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  1. #1

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    Film format economy

    When Talking relatively traditional cameras e.g. not pinhole, what is in your opinion the most economical format.
    1 Entry price and operation
    1½ price/ succesfull prints
    2 upgrading price
    2½ depreciation

    Regards Søren

  2. #2
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    If you are talking used, I think that classic manual 35mm cameras (relatively recent) will be the best for 1, 2 and 2 1/2. (Considering repair costs, purchase price, and overall expected life span.) If you are buying new, I guess 35mm AF mid range cameras for most people. As far as 1 1/2, I think that Medium Format might be better, but that is about the way you shoot and there are 35mm shooters who previsualize and get a decent number of successful prints.

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Right now, I think used Sinars in the format of your choice are the most camera for the money.

    1--An F or F1 was a top of the line portable monorail when it came out. For $250-375 today, it's a steal.

    1.5--Well, price/successful print--that depends more on the operator than the camera, but if you're shooting LF and you have a Sinar, you can't really blame the camera.

    2--Upgrading price--there's such a glut out there that if you even need to upgrade (say you want another bellows, longer rail, another standard, format conversion kit) from a basic setup, it's pretty cheap, and since all the stuff is pretty interchangeable, if you want more options, just buy another camera and mix and match parts. To upgrade to a new F2 would be more costly, but arguably unnecessary. An upgrade to a P studio camera is also pretty cheap.

    2.5--Depreciation--I don't see these cameras getting cheaper than they are now.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  4. #4
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Right now, I think used Sinars in the format of your choice are the most camera for the money.
    I totally agree about the value of LF gear, I was thinking of the additional costs of film and enlarging equipment that need to be considered as well. I am telling everyone I know that now is the time to buy a 4X5.

  5. #5
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sorensen
    I totally agree about the value of LF gear, I was thinking of the additional costs of film and enlarging equipment that need to be considered as well. I am telling everyone I know that now is the time to buy a 4X5.
    If you are in touch with other photographers in your area it is more than likely that you will find someone before long who will GIVE you a 4x5" enlarger - this applies even more to 8x10", if you are able to haul an 8x10" enlarger away, you'll probably get it for free.
    Processing equipment can be very cheap - I personally like deep tanks, you can make a mini deep tank line with polyethylene food containers from your local supermarket for about $15. Film costs I find are lower with 4x5" than any other format - I take every shot twice for safety, a day's shooting is seldom more than 8 shots, sometimes just one or two, so while costs per shot are higher, overal costs are lower than MF.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    If you are in touch with other photographers in your area it is more than likely that you will find someone before long who will GIVE you a 4x5" enlarger - this applies even more to 8x10", if you are able to haul an 8x10" enlarger away, you'll probably get it for free.
    Processing equipment can be very cheap - I personally like deep tanks, you can make a mini deep tank line with polyethylene food containers from your local supermarket for about $15.
    How about the additional cost of a darkroom for LF ?
    Doing 35mm and MF I can do with a makeshift darkroom in our bathroom and one portable enlarger. With LF I suspect you have to have a dedicated room ?

    Film costs I find are lower with 4x5" than any other format - I take every shot twice for safety, a day's shooting is seldom more than 8 shots, sometimes just one or two, so while costs per shot are higher, overal costs are lower than MF.
    I can do one shot a day with my Nikon making one film last over a month sorry couldn't resist.
    Are you talking cost/ succesfull shot-print here. I can follow that since I experience somewhat the same with MF contra 35mm
    Regards Søren

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soeren
    How about the additional cost of a darkroom for LF ?
    Doing 35mm and MF I can do with a makeshift darkroom in our bathroom and one portable enlarger. With LF I suspect you have to have a dedicated room
    The Manhattan dark/bathroom works for me (see the "Darkroom Portraits" thread for pictures). I enlarge up to 4x5" in it and contact print up to 11x14". I normally don't print larger than 11x14", but I can go up to 20x24" using a print drum, instead of my usual trays.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soeren
    How about the additional cost of a darkroom for LF ?
    Doing 35mm and MF I can do with a makeshift darkroom in our bathroom and one portable enlarger. With LF I suspect you have to have a dedicated room ?
    My Omega DII doesn't take up more space then my Durst M607 of Meopta enlargers, it's just a bunch heavier.

    You can do LF with a makeshift DR if you don't want to haul around with enlargers way easier than 35mm or MF! the secret is: contact prints.

    A 4x5 contact print is already a rather small but pleasant format to look at.
    When you decide you have enough interesting negs to enlarge, then do it.

    G

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    My Omega D-II is on a rolling table, so it's not too hard to move.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    I shoud have added. 3 medical and physiotherapy costs
    Are you guys bodybuilders or what
    David, the lady back home would get a nervous breakdown if I was to haul such a monster around. I have allready crashed into one door with the enlarging table
    I just turned a Durst 900 down since I couldn't carry it and thats a 6X9
    Cheers Søren

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