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Portland, Oregon

4x5 Fuji 64T Type II, 55mm Rodenstock Grandagon-N @ f/16

x-posted. Yes, I know the rail is distracting. That's the best I could do :D


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2006 10:25 am (UTC)
Beautiful shot, of a beautiful city.

And, I actually rather like the railing in the pic ...
Mar. 15th, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
There's just so muchstuff to shoot in that city, I couldn't make up my mind. Unfortunately I only had two sheets of film with me, but there'll be other times hopefully.
Mar. 15th, 2006 11:27 am (UTC)

i wish the rail wasnt so blurry? its not that its distracting (it actually adds effect i think). its that its blurry :)
Mar. 15th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
Anything on the edge of the film on ultra wide angle lenses is usually blurry, nothing you can do about it really.
Mar. 15th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
beauty!.. there's something mysterious
Mar. 15th, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
I love the railing in the shot, it gives a nice perspective to the rest of the city.
Mar. 15th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC)
I was looking for a new desktop wallpaper. *YOINK!*

I like the rail. It anchors the perspective. Too many long shots leave the viewer feeling as if they were detached and floating. This one has us standing on the rooftop with you, sharing the moment.

I like the rail.
Mar. 15th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
It's actually a bridge :D
Mar. 15th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
Phenomenal blues!
Mar. 15th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
Yay! My hometown! =D

How much does it cost to get into large-format? I love your photos.
Mar. 15th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
It's fairly expensive for this kind of stuff. If you sum up the equipment I used here (purchased new)....

$2199 - Toyo View 45AII
$1299 - 55mm Rodenstock Grandagon-N
$374 - centerfilter for lens (although I didn't use one on this shot).
$79 - #0 recessed lensboard
$600 - Gossen Starlite
$80 - 5 used film holders
$20 - 10-sheet pack of film (+ $2.50/sheet for development)
$180 - Manfrotto tripod & head (must support 9lbs)
$500 - Epson 4990 scanner, to scan negatives

The costs add up. If you get stuff used, you can still expect to pay at least $900 for a wide-angle lens. Also expect to buy at least 4 lenses (ultra wide, wide, normal and telephoto) since there are no zoom lenses in the LF world. The "wide" lenses will cost the most (up to $1700) because they are the most useable and popular ones. Unlike 35mm and medium format, when you go wider in large format, the lenses actually become cheaper. The reason is that really wide lenses require special lensboards and bag bellows, as well as centerfilters that correct the light fall-off on the edges. All these things make them less useable. For example, the lens I used in this shot is equivalent to 15mm in the 35mm world. Very long telephotos will cost $3000+ and are difficult to use. The detail you're seeing in this shot is not even close to what you'd see at 100% (I resized this down from 12562x8803 pixels - that's only a 2400dpi scan too).

Then you'll also have to lug around all that weight. You'll have to load your film in a dark place, that is, load it before you shoot. You'll have to stand there and think really hard about your composition, because you can't afford to waste film. Large format takes a lot of patience and dedication and it certainly isn't for everyone. It's very technical and requires you to understand the basics of optics.

You also have to carry a lot of stuff with you, and preparing for a shot can take up to 20 minutes (including composition), but of course, in the end it's worth the trouble. I find it to be very self-rewarding. I can make 50x60 inch prints with some of my negatives, while still keeping full detail at 100%. The resolution is just amazing, even when you scan this stuff with crappy consumer scanners like the Epson.

Forget the resolution for a second. You can also exaggerate (rear tilt) and correct perspectives (front tilt/rise/fall), increase depth of field (without having to adjust aperture), do selective focusing (front swing), and focusing is only limited to bellow extension. Because the lens and film plane on the view camera is not fixed, it gives you a lot of power over your composition. In this picture for example, I tilted the rear standard to the back to exaggerate the bottom part of the house.

But considering that you just want to start out, you'd probably have to invest $2000 into a starter setup (cheap used 4x5 for $600, $400 lens, scanner, film holders, lensboard, scanner and a lightmeter). If you're more experienced in photography, you could also start out with a lesser setup, but I'd say $2000 will give you a decent start. But hey, it's a 100 megapixel camera system for under $2000 :)

Personally, I no longer find excitement or satisfcation when I shoot with my 20D or my Hasselblad. There's something spiritual about shooting large format. As cheesy as it sounds, you're much more connected to the camera.
Mar. 28th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
i didn't notice the railing, either :) it's a great photo
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )