Getting excited - just orderd my first 4x5 kit

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mark Pope, May 26, 2006.

  1. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Yesterday, I ordered my 4x5 outfit... :tongue:
    The darkslides, enlarging lens, focusing hood and Peak focus finder (an impulse buy - but I've always wanted one) arrived today.
    All I'm waiting for is my new Shen-Hao 4x5, 150 and 90mm lenses, which ought to arrive next Tuesday :smile:.
    Just a couple more things to get and I'll be all set!
     
  2. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    Mark,

    You must be excited!

    When you see the image on that GG... when you see the SIZE of that negative... Ha!

    I'm excited for you.
     
  3. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Thanks. It's going to be a LONG few days...got plenty to do beforehand to try and keep my mind off it though.
    Cheers
     
  4. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Welcome aboard. You picked a good camera, and good focal lengths to start with. Any problems, ask right here. No doubt you'll get lots of help. Dean
     
  5. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Hi again: I just checked out your web site. From the landscapes, it looks like you've got an "eye" for large format. Good choice on your part to get into it. Post results when you start getting some. Dean
     
  6. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I couldn't put mine down when I got my first large format camera, which was also a 4x5. Once you get the feel for having control over each individual negative it get addicting, fast. And the size - ooh! Just be warned that it doesn't stop there....

    - Randy
     
  7. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Congratulations! I just went back to 4x5 early this year, after having sold off nearly everything six years ago. You might also want to visit SHUG on Yahoo Groups, if you have specific questions on your Shen-Hao. Enjoy!

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  8. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Mark,
    Think you will enjoy the Shen-Hao, i got one a few months ago and although i don't have much to show yet it is a fun camera to work on.
    It takes me a lot of time to focus and i still get some out of focus shots but hope with more experience that will change.
    Developing sheet film is not as easy as rolls, still get some spots mostly i think from exposing and not so much from developing.
    Have fun.

    jan
     
  9. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    No great mystery to developing 4x5 film, and in many respects it is much easier to get a good print. I've been using development tubes to do sheet film with good results. This will let you work with the lights on most of the time. Pryocat hd developer, Efke films (now Adox) and you are set for "hours of fun" in the darkroom. Plenty to read here on the site, so welcome to the dark slide, asit were. Remember, 8x10 can't be too far down the road. Best of luck, tim
     
  10. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Congrats on the beginning stage of your new adventure, Mark. You're in for lots of fun, as others have already said.
     
  11. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Exactly what he said!

    Murray
     
  12. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement. Just looking at the size of the film aperture on a DDS makes me feel excited...having been used to working mainly in 35mm, the sheer size of the the neg is going to be awesome :smile:
    I'm getting used to my 4x5 enlarger too. Recalibrating my zonemaster has been frustrating, but I'm getting the hang of it (again), so I'll be ready to make some nice prints once I make some nice negs.
    My plan is to just keep the standards parallel to start with and get used to making BIG negatives. Then, I'll start to add some camera movements, one at a time.
    I won't bother doing any film testing until I have got the hang of the camera: I'll stick to HP5 plus, rated at EI200 and developed in Perceptol to begin with. This combination has always given me nice negatives in both MF and 35mm, so it will probably do to start with.
    Having to use my brain again to work out exposure corrections for filters and lens extension will be interesting to start with. I think the worksheets in Ansel Adams' book 'the negative' will be handy here, so I'll make copies to keep records.
    Hopefully, my entry into LF photography won't be too rocky if I take my time and try not to run before I walk!

    Cheers
     
  13. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Mark, you're using the right approach with film and developer. Stick with what you have that is working so well for you already and build on that information (nice web site, by the way). The Adams worksheets are a good place to start for exposure and development. I think you will find a new sense of freedom when taking shots which would otherwise be a compromise between shadow and highlight values. Being able to stretch or shrink contrast for every shot is a challenge at first, but it is a lot of fun as well. New doors will open. tim
     
  14. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    So, I now have film, darkslides, focusing cloth, enlarging lens, paterson orbital processor for developing film. I've liberated my Lowe-pro nature trekker, gotten a new hex plate for my manfrotto tripod head, read the relevant chapters in 'the camera' and Roger Hicks' & Frances Schultz's excellent book on MF and LF photography several times.
    But I have no camera to practice with yet with little prospect of it arriving this weekend. Apparently, the standard lens hasn't arrived yet and the delays are being exacerbated by the half-term holidays :-(

    Back to the books I suppose and calibrating the enlarger meter for some more paper types. Ho Hum. I feel like the kid in the back of the car saying "are we there yet?" ;-)
     
  15. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Mark I have the book by Roger Hicks' & Frances Schultz's too. For the most part it's ok but I think it takes a lax approach to photography. For instance Bracketing, some times it's good but it should not be a method of exposure for large format work. Make a duplicate if you need to in case of damage but testing for E.I. and development and learning the meter use is more important than a shotgun approach. Don't get me wrong though, experimenting is great if done purposefully. Changing formats from roll to sheet gives that new feeling all over again.

    Regards,
    Curt
     
  16. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    Hi Curt,
    I think lax is a little harsh. IMHO it's a pragmatic approach that doesn't get too hung up on testing. I enjoyed the book because it explains large format photography in an easy manner. When I started to find out about LF, I felt intimidated by the equipment and the apparent mystique that surrounds it. Roger and Frances' book helped to cut through the confusion and to be honest, had I not read it I possibly wouldn't have ordered an LF outfit.
    As far as exposure and development is concerned, I will probably do some testing, but I already know HP5 plus and perceptol work well in MF, so will probably give good results in LF. Any testing will (hopefully) just be fine tuning. I'm pretty confident using a spot meter and applying zone system principles, so I'm confident that the results will be OK (or better).

    I'm now fed up with all the theory and want to put it into practice. Patience was never a strong point when waiting for new gear!