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Thread: How Did We Come To LF?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    219

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    My Dad taught me how to use sheet film when I was a teenager in the 70's, then I moved into 35mm photography, kind backwards to many folks.
    I'm still using the Speed Graphic that my Dad bought about 1951!
    Like most others, I have digital cameras too, and like the convenience they offer, but just love the look a nice print from a big neg, there's nothing like it in my opinion.
    Keith

  2. #12

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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
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    249

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    My Dad souped 620 in his Yankee tank. Enlarged on a card table across the claw foot bathtub. I got to supervise the wash tray. Jump '50's to '60's bought 35 mm Nikon Ftn , then '70's my used Rollie TLR. Shot a bit of ASA25 KB14 in Germany and then some 4 x 5 with a Navy Graphlex. Now I have 'reverted' from digital to 4 x 5 Graphlex both press and view. I'm 66 and not in a hurry any longer. I no longer think shot quantity will beat contemplation and care. It's been a long time coming. I am glad I have learned that every photo is not the action peak at the ball game. I'll be retired in a few months and am now scouting the nearby Ohio river valley and area countryside for locations to discover the seasons of change in 4 x 5.

    Took 40 years to evolve. Likely long but not a record number.

  3. #13
    (Shrek)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montreal
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    1,996

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    I came to it in a roundabout way. I have never personally known any active LF photographers, never discussed it, never viewed people's prints, etc. 15 years ago I had no idea there was such a thing as LF. Then came eBay. While looking to purchase long telephoto lenses for the nature photography I was doing, I kept getting search results for LF lenses. So I started looking into it, and before I knew it I was the proud owner of a Crown Graphic with a few accessories, and a couple boxes of film. It was love/hate at first sight. Fortunately I was already doing business with a small pro lab whose owner took the time to explain a few things, helped me load my film, etc. Still, I only took a few shots before giving up for 10 years. When I returned, I discovered web sites such as this one, it's been a lot more fun this time 'round.

  4. #14

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    At Jeffery Pine in Yosemite, I got talking to someone who had a 4x5 set up and awaiting sunset / moonrise. He was several hours early, so had plenty of time to explain it all to me. I also met someone with either an 8x10 or 11x14 (I think it was probably Clyde Butcher) on the same trip. I knew that day that I had found my tool and owned my first 4x5 shortly thereafter.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    255

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    I started out when canon made the first digital slr, the original rebel. I got one of those and I was hooked! This was around junior year of high school and I carried that thing with me everywhere and was constantly taking photos. In college we did b&w 35mm and I moved up to a Mamiya C330. I eventually got a Mamiya 7 and then we had a 4x5 class at my school and since I took that it turned my world upside down. I couldn't believe the power of a view camera! I worked with 4x5 for a year, then dropped it and did 6x9 for a year and a half, then moved up to 8x10. Went back to 6x9 after a year and worked with that for a year and a half, then moved up to 5x7 a few months ago. I seem to always go back and forth between hand cameras and view cameras, they each suit a purpose and I enjoy both.

  6. #16
    Large Format Rocks ImSoNegative's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Location
    McCaysville Georgia
    Posts
    1,613

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    all my life i have enjoyed looking at others photographs, never was much of a photographer myself, my thing was drawing and painting, i had a studio in the town where i lived at the time and i taught classes in different media, one day i thought that it would be a good idea to get some pictures of some things that i could draw or paint, so i bought myself a little point and shoot digicam it was like 4 mp and i paid about 400 bucks for it. so out i went with my digicam on the hunt, i set it on black and white mode, to make a long story short this is what got me interested in photography, i soon bought myself a canon film camera, some black and white film, that led to darkroom stuff, never even heard of large format at that time, i was one of those guys that if i saw you shooting a big camera, i would probably ask you if you can still get film for it. as time went on my photography journey led to the big stuff. large format had a huge learning curve for me but many thanks for the folks on here and apug for answering all the beginners questions i had, now it makes me feel good if im able to answer a question or two and help someone else that is just starting out. my camera of choice now is my calumet c1, long way from a little sony pocket digicam that i actually paid more money for than i did the 8x10. i actually enjoy shooting it with the 4x5 back that way i can use long lenses, i also have a 5x7 burke and james that i shoot often as well, btw this is a really good idea for a thread
    "WOW! Now thats a big camera. By the way, how many megapixels is that thing?"

  7. #17

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    May 2012
    Location
    NW Tn
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    398

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    I've only been shooting film now for 9 months. My first film camera was my RB67. Shortly after that, I jumped into 4x5.

    Yep. I'm a newb.

    Pretty much it.

  8. #18
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
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    5,501

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    I used 35mm in the 80's/90's and was curious about the LF gear I sometimes saw advertised for big bucks. I couldn't afford it. When the D100 came out, I bought into digital and photography was rekindled with the creative experimentation aided by the quick access to results from digital. Somewhere along the line I got bored of digital, having figured out it's challenges and sent away for my old unused TLR to be CLA'd. I was pleased to be reacquainted with the capture qualities of B&W film. For a challenge I got into LF because the gear was cheap enough to try, generally lightly used, and rich with history. Speed graphic, a couple lenses, 4x5 enlarger, B&J 8x10; just the start. Forums like this have very useful archives to search and helpful people to help. Youtube was also very helpful in showing processes and procedures.

  9. #19
    God loves a tryer Scotty230358's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lancashire UK
    Posts
    185

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    It all started in the early 70s when an MPP outfit came up for sale for the reasonable sum of $70. It came with 3 lenses and a host of double dark slides. I tinkered with it for a couple of years then sold it as I the majority of my work was still being done with my Mamiya and Rollei TLRs. Fast forward to 2001 and a large windfall got me interested in a Linhof Technica outfit which was considerably more than $70. However I could not get on with it and bought a Kardan GT Monorail. This proved to be too large and heavy to carry in a backpack so I sold the Technica and mothballed the Kardan. In 2008 I bought a Shen Hao and finally started learning about LF. My journey ended in 2011 when I committed to a Walker Titan which is the camera I use most to this day.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    9,369

    Re: How Did We Come To LF?

    Because large format cameras look like the cameras seen in the cartoons I grew up watching in the 1950s, it was destiny.
    As a toddler on an annual family vacation to Yosemite, my dad introduced me to Ansel Adams, who was giving a workshop at the Tunnel View and he had two LF cameras set up that really captured my attention (and Mr. Adams attention too---"Don't touch!") I also saw a few Graphics being wielded by reporters for the Fresno Bee and I had one class photograph in Jur. High made with a real gosh darn genuine Cirkuit camera. Decades later I was a Lt. in the Army Reserve on TDY at Ft Huachuca, AZ, overseeing the transfer of the Directorate of Industrial Operations from the military to a private contractor (Pan American World Services, IIRC) There were lots of little details to straighten out and one of them was car pooling with the base photographer, who was conducting a photographic survey of the industrial infrastructure, to a few remote locations. He was the first person I asked about using a view camera, and his response was "Just get one and do it." When digital drove down the prices for used cameras, I remembered his words and I've been having fun ever since.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

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