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  1. #1
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    The Allure of the Large Format Camera

    We spent a few days in Lorne in the middle of the school holidays, and each morning I went down to the pier to take some photos before and during the sunrise. I did this for three mornings and it was only on the last morning that I set up the large format 4 x 5 Wista for a few shots as the sun was rising. There were only two other people on the beach, apart from several fishermen way down at the end of the pier. Both the others were taking snapshots. Within one minute of starting to set up the camera, both people had come racing over to see the camera and both were surprised that you can still get "old fashioned" cameras like that. They were genuinely impressed.

  2. #2
    zsas's Avatar
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    For sure that's true! As almost exclusively a 35mm kinda guy, if I ever run into you LF folks, I'm so thrilled to check out the rig
    Andy

  3. #3
    Jesper's Avatar
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    The first question I always get is "How old is it?" and then I watch their jaws drop when I tell them that I bought it brand new and that they are still being produced (I have a Wista 4x5 and a Wista 8x10, both field cameras).

  4. #4
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    The second question is often "Can you still get plates for that ?" - Well yes, Ilford and others still manufacture glass plates, but at ten quid a pop, it is much cheaper and easier to shoot film.

  5. #5

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    Jul 2012
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    Where ever I set up my 8x10 Seneca I usually attract a small crowd.

  6. #6
    munz6869's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia!
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    This happened with me and my Wista wandering around Brisbane on the weekend. I love it - I meet folks of all kinds on travels with the 5x4'!

    Marc!
    Marc Morel
    photographie argentique!
    ------------
    http://mrmarcmorel.wordpress.com/

  7. #7
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    It's part of the fun shooting LF. That said, it's also the only camera I have used publicly where people recognize I am taking an 'important' image and will mind not stepping into the frame.
    K.S. Klain

  8. #8

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    Brings to mind the late afternoon shot of a large frozen waterfall during a prolonged cold spell, shooting over the fenced railing of a tourist lookout (only safe vantage under the conditions) with my 4x5 Sinar Norma. Under the darkcloth, I heard a woman with a slight German(?) accent say excitedly, "Hans, look! A real camera!" I came out from under the cloth and turned around to her. Her big smile and eyes lit up and twinkling, she said "What kind of camera is that?" I told her "It's Swiss." She answered "Oooooh!" Hans never appeared.

  9. #9

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    Oct 2009
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    When using my 4x5 Tachihara I get asked if I refinished the antique camera myself. With the 8x10 Wehman they just comment that it's so big. I wonder what the 16x20 guys hear.

  10. #10
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    When using my 4x5 Tachihara I get asked if I refinished the antique camera myself. With the 8x10 Wehman they just comment that it's so big. I wonder what the 16x20 guys hear.
    "He must be compensating for something..."

    K.S. Klain

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