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  1. #1
    Dorothy Blum Cooper's Avatar
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    4x5 Crown Graphic (shooting with it for the first time)

    I decided to work with my husband's 4x5 (Crown Graphic) while he's busy with his studies at school (a late bloomer...he's back in college at 48 :-) With his nose buried in books and loads of tests over these newx few weeks (he's taking 21 hours this semester), I'm pretty much on my own right now with this venture.

    At any rate...I've searched here on Apug and found some information regarding the Crown's but I'm curious more than anything as to what one piece of advice (or more if you have it) would you give me when taking off on an outdoor shoot with this camera? I have some 100 (Efke & JandC) film that I'll be taking along. Suggestions, tips advice? I'm hoping to shoot some tomorrow while I'm in town (New Orleans) and on my way back across the lake.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/help/tips/etc.

    Dorothy--

  2. #2
    Mongo's Avatar
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    The best piece of advice I ever got, and the one I now give everyone: Use a tripod.

    Judging from your personal web site, you shoot roll film. If this is your first foray into large format then another good piece of advice would be: Check to make sure the shutter is closed before you pull the dark slide. Then check again. It's probably not a bad idea to check a third time.

    If you haven't done so already, check out www.graflex.org.

    And most of all: Have fun!
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  3. #3

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    Dorothy, be prepared...you will fall in love with it!! Or at least I have mine. Before you go out, work with the few movements you do have with the Crown, if you are shooting any buildings the rise/fall can help - took me over a year to figure this out. Also, I use a Peak loupe to focus with off of the GG, but your eyes may be better than mine. Then there are the usual things, cock the shutter, then open up the lens - then don't forget to fire the shutter before putting the film holder in - stuff I bet you know, but worth mentioning. Take plenty of film holders and how do you plan to develop the film - if Pyrocat-HD then rate the film at 100, otherwise don't know. I use FP4+ rated at 64 and stand develop in Rodinal 1:100. Let us see what you get, NO is a great town...
    Mike C

    Rambles

  4. #4

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    I use to shoot with this model as well as the Pressman. I love this platform the best.
    Eventhough I am a Linhoff user, the concept is the same. Completely manual and the dark slide is the biggest challenge to contend with. Remember to pull it before exposure then remember to replace it. As silly as that sounds, in the heat of "battle" you will come to find out what I am talking about. When you are viewing your composition through the ground glass, the tendency is to forget to close the shutter before you pull the darkslide. Then remembering to flip the dark slide to black to remind you that it has been exposed. This is an easy one to make a mistake on.
    Also, if it has not been cleaned in awhile, a good blowing out of the bellows might save the heartache of discovering just how magnetic film is to dust when the shutter releases and jars the dust loose, heading straight for the film plane. Happy shooting.
    Multi Format shooter
    Southern California

  5. #5
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Don't forget your hat, your flashbulbs and your cigar (ala Weegee).

    I don't use a Graphic, but I suppose the big question is whether you plan to use it as a view camera, focusing on the GG, or as a press camera, using the rangefinder. Styles and methods would, I'd guess, vary accordingly. Tripod with the former, not with the latter, for example.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  6. #6
    joeyk49's Avatar
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    The best advise I can give you, I read on another thread...

    Carefully package the entire outfit and ship it to me. I've been drooling over them in ebay for months now, but just can't "pull the trigger" ...(or, maybe release the shutter is more appropriate).

    I have no experience with large format. I suggest you read a little and play alot AND post your photos, of course....

  7. #7
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Get a wheelbarrow to lug all the goodies in. If you get tired you can put everything on the tripod and sit in the wheelbarrow for a while. It also provides a good spot to keep your 20 or 30 filmholders while you shoot.
    Gary Beasley

  8. #8
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    I LOVE it. Stand by for some Real photography now, Dorothy.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    1. Don't use a darkcloth in bad neighborhoods. Try using a magnifiying glass to view the screen and a loupe for focusing. There was a recent thread I read somewhere where a woman got ripped off while shooting on the street, so be carefull.

    2. Set your lens on it's board so that it's easy to read and you can adjust both the aperture and shutterspeed when at eye level. Don't mount the lens so that the aperture scale is at the bottom of the lens up against the cover.

    3. Don't forget to allow for filter factors and exposure compensation, and remember, fresh batteries in the metering device and remember to take it!

    There are more, but you'll find them out as you go. :^)

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Oh yes... one more thing. Aim the lens at the scene - not away from it.
    Multi Format shooter
    Southern California

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