Originally Posted by jnanian
Seconded! AND you get a decent sized contact print.
If you are considering 5x7, then go all the way to 8x10! You can go the "bare bulb" route and follow in the foot steps of the Westons and other by using Azo ( now Lodima ), a bare bulb, and Amidol. Free from the need for an enlarger...
Feel free to PM me if you need further information. There are a tremendous number of 8x10 cameras available on that web site...
Well, I'm gonna throw a wrench in your works. A good 4x5 field camera will give you more image control but you'll not see a huge leap in image quality vs your very fine MF cameras.
If you're doing B&W it's nice to be able to process single sheets but I always just dedicated an entire roll of film to an image. If I didn't think a photo was worth shooting an entire roll of 120 then that made me realize it wasn't worth shooting anyway.
The ability to use a seemingly endless array of very different lenses is also a plus.
How large do you want to print and at what aspect ratio?
Agreed....that is why I was suggesting 8x10...I venture to say that at the prices available now, that if you buy and 8x10 and find that you want to go either smaller or larger, then you can sell the entire outfit without taking too much of a financial "hit". On that auction site, every type of 8x10 camera is available at prices that few thought possible....get a used Kodak 2D with one lens and a few 8x10 holders. Try "it" out....if "it" is not for you, then sell the outfit at a possible small loss and try another format. Obviously, my opinion only. You have already received much valuable advice from others on APUG. There will be as many opinions as there are members of APUG.....
Last edited by Mahler_one; 06-12-2012 at 09:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I'll ad to what Mahler wrote: If you get an 8x10 with lots of shift (rear shift is preferable IMO) then you can shoot two or three sheets of film to stitch (*gasp*) them together for wider formats. Six inches of shift and two sheets of film will make 8x16's and ten inches of shift and three sheets of film will make 8x20's. It's pricey but we only live once.
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For a first 4x5, i would recommend a Cheap Sinar P (monorail camera) or a Crown Graphic (press camera), preferably both. It is difficult to explain the feel of a monorail camera - all the movements, and the feeling of control. My old graphics have a charm which is not beaten by any of my other cameras - they are light, fold up into a small box, and surprisingly quick to set up.
Make sure you have a tripod and mounting system that will support your camera - IMHO those little manfrotto RC2's are not up to the task. I have upgraded to RC4's, and would never go bath. Plenty of other large quick release mount systems are available.
I would not recommend 5x7 (certainly not 8x10!) for a first LF camera, develop the feel in 4x5 then upgrade if you desire.
Seconded. A well engineered 4x5 camera is the best intro to this format. It will help you appreciate what can (and can't) be done and will give you a much wider film, lens and accessories choice. The equivalent cameras in 5x7 and 8x10 become exponentially more expensive, and a poorly engineered (cheap?) 5x7 or 8x10 may just put you off all together.
Originally Posted by mkillmer
Another comment about thinking hard before taking the 7x5 route rather than 5x4.
In the UK 7x5 was not a standard format, pre WWII Half plate was common but most cameras took book-form double dark slides. There were some Kodaks taking more modern half plate holders. This means that 7x5 DDS are quite hard to find in the UK and tend to be expensive.
Another downside is there's almost no colour film available in 7x5 now.
Why do you want to shoot LF? That may tell us what format and type of camera. What budget are you willing to commit? You probably will need a larger tripod, all new lenses, dark cloth, hand held meter, loupe, film holders, film and maybe enlarger. Do you want to shoot Color or B&W? I’m color blind so it was an easy choice. How large do you want to print? You can make very large prints with the cameras you have. Do you want to go up in size in steps or go directly to your goal? What is that goal? What advantage are you seeking in LF?
I went from 35mm to RZ to 4x5, to 8x10 and 7x17. If I were to redo the process I would probably skip 4x5, but on the other hand the mistakes I made in 4x5 were much cheaper in film costs than 8x10 and 7x17. You will make mistakes.
What do you want to do and why?
"If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world." Miroslav Tichı
I'm in strong agreement with John.
5x7 seems to me "ideal" LF. 8x10 is quite clumsy, 4x5 Ok, but just to hold a 5x7 film holder is a nice feeling, the right LF size!
Unfortunately my 5x7 is a monorail (SinarF2 (and P1)) and perhaps not ideal out in the field, but possible with some packing ingenuity!
If LF is 4x5 I agree with many above: try starting with a Speed/Crown/Super Speed Graphic camera. Later going for something else depending of type of work, it's always nice to have the Graphic at hand.