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Thread: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

  1. #21
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    [...] Then, there's other stuff, like soft focus that no computer will ever be able to duplicate
    Ever since first seeing Jim Galli's soft focus works, I just plain quit the aesthetic. Too rarefied, subtle, complex! I've tried.
    .

  2. #22
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    Where are you located? Maybe you can meet up with one of us and try out a 4x5 and 8x10.

  3. #23

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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    First, because I`d only shoot film if traditional darkroom printing is the printing method. If you want to scan the film, directly shoot digital and enjoy the much wider creative options of modern printing.
    I have to respectfully disagree with this. Scanned film images have their own character, whether displayed onscreen or printed with all the "creative options of modern printing." I love shooting medium and large format (as well as digital) for so many reasons, even though these days when shooting film I have to switch to a digital workflow for display and printing. It's all good. Choices are good. No way of working is wrong. And I would never recommend that someone not shoot film simply because they could not print wet. Shooting film is fun, no matter how you do it. And you end up with the big honking piece of film to file away to maybe print wet someday--or to rescan and print digitally as the technologies improve.
    Bill Poole

    "Speak softly, but carry a big camera."

  4. #24

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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    There is nothing wrong with starting with 8x10 if you can afford it. Shooting 4x5 is a lot cheaper though. I shoot 8x10 b&w but I can't afford 8x10 color film. Some people shoot x-ray film due to it being cheaper than b&w film.

    Most of us do not keep our first large format camera. We learn on that camera and then find that we desire a different camera after we learn what we like and don't like in a camera. You will probably be no different. Used large format cameras have bottomed out in price. If you buy a used camera at a good price and then sell it later you should lose very little money. The best deals are usually from someone who is selling a monorail with at least one lens, a few film holders and maybe a case.

    Large format is a lot of fun. Jump in and get your feet wet!

  5. #25
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Graves View Post
    Where are you located? Maybe you can meet up with one of us and try out a 4x5 and 8x10.
    This is a great idea. One of us is probably not that far away. You could try a bunch of stuff under the guidance of someone who knows how to use it.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  6. #26

    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    By symettrical are you referring to the type of movements or do you mean that the front and rear both have movements?
    Yep ;-)

    I mean that as front and rear standards are identical, it is then a lot easier to understand how things are going. And, you can select one movement at a time compared to a folding where you have front standard tilt and shift that are locked by only one knob for instance.

    I see that I'm not the only one to refer to a monorail...

    J

  7. #27

    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Dunn View Post
    You don't learn large format on 8x10. You always start on 4x5. You can still get amazing results and EVERYTHING is cheaper. Once you master most of the basics of 4x5 you can consider 8x10 but you may find in unnecessary. You didn't mention what type of photography you are interested in focusing on in large format. If you don't know that's o.k. but it can narrow down what type of camera to invest in. Think of it as two basic choices, a 4x5 folder (usually wooden) or a monorail. The folders are more compact and easy to travel with and can easily capture most subject matter from a technical perspective. Monorail cameras are not quite as portable, a little heavier and more complicated to use but a good monorail system is infinity capable and can grow with you as a photographer.

    I have been a long time Sinar user and love the system. Unless you really want a folding camera I would invest in a used Sinar F2. You should be able to find one for around $500. The Sinar system is can suit virtually any type of technical requirement you will ever come up with. As long as you buy the appropriate accessories. What I mean by all these references to technical capabilities is a camera that you want to use super wide angle lenses for architecture has very different requirements than a camera using very long lenses. With a Sinar system as you learn what you want to capture in large format you can customize the camera to suit your needs. Spend carefully on lenses, good sharp lenses with good coverage can be found a decent prices. Don't forget you will need a good sturdy tripod.

    You mentioned you took books out of University. Are you a student? If so where?

    -Joshua
    Hello,

    I disagree on the first part : learning on an 8x10 is a lot easier than 4x5. It is due to the ground glass size. Comfortable on an 8x10, tinier on a 4x5 ;-). But I do agree with the rest of it. Every thing else is a lot more complicated and expensive.

    J

  8. #28

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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    I have not found 8X10 to be significantly more expensive than 4X5, but alas, must admit there was a learning curve in that discovery. It took several cameras before I landed on my "keeper's". Still, auction houses like the ubiquitous ebay mean that with some fees, if I didn't buy too stupidly, I can recoup a large percentage of what I bought to learn with.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  9. #29
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    Never too late or too old to start.

    You could spend very little.

    Buy any size X-Ray film. Find a cardboard box. Make a pinhole. Shoot a picture. Develop and contact print.

    Repeat until you want something different.

    Not better.

  10. #30

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    Re: Where to start? Is it too late to start? Beginner seeking advice.

    I started with 4x5 and now have a lightweight Horseman field camera. I just got an 8x10 that needs some work. My opinion is to start out with 4x5 and when you get comfortable and want to go to 8x10 then go for it. I'm keeping the 4x5 stuff because I'm not going to lug the 8x10, big and heavy tripod, and other associated items into the woods.

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