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Large format photography
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March 16, 2017
10:36 am
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As many of you know, I shoot a lot of film.  A lot.  Mostly 645 medium format, but also 6×6, and 35mm (and lots of Instax).  The next logical step is large format.

So I have been tire kicking for a while and found a 4×5 large format camera, with a great lens on it.  Saving up for it now. 

Right now I am trying to get a handle on all of the expenses I am going to need to fork out, and was wondering if there are other large format photographers out there, to note if I am missing anything.

I already develop my own black and white negatives (slide film I send out to Montreal, and colour I take to a local lab). 

Aside from the camera/lens/lensboard and tripod/head I will need:

Film holders

Tank and film holder to develop my own black & white

dark cloth for the view screen to keep light out

film plate to hold the 4×5 film on the scanner (my current scanner cannot do 4×5 on ites own, so I will have to scan it in strips and stitch together after)…there is a local 3d printing shop that can print the plates

 

Not sure if there is anything else I would need.

Any ideas?

March 23, 2017
7:22 pm
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WOHO Brian! That is awesome. I use to shoot large format when I was taking photography classes in collage. We did it for product photography class, which was the most difficult class anyway in terms of light set up and they made us to use 4×5 cameras. We were praying every time we would pick up our developed film sheets with our assignments. 

This is picture of me photographing a tiny black flashlight. To top it off it was a macro shot. 
I need to refresh my memory too see what else you might need. 

I actually have one 4×5 at home, I never used, as well as 4×5 film still in my fridge (I have been keeping it there for year, lol, if case they would discontinue it). I will need to take it out one day and give it a try. 

 

309566_10150279772929159_864041678_n.jpg

March 24, 2017
9:09 am
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You should definitely give it a try 🙂

I am very excited about trying a new medium for film photography.  Although I don’t have a fancy light meter like the one you have in the picture.  I was just going to use the spot meter of my Canon 6D for my light metering.

From watching a lot (i mean 30 or more hours) of videos on youtube regarding large format photography it is so much work but the reward can be great.

I should have it around the end of April, beginning of May, and will post a picture of the setup, and then of course a scan of my very first 4×5 shot.

March 24, 2017
2:27 pm
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Looking forward to see what you can come up with, Brian!

March 25, 2017
5:46 am
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Yes, it sounds like an exciting adventure. 
As Oksana, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing your progress.

-- Mandrake --

April 11, 2017
11:47 am
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Quick update.

I now have the camera and tripod, with lens.  Also have 3 holders now and a box of Ilford HP5 and a box of Adox 100 (was given to me by the fellow I bought the camera from)

I have ordered a development tank (will have shortly) and a scanner plate to hold the 4×5 film (will arrive shortly).

Last problem is the bad state of the bellows.  I worked for several hours last night spraying liquid aerosol rubber onto the bellows and all of the pinholes are now fixed.  however, in some spots the faux leather is frayed where you can see the cloth material underneath (of which light shines though).  So I got some black electrical tape and will tape those areas tonight.  After the taping is done I will give another spray of liquid black goo to take care of anything I missed.

If all goes according to plan, I will be able to take my first shot tomorrow.  My goal is to have taken at least one shot by the end of the weekend, but who knows.

Anyway here is a pic so you can get an idea of it. 

4x5a.jpg

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April 12, 2017
4:46 am
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A great adventure.  I can only imagine how excited you must be.
We wait for the reward of your efforts.  Good Luck, Brian.

-- Mandrake --

April 12, 2017
11:48 am
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It turns out that the bellows are pretty shot.  So I got some very dark material to wrap around the blellows like a big sock.  So I can use that material as a dark focusing cloth, then gingerly wrap the bellows when I am composed and focussed.  Light does NOT pass through that cloth at all.

But if all goes well I will be taking my first shot tonight.  Let’s cross our fingers

April 13, 2017
3:32 am
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Hope all goes well.

If you took the shot in a totally dark room, then no light would get in.
Just a thought.

-- Mandrake --

April 13, 2017
5:14 pm
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I won’t be able to see what I am doing if it is a completely dark room, so I will just leave the lens cap on instead

April 14, 2017
4:48 am
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Smile 

-- Mandrake --

April 14, 2017
11:34 am
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Congrats on a new camera Brian! Hopefully everything will go well and hard work will pay off! I am looking forward to you sharing with us images from this camera! 

April 16, 2017
6:58 am
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Well here is the first shot that I actually got a result.  The camera does have horrible light leaks that I am unable to repair.  The bellows are just not in good shape at all.  So I improvised and made the ‘sock’ for the bellows that prevents light from getting in.

Here is the result.  I did not worry about composition or even getting the exposure right, I was just trying to get a shot without light leaks.

Julianna-and-her-patended-silly-face.jpg

April 17, 2017
4:39 am
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Historic.  

I don’t see any sign of light leaks, but to be honest, i’m not sure what to look for.
I would imagine there would be considerable over exposure of the entire photo which does not appear to be the case.

-- Mandrake --

April 17, 2017
9:33 am
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I think it looks great! I don’t see any light leaks, your exposure is good, focus is upon on and it is a fun image. Thank you for sharing! 

April 17, 2017
9:35 am
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Here is the first shot I took that has the light leak.  More like a light house haha

17523648_10158456695820537_8579901194847864330_n.jpg

April 17, 2017
9:39 am
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For some reason I like the image with the leak. This is something cool and artistic about it. 😉

April 17, 2017
10:30 am
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easyexposure said
For some reason I like the image with the leak. This is something cool and artistic about it. 😉  

Ugh I really hate it.  I was so disappointed when I took the film out of the tank to see half of it essentially gone.  I guess I could pass it off as a ghost or something.

April 17, 2017
6:14 pm
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Shot #2

Smiles-all-the-live-long-day.jpg

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April 19, 2017
2:21 pm
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I like the second image a bit more. It has a bit less contrast and more details in the shadows. Did you do anything to images in post? Is it a scan of the print of film? 

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