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  1. #11
    mjs
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    Go for the free Calumet CC400, Martin. It'll do whatever you want a view camera to do and it's quite portable. I cut the rail on mine down to 16" to make it more manageable. There's a coated 150mm f/6.3 Fujinon lens often seen on E-bay, usually less than $100. It's a darn good lens and if you keep looking sometimes you can find them for $50 or less. Older 4x5 film holders often go for $5 or so each for the wooden ones; I have quite a few of them and they work fine. I've also found newer (but still old) plastic holders for that price, plus shipping. Three will get you started; half a dozen is better. A focusing magnifier can be any old magnifying lens to start with; if you have a 35mm negative loupe it will work. A focusing cloth is anything which keeps the light out: you can make your own or an old dark t-shirt or sweatshirt works fine (stretch the neck opening over the camera back, stick your head through the bottom.)

    These days, large format (at least, in the 4x5 size,) is probably one of the least expensive forms of photography to get started in. Good luck!

    mjs

  2. #12

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    Stop immediately. Get out now.

    It is too late for us; save yourself!

    Take up something like Japanese rock gardening instead to increase your patience level.

    Large format photography is tedious, frustrating, and aggravating. It is too bad that you learn so much about photography and developing, and all the equipment, in the process of making a few really cool photos.

    To paraphrase an old saying about sailing:

    Large format photograhy is about slowly going nowhere , at great expense.

    But it is fun too!

  3. #13
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank R View Post
    ...Take up something like Japanese rock gardening instead to increase your patience level.

    Large format photography is tedious, frustrating, and aggravating. It is too bad that you learn so much about photography and developing, and all the equipment, in the process of making a few really cool photos. ...
    There are some similarities between Japanese rock gardening and LF photography - and "the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".
    All require a certain amount of technical skill, and a lot of "peace of mind".
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #14

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    I wanted to thank everyone for the advice and suggestions. I took time to consider things, and will move forward with my decision. Although there are many costs and much time involved in LF, I think its still something I'd like to pursue.

    Regards,
    Martin

  5. #15
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    The sickness grows...
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  6. #16
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disfromage View Post
    I have a Calumet 400 series camera with a 26 inch rail that I would be happy to give you if you pay for the shipping. It's missing one of the sliders to hold the lens board, and a couple knobs were replaced with screws. The bellows look good, it has a ground glass, and lensboards are easy to find. It would be pretty easy to get it working, and I think Calumet may even still have some parts for these cameras.

    Richard Wasserman
    Ah, the old "the first one is free" route to addiction...very nice.

    Calumet 400 series--reasonable camera. I have the B&J Orbit. Near as I can tell, it's the same camera. Lensboards can be made from hobby plywood for next to nothing. Get some inexpensive film from JandC, a couple of holders...a lens would be nice. Old wood film holders can be had at camera shows for $1 each (at least, that's what I saw them for last time). I think I sold my 127mm Ektar for under $50. You could be in business for <$100.

    Matt

  7. #17

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    I decided to go with the Calumet 400. I think this will allow me the most room to grow and experience LF. Although I'm still on the lookout for a lens and a few replacement parts.

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