film holders. 4x-6x focusing loupe for ground glass focusing; dark cloth (to focus under)
Film and film holders, dark cloth and a magnifier of sorts for critical focus, and a sturdy tripod. Don't forget a decent cable release. You can soup the negs in a tray or in a three reel daylight film can, you can use a plastic two reel AP or Arista brand Paterson two reel doesn't work. You will need a 4x5 enlarger or scan your negs. A Beseler 23c can be converted to 4x5 easily.
A 180 might be a good "all around" lens, and would be a good starting point, maybe slightly short for portraits though. My favorite for 4x5 is 210, for studio work it gives you a nice working distance, and works well in the field too when you want a selective point of view. But, as stated much depends on whether your taste runs to wide or long.
When you get into large formats it's easier to think in terms of image size and angle of view rather than "wide angle" or "telephoto". It amounts to the same thing though.
Processing in trays is easy if you don't mind being in the dark for the processing time. Otherwise, you have the "taco" method in roll film tanks, Jobo reels and tank, or the HP Combi Plan tank, not to mention BTZ tubes. My preference is hangers in deep tanks which is not a method that finds a lot of favor here, but it's what I'm used to.
4x5 enlargers are easy to find cheaply if you'e willing to invest some patience for the right one to come your way via Craigslist or ebay local pick up auctions.
180 is a very useful focal length for a 4x5 camera, and the lens probably has a large enough image circle to allow for considerable camera adjustments.
My 1st view camera was a Calument with a 180 Rodenstock Sironar, and I never felt that lens to be lacking in any way at all.
While 135 is a slightly wide view lens for 4x5, I have found no 135's with a large enough image circle to allow much camera adjustment, but they are nice compact lenses, and useful for landscape work where adjustments don't need to be extreme, usually.
I realize why people settled on this idea, about the hypotenuse. They had to pick something.
Originally Posted by johnnywalker
But I find the better rule of thumb, for me at least, is to think of a normal lens as the length of the long side of the film. Thus for 4x5 I think of 127mm (or 135, depending on which camera body - I don't have all lenses for all bodies!) as normal, and for 135 I think of 35mm as normal. So my "standard" is a bit wider than the common usage.
I don't shoot wild sizes like 12x20.
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Stout tripod and head.
Originally Posted by stradibarrius
Yep, I have a great tripod/head stout enough to handle my RB67, Have a great meter. The kit comes with a hood cloth, 3 backs plus a poloroid back, lens, lens board, original owners manual and some film. A loupe seems to be all I am missing???
Will my lightbox loupe work?
My normal lens is my Caltar 135 because it folds up nicely inside my Wista 45sp while still mounted in the camera, so I'm ready to shoot in seconds. Since I rarely shoot at infinity it gives me ample coverage too. 180 is my second most used lens.
Until I acquired a Crown Graphic I'd never used a 135mm, mine came with a 1930's 135mm Tessar, nearly 30 years older than the camera (which has a Range-finder cammed for a 150mm - non adjustable).
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
However I think this comment's an important consideration:
So if going for a shorter standard it pays to get the best you can afford. 135mm Tessar's and clone designs are OK stopped down to f22 but edge and particularly corner sharpness drops of rapidly at wider apertures, and coverage is insufficient for anything more than minimal movements. 135mm Sironars & Symmars (& Nikon, Fuji etc equivalents) are much sharper at wider apertures and allow slightly more movements than Tessar designs but still need a lot of care as mentioned above.
Originally Posted by voceumana
My experience using both a Crown Graphic and now a Super Graphic match Steve's comments though about 135mm once being a common choice for Press cameras, I often use mine hand held and find no problems composing with the 135mm and either the direct viewfinder or sports funder, there's an added advantage over a 150mm and particularly a 180mm lens because a 135mm has greater DOF at similar apertures, important when critical focussing is more difficult when working hand held.
That's what I have on mine too.... well, it's a 13.5cm Tessar. I don't know its age though.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.