Contemplating Dabeling in Large Format

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the APUG Community' started by jmccl@yahoo.com, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. jmccl@yahoo.com

    jmccl@yahoo.com Member

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    I am contemplating dabeling in Large Format photography. Currently I've got a Sony 14 MP digital. Also Kodak Retina 1a. Also a Minolta HiMatic 7s range finder camera and a Minolta 7000 SLR. These last 3 are 35mm film. Somewhere along the line, I have developed a potential interest in Large Format, so I bought and read Steve Simmons "Using the View Camera" and I have http://www.largeformatphotography.info/ in my favorites list. So, what to do now? The reading I've done makes me lean to picking up a Graflex Super because I perceive it to be relatively compact and portable for a 4X5 and comparatively reasonable in both price and quality. I will appreciate all comments to either disuade me, reinforce my opinion, or offer alternative suggestions.

    I will likely do B&W as well as color. My old time ago 35mm film experience says ASA 64, 100 or 200 is going to give the least grainy results. Is that true in today's films? What is the suggestion of the experienced among you as to brand and type of film? What should be avoided? I think I have learned that the film sheets have to be inserted into a film holder, 2 sheets per holder, and this must be done in a dark room. What's the procedure for removing the exposed sheets and what do you put them in to take/send the exposed film to a developing/printing service?

    I will appreciate all suggestions and advice. What to look for. What to avoid. What gotchas to look out for.

    Thank you.

    Jim McClain
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Welcome Jim.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Hello Jim I hope you enjoy being here.

    Jeff
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'll welcome you as well, Jim.

    I'll let those who shoot Large Format answer your questions, other than to say it looks like you have figured out a fair bit correctly already.
     
  5. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Welcome to APUG Jim!
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi jim !

    sounds like your only choice is to buy an (in)expensive
    or expensive LF camera and film holders &c and film
    and shoot paper or film negatives and enjoy yourself :smile:

    or you can go whole hog
    and dive in and shoot wet plate ...

    good luck with your affliction !

    john
     
  7. moto-uno

    moto-uno Subscriber

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    Hi Jim
    Don't worry about grain with large format.There's "youtube "videos on loading the film.The boxes the film come in are
    handy for transporting it to the lab (but it's pretty easy to develop yourself). Even with the limited movements of the press
    cameras,they still allow you to experiment with the effects. B&W film from Ilford is a good place to start,'cuz they sell
    it in lesser quantities (cheaper) and if you feel the need to be awed try E6 (slide or tranny film). Don't spend an extra penny on
    expensive lenses until you've had some fun for cheap (okay so I've got some Scottish blood). In a phrase,Go for it!
    Regards,Peter