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Old September 28th, 2012, 07:28 AM   #16
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

Ah! The Wayback Machine ...

I was shooting photos for my father's books when I was 13, using the Rolleiflex TLR, Pentax Spotmatic, and Mamiyaflex TLR with interchangeable lenses. Along the way I had the Pentax 67, Pentax 645, Nikon Fs, Olympus OMs, Leica R system, Leica M system, Nikonus, Rollie35, and back to Nikon SLR. Nice to have all these Nikon lenses for the DSLR video, and now the Sony FS700.

I gave away a dozen film cameras two years ago and sold the medium format stuff. The ones which are left are for quaint displays in our entryway. Just found a Luna Pro which will go there, also.

Man, I shot a lot of magazine pictures (not "images") with that stuff. Now, what to do with 50,000+ slides and transparencies.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 09:49 AM   #17
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

I still have a Rapid Omega 100 tucked away in a box, I think it still works, haven't touched it in 15 years.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gresham View Post
...Now, what to do with 50,000+ slides and transparencies.
I bought an Epson V600 for a bit under $200. It does everything I need for B&W. Haven't tried it with color yet. It has a nice holder for strips of 35mm or 120 film (three 6x6 shots plus room to spare.) Epson's V700 is nicer and costs more, but for scanning negatives/slides for use on displays, the V600 is more than good enough. If I want a large print, I'll do it in analog. The Canon 9900F competes well with the V600.

Frankly, the biggest problem is dust. That requires good handing and attention to detail more than an expensive scanner.

Of course, the biggest problem is time. With 50,000+ items, you'd either need to prioritize or send them and a big check to a service. Keep in mind the old adage that the difference between a pro and an amateur photographer is that the pro doesn't show you all their pictures. :)
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Old September 28th, 2012, 12:15 PM   #19
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

Jon, you are right about that. Just yesterday I was telling a young photographer one of my favorite sayings. "You are known for what you show, not for what you shoot."

Time is the issue. Still working 80 to 90-hour weeks.

Working on ways to use the photos -- probably scan in the magazine articles they went with (thousands of them) and put them into Kindle E-book form (for articles).
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Old September 28th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #20
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

The nice thing(???) about large format is that the film and processing are so expensive that you don't shoot so much - to say nothing of the time consuming logistics of setting up a big camera, discovering that you should have set it up a couple of feet away, re-setting it up, etc etc.

Having said that I ran into a gentleman a few weeks ago who said he's shot over 10k 4 x 5 slides, mainly for calendars.

I'm always a bit conflicted as to whether 4 x 5 is really large format or just large medium format. Having started with 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 I find the 4 x 5 ground glass a bit small for composing. But it's a lot easier to stuff the Graphic rather than the 8 x 10 Linhof in my briefcase so I tend to carry it around more when I travel.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #21
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

From a materials standpoint 4x5 is large format. It doesn't use roll film. From a size standpoint, I think it depends... If you do 4x5 contact prints for many of your finals, it's like using large format. If you always enlarge for your finals, it's more like using medium format.

Whether it's called large or not doesn't really matter. At least its clearer than deciding if a given camera is "professional". ;)
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Old September 28th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #22
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

I know - it's a tricky definition and not sure it makes a lot of difference. I just personally find the 4 x 5 a bit confining when composing - much more so than 5 x 7 or 8 x 10. Haven't done 11 x 14 but I suspect I'd really like it. Or even 14 x 17 but at $550 for a new film holder I think I'll pass on it.

There are always a lot of threads on the LF Forum trying to actually define "Large Format"
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Old September 28th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #23
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

I think the challenge is with the word "large".

From a usage point of view, one operates a 4x5 camera the same as an 8x10 camera. But it's certainly not as "large". A medium format SLR, on the other hand, has the ground glass on the top, uses roll film, and makes inadequate contact prints so it's clearly not in the same class as a view camera.

And maybe that's the better term: "View" rather than "Large."

There. Problem solved. The controversy has ended and will never emerge again. ;) ;) ;)

Now, let me explain why Tate's catch was truly a touchdown... :)
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Old September 28th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #24
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

I found that for personal stuff, in particular landscapes that the 4X5 worked great. Plus, it's what I had.
when I was contracted to a studio doing catalogue work we did almost everything in 1:1. So if we needed a 3.5X6 inch shot for a page we shot 5X7 and so on. Rarely did anything but crop out the excess areas. We had tissues drawn by the art deptartment to actual size of the image needed for the pages so it was taping the tissue to the back glass, place the items in to match the tissue, LIGHT, (the really fun part) check the setup about 27 times then shoot. Every piece of film was developed immediately and the shot checked before the setup was broken down. The 11X14 was unwieldly to say the least but for a full page shot, it was DA BOMB!
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #25
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

Re "Large Format" - it is hard to pin down. There used to be 3 x 4 and 2 x 3 inch sheet film for
Baby" Graphics etc.

And digital backs on 4 x 5 cameras are (usually) much smaller than 4 x 5

Regardless, these cameras are great fun to use.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 02:20 PM   #26
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

Last night I completed my darkroom class at this Portland, OR non-profit: Newspace Center for Photography. It rocked! I learned a ton. Last night I completed a couple of beautiful 11x11 prints that I will frame later today.

FWIW, on Friday, Newspace will hold a 10th anniversary reception. It will feature a member's showcase. And beer. ;) Anybody in Portland who is into large and medium format photography should attend.

As mentioned, I've been shooting with a Bronica S2A with a Nikkor P 75/2.8 lens. After I re-fit and adjusted the ground glass, the camera is excellent. It has a focal plane shutter that might not be super calibrated, but hasn't affected my images. I either use the Sunny 16 rules (22 for snow/sand, 16 for direct sunlight, 11 for hazy sunlight (soft shadows), 8.0 if you can see faint shadows, 5.6 for no shadows, 4.0 for open shade) or I use my 5D2 histogram when things are challenging, like near sunset or under lights.)

Regarding the lens, people mostly love it and they are mostly - but not completely - right. It's an equivalent 45mm lens. At f/2.8, it's reasonably fast. I haven't tested it, but based on lines in some photos, the distortion is near zero. The Bronica's mirror falls out of the way, so the lens can extend far back, needed less correction. I think that contributes to its ruler-straight lines. The focus throw is well over 180 degrees, is smooth as silk, and my setup includes a metal handle for excellent accuracy. The engravings are well-calibrated - you can focus with a tape measure, if you want. Contrast is excellent for 1970s glass. Flare is surprisingly well controlled, but that might also be due to my use of a UV filter and the stock metal hood. I tend to shade the lens with my hand as well when needed, so maybe the low flare is based on good practice, rather than the coating. Given that I shoot B&W exclusively, CA is not an issue. (It's even less of an issue if you use colored filters.)

Now to the one bad point... The bokeh stinks! Rather than circles, I get extreme doughnut shapes. Specular highlights become thin rings rather than smooth, round shapes. Yes, this contributes to a vintage look, but having some nice, modern glass, I'm not a fan. Say you snap a person in the shade with a deciduous tree and bright sky in the background. With even a slightly shallow DOF, the highlights in the tree will turn into rings that distort the leaves strangely. To tame it, one needs to burn the heck out of such a background during printing. If you let those rings blow out, the result can be pretty harsh.

I need to learn more about developing negs at home. I have a septic system and a well and like to be environmentally responsible, so I need to study my options before I go for it. I've got an Epson V600 scanner that seems to do everything I need (as long as I clean the dust regularly). But for special photos, I'll definitely take the time to enlarge, burn, and dodge the prints myself. If there's one thing I've learned it's that you can't just do a uniform print if you want the best result.

This film thing is a blast. If anything, it makes me want to shoot B&W 35mm motion picture film. I wonder what it would take to be able to process, print, edit, and project B&W cinema film at home? That would be a blast!
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Old October 6th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #27
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Re: Medium & Large Format Film Cameras

I have a Canon ftb that I bought 35 years ago and still in excellent condition.

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