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  1. #11

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    I take it you already own a large, quality tripod?

    Film like Tri-x will run you a bit over $1 per sheet. Color film two to three times that. Sending out color film for development can easily run over $4 per sheet depending upon where you send it.

    Spotmeters? All over the place, but on eBay you can find decent ones for a couple of hundred dollars, a bit less if they are the older analog type. I have a Tenba branded spotmeter which is essentially identical to one of the older Pentax models... but these still go for over $100.

    Fortunately focusing loupes can be had for around $40.

    $800 doesn't go as far as it used to...

  2. #12

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    If you can spare a bit extra for a second hand lens get a chamonix, $800 will cover a new one. They're absolute beauts, I love using mine. They're so light too. Had a rusted up technika V for a day with some infected lenses and sent it back to the guy on ebay straight away. Way too heavy for my liking. Then you can always get a rollfilm back later. I've got a sinar zoom for it that does multiple formats. Depends whether you want it for reaction shots though which you probably do, then it's gotta be a linhof or graflex. I've never used a 4x5 with a rangefinder so can't comment. Would be interesting to though.

  3. #13

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    I don't know why no-one has mentioned it yet, but I suggest buying a good solid speed graphic. You can get one for about $200 with a lens. With the focal plane shutter, you can use cheap barrel lenses. You can afford the camera, a few lenses, film holders, and a bunch of film, and still have money left over from your $800 budget.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  4. #14

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    If you haven't you might want to join up over at the Large Format Forum: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/index.php
    They have a good for sale section but I believe you have to be a member for 30 days to see it. Your best bet would be trying to find a package deal that includes some lenses and holders. Most of this stuff is a pretty good investment unless you break it. So if you find you don't like large format you can always sell and not lose too much. Start with a 150 or 210mm lens as they are common and cheap.

  5. #15
    mjs
    mjs is offline

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    Call Jim at Midwest Photo Exchange 614.261.1264, tell him what you want and see what he has in stock. Jim's very helpful, very reasonable, and I've always been a happy customer. You never can tell what they've got laying around looking for a new home.

    Mike

  6. #16
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archphoto View Post
    Go for a Linhoff Master Technika type (flatbed,
    Good thinking,
    Peter
    Peter,

    If you can buy Linhoff Master Technikas for $800 please send us a boat load. Here is one at Midwest Photo.

    "Linhof 4x5 Master Technika body with Super Screen
    Item #: USDLIN1014
    Price: $2,650.00 "

    John Powers

  7. #17

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. It's clear that there are as many different ways of starting a large format system as there are large format photographers!!

    I think I might be placing an order shortly at keh for:
    a zone vi mahogany camera
    a Symmar-S 210 F5.6 MC(that's multi-coated, right?)
    wisner/zone vi lensboard with the proper hole
    pack of 4 fidelity elite film holders
    and a sekonic 408 meter with a 5 degree spot


    I have a tripod that I'm pretty sure will be sturdy enough and a cable release

    anything I'm missing? anywhere I've gone horribly horribly wrong?

  8. #18
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Missing a Dark Cloth and a Cable Release

    For a Darkcloth you could improvise with a thick sweatshirt as an interim meassure

    A 210 lens for a 5x4 is a little longer than standard - is that what you want?

    A standard lens for 5x4 is a 150mm

    Have fun

    Martin

  9. #19
    Ria
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricksplace View Post
    I don't know why no-one has mentioned it yet, but I suggest buying a good solid speed graphic. You can get one for about $200 with a lens. With the focal plane shutter, you can use cheap barrel lenses. You can afford the camera, a few lenses, film holders, and a bunch of film, and still have money left over from your $800 budget.
    I agree.

  10. #20
    wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricksplace View Post
    I don't know why no-one has mentioned it yet, but I suggest buying a good solid speed graphic. You can get one for about $200 with a lens. With the focal plane shutter, you can use cheap barrel lenses. You can afford the camera, a few lenses, film holders, and a bunch of film, and still have money left over from your $800 budget.
    That's gotta be one big honkin' focal plane shutter....
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

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