first timer with 4x5
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Old 09-01-2006   #1
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Default first timer with 4x5

Well, my artificial lighting class will be interesting. The whole course requires a 4x5 camera. I've never touched large format cameras before. I'm really excited to use one though. Thankfully John's friend has a 4x5 I can use for the semester. I just wanted to know anyone's experience using the 4x5 in the studio. Some tips or anything.

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Old 09-01-2006   #2
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Very cool. Pass along the wisdom!
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Old 09-01-2006   #3
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Oustanding! Everybody should have the opportunity to use a view camera.

The best advice I have is to use a focusing light... though it may be that my old eyes need it more than yours. View cameras are so versatile that a list of tips would take pages. The best thing is to just buy a bunch of Polaroid film and practice a lot. Start with a geometrical object like a box or a cube of blocks and notice how swinging or tilting the back will change the shape of your subject and how swinging or tilting the lens will change the angle of the focal plane. Try to visualize that happening inside the camera.

...Oh, and mark your film holders and keep up with what's what by taking notes... it really sucks when you can't remember which side(s) you've made the exposure on and you double expose one side and don't expose the other side at all.

Have fun... view cameras are the ultimate image recorders. I want a Sinar X3.

Chip
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Old 09-01-2006   #4
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

I'll be joining you as a first time 4x5 user sometime in the near future, hopefully. Sounds like great fun, but I've not touched large format either.
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Old 09-01-2006   #5
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

You might get plenty of hands-on training in LF photography.* You also may be left to learn much on your own.* If so, there are several good books on LF photography.* My favorite, and perhaps the most comprehensive, is Leslie Stroebel's "View Camera Technique."* It is available in several editions over many years.* Books on the subject by Steve Simmons Jim Stone, and Harvey Shaman and perhaps others are also useful.* These are sometimes available at modest cost from online booksellers such as http://www.abebooks.com/.* Any school that expects students to use LF must have at least one of the two series on photography by Ansel Adams.* They don't go into great detail, but have much good information.* Finally, remember that a large format camera without a tripod is like a car without gas.

In some ways LF photography is very exacting; in others, quite casual. If you can experiment at home, and have a small dark place to develop film, cheap film processed in print developer often suffices while learning some of the basics. A computer and a scanner with a 4x5 transparancy unit is a quick way to view the results. You'll need some film holders. The instructor can advise you on the quantity. A cheap hardware store bullseye level is handy for archetectural photography. Of course you need a darkcloth. Any nearly opaque cloth works indoors. Outdoors it should be white on the outside to reflect heat, and of course black on the inside. Some exposures may be long. Musicians can count seconds accurately, but a watch may be more convenient. I use a cheap (under $10 at most camera stores) magnifier for focusing. One can spend much more, but it isn't necessary. Feel free to ask specific questions. Other sites that can be quite helpful are http://www.apug.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13 and http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/
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Old 09-05-2006   #6
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Quote:
Originally Posted by B
Oustanding! Everybody should have the opportunity to use a view camera.

The best advice I have is to use a focusing light... though it may be that my old eyes need it more than yours. View cameras are so versatile that a list of tips would take pages. The best thing is to just buy a bunch of Polaroid film and practice a lot. Start with a geometrical object like a box or a cube of blocks and notice how swinging or tilting the back will change the shape of your subject and how swinging or tilting the lens will change the angle of the focal plane. Try to visualize that happening inside the camera.

...Oh, and mark your film holders and keep up with what's what by taking notes... it really sucks when you can't remember which side(s) you've made the exposure on and you double expose one side and don't expose the other side at all.

Have fun... view cameras are the ultimate image recorders. I want a Sinar X3.

Chip
i plan on getting ALOT of poloraid film
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Old 09-05-2006   #7
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
You might get plenty of hands-on training in LF photography. You also may be left to learn much on your own. If so, there are several good books on LF photography. My favorite, and perhaps the most comprehensive, is Leslie Stroebel's "View Camera Technique." It is available in several editions over many years. Books on the subject by Steve Simmons Jim Stone, and Harvey Shaman and perhaps others are also useful. These are sometimes available at modest cost from online booksellers such as http://www.abebooks.com/. Any school that expects students to use LF must have at least one of the two series on photography by Ansel Adams. They don't go into great detail, but have much good information. Finally, remember that a large format camera without a tripod is like a car without gas.

In some ways LF photography is very exacting; in others, quite casual. If you can experiment at home, and have a small dark place to develop film, cheap film processed in print developer often suffices while learning some of the basics. A computer and a scanner with a 4x5 transparancy unit is a quick way to view the results. You'll need some film holders. The instructor can advise you on the quantity. A cheap hardware store bullseye level is handy for archetectural photography. Of course you need a darkcloth. Any nearly opaque cloth works indoors. Outdoors it should be white on the outside to reflect heat, and of course black on the inside. Some exposures may be long. Musicians can count seconds accurately, but a watch may be more convenient. I use a cheap (under $10 at most camera stores) magnifier for focusing. One can spend much more, but it isn't necessary. Feel free to ask specific questions. Other sites that can be quite helpful are http://www.apug.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13 and http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/
awesome. thanks!

and i have a nice heavy tripod..and the legs are as big as my arms =) haha.
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Old 09-05-2006   #8
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

4x5 is great to teach the fundementals - 2 point - when your loading your holders - the notches on the film goes to the Right so you get the emulsion side up - and the Silver side of the slidle goes Out.*

When you put the holder in the camera - and then remove the slidle you set to make your exposue - and after the exposure, the Black side of the slide goes in - to tell you you've exposed that sheet.
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Old 09-05-2006   #9
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Default Re: Another returnee to 4x5

I just came across an Arca Swiss 4X5 with a lens and ground glass back for $1000.00. Does that sound about right for a used Arca that appears in good shape? I didn't have a chance to investagate the lens but everything appears to be very clean with no visible signs of damage or excess wear. If the price sounds about right I'll go back for a closer look.
What are the current films for color and B&W? The last time I used a 4X5 was in the early 60s and I usually used Panatomic ASA 10. I got some fantastic images from my old Speedgraphic Press I bought used for under $100.00 in those days. My Durst 609 is still stored away, but I'll probably scan them on my 4990.
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Old 09-16-2006   #10
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Default Re: first timer with 4x5

I built a 4x5 semi view from a polaroid 250 frame and a lens from a kodak 3a camera.* The total cost was about 35 dollars.* It works very well. except you cant use flash with it.. the vintage lens doesnt have the contacts

It took a little getting used to 4x5 but it is a great image maker. A touch pricey per shot but not really all that bad considering it is so much trouble you usually dont shoot frivilously


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