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Thread: Going home again - my journey back to film!

  1. #1
    Al Dore's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Question Going home again - my journey back to film!

    Hi everyone,

    Like many people, my first experience with film photography was 40 years ago in high school. When digital came along, I resisted for years but eventually relented. The convenience of digital when chasing kids for photos was too tempting! But now, retired early, I have the time to go back to my roots and rediscover the entire film process.

    Not satisfied with the easy route (35mm), I decided on a 4x5 camera. It started with a Crown Graphic then a Super Crown Graphic then lenses and other accessories. Last weekend, I retrofitted a Pelican case with custom dividers made with coroplast, foam and bobby pins to carry all the camera gear (well one camera's worth, anyway).

    But it really took off when I bought an LPL 4550 XL for CDN$150. It was missing a few bits - that cost more than the enlarger itself - but was in perfect working order. The only piece I can't find is the negative stage plate. It seems a pretty simple design so I'm going to try and make one myself (with some help from a local shop?). The only measurement I can't get myself is the thickness of the plate so if anyone can measure one and let me know, I'd appreciate it.

    In the meantime, I'm setting up this beast in my bathroom over my tub (yes, I have a second bathroom where I can bathe) and collecting darkroom supplies on the used market. It seems simple when you read about setting up a basic darkroom but there are a lot of little things to get. That reminds me, I have to get an enlarger lens! The 50mm lens is no good for 4x5 - who would have a big enlarger like his and only have it setup or 35mm!

    When I'm all setup, I'll post some pictures.

    I look forward to learning from all of your posts - in fact, they've been hugely helpful already.

    Thanks!

    Al from Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Last edited by Al Dore; 1-Jun-2021 at 16:06.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Canada
    Posts
    1,772

    Re: Going home again - my journey back to film!

    that's wonderful.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,617

    Re: Going home again - my journey back to film!

    A good 150mm is your best choice, and 135mm second best.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    2,529

    Re: Going home again - my journey back to film!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    A good 150mm is your best choice, and 135mm second best.
    Jim beat me to it; I totally agree that 150mm is the best choice.

    Welcome to the forum, Al. I note that you are in Nanaimo on beautiful Vancouver Island; one of my favorite places to visit and photograph since the 70's. Nanaimo was always a stop on the way to visit family in Courtenay.

    Enjoy your journey back to film, and post some results after you get setup.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    724

    Re: Going home again - my journey back to film!

    Hi from Montreal. I've always wanted to visit Vancouver Island.

    Michael

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dore View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Like many people, my first experience with film photography was 40 years ago in high school. When digital came along, I resisted for years but eventually relented. The convenience of digital when chasing kids for photos was too tempting! But now, retired early, I have the time to go back to my roots and rediscover the entire film process.

    Not satisfied with the easy route (35mm), I decided on a 4x5 camera. It started with a Crown Graphic then a Super Crown Graphic then lenses and other accessories. Last weekend, I retrofitted a Pelican case with customer dividers made with coroplast, foam and bobby pins to carry all the camera gear (well one camera's worth, anyway).

    But it really took off when I bought an LPL 4550 XL for CDN$150. It was missing a few bits - that cost more than the enlarger itself - but was in perfect working order. The only piece I can't find is the negative stage plate. It seems a pretty simple design so I'm going to try and make one myself (with some help from a local shop?). The only measurement I can't get myself is the thickness of the plate so if anyone can measure one and let me know, I'd appreciate it.

    In the meantime, I'm setting up this beast in my bathroom over my tub (yes, I have a second bathroom where I can bathe) and collecting darkroom supplies on the used market. It seems simple when you read about setting up a basic darkroom but there are a lot of little things to get. That reminds me, I have to get an enlarger lens! The 50mm lens is no good for 4x5 - who would have a big enlarger like his and only have it setup or 35mm!

    When I'm all setup, I'll post some pictures.

    I look forward to learning from all of your posts - in fact, they've been hugely helpful already.

    Thanks!

    Al from Nanaimo, BC, Canada

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