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  1. #11
    dsisaacs's Avatar
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    not to be contrary... but of you are going to scan your LF negs into the computer and print from your home inkjet... are you really going to get that great detail that you speak of?<P>
    what inkjet are you using now?
    What is "Art"? Art is what I decide it is!

  2. #12
    brent8927's Avatar
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    I have to agree... It seems to me that there wont be much of a difference in detail from scanning LF vs. MF. I switched from MF to LF a few months ago, thinking that LF was perfect for me, so I sold my MF gear to buy some nice LF gear.

    I quickly realized that even though you can make a better print with LF, as far as detail and depth of field go, and assuming time isn't important, I found the experience of LF just wasn't very enjoyable, so I sold my LF gear after I learned how to shoot 4x5 and then bought a 501C again. Because I didn't enjoy working with a 4x5 my photographs actually turned out much worse and I also rarely ventured out to take photos, which was always my favorite aspect of photography.

    I think most people on APUG will say they enjoy large format photography the most, but I think all of them will say you should use what you enjoy the most (if you're a hobbyist that is; professionals don't always have that luxury).

    So I'd say first rent/borrow and make sure you like LF before you make the switch. I think I ended up comming out even because I got a great deal on my camera so I made extra money there but lost out on the rest of the gear, like lenses, etc.

    I think you should definetely hold onto your medium format gear until you know you prefer large format more. Nothing hurts more than wanting one of your old "friends" back...

  3. #13
    Calamity Jane's Avatar
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    Howdy 663!

    I wouldn't be in a hurry to sell that MF gear!

    You can get started slowly in 4x5 without spending big bucks - cruse a particular online auction site and pick yourself up an inexpensive 4x5 camera and lens - older folders and Graflex go fairly cheap - add a few film holders and a Combi-Plan tank and your in business. You can even do E-6 in a Combi (with a tempering bath) and a 4x5 trannie will blow your socks off!

    Be warned though - LF is addictive! I started a bit over a year ago with a home made 4x5 and now have three 4x5s, a 5x7, and an 8x10

  4. #14
    MikeS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    There are a few options for daylight processing of 4x5" film. Jobo tanks, the HP CombiPlan tank, print drums as described in the previous post, and if you can find one, there is a Nikor stainless steel daylight tank for 4x5", which I often use.
    David:

    When are you going to learn that the Nikor 4x5 tank is JUNK? I mean they're terrible! In fact, they're so bad, I think you should send yours to me for disposal! (and this goes for anyone else that still thinks they're any good, send them to me, I'll dispose of them properly!)

    All kidding aside, if you can process MF now, there's no reason why you couldn't process 4x5 or even larger. Well larger than 4x5 starts getting more interesting, but 4x5 is definitely doable.

    -Mike

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dealy663
    My big question is how feasible is at home development going to be given that I don't have a darkroom. Currently I load up my 35 and 120 rolls in a closet at night and then do all the processing in a Jobo daylight tank

    Which Jobo tank do you have? All you may need is a new reel. It can be that easy. At worst you need a new tank and a new reel. Add a motorbase for the luxury setup-)

  6. #16
    Ole
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    Like many others have said, keep your MF gear. By a cheap simple LF camera with one lens (they do exist, my cheapest cost $34!), some film, and a packet of POP (printing-out paper). Or a cyanotype kit, or a van Dyke kit. Make prints. No darkroom needed.
    Then decide if you want a bigger/better camera, more lenses et cetera.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #17
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Hi Derek

    I just took a look at your gallery: lovely work.

    Right off, you're working with a Koni Omega ( I've got one right here, next to the 8x10 Deardorff ), and if it can't be done with a Koni, it can't be done with a 4x5.

    You can improve the technical sharpness easily by not stopping down so far. You lose at least 31% of your potential acutance stopping down from f/22 to f/32, and half your potential acuity stopping down from f/16 to f/32.

    Ahem. How are you scanning your images ? The scanner and software combination usually means you're throwing away most of your clarity.

    The important thing is to transform yourself. If you want more detail in your prints, you have to change yourself, not change your gear. The same marketing hype that wants you to go digital is the same hype that says we have to go LF. We ALL know how it sounds.


    From looking at your pictures, it looks like you're pretty close to 'breaking through'. Why not take a workshop with someone whose work you admire ?

    When you've got the detail you want in your pictures, you might want more control over it. That would be a time to switch to 4x5. Or not.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #18
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dealy663
    We simply have no place for a darkroom.
    It's amazing what kind of space is NOT required. I too would "like" to have a large darkroom with sinks and dryers and racks and shelves and beer fridge and TV and...what I do now is block off the bathroom window with a plywood panel (removable) and block off the door with towels. That's it!! That's my darkroom. I have a plywood panel cut to fit the top of the tub for a work surface and I have a flexible hose that clips onto the tub faucet that I can use to dribble water thru' my trays for a washer and I have clothes pins clipped onto shower curtain hooks for hanging prints and negatives from the shower curtain rod.

    Like Calamity, I started just over a year ago in LF and while my output is NOT huge, I've done 80 4x5's and 23 8x10's in that space without so much as light or chemical problem. (I have made lots of "other" mistakes though )

    My personal opinion only :::: Once you've done 4x5, you will likely feel the urge to do 8x10, and since 8x10 makes a nice contact print size, and because it doesn't cost a whole lot more (in fact it cost me less to set up a budget 8x10 setup than 4x5), why not just go to 8x10 first?

    cheers eh?

  9. #19
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Over twenty years ago I did just what you're thinking about. Like you, I also did most of my 35mm and 6x7cm work on a tripod. I decided to go to 4x5 because the photographers who I most respected and who's work I most connected with (through books) all used LF gear. I sold off all my other gear and mail ordered a Zone VI camera outfit - I had never even seen a LF camera until I opened the box. For the first year I did nothing but contact prints in my parents laundry room...things have been getting more complicated ever since !

    You have to be pretty sure about what you're intending to do; but then there's fewer motivating forces than jumping over the edge without knowing what's below!! Keep us posted.

    Murray

  10. #20

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    You know its kinda fun reading through all of the replies here. They are pretty varied, and it is rather humorous to see some people suggesting I stay where I'm at and others kinda pushing me forward to go with the LF setup.

    DF Cardwell suggested that I consider putting the whole camera switch on hold, and going for a workshop. It is funny but that is one of the many things I've been considering. Just last night I was looking through View Camera magazine and saw ads for an Ansel Adams group workshop, along with another from the Lepp Institute. I may decide to go this route. I feel I already have a pretty good grasp of the technical issues related to photography, but I could use some help in composition and subject choices.

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