Large format is tempting me...

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Tach

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I've been offered a Linhof Technika III with a Yamasaki 150mm lens and 6 film holders for US$ 300.

I'm mostly a 35mm shooter, with a F3 and a canonet, with some dabbling in 120 with a Walzflex... my photographic style is much more near Bresson than Adams... I like best to shoot living things, but sometimes a felt the urge to shoot a nice landscape.

On the other hand, I'm saving to buy a 6x6 enlarger (Meopta) and lens, to replace/add to my 35mm. This would take me back near to square one, and I would need to buy a larger/costlier enlarger and lens to take advantage of the 4'x5' format...

Thoughts?
 

Jeremy

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If it's in good condition, at that price you can buy it, try it out and if you don't like it sell it for at least as much as you paid.

I really think this is one of those things where you'll never know until you try it out--that big ground glass sure is a temptress!
 

Nick Zentena

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If living things mean posed portraits then 4x5 is great. If it means chasing around birds it isn't so great. Alot depends on what you intend to photograph. OTOH it's nice to have a 4x5 for just those things that benefit from it.

With 4x5 you've got more to worry about then the enlarger. Odds are you aren't setup to process 4x5 film. If you shoot colour then it's a bit painfull in 4x5. OTOH 4x5 enlargers aren't always more expensive then 6x6 ones.
 

mark

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do it. If you can afford it it would be a very good learning experience. You could probably resell the outfit for more than you are paying if you don't like it.
 

steve simmons

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I you are interested in large format this is a good place to ask questions. Here is some readng that will help

Getting Started in Large Format this is available in the Free Articles section of the View Camera web site www.viewcamera.com

here is some additional reading

User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga

Using the View Camera that I wrote


Any/all should be availble from Amazon.com


Your propose package is a good starter set at a reasonable price. The 3 is an older and somewht more primitive camera than more recent models but still very functional. The lens is essentially normal and will allow some movement.

You will need film holders or you can get a Polaroid holder and use Polaroid film for instant feedback while you learn.

steve simmons
 
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Tach
Perhaps you've already answered, as you say, you are nearer Bresson than Adams; if so, I think is better to stay with 35mm.
 

rogueish

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At that price, go for it (or give him my name :tongue: ) I'm not set up for 4x5 myself, but I won't pass this deal up if offered. Like mentioned above, you can always sell it later, likely for more than you paid. And like Alex H. says an enlarger that takes 4x5 will take 6x6 and will not be that much more in cost.
OTOH, if I didn't already have an enlarger, it would be a tough choice to make.
 

rbarker

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As Jeremy mentioned, at that price, you're pretty safe in being able to recoup your investment in the camera. Perhaps the more practical issue would be the availability of used 4x5 enlargers in your area. Good used ones, like the Omega D2V, come up on dBay fairly frequently, at good prices. Shipping to Uruguay, however, might be fairly expensive.

The Technika III should include a coupled rangefinder, and a cam matched to the lens. If so, it can be used like a press camera, focusing with the rangefinder, enabling you to shoot people like Weegee (and other press guys) did in the '30s and '40s. If not, then you'd have to use it more like a view camera, focusing via the groundglass - slower, and more methodical.

Because of the difference in shooting style, a 4x5 isn't a replacement for 35mm or even medium format. But, it adds a whole new dimension to the work you can do. I, too, would encourage you to give it a try.
 
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I was at Steve Simmons View Camera conference this last spring and three of the film makers (Kokak, Ilford, and Fuji) were there for a panel discussion of the future of LF. The best way to say was what the Kodak rep did to demostrate film use.
He asked all those in the room who use 35 or medium format film to raise their hands. Almost the whole room of 85 or more raised their hands. Then, he asked those of you who use 4x5 film to do the same and three quarters of the responded. Then, he asked the same for 8x10 and less then a quarter and finally 5x7 and the answer was an 1/8th of the room.
The rep then said that is how Kodak sees the market and its getting smaller because the professional market drives what is be made and how much.
I had spoke with my then local Ilford rep and he said he saw a future were LF users would have to pre order film and buy in bulk. But, Fuji says its commented to the LF user and they make great products.
All three say that there are too many 35mm cameras in the world to forgo that market. But that market is slowing.
I use a 4x5 and 8x10. I do see a day where I will retire my 8x10 and use a roll back for the 4x5.
 

Aggie

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Robert8x10 said:
I was at Steve Simmons View Camera conference this last spring and three of the film makers (Kokak, Ilford, and Fuji) were there for a panel discussion of the future of LF. The best way to say was what the Kodak rep did to demostrate film use.
He asked all those in the room who use 35 or medium format film to raise their hands. Almost the whole room of 85 or more raised their hands. Then, he asked those of you who use 4x5 film to do the same and three quarters of the responded. Then, he asked the same for 8x10 and less then a quarter and finally 5x7 and the answer was an 1/8th of the room.
The rep then said that is how Kodak sees the market and its getting smaller because the professional market drives what is be made and how much.
I had spoke with my then local Ilford rep and he said he saw a future were LF users would have to pre order film and buy in bulk. But, Fuji says its commented to the LF user and they make great products.
All three say that there are too many 35mm cameras in the world to forgo that market. But that market is slowing.
I use a 4x5 and 8x10. I do see a day where I will retire my 8x10 and use a roll back for the 4x5.
I was at the same discussion. As I remember he (the Kodak rep) also said there is an explosion in the 4x5 market. He also mentioned that their sales of color were up. Knowing a few things that are not public knowledge at this time, large format is not going away in the forseeable future.

If that camera is in working order, go for it. The first time you hold one of those negatives, you will be hooked.
 

Nick Zentena

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Robert8x10 said:
I Then, he asked those of you who use 4x5 film to do the same and three quarters of the responded. Then, he asked the same for 8x10 and less then a quarter and finally 5x7 and the answer was an 1/8th of the room.
.

To me this is more an example of Kodak's problems then anything else. 8x10 is just 4 sheets of 4x5. 11x14 is basically 4 sheets of 5x7. All the sizes are cut from one master roll right? Kodak's problem is they can't handle 4 boxes of this,6 boxes of that,10 boxes of the other. Kodak needs to deal in large volume. Hopefully others are setup to handle smaller markets.
 

steve simmons

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We are doing article large format film in our Jan 04 issue. It is not as dire as some think.

steve
 

roteague

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Tach said:
Thoughts?

The first time you look at a 4x5 trannie or negative on a light table and you will understand.
 

roteague

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steve simmons said:
We are doing article large format film in our Jan 04 issue. It is not as dire as some think.

steve

Looking forward to it. Your magazine is now one of the most valuable that I buy every month; the only reason I don't subscribe is that generally I can buy magazines at the bookstore before they arrive in the mail.
 

waynecrider

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If you are an avid photographer and have the pockets to do so, then it is sometimes the experience of knowing thru owning that will settle the question once and for all. But, just because something seems reasonably inexpensive, and has appeal to your interest in photography in general, does not mean that you should spend your time and money pursuing it. I too see much equipment, ususally in various ads, that greatly appeal to my interest and are within my buying power, but if I pursued these items it would often dilute my goals as well as my pocketbook at times. I feel nowdays that buying any camera is sort of like buying a horse; Upfront the price may be right, but most of the money will be spent on things that you'll need later or more importantly, "want later". I went down the 4x5 path and now own two working cameras, but would rather shoot my 6x6's and old Canon 35mm. They accomplish waht I need them to do. I do not regret buying my 4x5's for the experience, but do regret buying the wrong ones, as well as the fact that they are going unused. Try it before you buy it is good advice if you can swing it.
 

Aggie

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steve simmons said:
We are doing article large format film in our Jan 04 issue. It is not as dire as some think.

steve
Would that not be Jan. 2005 not 2004?
 
OP
OP

Tach

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Many, many thanks for your time and advice, especially to waynecrider, who put in writing some issues that were bothering me in my head's backroom.
 
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I. too look forward to this article. Who will the writer? I love my LF but I also love my medium Format as well.
 

steve simmons

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Yes, Jan 2005.

Ron Wiser interviewed the film manufacturers and distributors.The news is not as dire as some predict

steve simmons
 
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