It is pretty simple really. open the tripod and mount the camera. open camera install the lens you do have a lens, right?, install the cable release aim the camera at something. here I generally use a level on the lens board and rear (ground glass) and level the camera front to back and side to side on the lens find the lever that opens the lens for viewing usually it is a gray lever that might have a little white triangle on it. slide it sideways use the knobs on the front of the camera to bring the object into sharp focus focus the camera with the f stop wide open HINT:makes it easier to see the front rise will make the vertical lines not converge at the top check the focus several times to make sure it is still in focus after fooling with the rise use the knobs to lock down the settings for now use that to make an image. take your reading ( I tend to want to give the film full exposure and usually expose the film using an ei at about 1/2 the box rated speed 400<200) and set the f stop and shutter speed. try to use some f stop in the f22-f45 range then use the corresponding shutter speed large format camera don't like being shot wide open. (not as sharp as could be) close the lens with the same knob that opened the lens for viewing find the cut sheet film holder insert the csf holder into the camera. COCK THE SHUTTER! if you are having problems locating this stuff go to http:www.skgrimes and cruz around his site and find the section on copal shutters this is very important no exposure will be make without this step watch your scene to make sure the wind is not moving something (this is the biggest problem for me and why I try and shoot 400 box speed film ie:Hp5+) if everything is a go, pull the darkslide out and use the cable release to make the exposure. after the exposure place the darkslide back into the cfs holder and remove the holder. I always load the film so that the darkslide's white side is facing out when I have unexposed the film in the holder and when I after I expose the film I flip the dark slide to the black side to indicate not to use that particular holder again. I tend to make duplicate negs at the scene of the crime because film is cheap (relative) and it is expensive to go back and redo it (if you really can) that is really all there is to making a simple photograph. now tear down the camera and pack it away and move to the next scene unless you only want to move a few feet in which case you can problaly just pick up the tripod and move it in masse. if not, repeat the stuff above for the next scene.
A few tips learned the hard way. 1. slow down and take your time. You will make less images with 4x5 than your mf camera. that is to be expected 2. try not to kick the damn legs of the tripod before the exposure and especially during the exposure. 3. practice looking at the ground glass. it is gonna be upside down and you will be frstrated at first 4. clean the holders with a vacuum cleaner before you load the film I always put the darkslides part way in the holders and make sure that the black/white orientation is set for white 5. load the film with the notch codes to the opening and on the right. that will put the emulsion up facing the dark slide. do this in the dark. 6. have fun this is a hobby remember? 7. print this list out and use it in the field for a few times and it will become second nature. Really...welcome to the world of Largeformat photography. soon you will understand why I wanted a young nubile to carry my stuff and the old adadge about if it is more than 50 feet/yards from the car it is not photogenic
when you are ready to process the film post a new note and we can discuss that. if you have questions about the message above or if you find I left something out, feel free to contact me on the forum. Plus, there are plenty of photographers here that can help you also. the gist of all this typing is that I don't know of any cd/dvd's that are out there.