OK, I know. What's a Yank doing in your forum? Actually, I really do have a connection. My Number One Son and his family live up by the Bay of Islands. And I can tell you what the Lake Taupo area and Rotorua really smell like. (No, the tourism people do not talk about that.) Yes, I have been there. I also think I can still find where in Whangarei to locate the little machinists shop who designed and built the Harbor Bridge Shiftable Lane Barrier Machine.
And, Sean Ross is a transplanted Yank, and APUG is right there. So, my interest is not unprecedented.
And, while it may not be easy to attend a gathering, it is not impossible. There may be a trip to Oz to this year to look at alpine plants, a truly consuming interest of the distaff side, and I may be hauled along as a Sherpa. I think that a side trip would not be out of order nor unreasonable. Besides, I have not yet seen the grandkids. The final decision on the fate of this scheduled tour will be made at the end of June.
My own LF gear is in two camps, but only one size; 5 by 4 or 4 inches by 5 inches. The view cameras are SINAR F and F1. The press cameras are a Century Speed Graphic and an older Anniversary Edition Speed Graphic. The latter camera I refer to as my "Joe Rosenthal Camera." The Speed Graphics are rather easy to use. It was the view cameras which proved to be embarrassing. When confronted with the Shifts, Swings, and Tilts of a view camera, I quickly realized just how little about photography I really knew. It turned out to be a case of learning photography all over again. While I have had them for a few years now, I do not yet feel that I can claim to have mastered those controls. A truly humbling experience.
Anyway, it is nice to see a couple of familiar names here already. Stormypetrel is known on several other fora.
Latte Land, Washington
Welcome aboard Ralph!
I hope you will have the opportunity to come back in NZ with your LF gears. It is not easy to travel light with a 4x5 camera in your back pack but NZ is a great country for large format aficionados.
Next time you will visit your son, you should spend few weeks too in the South Island!