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Author Topic: LF how to get into it?  (Read 12256 times)

TMARK

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2010, 11:01:16 AM »

Fred,

Assuming you want to shoot film, I'd go with a Sinar P.  Modular, cheap-ish, one of the best view cameras made.  Accessories are readily available.  I have a P that was my fathers.  I've been shooting it since 1990. I added bellows, wide angle bellows, extension rails, hoods, masks, binocular viewer, binocular reflex viewer, 8x10 format changing kit, etc etc.  For less than $2000 US you can have an amazing, versitile set up.  Or go even cheaper and get a Sinar F2, although they are flimsy feeling.

With my P I can shoot anything:  Macro, portraiture (which is what I mainly shoot), landscape, architecture, from 8x10 down to 6x6 if you get the proper back.

Lenses:  I like Rodenstock and the Caltar II-N branded Rodenstocks.  I have some Schneiders now, and the jury is still out on them.  For portraits in 4x5 I use anything from a 135 Symar-S, a 150 Caltar II-N, or a 210 super symar.  For 8x10 portraits I use a Geortz Dagor, which is like a 280mm. For architecture, strictly a hobby, I use a 115 6.8 Grandagon MC, a 90 F8 Super Angulon, and a 120 F8 Nikkor, which is one of the best lenses every made.

Shoot color and take it to a lab.  If you find you don't like large format, sell it for ewhat you paid for it.

I like to scan.  A V700 or V750 makes decent 11x14's from 4x5.  I use the Epson for proofs, really, or to provide a reference for pre-press. I, or a client, has drum scans made of final selects.

One thing:  Get a polaroid back.  Use it with the Fuji films, and learn that way.  Instant feedback.  Like digital but you have an artifact to keep in a shoebox for 20 years.

As an aside, I had a project to shoot architecture, commissioned by my father.  I bought an Arca Swiss F line and leather bag bellows.  Perfect kit.  The entire kit (lenses, dark cloth, camera, rail, film holders, meter, polaroud back, 6x9 back, fuji film, loupe etc fit in two Tenba Metro Pack shoulder bags.  Very managable for working from a car or a Rock 'n' Roller.  I didn't use the Sinar because it is too big and heavy for an extended project.
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fredjeang

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2010, 11:17:57 AM »

Well, Fred... I know you like the climate in Spain, and you have a job there, but you could team-up with me, and assist me with/use P3/86H/Apo-Digitars & H4D-60, and have use of my comprehensive P2 system with lenses 47-900mm.

Might seem a good idea, but £1,000 for a P2 is the tip of the iceberg, and by the time you have the LC shutter, sliding back, P3 converter etc. it is £10,000, then it is another £20,000 for a top digiback, and £20,000 for a set of Apo-Digitars with eShutters.

... or you can accumulate (most of) this kit over several years from eBay, as I have done.

Just come back from a shooting day, it was cahotic but fun. 6 models at the same time. Then lunch with the brooker, stylist and his assistant, model and my boss. A nice day.

Opened the Lu-Lu and saw all your answers. Thanks a lot guys, I now have to read them quietly (and at these precise moment I have construction workers in the studio that are putting such a noise that I'm going crazy).

Dick, your offer is very tempting! I'd love it. The spanish climate is not something I value as much as before. Madrid is very limited in many aspects.
I really don't know how could I assist you, my knowledge in LF is absolute zero. ;D
I would be a burden for quite a while until I get use to it, but you'd like my french accent! Anyway, assisting is the best school and learning close to an experienced master in real field goes very fast indeed.

That was the "old school" and the only way a painter could learn before until they did those silly fine arts schools. I really beleive in that path.

I'm open and free. (actually I was thinking leaving Spain soon or later) There is nothing really that blocks me here.

Cheers.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2010, 11:28:34 AM »

And just for not missing a classic:

Ansel Adams: "The Camera"

Cheers
 ::)

Dick Roadnight

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2010, 12:13:54 PM »

Dick, your offer is very tempting! I'd love it. The spanish climate is not something I value as much as before. Madrid is very limited in many aspects.
I really don't know how could I assist you, my knowledge in LF is absolute zero. ;D
I would be a burden for quite a while until I get use to it, but you'd like my french accent! Anyway, assisting is the best school and learning close to an experienced master in real field goes very fast indeed.

That was the "old school" and the only way a painter could learn before until they did those silly fine arts schools. I really beleive in that path.

I'm open and free. (actually I was thinking leaving Spain soon or later) There is nothing really that blocks me here.

Cheers.
I am master of nothing, and we would be mutually-supportive: most of what I have to offer is use of my kit.

I am working towards  3/4 systems: Sinar P + P2/LF, Sinar P3/86H, Hasselblad H4D-60(/P3), and I would not be using all of them all the time.

If your day job was to be fashion photography based in the UK Midlands, would your contacts help?

I am posting this on the forum and not as a PM, as there may be other forum members that might contemplate working with me.
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fredjeang

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2010, 03:21:31 PM »

I am master of nothing, and we would be mutually-supportive: most of what I have to offer is use of my kit.

I am working towards  3/4 systems: Sinar P + P2/LF, Sinar P3/86H, Hasselblad H4D-60(/P3), and I would not be using all of them all the time.

If your day job was to be fashion photography based in the UK Midlands, would your contacts help?

I am posting this on the forum and not as a PM, as there may be other forum members that might contemplate working with me.
Dick, That's exactly the way I understood your post. I was half kidding with the use of "master", it's so abstract and potentially pretencious that I rather use, experienced in...
Mutual collaboration, support is indeed the way I see the things in general.
That's funny, With the photographer I assist, I am in a different situation that the other assistants in the sense that I never wanted to be the assistant of someone, I use the term for practical reasons here but it's not exactly the relation we have. We collaborate on a larger scale than the shooting and tech tasks.
I've always liked the cooperation. Therefore I have almost all the freedom I want and I know when I can use it or when it's convenient not to.

It's very possible actually that in the next months, I shall appear in London. Maybe there will be some move there, something happened in that sense just last week.
I know very well England. I've always liked it a lot and to be honest I'm thinking more and more about a move over there.
But those are speculations for now until the reality tells it is there, and I will let you know in that case.

Contacts? yes indeed, that's the most important. I met my boss because of a contact, a photographer that I worked with, much smaller structure, and he was happy with me and recommended me. That's how I entered. Step by step I'm doing contacts, knowing the "rules" the right and wrong people etc...

I'm very much in your idea of giving-receiving. I'll let you know for sure about England if something happen in that sense.

Also, that would be great if other forum members might contemplate to work with you. Best luck.

Cheers.
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fredjeang

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2010, 03:27:56 PM »

Fred,

Assuming you want to shoot film, I'd go with a Sinar P.  Modular, cheap-ish, one of the best view cameras made.  Accessories are readily available.  I have a P that was my fathers.  I've been shooting it since 1990. I added bellows, wide angle bellows, extension rails, hoods, masks, binocular viewer, binocular reflex viewer, 8x10 format changing kit, etc etc.  For less than $2000 US you can have an amazing, versitile set up.  Or go even cheaper and get a Sinar F2, although they are flimsy feeling.

With my P I can shoot anything:  Macro, portraiture (which is what I mainly shoot), landscape, architecture, from 8x10 down to 6x6 if you get the proper back.

Lenses:  I like Rodenstock and the Caltar II-N branded Rodenstocks.  I have some Schneiders now, and the jury is still out on them.  For portraits in 4x5 I use anything from a 135 Symar-S, a 150 Caltar II-N, or a 210 super symar.  For 8x10 portraits I use a Geortz Dagor, which is like a 280mm. For architecture, strictly a hobby, I use a 115 6.8 Grandagon MC, a 90 F8 Super Angulon, and a 120 F8 Nikkor, which is one of the best lenses every made.

Shoot color and take it to a lab.  If you find you don't like large format, sell it for ewhat you paid for it.

I like to scan.  A V700 or V750 makes decent 11x14's from 4x5.  I use the Epson for proofs, really, or to provide a reference for pre-press. I, or a client, has drum scans made of final selects.

One thing:  Get a polaroid back.  Use it with the Fuji films, and learn that way.  Instant feedback.  Like digital but you have an artifact to keep in a shoebox for 20 years.

As an aside, I had a project to shoot architecture, commissioned by my father.  I bought an Arca Swiss F line and leather bag bellows.  Perfect kit.  The entire kit (lenses, dark cloth, camera, rail, film holders, meter, polaroud back, 6x9 back, fuji film, loupe etc fit in two Tenba Metro Pack shoulder bags.  Very managable for working from a car or a Rock 'n' Roller.  I didn't use the Sinar because it is too big and heavy for an extended project.
Tmark,

Reading your post, you seems to be using (or prefering) film to digital for LF. Am I right? or is it just an interpretation of your post. If so, what are your reasons?
Yes, about film, I have the intention to take a lab. I don't think I'd scan either.

Cheers.
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Dick Roadnight

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2010, 04:52:45 PM »

It's very possible actually that in the next months, I shall appear in London. Maybe there will be some move there, something happened in that sense just last week.
I know very well England. I've always liked it a lot and to be honest I'm thinking more and more about a move over there.
Cheers.
I am between Stratford-upon-Avon and Banbury, between Oxford, Birmingham and Bristol, and two or three hours from London... let me know when you are coming to England.
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fredjeang

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2010, 05:41:09 PM »

OMG, that was very technical, sorry. I hate it if I sound like a little know it all. There is even more to say about this, but I don't want to write a book.


Best,
Johannes
It was interesting indeed. As long as you don't upload mystical graphics jpegs I'm happy
Sander, yes.
I'm actually convinced that it's possible to do wonderfull fashion with LF, but not in a commercial assignment but fashion to it's pure artistic commercial free expression.
As models move slowly anyway, and more experienced they are more easy it will be with a LF. Distance is exactly in between 1 and 10 meters.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 09:50:04 AM by fredjeang »
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TMARK

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2010, 05:52:00 PM »

Johannes,

Thanks!  Your explanation matches my practice.  I've been shooting an architecture project on 4x5 and 6x7 with a Mamiya 7, and on images with distant elements, there is little or no difference in look, using the same film.

As to Burtenski and Gursky not as affected by a switch to digital because of the subject distances, I do buy that.  I's like to see how Alec Soth's 645 digital files look as opposed to his 8x10 work.  I think his work will look entirely different.

And Fred, I favor film over digital for large format because of the look.  If I shot buildings for a living I'd do so digitally, but in the end its just a 645 (max) sensor.  The only reason I'd use a digital monorail camera would be for movements and the better lenses, but the images would look identical to a MF camera using the same back.  I know I know, the made-for-digital lenses from our German friends are superior, but I'm talking look, not res or minor color differences.  
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Policar

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2010, 08:54:09 PM »

How does lens breathing significantly change the image?  I doubt something taken with a Leica rangefinder at f1 would look that much different from the same shot taken with a 300mm 8x10 at f8--other than grain structure, etc.  With a great lens you can get shallow focus on smaller formats.

While I own a field camera and can't really understand why anyone would need more movements at the cost of portability, all this talk makes me want an 8x10 monorail...
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 09:07:18 PM by Policar »
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Dick Roadnight

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2010, 04:22:45 AM »

One remark about lenses: Lenses for smaller formats are much more corrected for spherical aberration than LF lenses. Consequently LF lenses have a nicer transition from sharp to unsharp and their bokeh is less harsh.

OMG, that was very technical, sorry. I hate it if I sound like a little know it all. There is even more to say about this, but I don't want to write a book.

Best,
Johannes

The most spherical-aberration free device you can put on a camera is a pinhole, and large format non-retro-focus, non-tele "normal" lenses are more like a pinhole than most "Lenses for smaller formats" You do not need to correct aberrations that do not occur!
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KevinA

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2010, 05:54:27 AM »

It will depend a lot on what it is you want as a finished picture. If as I suspect at the moment it is a bit of exploring photography, I would stick with 5x4. There is lots of choice in gear but more importantly in film. A folding flatbed is very versatile, make sure if you are buying off e-bay it takes the modern darkslides.
I know e-bay is a good place to buy, but I think you need a bit of knowledge to ask the correct questions.
I would get over to http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/ where there is a goldmine of experience and equipment for sale.

Kevin.
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yaya

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2010, 05:57:40 AM »

Just saw this
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e: ysh@phaseone.com | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

KevinA

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2010, 06:01:03 AM »

I would not get to hung-up about the latest lenses etc, most LF optics from 50 years ago and beyond are very capable of top quality results. The same with a camera at this stage, providing it is light tight, takes a film holder and will focus your lens you will be 90% there.

Kevin.
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Rob C

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2010, 11:36:41 AM »

I would not get to hung-up about the latest lenses etc, most LF optics from 50 years ago and beyond are very capable of top quality results. The same with a camera at this stage, providing it is light tight, takes a film holder and will focus your lens you will be 90% there.

Kevin.




You're right, Kevin. In the early 60s I used to print from 4x5 film and glass plate, shots of whole jet engines, and the detail at almost any magnification the darkroom could handle was extraordinary. As was the tonality. And tonality, I believe, is something that matters to Fred, even if he does like white faces like John French used to do so well. ¡Olé!

Rob C

Rob C

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2010, 04:42:37 AM »

Yes, I love those whitish scotish girls skins! Why have you left Scotland Rob ?!? Actually, I'm doing some fashion testings for my personal book with completly washed faces. Watched again the Lindberg movie http://www.peterlindbergh.com/#FILMS/15, Have you noticed that all his models have strong personality but I'm particularly impressed by Vera Lehndorff in the end. What a character!



Short answer:

a. I brought my Scottish girl with me;

b. she, like myself, preferred the tanned look to the misty paste - so much healthier, on the face of it (groan), but so, so damaging to the skin after many years. My mother always used to tell us both that. Now, I could give Keef Witchards a run for his lines.

Have you noticed that all his models have strong personality but I'm particularly impressed by Vera Lehndorff in the end. What a character!

I give up: the short answer will never do!

Yes, of course they have character, that's why they can offer their art in response to the photographer's own, which is why I claim that that kind of work is creative whereas landscape can't ever be as long as it consists of framing the view. That's a skill, but hardly an art; it's virtually passive at the moment of conception, like a sleeping, drunken, drugged rape.

;-)

Rob C

Zenny

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2010, 05:56:09 PM »

Very interesting thread with immensely useful pointers to LF from the experienced!!! Love it!!! Would love to read further!!!

zenny

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Rob C

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2010, 03:40:31 AM »

Very interesting thread with immensely useful pointers to LF from the experienced!!! Love it!!! Would love to read further!!!

zenny

***http://www.thehumanape.org***


Stay tuned, baby, stay tuned!

Rob C

Fritzer

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2010, 02:30:40 PM »

You lads made me just buy a Sinar Norma - shame on you ... ;)
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ced

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Re: LF how to get into it?
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2010, 08:01:07 AM »

"You lads made me just buy a Sinar Norma - shame on you ... Wink"

How and on what are you going to use it?
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