The light, the land, the vanishing stone wall - whatever - they change as we work, so do we. My LF pictures never feel like 35, even tripod 35. Some other subtle atmosphere seems to settle.

    Also I started developing a single sheet or two at a time. In a tiny dish 300ml - done right away. Fifteen minutes later - results to look at. You surprise yourself. And at home, keep it going. Put the camera on the tripod, point the thing out of a window, or go into the garden. Take a picture of the car's grille, the broom. Make one negative. It starts to add up. You feel like you're doing it.
    Later comes stuff you KNOW is beautiful

    *** That camera name is a bow to America's Tim O Sulllivan and his donkey wagon. My other 4x5 is "Evans", but not your Walk-ing one -- England's wonderful Frederick Evans of the 1900's - cathedral + architectural pictures.)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    La Luz del Oeste, Albuquerque NM

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    You got my juices going! I've been mired in a the aftermath of a major, downsizing move, opening cardboard boxes. I am getting the trusty Chamonix 45N2 out this morning!
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    Welcome back!

    My needs are simple (and I just thought to myself, "Oh, really?"). At least my 4x5 system is lighter and simpler...light enough (1.2kg with 150/5.6 lens) to keep on the tripod (darkcloth over the camera and a waterproof stuff-sack over that -- padded, waterproof and protected from branches, etc.). Add a shoulder bag with the meter, holders and note pad, and I find it a nice set-up for wandering around all day looking at the light. Works with my 5x7, also (an old Eastman View #2).

    I will be in Zion National Park for a month (April), so I might switch out the 150mm with a 180mm and use the 4x5 as my distance camera. I'll use the 8x10 for moderate distances (a mile or two or three out, depending on elevation gain), and have the 11x14 for images much nearer to the automobile! I might as well take the 5x7 and a TLR, too!

    I am only 63, so I need to get out while I can! Time seems to be getting too short to worry about "decisive hours" -- I spent too much time on my butt this hit with some heavy shit. Time for me to move onwards and be decisive all the time. LOL!

    Again, welcome! Looking forward to seeing your work!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Carterville, Il

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    Great stuff, Ruari! My wife was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Cape Town. I am about your age (74). These days, my Diabetes or the meds, or both, are sapping my energy to the extent that carrying an 8x10 becomes a real chore. I can still handle my 4x5 Speed Graphic, so all is not lost. Welcome back to the forum!


  5. #5

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    Hello Bob
    Thanks for that ... I envy you the Graphic.
    I had a British MPP 4x5 with rangefinder and a 150 some years back, and I remember , in central Cape Town after hours in a side street just opening it, parking it on my small camera bag, middle of the street on the asphalt in the fading light. I lined up a building with lovely light on it with the wire finder, and set the self timer . Got it...! before a car appeared. Graphics are classic. Go well

  6. #6

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    Hi Vaughn...
    great stuff... I'm minded of my early encounters with Ansel Adams "Basic Photo" series and reading of his Cadillac station wagon with the roof platform..I wish.
    If Cape Town wasn't so far from "stuff" I would love to experiment with 5x7... I have an Omega E6, quite by historical accident and it only sees 4x5 negs. I'd enjoy spring in a US national park. Good luck with the trip -- Ruari

  7. #7

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    Good Morning Peter,
    Knowing one is not alone in one's small triumphs \ frustrations is such a boost. And it's all in our heads. I must look up Chamonix - a name I don't know.
    I have enjoyed a lifetime of 35 but just loading sheets of 4x5 in the dark still gets my juices going.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: The "New Old Guy of 72" from 2015 didn't quit...

    Welcome back, Ruari! Love hearing your stories. I'm 65 years young, but still schlep my 8x10 along with all its paraphernalia in a backpack all over the countryside; or, as far as I can go with it, anyway. My 4x5 is a real lightweight so no problem carrying that wherever I'd like to go. But, I ain't gettin' any younger and I love shooting 8x10. So.....I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival...someday...of my new Intrepid 8x10. It will be quite a change having that size camera with the weight of my 4x5!!

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