Picked up my first 4x5!

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Shootar401, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    So after 7 years of thinking, I bit the bullet and finally picked up a 4x5 from KEH today, also bought a 150mm lens to start with and 3 film holders. Aside from the obvious such as a focusing cloth and loupe, what else should I be looking at as far as accessories go? How do I go about mounting filters? I have a bunch of 77mm's from my RZ kit that's I'd like to use if possible to save money.

    I'll be using this for still life, landscapes, interiors, portraits and nudes. What are some good focal lengths to look into. I use a 65, 110, 140 & 210 with my RZ, I'm pretty happy with that combination, a little wider won't hurt either.

    Thanks!
     
  2. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    A Sturdy Tripod !

    Using The View Camera, by Steve Simmons.
    Get a set of filter adapters, 82mm filters seem to be undervalued, usually ...
    And a roll film adapter back enhances it's versatility !

    Ron
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2012
  3. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Apart from the tripod and a stepping ring piece to put the filters on the lens - Use an old black out curtain for a black cloth and anything for a loupe - You will need a good meter, but you will have that already

    After that, don't buy anything else 'till you have used the camera and find out what you need -Money is easier to spend than to get and practice is free, use that to find out your needs
     
  4. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    I suggest buying an inexpensive step-up ring from the lens thread up to 77mm and a 77mm snap cap like this:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/649755-REG/Bower_CS77_CS77_77mm_Pro_Snap_On.html

    These are cheap and work nicely. There are no protruding “ears” to get snagged, so the cap tends to stay put.

    Install the step-up ring and lens cap and leave them on when you store the lens to protect the front. Then you need only remove the lens cap, install the 77mm filter needed and you’re ready to shoot in seconds. If you routinely use the same filter, you can leave it installed making setup even quicker.
     
  5. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Film? And some plan for processing said film.
     
  6. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Shutter release cable.

    Antistatic (used for electronics parts) and/or ziplock bags to keep the film holders in.

    I don't do much architecture. For normal stuff, I use a 135mm, 210mm (tessar), 210mm (triplet), 190mm soft focus, and a 90mm.
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Spot meter? Good advice so far, and actually agree with grumpy man. Use it for a while and get used to it. Then you'll know what to purchase, particularly when it comes to lenses. Don't go nuts buying 5 lenses right away, and don't ask people "what are some good focal lengths to look into". You'll get everybody's conflicting two cents and end up with some Petzval piece of crap or overpaying for some silly Goerz red dot blue ribbon gold dot. Use your 150mm for a while.
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Welcome to the world of large format! You have wisely purchased a good starter setup.

    Once you have a feel for the format with one lens, you'll know what others you'll want. The typical setup is a 90mm, 150mm, 210mm, which I used for years before stumbling across some good deals on other focal lengths. Some prefer a 90mm, 135mm, 180mm, some prefer Chevys over Fords. My 210mm and 150mm lenses are my most-used focal lengths.

    As others have said, your next most important purchase will be film, followed by processing chemicals, paper, etc.

    Peter gomena
     
  9. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    Thanks for the quick and informative replies. I already have a spot meter and a Bogen 3036 tripod, which might be overkill, but its rock solid. Good info on the filters too, nice to know I can still use my collection of 77mm filters.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Enjoy!!
     
  11. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    Just adding my .02 about your tripod. I just got a 4x5 myself (Cambo SCX) after being away from large format for more than ten years, and I'm using the Bogen 3036 as well. It is amazingly solid, even when I have the camera all the way to the front of the rail and tilted down. It's like using a studio stand. I don't think it's overkill, I think it's perfect!
     
  12. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Nice! What did you get?

    I am ready to build a system too, way too many requests for huge prints lately to ignore it, easier to control depth of field...
     
  13. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Regarding the tripod: That was my first LF tripod too. It is overkill for the field, and very heavy to hike. I made it up about 2/3 of the way up Yosemite Falls trail before declaring "enough!". (The massive head I chose was too much too.)

    But others are right, it is solid as a rock (and as heavy as one). Once it is locked in, assuming a good head, nothing will move.

    If you aren't planning long hikes with LF, don't worry, be happy. If you do plan to hike, your body will tell you when it is ready for a lighter 'pod. In the mean time, follow the advice. Shoot the lens you have, it will take you a long way.

    I started with a 135mm, and only shot it for a couple of years before then adding a 90mm. I think it has been at least 7-8 years now, and I am only just now beginning to consider a longer lens.
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    90mm for architectureand210for longeror portraits