4x5 Beginner's Mistakes

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Topni, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    This is the wonderful thing about large format. It FORCES you to think and be methodical. I find it almost as good as meditation.

    Plus, you get pictures!:smile::smile:
     
  2. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    My daughter told me that I ought to try meditation. I tried it once and it was too boring for me. All it did was make me sleepy. :smile:

    Large format can be pretty relaxing though as long as I'm not shooting people.
     
  3. eric antonio

    eric antonio Member

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    Oh I'm relevant! I have a tip. I put masking tape on the back and on the lens board with notes on it. Like I barely use my Ektar 300mm lens and I always forget the sequence on how to trip the shutter on that thing. It's an Acme #3 or #5 or something. ON the back, I used to have a piece of tape that has "push down on film holder dummy". "turn slide around dummy", "check for squareness on the standards dummy". stuff like that.

    Also, I worked in studios where we had notorious LF gear that was falling apart. I gaffer taped everything especially if it is pointing down. You never know what will come loose or I sometimes put A clamps on things. Nothing worse than moving the tripod/camera 2 inches and stuff get's shifted around. HTH!!!
     
  4. FoidPoosening

    FoidPoosening Member

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    Would you perhaps care to share this list? I'm sure all of us here at APUG would appreciate it, and you might safe the life of an exposure or two. :smile:
     
  5. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Hopefully I've copied this correctly. I'm sure people will quickly point out any mistakes.

    By "adjust camera", I'm referring to all the perspective movements.

    ----
    View cameras:

    0000 - set camera on tripod
    0010 - select shutter speed
    0011- cock shutter
    0012 - use "press focus" lever to open shutter
    0013 - open aperture fully
    0020 - adjust camera & focus
    0030 - close shutter
    0031 - select aperture
    0040 - insert film holder, white side of slide facing lens
    0041 - pull dark slide
    0042 - trip shutter
    0043 - insert dark slide, black side facing lens
    0044 - remove holder
    0045 - write notes about photo, also identifying the holder & side

    (repeat at 0010)

    ----
    Speed Graphic cameras:
    (using front leaf shutter)

    0000 - set switch to rear (focal plane) shutter
    0001 - wind & release until focal plane shutter is in open ("O") position
    0002 - set switch to front (leaf) shutter
    0010 - select shutter speed
    0011- cock shutter
    0012 - use "press focus" lever to open shutter
    0013 - open aperture fully
    0020 - adjust camera & focus
    0030 - close front shutter
    0031 - select aperture
    0040 - insert film holder, white side of slide facing lens
    0041 - pull dark slide
    0042 - trip shutter
    0043 - insert dark slide, black side facing lens
    0044 - remove holder
    0045 - write notes about photo, also identifying the holder & side

    (repeat at 0010 until done)

    0050 set switch to rear shutter
    0051 select lowest tension
    0052 release rear shutter

    ----

    Speed Graphic cameras:
    (using rear focal plane shutter)

    0000 - set switch to rear (focal plane) shutter
    0010 - on front shutter, select 1s shutter speed
    0011- cock front shutter
    0012 - use "press focus" lever to open front shutter
    0013 - open aperture fully
    0020 - adjust camera & focus
    0030 - wind or release to select rear (focal plane) shutter speed
    0031 - select aperture
    0040 - insert film holder, white side of slide facing lens
    0041 - pull dark slide
    0042 - trip (rear) shutter
    0043 - insert dark slide, black side facing lens
    0044 - remove holder
    0045 - write notes about photo, also identifying the holder & side

    (repeat at 0013 until done)

    0050 close front shutter
    0051 set switch to front shutter
    0052 release front shutter
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    For the Speed Graphic taking photographs with the focal plane shutter, you missed my favorite:
    0000 - set switch to rear (focal plane) shutter
    0010 - on front shutter, select 1s shutter speed
    0011- cock front shutter
    0012 - use "press focus" lever to open front shutter
    0013 - open aperture fully
    0020 - adjust camera & focus
    0040 - insert film holder, white side of slide facing lens
    0041 - pull dark slide
    0030 - wind or release to select rear (focal plane) shutter speed
    0045 - write notes about the bonehead thing I just did! :errm::cry::pinch::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
     
  7. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    In the scenarios above, I forgot this one little item:

    -0001 bring film
     
  8. kenj8246

    kenj8246 Subscriber

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    Hey! I resemble that remark! :D
     
  9. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Also buy film. Did you ever get ready to go out shooting and realize you forgot to buy film? Not fun!

    I always try to keep plenty on hand after that mistake. If I forget then I can pick up 35 and 120 roll film at the local camera store. I can't do that with sheet film and have to order it.
     
  10. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    I few months back I opened up a film holder on location to check if I had exposed that side already. For some reason, my brain was convinced that because it wasn't in the camera, it wouldn't be exposed by the surrounding light, and I could see if the film had already been exposed, like there would be an already developed sheet there. I had the film holder labeled and the dark slide with the white side out, but I didn't trust that as sometimes I forget to flip it. In my defense, I was being rushed by the company I was with and some strangers who wanted get selfies where I was set up. But I still felt stupid as hell when I realized what I had done.

    The first time I went out with my 4x5 camera, I discovered I loaded 12 sheets of film wrong! Every time I pulled the dark slide out to shoot, I couldn't get it to go back into the film holder without popping the film out. Then next time I went out, I wasted 12 more sheets because I was putting them in backwards. I heard you're supposed to install the sheets into the holders with the notches in the upper right-hand corner. Unfortunately I didn't hear that you were supposed to hold the holder in portrait orientation, not landscape, when you do that for that to work.

    Later, on a trip in Hawaii, I found a gorgeous scene and took what was supposed to be the best shot of the whole trip. Unfortunately it was late in the trip and I was low on film, so I only took one shot and found out later that I composed the shot with the aperture wide open, but metered for f/64. I forgot to stop the lens back down, and got nothing from it. It was starting to rain just as I was finishing setting up the shot, so I was rushed, once again.

    Then, a few months ago I rented some studio space and a model with a friend of mine and he used up most of the studio time setting up his brand new strobes. The model was ridiculously hard to work with (a fact exacerbated by spending hours being photographed by my friend who kept tweaking the strobes and her poses). He must have done 30 poses in 7 different setups, and I only wanted to shoot one. In my shot, there was some natural light from a window I was trying to take advantage of, and it was fading fast. So I got everything set up as quickly as possible, and had him use his DSLR to check everything and make sure it was going to come out how I wanted. It looked AMAZING on his camera LCD! I was so excited! I took 4 shots with my LF camera and when I developed the film, I realized I cut off the bottom of the shot and ruined everything. I had to move the model for composition reasons and forgot to reframe and check the edges before shooting. I spend hundreds of dollars and most of a day just trying to get that one shot, and the only usable shot from all of that was the one my friend took to check the lighting. It was also, far and away, the best shot either one of us took that day. So I can't claim it's mine, because he took it with his camera, and he can't take credit for it, because I was the one who set it all up.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Back East one day I drove 45 miles realized that I had left all my sheet film holders on the dinning room table, drove back to get it and then retraced my drive to drive to my intended National Park.
     
  12. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Seems reasonable to me, Jim!

    Good stories. Take heart: they don't have threads like this in the skydiving forums.
     
  13. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Poor Sirius would have left his parachute at home! We would have to rename him Sirius Splat.
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I would not forget my parachute. I do not have a parachute. I am a cordless bungee jumper. It makes a big impression and I get a lot of coverage.
     
  16. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    My view camera process is a little bit different than this one.

    0000 - set camera on tripod
    0010 - Open Shutter
    0011 - Open aperture fully
    0012 - Respond to the random bystander "Well. It isn't actually that old of a camera."
    0020 - Rough focus and compose.
    0021 - Level the camera.
    0022 - Respond to the random bystander "Yes. I can still get film for it"
    0023 - Recompose & focus using movements.
    0030 - Respond to the random bystander "No I don't need a big exploding flash thing."
    0031 - Meter
    0032 - Respond to the random bystander "I use color film."
    0033 - close shutter
    0034 - set aperture & f-stop
    0035 - Respond to the random bystander "I don't process it myself. I just mail it out."
    0036 - cock the shutter
    0037 - fire the shutter
    0038 - cock the shutter again
    0039 - fire the shutter again
    0040 - cock the shutter again
    0041 - fire the shutter again
    0042 - cock the shutter again
    0050 - Ignore random bystanders questions hoping that they will just go away.
    0051 - insert film holder, with a sealed holder facing the lens
    0052 - break the seal on the film holder.
    0053 - fire the shutter again
    0054 - cock the shutter again
    0055 - pull dark slide
    0056 - Let camera settle
    0057 - trip shutter
    0060 - insert dark slide, black side facing lens
    0061 - remove holder
    0062 - Is the random bystander gone?

    Regarding the sealed holder comment, taping the l-locks on my film holders is something I do which has (so far) prevented me from ruining the film by screwing up the dark slide side.