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Thread: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

  1. #1
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    How about a thread where newcomers to MFD can read what large format shooters have kept in their kits and still find useful while shooting MFD. It might save someone some money if they think they won't be needing it. Here's mine:


    1. Linhof 45 Multifocus Viewfinder: I use this as an off camera compositional tool when I want to find the right perspective. I have four lenses that I can easily estimate which lens to use by selecting a lens from the focusing ring. Yup that is me wandering around the landscape with an eye glued to what looks like a small lens!

    2. Ebony Cable Release: I have always loved the weight and design of their cables.

    3. Pocket Spot Meter: Because this meter is so small and accurate, I just could not part with it. Live View could replace it, but it is one of those tools I would feel dumb not having in my bag even if it does not get used as often as when I shot LF. I have thought about passing it on to a LF shooter, but I would miss it.

    4. Ebony Camera Bag: Designed for a 4x5" camera and of late I have forgone my backpack and went back to this and also an older Tenba bag. My gear bag has gotten lighter lately thanks to Live View and so my bags are getting smaller as well. Don't part with your favorite bags as I have recently learned.

    5. Photobackpacker Genesis Lens Cases: They worked well for my Rodenstock 4x5" lenses and they continue to work well with my ALPA SK lenses. I did have to order a larger one for my SK 120 and Bruce had it available. I think he has a newer line out now, but the Genesis line has served me well. They fit in my camera bags well and also in my studio tool box. They are lightweight, protective and keep me organized.

    What do you still use from your 4x5/LF days?
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
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  2. #2
    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Happy New Year to you - Darr!

    This thread is a great idea for newcomers to medium format and large format.

    Actually, I hope to find useful accessories for my new medium format tool - the Pentax 645Z.

    I have many backpacks such as the excellent ones from photobackpacker.com. I also use the lens and camera bags from this company as well and can attest to their high-quality and usefulness.

    I went from 4x5 film to 35mm digital SLR and I am now returning to medium format in order to produce superior image quality.
    Unfortunately, I have had some back problems in recent years and I need to acquire a lighter kit I can use to eliminate the back pain.

    Perhaps I should look into something other than a backpack?
    Of course my backpack became very heavy even when I was using the Nikon D800E with lenses from 14mm to 300mm.
    I guess less is more, should be my new mantra?

    All the best,
    Mike



    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    Happy New Year Everyone!

    How about a thread where newcomers to MFD can read what large format shooters have kept in their kits and still find useful while shooting MFD. It might save someone some money if they think they won't be needing it. Here's mine:


    1. Linhof 45 Multifocus Viewfinder: I use this as an off camera compositional tool when I want to find the right perspective. I have four lenses that I can easily estimate which lens to use by selecting a lens from the focusing ring. Yup that is me wandering around the landscape with an eye glued to what looks like a small lens!

    2. Ebony Cable Release: I have always loved the weight and design of their cables.

    3. Pocket Spot Meter: Because this meter is so small and accurate, I just could not part with it. Live View could replace it, but it is one of those tools I would feel dumb not having in my bag even if it does not get used as often as when I shot LF. I have thought about passing it on to a LF shooter, but I would miss it.

    4. Ebony Camera Bag: Designed for a 4x5" camera and of late I have forgone my backpack and went back to this and also an older Tenba bag. My gear bag has gotten lighter lately thanks to Live View and so my bags are getting smaller as well. Don't part with your favorite bags as I have recently learned.

    5. Photobackpacker Genesis Lens Cases: They worked well for my Rodenstock 4x5" lenses and they continue to work well with my ALPA SK lenses. I did have to order a larger one for my SK 120 and Bruce had it available. I think he has a newer line out now, but the Genesis line has served me well. They fit in my camera bags well and also in my studio tool box. They are lightweight, protective and keep me organized.

    What do you still use from your 4x5/LF days?
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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonf View Post
    Happy New Year to you - Darr!

    This thread is a great idea for newcomers to medium format and large format.

    Actually, I hope to find useful accessories for my new medium format tool - the Pentax 645Z.

    I have many backpacks such as the excellent ones from photobackpacker.com. I also use the lens and camera bags from this company as well and can attest to their high-quality and usefulness.

    I went from 4x5 film to 35mm digital SLR and I am now returning to medium format in order to produce superior image quality.
    Unfortunately, I have had some back problems in recent years and I need to acquire a lighter kit I can use to eliminate the back pain.

    Perhaps I should look into something other than a backpack?
    Of course my backpack became very heavy even when I was using the Nikon D800E with lenses from 14mm to 300mm.
    I guess less is more, should be my new mantra?

    All the best,
    Mike
    Hi Mike,
    I am sorry to hear of your back pain and hope someone that uses the Pentax 645Z can chime in to offer advice. I am 5'3" and petite and have never been able to carry what an average sized man can carry. I let go of the backpack because I was able to let go of some view finding gear since acquiring a Live View back. My pack is not that heavy right now and hopefully will get even lighter over time. I find keeping my lenses to three (28,47,72) helps. I worked with just two lenses for a couple of years and I think that not only saved space and weight, but forced me to use my photographic eye better.

    Less is more should be all of our mantras! Happy New Year to you!
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
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    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Hi Darr,

    Thank you for your kind words!

    I just had another MRI done and the doctor confirmed I have a total of 5 herniated discs. I thought I (only) had 3.

    I just spent some very enjoyable time on your website and I would like to compliment you on your images.
    You are a highly gifted artist!

    You are still using a view camera with a digital back and live view?
    I like your idea of cutting down the lenses to three.
    For most of my 4x5 career, I used a 110mm, 210mm and 360mm for the vast majority of my images.
    I think it is time for me to learn to see with less - as less can be much more, when it comes to composition.

    I am slowly building my Pentax 645 lens collection and I have obtained the 35mm Pentax A, and the excellent 120mm Macro.
    Next week I have a mint Hasselblad 50mm f2.8 Distagon finding it's way to my house.
    I think it is really nice that we can use other manufacturers lenses with these new cameras.
    This is a lens I always wanted for my Hasselblad 503 when it was new and priced in the stratosphere.

    All the best,
    Mike


    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    Hi Mike,
    I am sorry to hear of your back pain and hope someone that uses the Pentax 645Z can chime in to offer advice. I am 5'3" and petite and have never been able to carry what an average sized man can carry. I let go of the backpack because I was able to let go of some view finding gear since acquiring a Live View back. My pack is not that heavy right now and hopefully will get even lighter over time. I find keeping my lenses to three (28,47,72) helps. I worked with just two lenses for a couple of years and I think that not only saved space and weight, but forced me to use my photographic eye better.

    Less is more should be all of our mantras! Happy New Year to you!
    Darr

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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Darr is using a tech cam. A lot of the LFF people swear by the Photobackpacker pack. They said it's much better than anything else. I am OK with my Thinktank "Street Walker" (ugh) pack. I carry a 4x5 Chamonix and 3 lens and 6+ holders with not much problem. I am a small person as well. If I have to lessen the load, I would just take a 150mm and the 300mm.

    Note that Photobackpacker is retiring or might have retired by now so hurry if you are interested.

    Hope your disks heal well and fast!

  6. #6
    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Thank you for the kind words.
    I hope I don't have to switch to a Sony A7R - I would still like to use the medium format cameras in the future. There are tilt-shift adapters for this camera already. Have you seen any of these?

    https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2014/0...-sony-e-mount/

    I am also holding on to my 4x5 gear for future use.

    All the best,
    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    Darr is using a tech cam. A lot of the LFF people swear by the Photobackpacker pack. They said it's much better than anything else. I am OK with my Thinktank "Street Walker" (ugh) pack. I carry a 4x5 Chamonix and 3 lens and 6+ holders with not much problem. I am a small person as well. If I have to lessen the load, I would just take a 150mm and the 300mm.

    Note that Photobackpacker is retiring or might have retired by now so hurry if you are interested.

    Hope your disks heal well and fast!

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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Hi Mike,

    Fwiw, I find that the Guragear backpacks are the most comfortable purpose-built camera carriers. One of the principals in the company has chronic neck issues - so lightness, comfort and adjustability are a big deal. I haven't tried everything out there, but my 18L and Unita are great to carry, even when heavily laden. I particularly like the 18L. It's a 'small' backpack, but I can put a 645z and 8! lenses in it, along with my 13" Mac. (That's no longer light, but just to suggest your don't need a giant bag).

    Good luck.


    - N.

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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    A good pair of boots and a guide to the better teashops of Southern England.
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    I shot 4x5" with a Technika for an age and the process and workflow is a big part of the way I make work. So, when it came time to start thinking about investing in a pathway to digital MF capture I chose to go the somewhat unconventional route by getting a Linhof Techno and film back – I have an Imacon 949 to digitise negatives, but couldn't afford to cost of continuing on with LF sheet film and processing – with an eye to getting a 50/60mpx back at a later date. I absolutely love this setup, but am now seriously laying the groundwork to finally bite the bullet and go 100% digital capture.

    Anyway, the most invaluable things I've carried over to my workflow are:

    1: Basic Seikonic 308s light meter (I shoot colour neg, so spot meters aren't essential)
    2: 12x Linhof Studio loupe (best loupe I've ever used for critical focus, bar none)
    3: Lee universal bellows lens hood and filter holder (a relatively recent addition, but essential!)
    4: Imacon 949 scanner (I have to write this as it's kind of my pride and joy)
    5: A day job
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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    3: Lee universal bellows lens hood and filter holder (a relatively recent addition, but essential!)

    5: A day job
    I forgot to add the Lee Hood to my list! I guess I am so use to using it.

    The day job ... absolutely!
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post

    The day job ... absolutely!
    Wait, you folks are not rolling in "6.5 millions photo" dough?

    The only way I can play with LF is that I process all my own film, from 35mm to 4x5 and B&W/E-6/C41. It's easy if you have a Jobo...

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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    anybody use a dark cloth?

    i found the rodenstock 3.5x loupe to work great; it has an opaque collar and will view an entire 6x6cm screen and virtually no distortion or stray light

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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    [QUOTE=jlm;619089]anybody use a dark cloth?

    Yes.
    Better viewing
    Helps keep the dust out when changing back or lens
    Attracts ladies...

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    Re: My 4x5 Tools I Use For MFD Shooting

    Yes, always use a dark cloth as the Techno relied on GG focusing and composing. The one I use cost me about $2 so the price was right, although it's too light to be trouble free in the wind.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    anybody use a dark cloth?

    i found the rodenstock 3.5x loupe to work great; it has an opaque collar and will view an entire 6x6cm screen and virtually no distortion or stray light

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