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Category: Large Format Photography

Ramblings about large format photography, cameras and all the other aspects that come with shooting larger formats.

Making a custom foam insert for a Pelican case, or: how to transport a Sinar P2

Large format cameras come in two flavors: field-cameras and studio cameras. While the former is typically ‘light’ and can be folded into a package that can be carried in a backpack, the latter is typically large and bulky, and unwieldy to carry on the back.¬†When I got the Sinar P2, the main problem I faced was how to store and transport it. I don’t intend to go hike with it, but I would like to be able to take to a location that can be reached by public transport or by car. There are some cases available that were sold…

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Fixing a Seiko leaf shutter: putting the shutter blades back in place

The Fuji SW 90mm f/8 lens was the first lens I got in addition to the Rodenstock Sironar-N 150 mm that I got with the camera. Not too long ago, two of the shutter blades got dislodged and I was left with a broken shutter. Instead of spending the price I paid for the lens on a professional repair job, I decided to open it up and carefully see if this was something I could fix myself. As it turns out: I could, and I did. In today’s post, I describe the process and my lessons learnt. I took way…

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Determining the effective speed and development time

When you shoot film you have to be an artist and a technician at the same time. Before you open the shutter there are composition, creative use of contrasts and colours, and trickery with lights to be concerned with. After that come the concerns about aperture, shutter speed and film reciprocity behaviour. And then, in the end, there is film development. What developer do you use? At what dilution? And then, for how long do I leave it in? Should I agitate or not? If so, how often? In this article, I will be taking you away from the manuals…

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A custom made dark cloth

Focusing a view camera in bright daylight can be as much as a pain as in low light conditions, when light directly hits the ground glass. The lower contrast that it causes, makes the image on the ground glass hard to see and focusing a pain. A good dark cloth is in my opinion not a luxury, but a necessity. There are probably plenty people that disagree with this statement, however. Some prefer no dark cloth at all, or use a black t-shirt instead. If you are in the market for a dedicated dark cloth there are currently three popular…

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My first steps in large format photography

For years I have been saying that I will either buy or build my own large format camera, but the total cost of a 4×5 system consisting of camera and enlarger always put me off. Until now. A few weeks ago, I acquired a Toyo 45A in very good condition which came with a Rodenstock Sironar-N 150 mm lens and a few sheet film holders. About a week later, I picked up a complete Durst Laborator L1200 in Amsterdam and two weeks after that I made the first prints of my first ever 4×5 sheets. In this post, I will…

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