you'll all just buy it back later and lose money
Thanks to all for the sound and thoughtful advice
No escaping it!
I must step on fallen leaves
to take this path
Keep one 4x5, if you sell them all, it may seem like a good idea for about a month. Then you'll want one back. Then get a nice 120 camera, maybe a TLR, something like a Mamyia C series, they have interchangeable lenses.
My experience: MF doesn't save you that much space. At all.
I started with MF (Pentax 6x7) and later on added a Super Graphic. The SG, folded up, is not too much larger than the P6x7. The lens stays on the SG when it folds, so no problem there. I develop with either a tray or a Jobo in my bathroom. My enlarger is on a cart I built for it, and stuff stows away inside the cart. (I've posted a picture in the sticky "improvised darkroom" thread.)
I'm guessing here that the biggest loss is the darkroom. You can still have an optical setup, and it takes about 30 minutes for setup or teardown. It takes about the same amount of effort to develop LF film as it does MF film, so no savings there. And if you use LF film, you'll have better quality in the other workflow.
Not getting too deep into it... but I think you are crazy.
If you are together enough to be shooting LF or MF photography, why in the world would you give up a house with a darkroom?
Of course, it's none of my business. Take my photography from me with my last dying breath.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
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I'd either keep the 4x5 (sell the 5x7; film's too much of a PITA to get), or get a top line digital DLSR.
Darkroom's going to be the big space consumer (even if it's a portable style as storage will be needed), so a 'Blad isn't going to save much room. Removing the darkroom by getting a digital will save you heaps of room.
You will, however, need a big shower. Using digital will leave you feeling very, very dirty...
A Hassy and a scanner is a brilliant idea! Given there is so little variety of film for large format, that alone was sufficient to p*** me off taking it into my fold...
Scanning the negs might be a little more involved: lots of stuff to learn, preparation, profiling/colourimetrics, proofing, localisation work... and finding a pro-level printer who acts as your second (or third???) pair of eyes and a sharpened mind for the print you want. You do need a lot of room, and a methodical workflow, for a scanner: you need a work area to view, vet, cut, mask, sort, label, assemble and eventually scan. Then there's the box of binary bits to take it all in. And somewhere for the wife to sit to tap you on the shoulder to remind you, "dinner's ready in 5 minutes"...
What's with the artists' space you want to rent? A Hassy can fit in a shoebox! Or at the least, a small room. What are you into?
[...] "or get a top line digital DLSR."
Blasphemy! Off wif his head!
Agreed, and while it's off-topic for APUG, digital post is a very substantial set of skills that takes time and effort to learn to do well, just like darkroom work is. Well worth considering, but I'm glad to see someone not waving it off as "aw, that part is easy".
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
Anyway, don't write off the beauty of the medium-format contact print. 6x6 used to be a perfectly normal print size, and you occasionally find old frames designed for it (well, you find new frames in that size too, but they're cheap novelty crap sold at the craft store for the most part). Obviously a print that size is meant for intimate viewing, in hand or on a desk rather than on a gallery wall---I kind of like that aspect, personally. It's cheap because you're using such small amounts of paper, you can do it in small trays in the same micro-darkroom you use for tank development, and it keeps your analog-workflow chops up.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
If it were I (and I do already live in an overcrowded small house) I'd keep the LF gear, at least one set, and get into contact prints, Harman Direct Positive Paper and/or paper negatives. If you don't contact print, you really don't need any darkroom space at all, just a changing bag and developing tank to process paper or film in your kitchen. A scanner connected to your PC/Mac shouldn't take up that much extra space.
With MF film, if you want silver prints, you're going to need a darkroom space and enlarger, whereas even for contact print from 4x5 you don't need the enlarger, just the darkroom space (convertible bathroom, perhaps). So the LF might save you space.
Ideally, you should have a 5x7 kit and do contact prints. Just a convertible bathroom/darkroom, a few processing supplies, no enlarger needed.
The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence.