Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Greetings! New to LF

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    21

    Greetings! New to LF

    Greetings! I'm really glad this board exists. People here seem to have tremendous knowledge and experience with LF.

    I'm new to LF. I shot 35mm film until my cameras broke, and then went digital for about a decade. Digital has been fun, but there was someting tangible about film I missed, so I'm back into it. I recently repaired my 35mm, picked up a Pentax 6x7, and then on a whim, got a Horseman L45 kit that was too nice and too cheap to pass up on.

    I don't know exactly what kind of photography I'll do with the Horseman. Definitely portraiture and probably some composed tabletop. It's too big to lug very far from the back of my car, so there will probably be some landscape photography in there, too. We'll have to see if a field camera ends up in the mix somehow, although I imagine I'll just stick with the Pentax for more mobile nature photography.

    I have yet to expose a piece of 4x5 film. There was some in the backs that came with the camera, so I've been practicing loading those. I'm still trying to figure out how to ship my film to a processor. I think I can put it in dark bags in rigid envelopes and then pack them into a USPS priority mail box. I think that can work because then I can ship ones and twos with their own processing instructions.

    My house has a proper darkroom already, so maybe one day I'll do my own processing. We'll see how that goes. Scanning sounds like yet another type of photography altogether, and people mostly seem merely content or very frustrated with that.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    4,313

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Quote Originally Posted by alt.kafka View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out how to ship my film to a processor.
    For BW, do it your own: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2uePPH_v18

    This was an infrarred video, you have to do it in darkness.

    To start easy, you need three 4x5 trays, when development done move the sheet to the stop bath tray and after 20s you may open lights, wait a bit more and move the sheet to the fixer tray, wash your hands and while fixing you may develop the next one

    Start (perhaps) with Xtol developer with 1:1 dilution, it's low toxicity (spills not dramatic) and a good general usage developer, 200 4x5 sheets developed for $10. You may ask here on any doubt.

    Also you may place the developer tray inside a light tight box (a paper safe for example), so you may develop with lights open.


    To nail exposures: https://kenrockwell.com/tech/exposure-large-format.htm

    Loading holders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE6Ux1B10Z4

  3. #3
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,617

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Just get a SP-445 to process film. They are ridiculously easy to use. As for lens I suggest something like a pre-war 150mm Heliar or 240mm Dagor. Completely different look than what you get from digital.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    21

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Thanks. Yeah, I saw that SP-445. It looks pretty easy to use. That kit with the developer and the box of Foma looks like a good way to get started. I think I could easily exceed the cost of the kit just in processing in no time flat.

    I have a 210mm and 90mm lenses. I'll get a normal lens at some point, but I think I should be fine with this for a while. It's too easy to accumulate gear. I wasn't even thinking of doing LF photography a month or so ago, and here I am.

  5. #5
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,055

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    You might also find black bag mailers at Freestyle.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Bags_with.html

    What lens do you consider "normal" ? For most LF folks that means 180-210...at least in 4x5. OK, OK, some fringe jobs (like me :>) might say 135mm or 150.....I guess it's all relative.

    Les

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    Posts
    77

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Like you I started LF with the Horseman L45. I sold it when I got a Chamonix, but now miss it because it is a very solid, precise camera with easy movments. I'm thinking of getting another since I see them going for very reasonable prices.

    Also, another vote for the SP-445 which has made home processing easy. I load film into the tank inside a changing bag.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    21

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Vogt View Post
    What lens do you consider "normal" ? For most LF folks that means 180-210...at least in 4x5. OK, OK, some fringe jobs (like me :>) might say 135mm or 150.....I guess it's all relative.
    It's a good question. I don't think I know yet. Comparing the length of the diagonal yields that a 150mm is closest to your standard nifty fifty (which is my normal on 35mm), but that doesn't address the diffference in aspect ratio.

    Another way too look at it is to consider that our our vision is most constrained by the shortest side of the image. Using this, a 210mm would be closer to a normal lens. And of course, if we compare the longest, 180mm.

    But I think the underlying assumption in all of these comparisons is that we'd be taking the similar pictures regardless of the media, and I just don't think that's true. At least, I hope it's not. This makes me think that a wider 'window' would just look more right on a bigger canvas, which leads me to think a 135mm might be a better choice.

    I'm not too hung up on it, though. Great lenses are dirt cheap, and I have no experience yet, so there's no real reason not to just try a couple out and see what looks right. Besides, it's not really about which lens happens to be in my tool box, but what to say with the picture - which is the only truly interesting question.


    And yeah, I ordered the SP-445. I think it's a lot more reasonsable to think I'm going to periodically head to the basement for a half an hour to run off a few sheets than it is to think I'm going to save up enough shots to ship out for processing.

  8. #8
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,617

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Quote Originally Posted by alt.kafka View Post

    And yeah, I ordered the SP-445. I think it's a lot more reasonsable to think I'm going to periodically head to the basement for a half an hour to run off a few sheets than it is to think I'm going to save up enough shots to ship out for processing.

    I was sending my sheet film out to be processed and was happy enough with the price and results. However the turn around time was about 12 days and that was with me paying for 2nd day postage. The SP-445 lets me have my negatives the same day I shot them if I wanted. I could probably even process them in the field in the back of my SUV if I wanted to. The negatives are also a little bit cleaner and easier to scan. As for lenses I find a 90mm my most used for architecture (small towns, abandoned farms, railroad,) a 135mm as a "general" purpose lens, and a 240mm for portraits.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  9. #9
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chillicothe Missouri USA
    Posts
    2,718

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Tray development is inexpensive, flexible, and quick. In several decades of LF photography, it is all I really needed. The OP's darkroom is an asset, but other rooms can often be darkened enough at night. I use six trays: pre-wash, developer, stop bath, fix, rinse, and holding bath so all final washing can be done in one big batch. Substitutes for trays and much other darkroom equipment can be improvised, and is more gratifying than spending much money for identical results. If you have extra money to spend on photography, invest in knowledge, not gadgets. Much of that knowledge is available online today.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    8,884

    Re: Greetings! New to LF

    Welcome aboard!
    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.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •