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  1. #1

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    The 'shoot-the-baby' challenge

    Hi all,

    A few weeks ago my daughter was born 3 months premature. She was given very small odds for survival but is defying them all and going from strength to strength. She is still tiny (980g or just over 2 pounds) and she has another few months in her incubator at the hospital to get through, but she looks like she is going to make it.

    Cards and presents have been pouring in from friends and relatives, and I have a plan to thank them. I've just started platinum printing and thought a small print of the little one in each card would go down well.

    The problem is, what camera do I shoot on to get a good neg? I have discounted all of my cameras and need some new ideas...

    Deardorff - neg too big.
    Zone VI - can't use a tripod in the hospital.
    Cambo 5x4 - camera too big.
    Rollei - close focus no good.
    Mamiya RZ - shutter too loud!
    Bessa - close focus no good.

    Any ideas? Hand holdable, quiet, small, good close focus / macro potential, large neg.

    Maybe the simple answer is to send a print of the delighted mum and dad instead!

    J.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Mine was never afraid of the Bronica shutter sound as a newborn, or even the mighty 5x7" Press Graflex (okay, that one sounds more like a window blind rolling up). I'd go with the RZ.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Can't you lock up the mirror with the RZ?
    Hand-held speed graphic?

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I thing to avoid with new borns is a flash or strobe because their eye are not able to adjust quickly enough. There may be enough time since birth to use a flash, but the physician should have the final word. As for the sound of the camera disturbing the infant, do not worry about that. If the child response to the sound then the hearing is good.

    Been there, done that. Now I am taking baby photographs of the next generation.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5

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    Thanks all,

    The biggest problem is that she is still in an incubator on a neonatal ward. Everyone talks in hushed tones and tries not to wake the newborns. I think the mirror clunk of an RZ might get me thrown out! Photography is not strictly allowed, but everyone does it using digital. I'd hate to push my luck by doing something silly with a film camera.

    I like the idea of MLU. I can't remember how it works on the RZ, but will look into it. The downside is that focus will be tight (macro shooting in low light) so getting it right without the mirror might be hard...

  6. #6
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Get the baby accustomed to the sound of a real camera at an early age. You know, imprinting!

    She is your child. You should be able to photograph her in any reasonable way you want. The sound of a camera is not unreasonable. I don't think it would be any louder than the sounds of the hospital clatter that already exist, even in a quiet ward. It probably just seems louder with all the hush-hush.

    Flash would be right out. Bad idea and just plain rude. However... If you make a bit of a fuss about the fact that you are NOT going to use flash by the time anybody notices a half dozen shutter clicks the whole affair will be over.

    I think the main thing that will or won't cause problems is your manners and demeanor while you are doing the deed rather than the camera you use and what kind of sound it makes.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDean View Post
    Everyone talks in hushed tones and tries not to wake the newborns. I think the mirror clunk of an RZ might get me thrown out! Photography is not strictly allowed, but everyone does it using digital.
    Not to worry, they are used to dealing with new stressed parents.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Shoot with the Rollei (I'm assuming a TLR) and enlarge from a portion of the negative.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9

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    Um... how about keeping it simple and use a 35mm something? Hobby side of photography aside, you'll be working in constrained environment. Small and quiet 35mm may be the best gear to use. If you don't have one, one can be purchased very inexpensively. Maybe a small and slim tripod will be permitted for a quick use? You'll be shooting through two layers of plexiglass anyway, so quality is compromised already.

    Congratulations and I'm so glad she'll going to make it. I'm sure she is a beautiful baby!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10

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    Rollei made the "Rolleinar" accessory close-up lenses for their TLRs, so if you really want a close-up, that might be an option.

    Otherwise, for handheld capability, minimal-to-no mirror slap, and macro/close-up capability, I'd say a Mamiya C330 TLR would fit the bill. In addition to being a TLR (so no mirror slap), it has integrated bellows, so you can get quite close-up. It also supports interchangeable lenses, with the 180mm lens being popular for portraits. The leaf shutters on the lenses tend to be pretty quiet as well.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

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