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Thread: need help badly

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    2

    need help badly

    hey all, i've been thinking about getting a large format camera. a friend of mine has one and the pics he took were pretty awsome. he moved away, so i can't get his advise. i was wondering what i would need to get started? i know, you need a lense, bellows and film back and tripod. what else is needed? this questions is very general, but i'm needing some direction.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    488

    Re: need help badly

    You should buy a good book on LF photography, like: Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons. It will help you to better understand what you'll need and how to set-up and use the camera. In general what you'd need is:

    - a camera
    - a lens
    - a lens board to mount the lens
    - a dark cloth
    - a loupe
    - a sturdy tripod with head
    - film holders
    - film
    - a changing bag or a darkroom to load and un-load the film
    - trays and chemicals if you want to develop your own film
    - a bag to fit your gear into

    That should get you started. A notepad is very helpful as well - write down the settings of the camera and any notes you want to add for a picture. This will speed up the learning process.

    Again, get a good book and start reading - it's cheaper than trial and error and wasting of film.
    Juergen

  3. #3
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    local
    Posts
    4,077

    Re: need help badly

    don't forget the light meter!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    2

    Re: need help badly

    thanks.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    286

    Re: need help badly

    Don't forget about our own fine LF home page. Just click on LF Home Page at the top header on this page. Lots of good info.
    Welcome and good light!
    Robert

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    488

    Re: need help badly

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    don't forget the light meter!

    Oops! Yes, that would help! If you own a SLR type camera you can use the built-in light meter as well - in case you want to wait with the investment in a good light meter. You can even use a Digital camera that has a histogram view and use that histogram to determine the correct exposure - works really well.
    Juergen

  7. #7
    Preston Birdwell
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Columbia, CA
    Posts
    1,577

    Re: need help badly

    A cable release to activate the shutter is very helpful, too.

    Although not specifically equipment...patience.

    -PB
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    4,590

    Re: need help badly

    Using a large format is the fun part, and is only about 10% of the time consumed in your adventure. Don't forget the work, expense, and time involved in developing, and enlarging the negatives. Not to mention that you'll have to buy all that equipment, too.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  9. #9
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,954

    Re: need help badly

    Check this out, along with lots of other good information on the main site (lfphoto.info):

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/matos-begin.html

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,041

    Re: need help badly

    First, get a copy of Steve Simmons "Using The View Camera"

    If your local community college or adult school has a class, that would be an excellent way to get your feet wet--with the schools equipment!

    If thats not possible, get a kit thats already put together---something built around an inexpensive, simple and rugged camera like a Calumet 400 series or Graphic View. Jim at Midwest Photo can put one together for you or check the 'for sale' section here.

    Then go make photographs.

    Don't stress over equipment.
    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.

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