Getting Restarted in Large Format

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by photog, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. photog

    photog Member

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    I am moving to an area that is a large formats shooters dream as far as I think others may think other wise. But I don't have 1000's of dollars to get restarted in this endiver but want a few basic things like cameras, darkroom basic's (contact printer etc.). I have 2 1/4 35mm and a broken digital. What am I looking at? are there decient 4x5 8x10's out there cheap? I don't mind refinishing wood or metal.
    I am a pastor of a very small church so I don't have a lot of extra cash to spend right now. I do mainly B&W out door shots still to this day (been shooting for 43 years). So any ideas or help would make my day.


    Pastor Paul
    photog@hush.ai
     
  2. chiba

    chiba Member

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    There's a ton of second hand LF gear around, and plenty of it is cheap. What's your realistic budget? Given that you've got MF already, do you have a decent tripod?
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You can get started for around $500 with a Speed Graphic, older (heavy) monorail, or one of the more basic woodfields, and a normal lens. You can process film in trays, which you probably already have if you do your own darkroom work. You'll need a light meter (but you can use the meter in your 35mm camera for now), a darkcloth, and a tripod (a Tiltall or something of similar character will support most 4x5" field cameras, maybe something a little heavier for a bigger monorail). If you make contact prints for now, all you need is a clean sheet of glass and a slab of foam rubber. Later on, if you need an enlarger, you can find something like an Omega D2 for a few hundred dollars. Darkroom equipment is cheap these days.
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Graphic View cameras frequently sell with a lens on ebay for less than $200. They are reasonably light weight metal cameras on a short, sturdy monorail, so there's not much to go wrong with them. Just be sure it comes with the tripod head/mount - it's specific to these cameras. Photos and information are on graflex.org.
    j
     
  5. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    If you want to go with 8x10 contact printing (hence, no enlarger required), you can get a Deardorff or Kodak Masterview and lens for $1500 or less. If that's above your budget, a camera such as the Ansco/agfa, Calumet, or several others will get you in at less than $1000.
     
  6. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    I just picked up an excellent Speed Graphic with three 4x5 film holders, case, and 6x9 Roll film back for $200US. If you look long enough the deals are there.
     
  7. Grady O

    Grady O Member

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    Yeah, I just bought a polaroid back for my Crown Graphic. I'm trying to shoot more 4x5 myself.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to the Dark Slide, Pastor Paul!

    ---Sorry, couldn't help myself :wink:
     
  9. jamesiscool

    jamesiscool Member

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    Have you looked into pinhole work? Very nice work is done with them and they are very inexpensive. Look at the pinhole forum here.
     
  10. Ed O'Grady

    Ed O'Grady Member

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    Pastor, I own the less expensive Shen Hao 4x5 wooden view, field camera.
    I have been using it for the last 6 months, purchased used for $295.00, it was like new. It has saved me about 15 pounds of weight, is easy to use and has all the movements I need for field and studio use.
    I believe Badger Graphics sells these new in the US. Saw the step up model on Ebay about a month ago.
     
  11. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    Used 8x10 cameras like the Burke and James, older Korona's and the like are around for about $300. You can also sometimes pick up old graphic arts lenses (no shutter, use a hat or lens cap) for under $100. It depends on what you want to do. I started with a cheap 4x5 and progressed up.
     
  12. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Curious, where will you be moving to and what are the picture potentials? I just bought an old Graphic View because I wanted the Ektar lens. I'll be re-selling it OTC (on the cheap) with an Ilex replacement. 4X5.
     
  13. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  14. photog

    photog Member

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    I could just kick myself in the butt. I used to have a westen 4x5 in cherry years ago and sold it for nothing something like 50 bucks with 10 fikm holders cloth and two focusing glasses all packed in a nice hard case. Oh well. I am looking into everyones ideas and if anyone has MORE let me know
     
  15. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I picked up a Toko (that's right Toko not Toyo) wooden field camera real cheap at a local camera store. The lenses I mainly bought on eBay, again really cheap. I would think a good beginning kit should cost you around $500-$750usd. You could get away with old Graphics etc. but you will end up buying something better sooner or latter and then that money would have been wasted.

    Contact Greywolf, I believe he still has a PrinzDorf 4x5 for sale relatively cheap. He's a good guy and I've seen the camera. It's in good shape.

    Eric
     
  16. photog

    photog Member

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    jimgalli to answer your question about moving. We have two locations which we are thinking and praying about. The first is the upper Rim of the Grand Canyon Az and the other place is the western part of the state of Wash. So either place is full of great photo op's.


    PP
     
  17. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  18. mark

    mark Member

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    There is no size to fredonia. Just abandoned buildings.

    Photog--In the park would be great. Jakes Lake two. I lived for two months on the south rim before I owned a camera. the North is much prettier.
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  20. steve simmons

    steve simmons Inactive

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    If this is a repeat I apologize but I could not find my earlier post

    If you are thinking of moving up to largef ormat here are some resources

    We have a free article called Getting Statrted in Large Format on our web site. There are several other articles as well. On the home page go to the free articles section

    www.viewcamera.com

    Here are some book possibilities

    User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

    Large Format Nature Photography by Jack DyKinga

    Using the View Camera that I wrote for Amphoto

    all of these should be available from Amazon.com


    We are also doing a conference on large format photography April 23-25, 2004 in Monterey, CA.

    steve simmons
    viewcamera magazine