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  1. #1

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    Wisner good/bad/?? for portraiture

    I'm new to Apug, and I apologize if this question has been asked and answered already. I'm a photojournalist switching to portraiture. Most of my work is digital, but I'd like to slow things down a bit and invest in either a 4x5 or a RZ67. I've found a Wisner Technical kit locally being sold, used, but in good condition. Anyone have experience using this camera for portraiture? I'm not new to LF, but I'm not a genius at it either. RZ would definitely be cheaper/easier. Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Go for the RZ.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #3
    Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    I've never used a Wisner camera before but I hear they are quite nice. I use a Canham 8x10. Anyways, you would have a lot more creative control with the 4x5 camera than you would with the RZ67 (I have the RB67) with tilts swings, etc. Plus, you have the larger negative that could be contact printed and of course enlarged without losing detail, compared to the 120 negative.

  4. #4

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    Ok, you are at 100 mph now and want to go slower....: A RZ 67 (or RB67) would cut your speed back to 55 mph, LF you would be at walking speed and with experience maybe at running speed.

    The transition from a DSLR with 5 fps to the RZ would be relatively easy and would be a good first step.
    The next step would be LF. I have done portraits with LF and I love it, but it is more formal than the casual look you will get with the RZ.

    I have all 3 right now and it verry much depends of what kind of look I want what camera I choose.
    I would grab my RB with the 150mm SF first I think....

    Peter

  5. #5

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    with a wisner or any 4x5 camera you won't be using many movements
    for portraiture. maybe you will tilt the back a little bit.
    it is as good as any 4x5 camera when photographing people ...
    if the price is right why not

    good luck!

    john

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the thoughts all. May come down to a coin toss. I'm looking for formal, a la Todd Hido/alec soth. But the medium format would definitely be easier. thanks again.

  7. #7
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Well, I think you'll have two different interactions with the sitter between the two cameras. With the 120, you'll be looking through the viewfinder and paying attention to what is on the screen. With the 4x5, you'll be interacting with the subject away from the camera somewhat and paying attention to them. The results will differ in terms of more than film size and relative ease of taking the picture.

  8. #8
    keithwms's Avatar
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    What?
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  9. #9
    Robert Brummitt's Avatar
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    I use a Wisner and RB. I would say the medium format is your best bet but you might have more fun with the 4x5. Nothing like using a "Big" camera for portraits.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit"
    Aristotle

  10. #10
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    large format portraiture generally means you set up the camera, pose the subject, then take a half-step aside to fine-tune composition, expression, etc, then take the picture. You're not looking through the viewfinder at the moment before exposure. It's a different style of working, and when done well, gives portraits that you can't get with a smaller format camera, because the camera is no longer an intermediary/barrier between you and the subject. Done right, you can get the subject to forget they're being photographed at the moment of exposure, because they're looking at/talking to you, not a box with a funny piece of glass in front of it.

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