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Thread: Hello-New to LF & couple of questions

  1. #1
    Florida Keys
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Hello-New to LF & couple of questions

    Hi there everybody. Lurking a bit before I wanted to post.
    I have been a small format photog for a long long time.
    Had a professional studio in Portland,OR thru all of the 90's. Shot 35mm and medium format for all jobs. My studio partner was a food photog so he shot mostly 4x5.

    I helped him some and learned some 4x5 techniques back then, but it never grabbed me.
    Lets jump to present day. I have a small biz down here in Key West, Fl dealing with panoramics of the FL Keys. Tourists buy, and local people and businesses collect my work.
    I use the 35mm stiching method and cropped medium format.
    Bam, Large Format has now grabbed me.
    SOme of my work has been compared to Clyde Butcher, which makes me very proud that I can even be in the same sentence as him.

    Just bought a Busch Pressman D to start. I have two lens coming with it, alot of film the guy is sending me (efke 25, tmax, some trans and c-41), 6x7 back, holders, etc.

    So, its been forever since I hand processed B&W. Like riding a bike though, it will come fast.

    I will be only using B&W. Big ? is .....
    What is the easiest, most forgiving film/dev combo that I can start with.
    I think I will start with the BTZS tube processing method, for I have no dedicated darkroom. I know I will totally imerserve myself in this.
    I have some customers who are waiting for my B&W work, have to get up to speed fast.

    I am getting ready to drop the digital gear I have been using. Man, its just not like the old days. Forgot to mention, I took a 7 year break from photograghy and things changed dramatically. My little 2 year old biz is taking off and my creative juices are in hyperdrive.
    Oh yeah, my medium format was processed outside and then I scan, output is by me on Epson large format, pigmented inks.

    Any other little bits of info are greatly appreciated from all of your great minds.

  2. #2
    ki6mf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Austin, TX

    Re: Hello-New to LF & couple of questions

    Easy would probably be D 76. I suggest testing for film speed an go with a diluted developer. you would need 375 mL of developer along with enough water to make 1050 of solution for this set up. The reason for diluted developer is to allow enough time for the shadows to develop when you shorten you development time for to much light. This is a fancy way of saying meter for the shadows develop for the highlights. This is also the basis of the zone system. Once you figure out your B&W work flow move onto to other chemistry if you want to experiment. I use HP5, my personal test says I shoot at ISO 300 and D 76 @1:2 Dilution and have no problem with grain. My tests indicated that for me normal development time is 14 minutes with the diluted formula. For each zone/stop of over exposure I am cutting development time by 2 minutes per zone/stop. This works for me and I haven't tried other combination's of film or chemistry.
    Wally Brooks

    Everything is Analog!
    Any Fool Can Shoot Digital!
    Any Coward can shoot a zoom! Use primes and get closer.

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