New Adventure - 4x5 Photography

Wow! Almost an entire week without a single blog post.  Most of you are probably wondering what has been going on!  Well, I started a new project that has been occupying my time.  I was browsing the blogs daily but nothing really stood at as interesting enough to be posted.  But anyways,  I recently traded an old piece of equipment to a friend for his old 4x5 Camera.  I've been interested in getting one for a while now and it just all fell in place and I made it happen.  I wanted to document all of my processes of getting used to the camera and developing my own film at home.  For a little background, I have ZERO experience with Large Format cameras and developing film so it will be one heck of an adventure. I want to document all of the steps I am taking as to maybe help people out (and to help them avoid the mistakes I will inevitably make!) So as an introduction I wanted to share some photos of the camera as well as some history about this particular camera I have.

ToyoView D45M

ToyoView D45M

The camera itself is a ToyoView D45M.  It is a Monorail style Large Format camera and all adjustments are gear driven for precision.  I also received a set of Wide Angle Bellows, 3 Gorgeous Schneider Lenses as well as the necessary Shutter Release (In blue!  I love it!) and 6 Film Holders.  I also received a Polaroid Back for it but unfortunately they no longer make the instant film sheets for it.

210mm Schneider Lens

210mm Schneider Lens

This camera was purchased 30+ years ago in college by one of my friends and mentors Don.  It was purchased used at the time so it is difficult to pinpoint an actual manufacture date for the camera.  It has made several trips across the US including Alaska.  It has been Yellowstone and will be returning there in the near future for some fun.  The thing I love about these older cameras is thinking about what it has seen and where it has been.  I like to be able to continue that journey with it and hopefully create some great shots at the same time.

Gear Driven Adjustments

Gear Driven Adjustments

It also came with this wonderful case that shows all sorts of patina.  The case is one of the details of it that I love the most.

Large Format Case

Large Format Case

Located on top of the case is an old baggage tag from Southwest Airlines.  I wonder where he was going on that trip?

Old Baggage Tag

Old Baggage Tag

And last but not least, a piece of paper taped to the inside of the case with the Bellows Extension Formula to calculate your exposure compensation. Don told me that this was in there when he purchased it.  And I will keep it there as long as I own this camera.

Bellows Extension Formula

Bellows Extension Formula

So here we are, on a new adventure and more excited than ever.  

As far as the images go that are in this post, they were all shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 Lens.  All were shot at f/5.6 and 1/125th a second.  For lighting I had a Beauty Dish camera right as well as a rim light behind the subject and camera left.  And then a gridded light facing the backdrop with a warming gel on it.  Pretty simple stuff but effective!

Continue to Part 2 for a how-to on building a developing tank!...