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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Gear for a LF photo class

    One bee thats been stuck in my bonnet is to teach a very basic class in LF in an adult school setting. Well, no chance of that happening in the near future, but it could be a reality at a local senior's home. I now have two 5x7 Agfa Ansco cameras plus a third for parts(why not 4x5? My 'students' wil have an easier time focusing with a larger gg.) Since I'm financing all this myself cost is a big consideration so I'm looking for two identical shuttered lenses that won't break the bank. I've been thinking along the lines of 210 or 240 G- Clarons assembled from barrels and polaroid press shutters, the 190mm WF Ektar or either 12" or 14" APO Artars. These lenses should give me adequate movements to demonstrate perspective control with 5x7s and are sometimes can be bought at bargain prices on eBay, but I was wondering if there was anything else I should be looking for. There is also the issue of tripods----any recommendations for inexpensive new or used tripods that will handle substantial 5x7 woodies? Thanks for any and all ideas.

  2. #2
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    Bath, OH 44210 USA
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    Where are you? I got hooked into LF by just such a class. Maybe some of us near you could help if you don't mind the offer. One of the things that improved the class I attended was that friends of the instructor showed up with different cameras. This gave the newbies like myself an idea of the range that was available.

    John Powers
    Bath, OH
    between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio USA

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Hi John!
    I'm in Fresno, CA about half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco---some commute with the gas prices the way they are right now;-) I'm trying to.put together a syllabus with lots of practical stuff and minimum technical stuff. The stress is on FUN, rather than stressing over hyperfocal zonal reciprocity filter factors---I figure that'll come later if I don't scare 'em off. I'd appreciate any ideas though! I'm pretty much into K-I-S-S since I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. I'm thinking maybe three students per camera---6 total since I only have two cameras. We'll do contact printing exclusively since theres no enlargers or lab available at the "home" One question I'm trying to sort out is how or if I should teach students to load thier own holders and develop film at the outset or wait until later on. Should I use ortho film (safelight friendly) to ease the trauma? Or ?

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    Honolulu, Hawai'i
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    Old Leitz and Marchioni Tiltalls are good values at around $100 typically in good condition, and they should support a wooden 5x7" camera. New ones are about the same price, but they aren't as good as the old ones.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Hey, John!
    I teach high school and community college photography, and throw large format at some of the more serious students. I'd say shoot paper negatives (plain old RC) rather than ortho film if you don't want to do pan film right away. Let them load their own holders; it's easy after a daylight demonstration, and puts them in the position of learning and being responsible right away. Have them do their own film developing too, or you're cheating them out of the fun and the learning. Press cameras are a little less intimidating for most people, and they are cheap and plentiful, so you might keep an eye out for one or two of those. Don't forget the holders and light meters. Freestyle has a good cheap sheet film called Arista.edu.
    Good luck, and have fun with it!

    - Mark Sawyer

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    John,

    I used to teach at a small college in the upper midwest that had a 35mm only program. I decided to add large format to the curriculum. Since I was primarily teaching younger students, their eyesight was good enough for 4x5. But the school's art budget was a joke at best. So, I purchased the equipment myself, and like you, wasn't independently wealthy.

    So, I bought 3 old Calumet view cameras (and a Kodak Masterview for parts). I happened to have 3 210 Symmars. For tripods, I went to a pawnshop and picked up three surveyor's sticks. (They were happy to get rid of them so I got them all for around $30) Made adapter to take a tripod head and bought used Bogen 2047 heads-not my favorite, but adequate. For meters, I bought 3 used Gossen pilot meters.

    Once it got around that we were doing large format, people "found" old cameras in their basements and barns (literally!) and wanted to know if we would like them. Through their generosity, we added a couple of 4x5 and 5x7 Grovers, and 2 8x10 2D's. We also receved some full plate cameras that we ended up selling to buy other equipment.

    Incidently, film holders and even a polaroid back came with the cameras.


    It's great that you are thinking of this project, but are your students going to be able to carry all the equipment? Good luck.

    John

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Oops, it was supposed to be Bogen 3047 heads, not 2047

    John



 

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