So, here goes...
I'm dipping my toes and readying to plunge. I want to move into 4x5" photography. Can anyone recommend a book or web site that is a good general introduction to the equipment needed both for shooting (I want to go the field camera route - maybe a crown graphic) and also want to process my own BW film. In particular what would be the recommended equipment for processing the film. I'd like to go a route that would hopefully let me get away with a dark changing bag and avoid the need for a dark room.
Buy a high resolution scanner that will handle 4x5 film. Have someone else digitally print it for you.
In that case I would recommend staying with MF. 6x6 or 6x7.
tim in san jose
For processing 4x5 sheets without a darkroom you have a few options:
The Taco Method in a daylight tank -
Mod54 - http://www.mod54.com
HP Combi Plan - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Combi_4_x.html
And the elusive Paterson Orbital processor.
Each has their own advantage, if you've already have a Paterson tank I'd try the taco method first, I've had good, even results with it.
Literature, I'd recommend Stroebel's 'View Camera Technique'.
EDIT: Of course, http://www.largeformatphotography.info too.
Best of luck.
I'd suggest Simmons Using the View Camera for a primer. A Crown Graphic is not a field camera and while it is an excellent camera it won't do all that field a field camera can do. However is does offer an entry into LF at a reasonable cost and will give you the flexibility of shooting handheld. I think a Super Graphic will provide quite a bit more in the movement department if that is in your budget.
The LF Homepage in zach's link above is a wealth of information (check out the article on processing 4x5 in an old Unicolor) and if you're keen on Graflex cameras then www.graflex.org is a great place to visit.
Adding to the above,
the Steve Simmons book is good
Large Format Forum is very useful, also there are some great photos posted regularly in the monthly portraits threads
For processing 4x5 you can do one sheet at a time quite easily in a standard Paterson tank, the ones that are made for two rolls of 35mm. I do that quite often - just curve the film around the inside wall of the tank, emulsion facing in of course. It's an easy way to get started. I considered the taco method but it seemed to me that the film would receive some pressure from the funnel and I was worried it might get damaged.
You will probably also find some useful videos on youtube about various aspects of LF.
Originally Posted by k_jupiter
Booo! Hiss! Raspberries and a Bronx cheer to you1
Adding to the list of processing options:
Jobo 3000 series expert drums.
Jobo 25xx drum and a 2509 reel.
A new one for me, a Kodak Printank - This looks like it will handle up to 10x8 if the film can get away with 80ml of working developer.
It's not the film that is the problem. Without a darkroom it's the printing that is the beech.
Don't hiss me. I've printed thousands of prints in my life but with out those magic dark walls, a scanner is all ya got.
tim in san jose
Large Format Photography site, dedicated to LF. Lots of articles on the front page, and some of the members have posted videos on YouTube about how to use cameras and develop film. For books, I learned LF from Adams's The Camera, and developing and printing from [i]The Negative[i] and The Print.
Originally Posted by brianentz
You'll need a BIG changing bag if you want to do LF without a darkroom. There are the Harison tents, and there's the Changing Room bag. Both of those would allow you to load a tank with film. But it is cramped using the Changing Room bag.
Also, take a look at the bathroom darkroom thread. Lots of ideas in there.
My changing bag was made to change the film in Panavision movie camera. I use it on the road as I have a room I can make dark while at home. It's so big it has it's own zip code;)