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  1. #1
    JohnRichard's Avatar
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    Analogue LF Portraiture - most useful camera?

    I was not sure where to put this discussion, and thought this might be the best fit.

    I am thinking about opening a small studio space - Totally analogue.

    The area I live in is conducive to people paying for the products and waiting on the "art" of development.

    I have a 4x5 speed graphic, but an 8x10 or larger studio camera would be great to have also. I'm looking for something that will allow me to move around in the space (turn of the century loft), use the space and natural lighting
    AND provide the opportunity to shoot some really great large format portraits. I prefer to use the oldest technology I can get away with, so super-nuclear-computer controlled studio strobes powered by aliens in a box will not be high on my list of purchases. I'll likely use bulbs with my 4x5, and I've got access to a big Beseler enlarger. I once had a Century Studio camera. It was a bit unwieldy and unforgiving however I have seen them in perfect condition and think perhaps that might be an option. A 20x24 shooting paper negatives might not be a bad thing. Since I will probably have enough space for a darkroom, what is the most chameleon like camera that could do a bit of everything but also is moderately easy to move about a studio space.

    Camera wise, anyone have any thoughts?
    - J. Richard
    4x5 Speed Graphic, Looking for another 8x10.

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRichard View Post
    The area I live in is conducive to people paying for the products and waiting on the "art" of development.
    What area would that be?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3
    garysamson's Avatar
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    What is your budget and how will you enlarge 8x10 inch negatives if the client wants larger prints?

  4. #4

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    Fotoman make interesting, handheld large format cameras. Limited movements (or none at all), but maybe you don't need them so much for portraits.

  5. #5

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    I shoot a lot of this type of image almost exclusively with the 8 x 10 (Deardorf). While I do bring out the 4 x 5 occasionally, the old lens options for the 8 x 10 are much more than for the 4 x 5 format. Unless you are only thinking on shooting sharp focus images, I recommend you consider the 8 x 10 size.
    Dan's website: www.dandozer.com

  6. #6
    clayne's Avatar
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    You could shoot either 4x5 or 8x10 based on what the client wants. 8x10 would provide the ability to do contact prints easily - whereas 4x5 would provide the ability to enlarge to any size they want without needing an 8x10 enlarger (much harder to find vs a 4x5 enlarger).
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  7. #7
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    I'd get a monorail 4x5 with a couple of lenses (an imagon, if possible !!) and mount it on a studio stand ! This will allow you to move it easily and set it up quickly ! A binocular mirrored viewing hood will help you frame, focus quickly and correctly.

    * I know the camera on the pic is not a monorail, this is the only pic I could quickly find !!

  8. #8
    AgX
    AgX is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRichard View Post
    I'm looking for something that will allow me to move around in the space...
    Using a dolly like that Manfrotto offer for their tripods and a tripod you can alternatively put the camera on top or hang down should bring you around house without efforts and enable most positions.

  9. #9
    fotch's Avatar
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    The camera stand is way better than the tripod dolly, I have both. The tripod & dolly is portable and can go on location which the studio stands cannot.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #10

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    Second (third) the rolling stand or dolly pod for sure. Hand held 4x5 would be tough.
    Also, you imply natural lighting, which could produce very long exposures, although Ed Weston lived with it.
    I would start with 4x5, try some and see how it works. Even 4x5 could be longer exposures, depending on the light quantity.
    The general rule that I was taught for traditional portraiture (above the belt with the head) would be the sum of the two film sides (9 inches for 4x5, so, slightly telephoto).

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