Why do you shoot LF?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by fastw, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. fastw

    fastw Member

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    So, why do you shoot LF? Is it just the neg size or is it the DOF? Is it the slowness of the process even when compared to manual MF. If it's the big size, how big do you print? I'm really tempted to try it, but not really sure why.

    Cheers, Wojtek.
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    The neg size, perspective control, DOF control and mainly, it slows me down.
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Quite a few of us here in Victoria shooting LF/ULF. Can't speak for all of us, but I'd be happy to give you a hand working this out if you need it!!
     
  4. fastw

    fastw Member

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    Thanks
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I do it because it is fun and interesting....and the big negatives are easier to print....and believe it or not, it is cheaper than shooting small format.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2013
  6. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I shoot LF simply because I like the way the available lenses render the image.
     
  7. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    The same as what Mainecoonmaniac & LJH said.

    Marc!
     
  8. blee1996

    blee1996 Member

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    For me, the combination of the larger film and some vintage lens can generate some unique visual character that is different from MF, 35mm, or digital. For example, some portraits with Aero Ektar in 4x5.
     
  9. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Ever seen a large or ultra-large format contact print?

    Not a slightly wavy one made under a sheet of glass held down by gravity. But one clamped down by 2,000+ pounds of air pressure in a vacuum contact printing easel?

    You would know...

    :cool:

    Ken
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use large format because it is a requirement for some of the work that i do.
    it is primarily because of perspective control and because the negative is large enough
    to view a contact print as a proof.
    but that is what i tell people, the real reason i do it is because it is fun.
     
  11. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

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    It IS serious fun. Perspective and focus zone control are very useful. They print beautifully (breathtakingly, if all goes right.) I have been away from LF for some time but I also know that its only a matter of time before I go back. I will be torn between 4x5 and 8x10 at that time.
     
  12. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I use it strictly to obtain larger print sizes and I find that thus far, it has been a lot more expensive an undertaking than even medium format when it comes to producing top notch negatives and prints with consistency. In terms of prints, I feel like a good 6x6 or 6x7 neg looks pretty much flawless up to 20x24. But a good fine grained 4x5 neg does not really start to open up in terms of enlargement potential until 20x24 so I look forward to doing prints as large as 40x50 from 4x5.

    It's a fun format for sure, but it is not as simple as many on here make it sound, at least for me anyway:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/113904-moving-large-format-need-some-help.html

    Anyway, I used it today for about two hours on my ski area commission, here it is setup in -10F temps...
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Mainly for its eccentricity.


    Steve.
     
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  15. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    I do whatever my Rice Krispies tell me to do.







    Actually, I started into LF because MF was too limiting. I had problems with depth of field and perspective, and I wanted to solve that. The price of a shift-tilt lens was the same as for a LF camera. So I decided that the wisest thing to do was go with a LF camera. I bought a Graflex Super Graphic, and I used that basic system without expanding it for years.

    If you want to get into LF cheaply, you can do it. But be warned, it's something that you have to work at to get good results. And that will take time and effort. So what do you do? DO IT NOW! DON'T DELAY! Time is not limited, but your life is limited. Go for it, and dive in! If you enjoy film, you will enjoy LF. Ask for someone to send you what they think is a scrap negative. Look at it under a loupe. See all the detail! It was some kind of special when I realized that my 135mm Optar lens showed bicycle spokes two blocks away. I can live with results like that, no problem.
     
  16. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I prefer sheet film so I can have absolute control over each frame when developing, and all the other reasons except slowing down..I'm fast when I get the camera out and have already made all my decisions with a Technika viewfinder.
     
  17. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I do it because I really enjoy the process. It is great to be able to shoot one or two frames and process them. The big negatives (4x5) are beautiful! Also I just enjoy learning and this is another thing to learn and TRY to become good at...
     
  18. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    I like the ease of use when shooting paper negatives and I like the way the camera makes me think. Also I like contact printing.
     
  19. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Because composing on the expansive ground glass of my Wehman 8x10 beats squinting through the tiny viewfinder of my Nikon D300 any day! :laugh:

    I shoot large format for most of the reasons here. You should take LJH up on his generous offer and find out for yourself.
     
  20. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I like having lots of ways to screw up.

    -NT
     
  21. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I would not shoot large format if I could get large format image quality from small format cameras.
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    DOF? What DOF? A 300mm to 360mm lens is standard for 8x10, even at f:22 there is little DOF. What you do have with a view camera is control over where you place the plane of focus.

    I use LF for the tonality, detail, the contemplative way of working, the control, the large groundglass "viewfinder", the versatility, the ability to make decent size grainless prints with smooth tonality and extreme detail, and the possibility of using vastly different lens types each of which have their own character. I also enjoy the equipment - the wood cameras and so on.

    Edit - I like challenges. I like knowing that it's up to me to use the equipment to (or near) it's potential.
    Using LF has also made me a much better photographer, regardless of the format I'm using. One of the first things I learned from LF was pre-visualisation, that is knowing what the print will look like before I expose the negative. This is a valuable skill with any size camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2013
  23. fotch

    fotch Member

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    All of the above plus sometimes I only need one negative and I want it to be really good negative. 4x5 is what I shoot.
     
  24. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Size matters. Godzilla stomps Bambi every time.
     
  25. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    that's the film my camera takes.
     
  26. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'm not so sure.
    The last time I tried existing light photos in a barroom with my Deardorff V8 it was a dismal failure...:wink: