Sanity Check

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ronlamarsh, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    The wife and I are downsizing and I doubt I'll be able to continue with LF(2, 4x5's and a 5X7) so I am seriously considering selling my all my LF gear and getting a Hasselblad and scanning the negatives. So am I nuts? either way I'll probably end up having to rent some shared artists space.
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Once it's gone, it's gone...

    :sad:

    Ken
     
  3. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    When you say downsizing, you just mean space, right? How much would moving from 4x5 to 120 save you in terms of size, if you're not going to print? The space it takes to develop 4x5 isn't so much bigger than that for 120, and a 4x5 field cam ain't so much bigger than a Hassie. Why don't you keep at least one of the 4x5, and a few of your best lenses for it?

    Having moved from DSLR to MF to 4x5 (and now dabbling with 8x10), I think you'll really miss the size.

    Not to take away from Hasselblad. I love my 203FE and 903SWC :smile: Sell one 4x5 and 5x7 and some lenses, and pick up a 501CM + 50/80/150 fo cheap, and you'll have best of both worlds, IMHO :smile:
     
  4. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Yes space going from a 1900 sqft house plus darkroom in the 2 car garage down to about 900-1100 sqft 2 beroom max condo so space will be at a premium
     
  5. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    To be honest, you'll be pretty damn impressed with what you can accomplish with MF. I have gone up in down in size and find beauty in all of the formats. Look at it this way, good Hasselblad lenses on modern film can resolve about twice the LPMM as most LF lenses, so you don't really lose all that much in quality (oh no, can of worms!), but the real delight you'll have is seeing photography from a more mobile platform. You'll probably end up taking shots you normally wouldn't have done with the 4x5 setup. Just think of it as an opportunity to reinvent your photographic self!
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    It's hard to get "large format" and "sanity" into the same thread. But all kidding aside, it doesn't seem like the difference between a compact LF system and a typical MF system is all that huge; my 5x7 setup fits in a backpack, soup to nuts except for the tripod, and it's about the bulkiest 5x7 you could ask for (Eastman 2-D).

    Development and contact printing in a windowless bathroom is totally feasible, though if you want to keep it usable *as* a bathroom you'll need to do some careful planning. (I've lived in a couple of 2br apartments with two bathrooms, so it's at least conceivable that you could have some dedicated or semi-dedicated space.) I think in your situation I'd probably keep the 5x7 for contact prints, evaluate the eventual condo for its darkroom potential, and then decide whether it makes sense to expand into MF as well.

    -NT
     
  7. pen s

    pen s Member

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    I gave up on sanity years ago. It is much overrated.

    Our apartment is 850 sq. ft. and I dabble in formats ranging from 10X14mm in a Minolta 16II to 4X5 in a old kit camera and a plywood 4X5 box camera. Between those two formats are 18X24mm, 24X36mm, 6X6 and 6X9.
     
  8. jcc

    jcc Member

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    Unless you do large prints, the only difference is perspective control. Go for a Hasselblad Arc or Flex Body and you've basically shrank your gear. I do hate losing gear due to space constraints though.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi ron

    sorry to hear of your troubles.
    you might consider just ditching the 4x5s first
    and stash the 5x7 and a few 4x5 + 5x7 holders and 4x5 reducing back
    in a box under the bed. who knows maybe you will find a way to keep the LF
    maybe rotary in the shared space ?

    you'll probably enjoy the freedom of your MF but miss the tonality of LF ..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2013
  10. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    A CONDO? You poor fellow. I'm sorry. Take the equipment you've got with you, and decide on that once you live there. Don't overplan and jump in with both feet. You might even end up nixing the condo idea. When the slob in the next room burns the beans, you burn down too. You have to tiptoe around and walk on eggshells. You have to park the car knowing it's no longer your car, but just something you have to make payments and tax on, but it really belongs to the world to break into. A condo. Are you SURE about that idea? That's what I'd be asking myself. Of course, I got away from the city to the country NEVER to go back. A condo would be a jail cell to me. GL, friend.
     
  11. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    i'd keep one 4x5, at least.
     
  12. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    4x5s are easy to get and cheap, so no problems dumping that stuff and getting better if you change your mind.

    if you had some really BIG stuff, then it's best to get storage for it till you're inspired again--that stuff is hard to come by...
     
  13. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    you'll all just buy it back later and lose money :sad:
     
  14. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Thanks to all for the sound and thoughtful advice
     
  15. Axle

    Axle Member

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    Keep one 4x5, if you sell them all, it may seem like a good idea for about a month. Then you'll want one back. Then get a nice 120 camera, maybe a TLR, something like a Mamyia C series, they have interchangeable lenses.
     
  16. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    My experience: MF doesn't save you that much space. At all.

    I started with MF (Pentax 6x7) and later on added a Super Graphic. The SG, folded up, is not too much larger than the P6x7. The lens stays on the SG when it folds, so no problem there. I develop with either a tray or a Jobo in my bathroom. My enlarger is on a cart I built for it, and stuff stows away inside the cart. (I've posted a picture in the sticky "improvised darkroom" thread.)

    I'm guessing here that the biggest loss is the darkroom. You can still have an optical setup, and it takes about 30 minutes for setup or teardown. It takes about the same amount of effort to develop LF film as it does MF film, so no savings there. And if you use LF film, you'll have better quality in the other workflow.
     
  17. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Not getting too deep into it... but I think you are crazy.
    If you are together enough to be shooting LF or MF photography, why in the world would you give up a house with a darkroom?
    Of course, it's none of my business. Take my photography from me with my last dying breath.

    tim in san jose
     
  18. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I'd either keep the 4x5 (sell the 5x7; film's too much of a PITA to get), or get a top line digital DLSR.

    Darkroom's going to be the big space consumer (even if it's a portable style as storage will be needed), so a 'Blad isn't going to save much room. Removing the darkroom by getting a digital will save you heaps of room.

    You will, however, need a big shower. Using digital will leave you feeling very, very dirty...
     
  19. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    A Hassy and a scanner is a brilliant idea! Given there is so little variety of film for large format, that alone was sufficient to p*** me off taking it into my fold...

    Scanning the negs might be a little more involved: lots of stuff to learn, preparation, profiling/colourimetrics, proofing, localisation work... and finding a pro-level printer who acts as your second (or third???) pair of eyes and a sharpened mind for the print you want. You do need a lot of room, and a methodical workflow, for a scanner: you need a work area to view, vet, cut, mask, sort, label, assemble and eventually scan. Then there's the box of binary bits to take it all in. And somewhere for the wife to sit to tap you on the shoulder to remind you, "dinner's ready in 5 minutes"...

    What's with the artists' space you want to rent? A Hassy can fit in a shoebox! Or at the least, a small room. What are you into?





    :eek:Blasphemy! Off wif his head!
     
  20. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Agreed, and while it's off-topic for APUG, digital post is a very substantial set of skills that takes time and effort to learn to do well, just like darkroom work is. Well worth considering, but I'm glad to see someone not waving it off as "aw, that part is easy".

    Anyway, don't write off the beauty of the medium-format contact print. 6x6 used to be a perfectly normal print size, and you occasionally find old frames designed for it (well, you find new frames in that size too, but they're cheap novelty crap sold at the craft store for the most part). Obviously a print that size is meant for intimate viewing, in hand or on a desk rather than on a gallery wall---I kind of like that aspect, personally. It's cheap because you're using such small amounts of paper, you can do it in small trays in the same micro-darkroom you use for tank development, and it keeps your analog-workflow chops up.

    -NT
     
  21. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    If it were I (and I do already live in an overcrowded small house) I'd keep the LF gear, at least one set, and get into contact prints, Harman Direct Positive Paper and/or paper negatives. If you don't contact print, you really don't need any darkroom space at all, just a changing bag and developing tank to process paper or film in your kitchen. A scanner connected to your PC/Mac shouldn't take up that much extra space.

    With MF film, if you want silver prints, you're going to need a darkroom space and enlarger, whereas even for contact print from 4x5 you don't need the enlarger, just the darkroom space (convertible bathroom, perhaps). So the LF might save you space.

    Ideally, you should have a 5x7 kit and do contact prints. Just a convertible bathroom/darkroom, a few processing supplies, no enlarger needed.

    ~Joe
     
  22. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence.