Is it appropriate?

Andy Fraser

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Registered User
I set out to try large format, an Intrepid 5x4 in fact. The cost rose as realisation that lenses, many forums state cheap lenses available but they are not, plus other necessary items, backs hoods etc would double the price. Having missed a couple of Ebay auctions for 5x4's I have ended up with a Horseman 985, 150mm lens and 6c9cm back. I'll leave the 5x4 for the moment but cut my teeth on the Horseman with its movements etc but take advantage of the accessibility of medium format (I use a 6x6 Yashicamat 124G) and the developing kit, scanners etc I already have. My question is simply is the Horseman large enough to be considered as relevant enough for this group?
 

thronobulax

Active Member
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I had asked a similar question here a while back and got a two part response:

If the medium format work is illustrative some larger idea that would have relevance to a 5x4 audience, then by all means. I'd argue that discussion of things like swings/tilts and the like fit exactly the that criterion.

For general medium format work and questions, I believe there is a sister forum to this one that is the preferred landing spot.

On a personal note, I shoot a ton of 3x2 sheet film and 9x6 roll film, mostly with a "Baby" Speed Graphic. I find this format to be a great balance that comes close to 5x4 visually but with far less kit and weight to trot around. Your Horseman should serve you well. Do feel free to PM me if you have questions.
 

Keith Haithwaite

Active Member
Registered User
Andy, our sister forum: https://www.digitalmonochromeforum.co.uk/ caters for all formats and genre. The forum has many members who are also very active in the LF photography arena at large (including this forum) and who I know would be more than willing to offer their expertise in the use of camera movements etc and of course there is no restrictions on posting images.

I would suggest that this be a more appropriate forum for your journey with the Horseman without infringing any 'LF forum rules' and who knows, you just might tempt more MF and smaller size users to dip their toes into camera movemens and ultimately the LF photography field. :)
 

Ian Grant

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Registered User
5x4 can be quite inexpensive if you know what you are doing.

OK it's a format Ive been shooting just short of 45 years, but even my first camera and enlarger were quite cheap, a De Vere Whole plate monorail with Half plate and 5x4 backs and a Johnsons V45 enlarger, also a De Vee 54a, but these were for work.

Later I bought a Wista 45DX from an amateur Photographer advert, but I knew that the camera was going to be advertised as the seller had tried to sell it back to Teamwork in London and they couldn;t give him enough, ot was roughly half way betweeen what Teamwork would have paid and then sell it for, The original owner of Teamwork was a geat guy, he passed away quite young not long after.

OK todays reality, I have bought a lot of LF equipment, a complete MPP Micro Technical MkVII with a mint 150m f4.5 Xenar lens for £125. two MPP Micro Technical MkIII's for £70 OK one wasin bits missing a back which was another £20, but that's two solid %x4 cameras for a total of £70.

It's been similar with Speed/Crown Graphics, two Speed Graphics for around £70 a real heap of sh*t when they arrived from the US, supposwedly two parts cameras with enough to rebuild one good one, but hey they weree entirely different models one a modified pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic and the other a Pacemaker minus it's shutter. Both now rebuilt at very little cost.

DDS film holders - you can get good ones for under £10 each, I was lucky to get quite a lot for £2 each at a camera fair 3 years ago, I'd earlier paid £7 each for near mint 10x8 DDS from the same seller.

I will be selling off quite a lot of my LF equipment in the next few months, I kept a second set of equipment in Turkey (where I lived for a few years) alongside my UK set up. It will be realisticly priced, thwere's a Crown Graphic, I'll probably sell one or two of my MPP Micro Technicals. some 7x5 cameras, maybe a 10x8 Agfa Ansco, and a 5x4 enlarger.

But the OP asks about the Horseman 985. It's technically not large format but is a MF view camera. It takes nme back to the mid to late 1980's when I realised my Mamiya 645 cameras, and C3/C33 before that, let me down because they lacked movements that I was so ised to with 5x4 and larger.

While the camera/format isn't LF the way it's used is quite different to most MF cameras as it's an LF approach so that's up to the Moderators. On a personal level I actually made a 6x7 View camera to take on a family trip to Canada, and it worked out well :D

Ian
 

Andy Fraser

New Member
Registered User
Thanks Keith, I had a look at the suggested digital monochrome site and its a bit too "Digital" and I already have a couple of other forums that cover Digital (Fuji) as well as 35mm film (Canon SLRs and Olympus compact film).

I'm still of the opinion that I'll move to Large format (4x5) at some point and unless the moderators object I'd like to stay a member and learn what I can so that when ready to add LR (perhaps as a retirement present to myself) I'll be in a good knowledgeable position to add that format.

Andy
 

David M

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Registered User
I think you should stick with us. You'll be getting round to sheet film soon anyway and you will already be using LF techniques on your LF camera.
Welcome.
 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
My MPP with two lenses cost me a shade over three hundred quid a year and a half ago.
My half plate (5x7) Kodak Specialist, again with two lenses, and more double dark-slides than I can shake a stick at cost me the princely sum of £100!
My 13x18cm 'travel camera' cost £60 and I have been using it with a range of lenses ... one of the sharpest being an 'Agfa Repromaster process lens that I got on ebay for a tenner!!!!! Sure that lens has no shutter, but that makes you creative.
My large format scanner cost £100.

Saving money is what I'm about, an fact I'm a bit of an old cheapskate. On ebay I look for large format gear with 'no bids' on - close to auction end time, and I use a 'bid sniper' to put last minute bids. I try NEVER to use 'buy it now' -at least for UK sellers - as those prices are usually over inflated.
I also settle for having to do a little bit of fettling to get my gear as I want it. Okay I'm a bit of a child of 'Blue Peter' (you won't get this if you ain't in the UK) and I usually think I can fix anything with a toilet roll tube and a roll of sticky backed plastic. I have done minor repairs on most of my cameras and think that makes them somehow a bit more 'special' to me.

I've got a YouTube channel that has more or less catalogued my own journey in large format, and shows some of the repairs along with the odd tips and tricks - my last episode included simple bellows repair :)

If all else fails you can make a large format pinhole camera for peanuts (there are some amazing pinhole images elsewhere on this site) and that's no less large format than a Gandolphi or a Deardorff.
There is a 'have ago spirit' within the large format community that I have come to admire hugely. I hope you hang in there and don't get discouraged :)
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I know this is pedantry and I apologise. In memory of two remarkable and modest men, and their family, we should get it right. Their name was Gandolfi.
 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
I know this is pedantry and I apologise. In memory of two remarkable and modest men, and their family, we should get it right. Their name was Gandolfi.
My spell check acting up ... sorry old chap ... and if being pedantry is some kind of foot fetish - I believe in living like you want to live :)
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Well on the subject of Gandolfi cameras mine a Half plate field camerawas £30 with a tripod and lens, bought of Ebay :D OK the bellows have disintergrated and there's no shutter blades in the lens Compur shutter, oh and the tripod was broken. The tripod is now fixed, the camera needs one new strut made and then bellows.

The secret is patience, there are bargains out there and others overlook them. I've just bought two Linhof/Wista style lens boards one for £10, the other £7.50. these fit many modern cameras.

Ian
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Spell-check is my enemy, too. It may be the spearhead of computers taking over the World.
 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
Spell-check is my enemy, too. It may be the spearhead of computers taking over the World.
Okay my wife's phone just translated Gandolfi into Gandhi golf cart - this a fun game!

Well on the subject of Gandolfi cameras mine a Half plate field camerawas £30 with a tripod and lens, bought of Ebay :D OK the bellows have disintergrated and there's no shutter blades in the lens Compur shutter, oh and the tripod was broken. The tripod is now fixed, the camera needs one new strut made and then bellows.

The secret is patience, there are bargains out there and others overlook them. I've just bought two Linhof/Wista style lens boards one for £10, the other £7.50. these fit many modern cameras.

Ian
It always seems a law of nature that the lens board combo you need is the one you don't have. I just bought an absolutely mint, late, multicoated Schneider Symmar-S 250mm f5.6 on a Toyo board ... I have Toyo and Cambo boards for days as well as Linhof/Wista and the odd ancient wooden one that doesn't seem to fit anything I've seen :) Unfortunately there isn't a ready made MPP board in my collection that is 'Compur 1' sized, and thin enough without recessing. I have a stonking great aluminium MPP board but that's a quarter of an inch thick and could probably stop a bullet that's having a 'cant be bothered day'.
So it's into the workshop to cut something with the CO2 laser (makes wom-crackle noises like a light sabre).
 
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