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  1. #11
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by withfilm View Post
    Hi everyone!

    New here and my first post. Looking to take a swing at 4x5. I haven't shot large format since college some 10 years ago. Loved it at the time but didn't appreciate the zen like approach to working slowly and deliberately with a larger camera. Currently, I'm shooting with a Mamiya 7 which I love.

    So, where should I start with the field cameras & lenses? I'm not a huge gear person. I tend to find something I like (Mamiya 7) and stick with it. Although, I am attracted to the field camera due to portability. What are some field cameras with rotating backs? I'll primarily be shooting portraits as well as landscapes.

    Also, could someone point me in the direction for some info on lenses? I've been checking out KEH but, kind overwhelming. I know I want a 35mm and 55mm/85mm equivalent.

    If you want a feel of what my aesthetic, please check out my work here: www.johncranford.com

    Glad to find a community of film shooters!
    John
    Micro Precision Products! http://www.mppusers.com/microtec.htm

    MPP Mk VII

    4x5
    Portable with lens safely inside when folded
    Rear glass protected also
    Rotating Back as standard
    Low Cost
    Metal construction makes it tough enough to take anywhere




    Lenses
    Angulon 90mm (35)
    Symmar 150/265 (55/85 as near as "Dammit!" is to swearing anyway) The plain Symmar is a great lens, very sharp and convertible. You take off the front element to use it as a 265 mm lens. You carry one lens but get two focal lengths. There are two f stop scales. White for 150 mm and Green for 265mm.

    RR

  2. #12

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    For any normal field camera, you can shoot a lot of pictures with the following common lens focal lengths:
    90 mm
    135 mm or 150 mm
    210 mm or 240 mm

  3. #13
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    My wista sp is great! It's all metal and has a rotating back too. I just love how my lenses can fold in which makes it even better for travel.

  4. #14
    Axle's Avatar
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    Figure out the type of shooting you want to do, working mostly in studio, look at monorail cameras, spending most time outside, Field or Press Camera. Film holders, get five, that's 10 sheets at a time, a nice place to start. Lenses, start with just one, a 'normal' lens on 4x5 is anything from about 135mm to 150mm, check out KEH for good deals on glass, both my 90mm and 125mm came from there and both cost me less than 200$. Lightmeter, if you don't have one, get one! Even a simple reflective meter will do, or use one for your smartphone. Buy a box of film, buy new, buy fresh. Something like Ilford HP5+ is a good place to start, a box of 25 sheets. If you can find some dead sheets of 4x5 practice first in the light and eyes open loading and unloading the holders with the dead film, then close your eyes, then practice in complete darkness. Once you get the hang of it, load up your holders with the unexposed film.

    Developing: Get a Bessler/Unicolour print drum and roataing base as a start, or try hangers and tanks, or simple tray developing.

    Jump in feet first and go shooting.

    Also three videos put together by the lovely folks at the Film Photography Project that really helped me.
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNafRnLLytA
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZfzEptWngo
    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ns_hSglnJ0

    And my first experience with 4x5: http://www.alexluyckx.com/blog/2013/03/jumping-in/
    Canadian Correspondent for the Film Photography Podcast
    A bi-monthly podcast for people who love to shoot film!

  5. #15

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    I thought super speeds also have rotating backs (and a real coupled rangefinder..)?
    CatLABS of JP
    Darkroom resources and service

    www.catlabs.info | https://www.facebook.com/CatLABS.of.JP | www.jobo-usa.com

  6. #16

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    John,

    Like you I moved up from 6x7 MF to 4x5 and also like yourself most favored 6x7 lens was a 75mm FL. Luckily when I ordered the 4x5 from B&H new, I also ordered this lens for it: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ar_S_Lens.html. As it turned out it has practically the same field of view as the 75mm MF lens and as an added benefit will fold-up on the front standard of the Toyo-45cf which was my first LF camera and one which I still use for lightweight hiking and exploring with 4x5. At the time this lens cost more than the camera ($550 vs $795) but have always been happy with the purchase.

    For longer lens I can recommend the 210mm Schneider Symmar-S and 300mm Nikkor-M as I own and use them both. The 210 is a great portrait lens if super sharp and the 300 is also a super sharp lens and very portable. You might also consider a soft focus lens like the 250mm Rodenstock Imagon for portraits and pictorial type photography.

    Thomas
    Thomas

    No art passes our conscience in the way that film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
    — Ingmar Bergman

  7. #17
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I like the White Line Riders series. What is the bike in the last picture?


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #18
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatLABS View Post
    I thought super speeds also have rotating backs (and a real coupled rangefinder..)?
    Super Graphics have rotating backs, the Super Speed Graphic just has a faster (1/1000) leaf shuttered lens. They are nice cameras to use.

    In practice the fixed rotating backs are no faster than the "reversible backs" mentioned earlier.

    Ian

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    I like the White Line Riders series. What is the bike in the last picture?


    Steve.
    Hi Steve, the bike in the last picture was a heavily modified J.C. Penny Pinto moped. Super fast for a moped - 58mph!

  10. #20

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    Just want to say thanks for all the replies! I'll be posting up once I make a purchase and run some test shots.

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