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Thread: Okay now what?

  1. #1
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Okay now what?

    Being new to LF and not having defined clearly my style here I'm in a quandry because of my ignorance and I'm ordering film Sunday.

    In 35mm I'm staunchly in the EI400+ crowd. It's not that I don't like the look of slower films, for lack of a better way to put it shooting is simply more comfortable maybe fun is a better word. I even like shooting on a mono-pod or tripod for anything important.

    With LF the shooting style is so completely different that I don't really know where to start.

    I like shooting portraits and having people in my shots.

    What speed film should I use?

    What questions do I need to be asking myself about this?

    Should I just get 50 each of FP4 and HP5 and play or...?

    Color will come in a month or so and it's the same issue, which speed.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #2

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    It depends on how you want to work and how you want your work to look.

    Even with Tri-X or HP5+, a fairly tight window-light portrait at f/11 and a little bellows extension can put you into exposure times of around 1 second. ISO 125 or 50 film is going to take a lot more patience on the part of the model, and you'll probably have fewer "keepers."

    If you're using flash, you have your choice. You also have a little more room to play if you are of the "shoot it wide open" school.

    The nice thing about higher ISO films in 4x5 is that you will not see any grain in the final prints, so there's no reason not to use them. Tri-X 320 is designed for portraits and gives beautiful results. I'm sure HP%+ and T-Max 400 will do as well.

    Peter Gomena

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    Odds are you'll want faster then slow.

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    Thanks much,

    I have yet to play with Tri-x so I went that direction, bought a 100 sheets.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5

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    Good choice. Tri-X is a wonderful film with a look of its own. If this is your first foray into 4x5, be patient and consistent. You have a learning curve ahead of you, but the rewards are many.

    Peter Gomena

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I like shooting portraits and having people in my shots.

    What speed film should I use?
    As a newbie to LF, you might not have realized yet how DOF is going to effect your taking aperture, which in turn is going to effect your shutter speed. You'll figure that out once you get going good.

    The short answer to your question is, you need all the speed you can get. I find that to be true even for the landscape work I do; I'm not a big fan of waiting for the breeze to die down so I can avoid motion blur from moving branches and leaves. As a result, my only B&W film now is 400Tmax. I soup it in XTOL 1:3 and get box speed from it. Very nice.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com



 

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