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  1. #1
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    Low light 4x5 ideas?

    So my buddy is having a 1950s coctail party birthday party tomorrow night. I am most tempted into bringing my B&J press cam and doing some 4x5 grab shots with it. I have no flash unit, and I'm working with an f4.7 Ektar lens. What film and developers would work particularly well in average Los Angeles apartment light in my situation?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    I would try either Tri-x or HP-5, both rated at box speed or one stop higher and develop with pyrocat-hd or Xtol.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  3. #3
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I think you may be in trouble because nobody makes a really fast 5x4 film. You could use something like HP5+ and process in Microphen, probably get you iso 800 or maybe 1600, don't know for sure as I don't push my film much.
    If you want to be authentic you need to get a flash unit for B&J, one that takes those huge bulbs. Start letting those off and you'll be the life of the party!
    Tony

  4. #4

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    Doing the shots with a flash would be perfect! But, even in So Cal, getting one with bulbs in less than 24 hours might be a challenge.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The lens isn't fast enough.

    I usually use Tri-X at 640 in Acufine for handheld 4x5" work. My fastest lens is a 135/3.5 Planar, and that puts me at about 1/15 sec. wide open for average indoor lighting, and for indoor shots, I might need another half stop for bellows factor, and in dim lighting as there might be at a party, you might need another stop.

    I'd say use a different camera or figure out a flash.
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  6. #6

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    if you have a tiny little flash for a 35mm camera you can sync it at any
    speed with your leaf shutter. i have done this, as a fill in low light situations.
    have it bounce off the ceiling ( point straight up ) and have a white card
    behind the flash to reflect light forward as well. i use a piece of cardboard
    that comes with the 4x5 film and an elastic band ...

    maybe a test tonight at your place would be a good dry run

    good luck!
    john

  7. #7

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    Get a Leica with a 35 or 50 Summilux.

    Fuji's Neopan 1600 rated at 800 is great for low light shooting.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  8. #8
    jd callow's Avatar
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    roll film holder and a delta or neopan... John's flash idea

    *

  9. #9
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    Well if I could get a Kalart flash within one day I'd go for it. Keep the ideas coming!

  10. #10

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    I did this once with a Crown Graphic, not too dissimilar from your Burke and James camera, and I don't think you'll be able to pull this off without a flash. I'm fortunate that the shutter on mine is equipped with X sync, making it possible to use an electronic flash. Perhaps your is as well? Went out and got a flash bracket and a sync cord for my Vivitar 285 HV and blasted away at f/8 or f/11. HP5+, rated at 800 and developed in Diafine, was my ammunition of choice. Results were good, better in fact, than I'd expected. A good time was had by all and the photos were well received.

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