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Old 09-21-2006   #11
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Well i've now had two sessions with the 4x5...and they've come out great!! i'm so happy
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Old 04-06-2007   #12
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

4X5 really teaches you to shoot slow and precisely. Think about the shot before you shoot. I like a reflex viewer, but some times the ground glass is necessary for precise focus.

Don't go crazy with Polaroid. Learn to trust what you see and scan all 4 corners of the ground glass.
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Old 02-24-2013   #13
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Hi, my first ever mistake was not loading my film correctly.On most universal film holders they have two sets of grooves that your film will slide into, the bottom one were your film should be but there is another groove that your dark slide goes in that will take a sheet of film and your dark slide.This seemed to be ok until its in the camera then the fun starts, the dark slide comes out as requested but will it go back in NOT A CHANCE no matter how much you try and there is no way you can do anything to get it into a dark bag.
There is nothing worse than trying to sort the problem out when you are at the bottom of a waterfall and its -8 not to mention your frozen hands.
So beware of the top groove you will only ever do it once.
There is no more satisfying format than 4x5 it just makes you think so much.
Good Luck with it
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Old 02-25-2013   #14
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

The cool thing about shooting with a 4x5 camera is that eventually you'll forget that the image on the ground glass is upside down.


When you load your film holders the film notch goes in the LOWER RIGHT corner as you slide the film into the holder.

The dark slide has a silver edge on one side signifying unexposed film. Load the film holder with the silver edge showing. After you take the shot you flip the dark side over, replacing it in the holder with the black edge showing which means the film inside is exposed. Use a rubber band around the film holder to prevent the dark slides from sliding out.

Make the act of closing the lens always be the first thing you do before setting the f/stop and shutter speed and do that as a set routine before every shot. You'll still burn some sheets of film because you've left the lens open so try to remember to close the lens before anything else is set.

Bring a small 6" carpenters level to level the camera left to right before each shot. The bubble levels, if your camera even has them, can be off by quite a bit.

Use a long cable release and wait more than a few seconds for the camera to settle down after inserting the film holder before you make the exposure.
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Old 02-25-2013   #15
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Well, that semesters long over, hope it went well.

I would have thought that the school would furnish the view camera for the class. It is one thing to decide to buy one if you decide that is something you want to use frequently, another to spend that much for a couple of classes. On the other hand you can probably sell it to someone in next years class.
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Old 02-26-2013   #16
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Default Re: Another returnee to 4x5

Caution re Swiss Arca: While the quality and prestige factor is very high so is the "missing part" or additional accessory that you might come to want. Like children and race horses raising them is a costly habit.
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Old 04-28-2013   #17
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Large format is a non ending educating experience. It rapidly becomes an obsession and if you really like it you will in all likelihood end up in a studio. Don't fret though, I shot my first B&J in 1968. I am still shooting 4x5 today and am in a wheelchair but it truly is the most versatile, fun format ever.
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Old 06-13-2013   #18
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

There are many very good 4X5 outfits out there for 300 bucks or so. So no need to spend a ton of bucks on one. I learned on one in the 1950's as my Dad was a professional photographer and only shot LF throughout a 40+ year career. When I was 16/17 one of my Dad's peers got me a gig shooting night stockcar racing and other venues and I'd have to borrow Dad's Busch Pressman D which I still have and shoot.
I'd suggest getting a good light meter like a Sekonic L358 or a Gossen Luna Pro will do flash as well as incident and reflectance for less money.
If you find you get hooked on LF I'd suggest looking for a Busch Model D. Far more compact, rugged and lighter than a Speedy. More functions as well. For a press type camera Pressmans can't be beat.
Learn to soup your own negatives. That's where the fun begins.
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Old 07-06-2013   #19
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

I picked up a 4X5 earlier this year but at this moment in time im not feeling the magic. I have shot about 10 frames outdoor landscapes and indoor studio portraits and whilst im comfortable with the camera and taking the pictures its the post processing and scanning that im coming undone with. I dont have a darkroom just a 2 reel Patterson tank for processing and for scanning I have an epson V500 which is amazing for anything up to Medium Format.
Based on this i think im going to trade in the 4X5 kit and my current Bronica ETRS kit and get what ive always wanted which is a Hasselblad 500CM the square format is what ive wanted for a while now as opposed to the ETRS 645 format and good condition 500CM is just a piece of camera porn to create beautiful images with.

I really hope that those of you venturing to LF enjoy the process of taking the images as I have it has taught me a lot and this is something I now use when shooting MF.

Richie
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Old 08-19-2013   #20
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

I've been shooting large format for more years than I care to discuss. The keys to getting good results is with artificial light in the studio (I assume you mean a constant light source) is to have a good - very good- tripod and minimize camera shake (no one walking around). Most LF lenses are made to be their best at small aperture settings - like F22 on tighter. Spot meter an 18% grey card and bracket two stops up and two down (an I'll assume you know that Kodak film is very optimistic about it real ISO...most of use 1/2 half of what Kodak says and get good results - eg. Tri-X is not 400, it's 200 under most constant light sources.)
Using a Large Format camera is a learning experience in itself... the more you do it the better you'll be.
Enjoy the experience.

M


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