Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: (possibly) taking the large jump

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    3

    (possibly) taking the large jump

    Hi all,

    I am quite new here, though I have been reading these forums for quite some time. Now I have almost made the decision to take the plunge into large format, even though I am still undecided in regard to all equipment. I currently (and will continue) shoot 135 film on an M5, and enjoy developing on my Focomat V35 once in a while

    I am so lucky to have a baby on the way Unfortunately, as I live in a rather small apartment, this means that I have to scale down a bit on my photo equipment, which again means that I am trying to sell my enlarger However, If i do take the plunge into large format, I am contemplating buying the intrepid enlarger as an (probably inferior) replacement for this. While I realize that this enlarger is a bit more difficult to work with, I find that the smaller size might make it worth it as I do not have a permanent darkroom and only develop 2-3 times a year (probably less in the coming years - partly due to the enlarger being moved to a friends basement) My problem is that I have not really been able to find any reviews or elaborate opinions on it. Do any of you know anything about it - is it worth getting for my limited use, or should i just rent my way into a darkroom once in a while?

    Also, after I figure the enlarger question out I hope you can help me choose what else get along with it
    Last edited by ulf bech; 3-Nov-2020 at 05:15.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Kent, UK
    Posts
    84

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    I have the Intrepid enlarger. While it's small, setting it up to print is a massive hassle, especially if you don't have a good copy stand or a geared head to align the enlarger parallel with your print surface. In the end the space saving is irrelevant. Unless you're a seasoned printer, I'd avoid it.

    Many large format shooters employ a hybrid workflow: shoot, develop, scan, print. That simplifies the space requirement by a significant amount. Since the neg is large, even a cheap scanner like the Epson v600 is sufficient.

    I think you already know this, but Ilford has a website that you can use to look for local darkrooms for hire https://www.localdarkroom.com/ .

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    north of the 49th
    Posts
    1,165

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    I'd suggest looking into 5x7 (am presuming you're shooting 4x5) and making contacts. I find 4x5 too small for contacts(ymmv) but 5x7 (and 8x10 for that matter) is almost a sweet spot.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,040

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    I've never used the Intrepid enlarger, but I have used a DIY setup for 8x10 very similar to the Intrepid design. I can assure you (as noted above) that setup is a royal PITA and, even then, alignment can be an issue. Also, depending on enlargement size, focusing can be problematic due to the distances involved. I agree with Fred, although I believe and have made some quite lovely 4x5 contact prints.

  5. #5
    New Orleans, LA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    593

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    You may want to think about strictly contact printing alt processes such as cyanotype, platinum/palladium, kallitype, etc. No need for an enlarger and you need minimal materials.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    3

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    Hi all,

    Thank you for your replies. I will most likely avoid the intrepid enlarger, as I understand that I might end up spending the majority of my darkroom-time setting it up as I will not be getting a copy stand due to the beforementioned space-constraints.

    Thom, thank you for your suggestions as well. But for my beginnings I will prefer to start out a bit more basic, and rely on regular film

    I am actually quite intrigued by 5x7 already, and one of my main considerations at the moment is getting a 5x7 with a 4x5 reducing back to allow me to practice on cheaper film. - Any suggestions for cameras? I will mainly be doing portraits and landscape. I have been looking at the intrepid 5x7, but i am quite sure that i will get annoyed with the imprecisions that one has to live with with this camera (also, while this may not be an accepted criterion, I really don't think the intrepid's are good looking cameras)

  7. #7
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    2,166

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    There are many older 5x7 cameras out there. They are not only solid but also beautiful. Main drawback to 5x7 is lack of color film.


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

  8. #8
    jim_jm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    72

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    As Kent mentioned, there are many great older LF cameras out there. Often you can find 4x5 or 5x7 cameras for less than five hundred dollars, sometimes including the lens.
    Many older cameras have been refurbished or restored, just be sure they have all parts and the bellows are light-tight. They work great for portraits and landscapes. Newer cameras tend to have more movements, but I rarely find the need to make any extreme adjustments.
    If you're looking to start out simply and be able to make prints without an enlarger, I'd go with 5x7 for the larger negative. Contact printing is really easy and quick.

    For size comparisons, here's my 8x10 Eastman View 2D (1947), 5x7 Eastman View (1915), 4x5 Shen-Hao (modern) and 4x5 Crown Graphic (1954)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	LF Cameras_sm.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	71.2 KB 
ID:	209196

  9. #9
    Bertha DeCool Bertha DeCool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA, US
    Posts
    41

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    Not the first to say, won't be the last; contact printing 5x7 and up is a viable alternative to enlarging.

    For me, contacts of 4x5s were just that much too small and an enlarger-equipped darkroom that much too big. Having sort-of-inherited a 5x7 Kodak 2D last year, I'm now going to be selling a Crown Graphic and a batch of lenses I've used since 1980 with no regrets. 5x7 is a joy and contact prints are nicely sized little jewels.

    BUT, no color. I've thought about cutting 8x10 down to 2 sheets 5x7 but honestly, I don't have a lot of need to shoot color and if I do, there's always 120 or 35mm.

  10. #10
    penguinoid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    15

    Re: (possibly) taking the large jump

    I have the Intrepid 5x7 and so far have been happy with it. I haven't got out to use it as much as I'd like, but I've enjoyed using it so far. It's not as precise as other cameras, I guess, and can be a bit wobbly, but I personally find it to work more than well enough. You mileage may vary, of course. I also have a 4x5 reducing back that I plan to use for shooting colour (though I'll need to buy some film holders first); this seems to be the best compromise.

Similar Threads

  1. Possibly the largest online collection of color large format images
    By genotypewriter in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 18-Jul-2014, 23:52
  2. Possibly my best large format image to date? or maybe not?
    By Ed Bray in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 14-Oct-2012, 21:44
  3. Taking portraits with a large format camera
    By jimbobuk in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-Nov-2006, 16:22

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
  •