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Author Topic: Large Format Film  (Read 28554 times)
ngophotographer
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2007, 11:05:36 AM »
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Marc:

Thanks for the clarification.  For transparancy you can get Fuji Velvia, Provia, Astia in QuickLoad and Kodak E100G, E100VS and EPN in ReadyLoad.  QuickLoad is Fuji's systems; ReadyLoad is Kodaks.  For print you can get Fuji Pro-160S and Kodak 160VC in QuickLoad/REadyLoad.

One of my friends uses the Pro-160S for his color neg.

Here's a recommended kit to get you going:

Camera (Tachihara, Ebony, Wista): $400-$1000 used
Lens: 90mm and a 135mm or 150mm: $400-$600 each in Excellent condition
Lens boards: $25/each
Dark cloth: Get the BTZS 4X5 Focus Hood $55
Yes, its $20-25 more than a cheap balck on white, but you'll thank me.  It's fitted and has velcro--awesome to use in the field.
Focusing loupe (5-7x): $25-$100 depending on make, personal preference
Fuji Quickoad holder: $120
Cable releases (20"): $10-$20/each

Optional:
Spot meter: $200 [I found a Gossen UltraSpot for $249!]  You can always use your 5D as a meter!!

Check eBay, BadgerGraphic, KEH, etc.  Badger and KEH are good for used LF items.

For a scanner, I would shoot some 4x5.  take it to you local dealer and try out a couple Epsons and see if they are good enough.  If not, you'll be sending out for
drum or Imacon scans.

If you haven't done LF before, its good to find a few people to learn it from.  Its always easier that way!  Speeds the learning curve and you learn a lot of good tips along the way.

Have fun!

NGOphotographer
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2007, 11:12:28 AM »
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Thanks for the info
Is it true that negatives have more dynamic range than either my 5D or transparencies? I met a local photographer that shoots both 4x5 and a 1ds so I'll look him up.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2007, 12:51:33 PM »
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Marc:

Generally, I'm pretty picky about the lighting conditions I work in.  I'll use ND grads to control contrast in the sky areas as best possible.  If the light is too contrasty, that is, there are "hard shadows" all over the scene and I still need to take the shot, I'll use print film &/or bracket (take two sheets, process the first and decide if I need to do something).

As I've been shooting more large format, I find I take fewer pictures and wait for the light a lot longer.  Wake up at 4am... sky is socked in with clouds, back to sleep.  Hmm... might be good.  Get up, drive, hike, "nice sunrise, not photographic"; back to town or out to scout.

As for which print film, one of my shooting buddies has had very good results with the Fuji Pro-160S.  You also may want to try Astia.  BTW, transparency film generally scans much easier.

For a dynamic range test, I would take your 5D, a Canon film camera and shoot the same scene with  you 5D, Velvia, Provia, Astia, and Pro-160S.  Bracket the shots in  .5 stop increments 1.5 over and 1.5 under.  In other words about 7 frames per comp.  Get them developed by who you would have the 4x5 film processed by.  Places use different C-41 machines and chemistry and E-6 chemistry.

Scan all of them on a film scanner (Canon, Nikon or Imacon). Compare them to the 5D.

For the subjects you shoot, you will now know which film looks like what (for all intensive purposes).  In addition, you'll see what over/under exposure does to each slide film.

Hope this helps.

Rich
NGOphotographer
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 12:53:42 PM by ngophotographer » Logged
marcmccalmont
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2007, 04:48:48 PM »
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Wow great idea I'll break out the EOS3 and do a comparison. I too spend many early mornings and late nights trying to get it right even 10 trips to the same place until it isn't overcast or the suns in the right position at the end of December so I'll wait a year to return. Attached are a few that I would like to reshoot in large format these were 5D shots and I'd like to do better but as a hobby can't put big bucks twords it.
Thanks
Marc

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ent]
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2007, 11:38:28 PM »
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Marc:

Nice shots!

As a reference, you could shoot #1 with print film (you could use slide film and the contrast would be higher) and #2 & #3 with slide film.  For #3, you would probably want to use a 1 or 2 stop grad to put some color back into the brighter portion of the sky.

Good luck!  Enjoy large format!

NGOphotographer
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Marsupilami
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« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2007, 04:10:05 AM »
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Hello !

I also had looked very closely to LF 4x5 inch but after a lot of consideration I did not follow this route. I know people here in Austria who are doing amazing stuff with large format and are surprisingly also commercial wise very successful:

http://www.popphackner.com/

the key to success is they have specialized and they do everything they can to make the pictures perfect. Which involves waiting at the right spot maybe for days. But is has not really something to do with LF, the pictures have certainly more resolution than a 5D, but in print or enlarged on canvas I doubt the average viewer and buyer will see any difference. It is more an advantage with art directors of the old school how they like the big slides on their light table that gives them more sales with calendar companies for examples. But the risks are also high, because loss of original slides at publishing houses are quite common. As mentioned by another poster, as long as you are not willing and able to scan this LF slides with a drum scanner, you wont see much difference to the 5D. And with an new model of the 1Ds in summer or fall I think then the gap between digital and LF will be academic. You just pick what you like, because the quality argument is dangerously going to the pixel peeping side. None of your pictures are better because they have more resolution, A good picture is a good picture no matter if it is made with a disposable camera or LF. If working with LF is inspring for you, feels right and gives you the pictures you want, then certainly do it (but you have to try before you buy). I find that LF is too slow for my kind of work.
And do you have mastered the potential of your 5D already ? I do not know your equipment, but a good 24-70/2,8 together with an expert use of DXO raw gives you a quality that is so much better than for example pictures taken with a 28-135 IS and DPP or ACR.
Keep in mind that normally no one will adore your pictures because they have been made with a special camera, but because your pictures are stunning.
So I would propose try large format before you buy, think about the costs (they are high !) and try to find out why you want to go to LF, pictures of clouds and waves I do myself and I find these are motivs best with digital, as I can experiment  without limit. LF has no ability for fast times like 1/1000, it is very hard to use in windy conditions and so on. When you master LF you can get stunning pictures, but so it is also with digital.

Christian

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2007, 08:57:58 AM »
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In case you haven't read that yet:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/lf-appeal.shtml

Cheers,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2007, 11:28:12 AM »
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Quote
In case you haven't read that yet:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/lf-appeal.shtml

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=103225\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bernard
Thank you, a very good read.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2007, 11:42:06 AM »
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I mostly use my 24-105 IS and 70-200 IS and am a great fan of DXO also. I guess my motivation has several aspects. 1. to improve my photographic skills, 2. my memories of tack sharp LF prints and 3. a summer cross country trip from New Hampshire to California. I would like to capture a few stunning "Keepers". If I had the budget and this was a profession I would buy a MF digital back and have the best of both worlds. So I am looking at LF as a poor mans MF digital. I guess I have always suffered from having a beer budget and Champaign tastes!

Thanks
Marc
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2007, 01:07:30 PM »
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I do both myself, so will offer a few comments.

I definitely prefer the "instant verification" and relative ease of the image making process one has under a pure digital workflow.  However, there is something about working with a view camera's groundglass that just appeals to my inner artist   Add that I'd have to spend about $40,000 on a MF DB and associated MF camera to achieve comparable image quality to scanning LF film, and the hybrid process with the view camera remains a viable solution for me at present.

The one word of caution I'd add to the above comments is to beware of the addiction of groundglass viewing -- I recently added an 8x10 camera to my stable because of it  

Cheers,
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« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2007, 07:32:52 PM »
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The text in Bernard’s essay is a valuable reference but its his images that tell the story. Even though they are scanned low res Jpegs on the web there is an intangible sense of quality about them. I only get this feeling when I see prints from large format film, MF digital or Scanning backs.

I've decided that a Walker 5x7 and a Schneider 110mm would suit my needs best here in Hawaii, moisture rain etc. With the 5x7 I can shoot 4x5 but with a 4x5 I can't shoot 5x7. I'm partial to a 2x3 aspect ratio and not much larger, heavier or more costly.  

Any suggestions, if the above is flawed, would be appreciated.

Bernard I haven't done my research yet but a friend said film is both cheaper and more readily available in Japan and 13x18, is that true? I fly into Narita, Kansai and Nagoya every month so I have access to BIC camera, Yodobashi and TOP camera.


Thanks
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2007, 08:32:25 PM »
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Bernard I haven't done my research yet but a friend said film is both cheaper and more readily available in Japan and 13x18, is that true? I fly into Narita, Kansai and Nagoya every month so I have access to BIC camera, Yodobashi and TOP camera.
Thanks
Marc
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Hello Marc,

I should double check, but I don't remember seeing 5x7 sheet boxes recently in Yodobashi Camera head store in Shinjuk West. If they don't have stock there, they won't have stock anywhere...

4x5 and 8x10 is easy to find in Tokyo, but you might have to order 5x7... again I am not 100% sure about this.

As far as 5x7 goes, it is a nice format, but the absence of quickloads was the deciding factor for me in favour of 4x5 along with lens availability. Weight was an additional concern, but this relates to my kind of shooting.

I discussed this with folks at largeformatphotogrpahy forum, and many were advising either 4x5 or 8x10 rather than 5x7.

A clear plus in favour of 5x7 is that it can moslty be scanned with an Imacon Precision III in terms of size (providing they have holders which I am in fact not sure of... worst case it can probably be cut by hand in a blank holder).

Regards,
Bernard
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« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2007, 10:20:28 PM »
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Any suggestions, if the above is flawed, would be appreciated.

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5x7 is a great format and IMO the more rectangular aspect ratio (compared to 4x5) is nice to have, though there is enough usable negative on 4x5 to crop to almost any desired aspect ratio and still maintain excellent image quality.

Something else to consider, and IMO a *huge* advantage to 4x5, is the availability of readyloads and quickloads.  These are so much more convenient to use than regular film holders in the field or when traveling and they are only available for 4x5.  You can store 20 sheets and the holder in the same weight and space as about 4 regular holders (8 frames) and you don't need to carry a tent to load and unload the holders.  Not having to load your own also eliminates most dust issues and dust is non-trivial consideration when loading your own holders! Yet another advantage of 4x5 is the greater variety of emulsions available -- even 8x10 has more options than 5x7...

Finally we get into lens selection -- there are a lot more lenses available that will cover 4x5 and they are also generally less expensive than their 5x7 counterparts.

All the above said, the Walker is still an excellent choice for anybody planning to work in damp environs, even if only ever used as a 4x5.  

Good luck with whatever you decide and welcome to large format!


Cheers,
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 10:23:11 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

ngophotographer
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2007, 11:07:09 AM »
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Quote
.
.
.
The one word of caution I'd add to the above comments is to beware of the addiction of groundglass viewing -- I recently added an 8x10 camera to my stable because of it   

Cheers,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=103302\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Marc -- Jack is right, groundglass viewing is addictive!!   I recently added a MFDB and have been shooting with it-- love the instant feedback, love the big clean files.  However, I miss the big groundglass!

There is something about waiting to get the 4x5 chromes back and having that..."dayam, nailed that shot!" feeling.  The digital crowd would say, "If you had a digital, you could have made sure it was right".  Maybe, but LF is different.  There is something to be said for enjoying a different format and process.

I would add that I use a DSLR a lot for other types of work (documentary, etc.) and for scouting.  Digital is great for scouting the locations and initial comps--just as you've done with your digital.

Lastly, I would also second Jack's comment--4x5 is more convenient than 5x7 and you can crop.

However, in the final analysis, it is what you enjoy and the joy that you get from making the images and viewing the results.

Rich
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« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 11:08:16 AM by ngophotographer » Logged
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2007, 11:14:17 AM »
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I agree with Jack about readyloads and 4x5. It makes your life enormously simpler on the road. Also 5x7 film holders are in short supply and none are being made. They sell for a premium. 5x7 film, of all the smaller sheet films, 4x5, 8x10 etc has the fewest offerings and is most at risk in these times of contracting film markets. This may turn around, but it would make me think a little before sinking serious money into it. On the other hand a 5x7 is almost 2X the area of a 4x5! It gives beautiful prints without the hassle of the next step 8x10.
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« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2007, 12:49:19 PM »
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Having gone over to the Dark Side (i.e., digital) about three years ago, I am reading this thread with considerable nostalgia. The reason for my desertion from LF is simply that I don't enjoy carrying as much weight around these days as I did when I was younger.

But Jack's comment
Quote
beware of the addiction of groundglass viewing
really made my heart go pitter-pat. I had a fantastic time with my 8x10 for the several years that I had it. And very often I simply set it up to enjoy the "full-zize" image on the ground glass. The 8x10 was so much more fun than the 4x5 for that very reason.

But I must also admit that for the years that I was working in 8x10, 4x5, and 35mm, the largest number of keepers came from the 35 (generally while the big cameras sat in the trunk of the car), with the 4x5 in second place and the 8x10 in third place.  Ah, but that full-sized, full-color 8x10 image!!! And with no color correction needed (unless you shot film with it ... )

I had a couple of friends that used 11x14 Deardorffs in those days too, but I never went that far.

If I were to do it again, I'd definitely go for 4x5, for the variety of lenses and films.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2007, 02:36:37 PM »
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Well, 8x10 is too heavy, 4x5 is the most convenient, 5x7 is an orphan so.... A light 5x7 with a 4x5 back would be $1000 xtra but more convenient. A 5x7 lens will work on a 4x5 but a 4x5 lens won't on a 5x7. A 5x7 lens would be more expensive so..
I'll take my time (this is a hobby after all) buy 2 lenses that cover both and a Walker 5x7 with a reducing back. And for the few shots that I have the time to set up I'll shoot large format and become a better photographer. Here is one from last night that I'd like to see through a ground glass!
Thanks Again
Marc

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« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2007, 10:24:50 AM »
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I have been photographing in 35mm for a long time and have been considering moving up to a larger format although I am still at an early stage in my knowledge.  Most of my work has been landscapes and nature.

I like the flexibility of using a view camera but have noticed that the medium format of a Hasselblad are more common.  This may have changed a little due to digital cameras.  It may be once you have used a system such as a Toyo or a Hasselblad for awhile you become attached to it.  People I know that have Hasselblads love them, but I am wondering about the advantages, and I guess disadvantages, of using a larger format.  Most discussions I have read describe the differences within the particular formats, but not much between them.  Any thoughts from anyone who has used both.
Leif
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« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2007, 05:48:32 AM »
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I used to shoot some 4x5 but now the only film I shoot is 8x10 Provia, all else is digital.  Its pefectly possible to backpack with  a 8x10mfield camera like the Tachihara.  I use just the one lens, a 240 F5.6 Schneider Symmar-S of mid 1970's vintage.  There definitely is something appealing about the whole LF process, such a change from the drive-by shooting I find myself doing with digital.  The limitations are liberating  

I have a drum scanner. A scan at just 2000ppi of an 8x10 transparency gives you a huge 1.7gb file at 16bits.  Provia is a great transparency film and I'd recommend it over Velvia if your aim is to scan, as it has a much wider dynamic range, no reciprocity issues below a couple of minute exposure, and very smooth grain.

Focusing is a dream, and if you are in a public place, you tend to become a tourist attraction, which can be fun or irritating, depending on your point of view.  You realy need movements with 8x10 for a lot of work as the dept of focus is so shallow.

If you work on the basis that a 39mp digital back is "nearly as good" as 4x5, 8x10 has 4 times the film area of 4x5.  

Its great fun.

Quentin

Quote
I have been photographing in 35mm for a long time and have been considering moving up to a larger format although I am still at an early stage in my knowledge.  Most of my work has been landscapes and nature.

I like the flexibility of using a view camera but have noticed that the medium format of a Hasselblad are more common.  This may have changed a little due to digital cameras.  It may be once you have used a system such as a Toyo or a Hasselblad for awhile you become attached to it.  People I know that have Hasselblads love them, but I am wondering about the advantages, and I guess disadvantages, of using a larger format.  Most discussions I have read describe the differences within the particular formats, but not much between them.  Any thoughts from anyone who has used both.
Leif
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
marcmccalmont
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2007, 04:38:53 PM »
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I used to shoot some 4x5 but now the only film I shoot is 8x10 Provia, all else is digital.  Its pefectly possible to backpack with  a 8x10mfield camera like the Tachihara.  I use just the one lens, a 240 F5.6 Schneider Symmar-S of mid 1970's vintage.  There definitely is something appealing about the whole LF process, such a change from the drive-by shooting I find myself doing with digital.  The limitations are liberating   

I have a drum scanner. A scan at just 2000ppi of an 8x10 transparency gives you a huge 1.7gb file at 16bits.  Provia is a great transparency film and I'd recommend it over Velvia if your aim is to scan, as it has a much wider dynamic range, no reciprocity issues below a couple of minute exposure, and very smooth grain.

Focusing is a dream, and if you are in a public place, you tend to become a tourist attraction, which can be fun or irritating, depending on your point of view.  You realy need movements with 8x10 for a lot of work as the dept of focus is so shallow.

If you work on the basis that a 39mp digital back is "nearly as good" as 4x5, 8x10 has 4 times the film area of 4x5. 

Its great fun.

Quentin
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Would you comment on my logic of getting a 5x7 with a 4x5 reducing back (probably a Walker or a Canham)? The convenience of quickloads but the option of 5x7. I might save on lenses also, if I want to go wide I use 5x7, If 110mm fits the scene onto 4x5 I shoot 4x5. I will have to send out for developing and scans. My goal is to reproduce the quality of a MF back w/o the costs involved.
Thanks
Marc
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