Please feel free to contact me and I will post comments here. Happy to discuss your views of any of my images.
Vision an Craft
I just wanted to say how very much I enjoyed reading your book. I am sure that I will return to it many times as a source of inspiration.
millington pastures website
I am one of the artists involved in the Way Post project in Millington Pastures and the making of the way post sculptures.
We have a website
which i`m currently updating. As part of the website update I am including images by a selection of photographers. This is in keeping with the ethos of the way post project which involved many people - artists local businesses and community groups.
I wondered if you would consider letting us use one of your images for the site, crediting you as the photographer of course. Perhaps spring in Sylvan Dale ?
At the moment I am presenting the images simply as a gallery. But if I manage to collect enough I would like to present them as a journey through the Pastures.
I`ve enjoyed very much looking through your work.
Great work Jon. I found your site through a posting David Ward made on Facebook. I too am a large format photographer, although I live in Hawaii. I currently shoot with a Chamonix 45-N1. I'll be bookmarking your site and returning again, as well as making a mention on Twitter (@roteague). Thanks for the viewpoint on a beautiful country.
I was reading your item on use of a staggered soft grad to lighten foregrounds, as I too have noticed the problems associated with tilt etc. My query is what area of the image do you determine exposure from; do you meter your foreground, or do you determine your base exposure in the normal way and allow the mid distance, where the transition zone of the soft grad is taking effect, to darken.
Hi Bob, great to hear from you.
I typically meter in such situations from the highlights and adjust for the grad - having calculated which strength grad to use by comparing the highlights to the midpoint. Hope that makes sense. I find that 1 stop soft is just enough to lighten up the foreground a bit which it usually needs. Speak soon, Jon
Hello Mr Brock,
Thank you for your wonderful array of images, which demonstrate well the sorts of images I try to make, though mine are usually less successful. I have also gained insight from your pertinent and clearly expressed guidance sheets.
Two questions arise, if I may.
1) On what basis do you decide whether to use Velvia 50 or Provia?
2) I still use a film SLR (though I am about to switch to a Pentax 67ii) and, as yet, have never scanned any of my images. To this end I was deliberating between the Epson 700 and 750. Why did you choose the 700 and would the 750 have any advantages - just in case you bought the 700 before the 750 came along?
Thank you for any responses you feel able to offer me.
1) re Velvia 50 and Provia 100: usually dynamic range - if the situation is too contrasty I might reach for provia. The other situation would be one where I don't want the level of reaction to light that velvia has (extreme blues in shadows and extreme orange in warm light). To be honest 80% of the time I will try and shoot Velvia mostly because its rendition of green is far superior to Provia IMHO. Hope that helps.
2) The 750 wasn't out when I bought mine. Tim Parkin has the 750; check out his profiles if you do get either. Enjoy film.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on 'exposure' via your website.
I'm an 'occasional' LF photographer with limited photographic experience, living in Australia. My 5x4 shots have mostly been of flowers, taken on my verandah on overcast days. I haven't taken any shots for several years, yet am about to start again.
I have read quite a bit on determining/selecting exposure, yet I'm still apprehensive about approaching landscape scenes. Previously I've used only Velvia-50 in Quickloads, yet these (Velvia-50 and the Quickloads) are no longer available here in Australia.
Would you recommend Velvia-100 as an alternative, or something else?
To ease my apprehension, I would like to run an exposure test with my equipment, so that I can be as confident with the latitude of my film as you are with Velvia-50 (and your -2.3 to 1.7 stops of detail).
Can this be done by simply photographing a single-toned, textured plane in consistent light while successively increasing and deceasing exposure? Am I likely to get slightly different results if these tests are carried out under different conditions: such as under clear sky, in shade or on overcast days, at different angles to the light or if metered off different colours? Does the tone of the surface matter? My light meter is a Sekonic L608 (incident & 1-to-4 degree spot).
To cut costs, would it be feasible to run such tests using a 6x7 roll-film back, or is this just adding too many variables to the mix?
Assuming the roll-film back is okay, would the following test be suitable?
If the metered reading was f16 at 1/x sec then
Roll-Film-1 (ALL at 1/x sec)
1. Zone V (f16)
2. Zone V+1/3 (f11+2/3)
3. Zone V+2/3 (f11+1/3)
4. Zone VI (f11)
5. Zone VI+1/3 (f8+2/3)
6. Zone VI+2/3 (f8+1/3)
7. Zone VII (f8)
8. Zone VII+1/3 (f5.6+2/3)
9. Zone VII+2/3 (f5.6+1/3)
10. Zone VIII (f5.6)
Roll-Film-2 (ALL at 1/x sec)
1. Zone V (f16)
2. Zone IV+2/3 (f16+1/3)
3. Zone IV+1/3 (f16+2/3)
4. Zone IV (f22)
5. Zone III+2/3 (f22+1/3)
6. Zone III+1/3 (f22+2/3)
7. Zone III (f32)
8. Zone II+2/3 (f32+1/3)
9. Zone II+1/3 (f32+2/3)
10. Zone II (f45)
Presumably I would need to have these test exposures printed (unadjusted) to compare the final result with the transparencies.
I would love to hear your thoughts
Personally, I wouldn't go near Velvia 100! The colour rendition stinks. In particular, it does an ugly bright red thing at anything close to sunset. In even light it is completely magenta.
I would suggest you try and get some Velvia 50 sent over from abroad or bite the bullet and switch over to dark slides (assuming you can get V50 sheet film that is). Provia 100 is a workable alternative, though I don't always like the green/cyan cast you can get when the light is cold. Tim Parkin has tried out a number of other films including Astia and some colour negative Portra.
As far as testing is concerned the camera you use is irrelevant. By all means test with roll film or even using a 35mm or medium format setup.
If you do use Velvia though I think you would be wasting your time. It has been tested to death by photographers for the dynamic range you describe. I suggest you just plunge into the deep end! If you meter off a mid point green or grey just run with the meter reading. If you have a bright point you want colour in choose about +1 and if you want to render something white choose +1.7.
PS: The best way to check the exposure is to compare sheets on a light box.
Jon - hope you are well? You may recall we met a couple of times on LL courses. Just taken a look at your blog: your last image is fantastic - lovely composition and dare I say it the best from the ones presented so far. You had one hell of a week for weather! Very jealous! Best Wishes Guy
Hi, I stumbled across your website while looking for ideas to update mine. Yours is great. Love your work, the "my practice" section is perfect! I also like how seamless it is on ordering prints online....how are you set up to full fill the orders?
Hi Fred. Thanks. Setup well. All my images are already scanned and ready to print. I control the scanning and file preparation and my lab has provided a profile for their printer. They are pretty prompt with the printing.
Just to say really enjoyed looking at your work, esp the Scottish landscapes.. beautiful.
We have finally hit your site and realise what we have been missing. We are now going to browse at leisure and look forward to discussing it anon
with love Mu and Roy
ALF workshop- Lakes
How wonderful to find a resume of the workshop in the lakes with your photographs showing all the places where we photographed. Your blog covered everything, in particular that second evening when the light struck Great Gable unexpectedly.
I found your comments about the G10 digital sketchbook most interesting. Also found the pictures you showed us which were really quite remarkable. But like you said nothing compares to a trannie on a lightbox.
Many thanks and best wishes,
It was so good to meet you and Dave last week. It was great to see your images too, and I'm very touched to read what you've put on your website. I look forward to seeing more of your work, and may well be up your way soon - so hope to say hi then.
Take care, Mel
I am a regular on the UK Large Format forum, where I have read a fresh post by Dave Tolcher in which he says you use a TK45. Being that I use the same kit, I naturally decided to take a look at your website. You have some very good pictures here - I am impressed. I live in Saltburn and so know well a lot of the places you visit regularly.
I enjoy meeting up with local photographers and sharing stories. I know this is very forward, bordering on the presumptuous, but if you fancy getting in touch, I would be delighted to hear from you.
There are a few other large-formatters in the area. I was speaking recently with Chris Jameson in Newcastle and he thought a north-east meeting of LF practitioners might be fun and maybe even productive! Would that kind of thing interest you?
I look forward to hearing from you. Best regards,
Hi Charles, sure thing. I'm always up for trips out and meeting up with local photographers. I'm on the light and land ALF workshop in a couple of weeks but once I get back from that I'll drop you a line. Tim Parkin lives in the area as well.
Whitby Steps Photo
I really love the Whitby Steps picture you have taken it really captures the spooky magic of Whitby! Not sure if you do this sort of thing, but I'd like to put the picture onto a canvas - would this be possible? I know you can put photos onto canvas, but i think you would probably need quite a high res version of the photo to make it look good. I'd be happy to buy a high res version of the photo from you? If you can let me know what you think that would be great. Rachel
Yes I can do a version on canvas for you. My preferred lab prints on canvas (Digilab) and in fact only a few months ago I printed out one of my recent images on canvas for my own front room!
The big advantage of canvas is that the matt like texture doesn't reflect light in the same way that gloss prints and glass does.
As the Whitby image was made on 5x4 transparency film I can print right up to 30" or so without an issue.
I'll speak to my printers early next week and work out pricing for you. Just let me know what size you are interested in; 20x24 would be a good size but I could do either smaller or larger if you prefer.
Fellow photog here. I am shooting 4x5 with a Toyo monorail...and I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Epson V700 scanner.
I read in your "My Practice" that you use that scanner. Are you happy with it? How large are you printing? Finally, at 16x20 or 20x24 can you easily distinguish that your images are created by a 4x5 camera? Or...they have "that look"? Any or all answers would be great! Great pics. The Blog portion is excellent. Thank you.
Hi, Just looked around your site. As a landscape photographer myself (amateur), I take the time to gain inspiration from lovely sites like yours. Thanks for the inspiration. If you get the chance please feel free to look at my images and make honest comment. www.image-candy.co.uk Will pop in again from time to time.
Regards, Paul Davies
I found you on clikpic...Im another clikpic user for my wedding work. I have a question to ask, and I hope you don't mind sharing some info with me...
I do landscape work myself, and am looking at getting a 4x5. I know what model I want, what lens etc etc, however there is a technical question I need answering, that I cannot find in any books, including Steve Simmons The View Camera. The book is great, on the basics, but I've heard from another pro about 'light falloff', something Mr Simmons doesn't even mention. I understand that there is light falloff when the back is moved because you are making one part of the film plane further away from the lens plane? Is this correct? ANd if so, what other scenarios require 'additional' exposure because of light fall off? Tilt?
Be great if you could give me a better understanding of this, as purchasing books not to include this is expensive! lol
I enjoyed viewing your gallery, good body of work...
[Chris. Hi. Light fall off occurs for two reasons - firstly because the bellows is extended and secondly because most lenses are not even in their illumination (darker at the edges).
The most common situation is close focusing - this light fall off is usually called bellows factor. When you focus closer than infinity, you need to add extra exposure. This is negligible until you focus to within a few feet, but thereafter you have to add increasing amounts. There is a mathmatical forumula for calculating it but most people I know use what is called a quick disk. If you have a look at the articles on exposure on my website, I explain it there.
Yes there is light fall off when the back is tilted also, though it is very small.
When the front lens is tilted or moved through front rise or fall, you also get light fall off due to the lens (you are using the edge not the centre). There is no way to calculate this directly and it varies by lens - trial and error I'm afraid, or use a centre filter. This only happens significantly (i.e. more than 1/2 stop) when you make a big movements.
Hope that helps. Adam's book 'The Camera' is quite good at explaining all this. Enjoy the world of 5x4.
love your work
i have just got into landscape photography and was wondering if i could spend a day with you on a shoot
i have a large format linhof camera
and some lenses
i have just purchased a epson v750 scanner.
i live in glossop but would travel to meet you or at your choosen location
Hi Paul. Great to hear from you.
I'm surprised the price tag is 300 euro - I'm sure I didn't pay that much.
I've just checked and you are right - I think I paid, about 9 months ago, about ?80-?100. Guess exchange rates and like have affected things. I have AI studio as well so possibly I got a discount for having that.
I've become so dependent on the workflow now it would give me a huge problem if I had to go back. I find it much easy setting the scan parameters (levels, colour balance etc.) after scanning it rather then before. For example, I took 60 sheets or so on the Glencoe trip the other week. I bulk scanned the lot in one session (using multiscan for anything with a lot of shadow areas) and then selected which version of each image I was going to process (I often shoot a velvia and a provia). I generated a tiff file using HDR and shoved it into photoshop to finish off.
The real problem without this workflow: if you get the level, colour balance settings wrong, you have to go back and re-scan. Real pain. I much prefer it and I have got much better scanning results as a result. You can try the demo version as you say and judge for yourself.
The alternative approach I believe Dave Tolcher uses is Vuescan raw and Lightroom which would probably be cheaper - you could ask him.
Hope that helps
PS Enjoy the trip!
Lovely set of images you've got here.
I've been scouting around looking in to LF scanning techniques and the like as I've just switched over from Medium Format and the digital and stumbled across your site.
I was wondering about the Silverfast HDR software you use as I have the same scanner. I've downloaded the trial version and whilst I can see it makes a little difference to the MF trannies I'm using, do you really think it's worth the 300 Euro price tag for the improvement on top of the free software?
Would be interested to hear your take on it. It seems we know a few of the same people - I'm off on a L&L trip with David & Joe in a fortnight. I've been in touch with Phil Malpas and Tim Parkin recently too.
Anyway, enough blabbing and hope to speak to you soon.
I've just found your website and was amazed to find we live quite close to one another.
I live at the other side of Pocklington in a small village called Nunburnholme.
I'm surpirsed you have no shots of the Wolds living so close to them.
I have an extensive collection of shots around the Wolds on my website at www.clikpic.com/paulmoon.
Have a look, you might be surprised at the opportunities that exist for landscape photography without traveling as far as you've been.
I'm seriously considering large format photography and your technical info on the subject is excellent.
I would love to take a look at some of your prints to see for myself what results can be achieved with your gear and workflow.
Get in touch if you can, I'd love to hear from you.
We were talking photography the other day so I googled you. Your stuff is still fab. Hope it's going well. Regards also to Dave T if you see him, Scott.
I've just found your images from Joe's Dales trip... Some really impressive work! The shot from Wainwath is definitely a 'bastard' - mainly because I looked at that spot and couldn't find anything workable. So, yes, I'm jealous. ;-)
Anyway, I'm sure we'll run in to each other on a future trip so until then, best of luck and good light!!
we met on Friday at Scaleber. Nice set of images on your site.....your large format gear obviously gets about. Have you got any of the images from Friday processed yet....would be interesting to compare. Send me your e-mail and i'll attach a couple of what i turned out with if you are interested..
I've just switched to scanning at 1600 rather than 2400, so to be honest I don't know. When I printed a large print last time, (about 35 by 30) I interpolated from 2400. Would probably do so again, but haven't tested how a 1600 scan would look. It is easy enough to test by scanning a segment of the picture and comparing printed onto A4.
I was directed to your site from Tim Parkin's blog. I enjoyed looking at your images and I notice you scan at 1600ppi but still print up to 40x30". Do you just interpolate the image as you would a digital file and does this give a better result than scanning at a higher resolution?
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for getting in touch. Experience through use and testing and speaking to other photographers is the answer.
You can test the boundaries of any film or sensor if you want by running a series of shots of a mid grey object in the same light, bracketed in 1/3rd stop increments. I did this on my D2X to test the boundaries. There you can see the point at which the object turns black or white.
In the case of Velvia 50, its response is well known by landscape photographers and it is often discussed when they get together . My experience, confirmed by others, is that +1.7 stops gets you white with some detail. +2 is completely white.
Velvia has 4 stops. ( +1.7 to -2.3 is 4 stops). With velvia the mid point isn't quite at the mid point between white and black, its slightly towards the right hand side of a line. In otherwords, there is slightly more dynamic range in the shadows then the highlights.
Hope that helps.
Ps I used to religiously record all my exposure settings on each sheet and then transfer it to a book afterwards. I don't bother now because I found I never did anything with it anyway. I try to remember what I metered off and then when I see the results I can judge if I got it right or, say, 1/2 stop under/over. If its wrong, I can then work out what I should have metered off (still happens from time to time!).
Best regards, Jon
Film and Exposure
I stumbled across your website the other day and was very impressed with the information you have published in your Viewpoints section regarding exposure. I found your explanations very concise and the steps you describe for metering very practical.
I am a recent convert to the 617 format, and having only prior used a DSLR, the learning curve has been quite steep. I am currently practicing using the zone system to hone my exposure skills, and have used some of your techniques which are working well.
In your articles you talk about the dynamic range of Velvia 50, and you state that you use four stops between black and white (-2.3 to +1.7). Just for clarification, when you say four stops, I?ve made the assumption that this does not include the mid-tone, because wouldn?t this mean the film actually has five stops of dynamic range?
I am also interested how you arrived at such precise boundaries for the dynamic range of the film. Most of the books I have read seem to suggest using two stops either side of the mid-tone, so given that your boundaries are very specific I?m just wondering if you determined these by trial and error or maybe analysing characteristic curves etc?
Another thing I am curious about is how you record the settings you used for each of your shots. I?ve tried using an exposure record which I produced using Excel, but completing one on location takes a long time and blows around if it?s windy.
Any advice or tips gratefully received.
Just got DVS for Christmas and saw your work (great). I am based near Scarborough and shoot panoramic 617 (www.peterleemingphotography.com) if you are interested in swapping links that would be great. Maybe see you at Saltwick! Pete
Have just received this book i nthe post, and this is a note to say how much I enjoy your images. Both are exquisite things, and very satisfying. Lines, grain, colours, and shapes in River Rocks are something else again! I love it!
comments and possible meetup
I've found your site whilst looking through the Ligt and Land gallery and noticed that you were in Yorkshire (I also noticed that you have some absoluteley fabulous shots too!). I was wondering if you might be interested meeting up with a couple of other large format folks in Yorkshire for a weekend tripd to the moors/dales/wherever.
I'm only just learning about LF (as evidenced in my blog at http://blog.timparkin.co.uk) and would love to have some like minded company whilst out and about.
Congrats on getting some pictures in the DV&S book too!
Its on the viewpoints section of my website.
I always use quickload - LF is a pain without, so dust is never a problem. The beauty of quickload is that there is no dust. Dust on the negative when scanning is eliminated by something called digital ice technology in the scanner which uses infrared to detect and remove dust and scratches. It is also easy enough to clone out the dust spots on photoshop.
YOUR HELP APPRECIATED
Thankyou for your help Jon, much appreciated, I am presently studying a book called the view camera by steve simmonds, and along with your help/information you have kindly shared, and the link you have pointed to there is a wealth of information for me to study, I may also check out the the other book you told me about.
I am finding the bits on the movements in my book pretty hard going/hard to understand but i will persevere.
I can't find your movement article but will look again monday for yours and have a look round the other links.
I think that handling the camera will make it easier to understand (hopefully!) so I may take you up on your offer if that is ok.
I bet your looking forward to the autumn colours, I know I am, I'm booking a week off to go round the peak district with my tiny digital negative!! (10d SLR)
PS- On LF, If you don't use quickload film, can dust/hair be a great problem on negatives, I heard some quickloads can fail on you. Maybe the scans show everything up.
Focusing Large Format Cameras
I'll try to answer your questions; but understanding focusing a LF camera is a bit involved.
Each field camera has different amounts and types of movements so you need to check; in particular not all have rear tilt. To gain front to back focus on a typical landscape photograph, you need to either tilt the lens forward, or tilt the rear/back backwards; or both! This moves the plane of focus so that both the forground bottom and background top can be in focus, reducing the extent you need to stop down the lens to gain sharpness. I tend to stop down to around f22 which is about the sweet spot of many of my lens and to give a margin of error, but it is possible to have a sharp picture front to back virtually wide open.
The amount of movement needed is fairly small on both a 90 (wide angle) and 150 (standard) lens and most field cameras can handle it.
There is one caveat; in this focusing scenario, anything that is top of picture foreground (e.g. very close tree branch or wall) will be likely to be out of focus - if you compose such a picture using movements to focus will not work; you will have to rely on depth of field (which is the same as a 90mm or 150mm lens on 35mm formats i.e not as great as a 28mm lens). You quickly come to realise that these situation pose challenges for large format. In such situations I will stop down to f33 1/3 (about the final point where defraction takes over on 5by4) and check focus very carefully on the screen. Similarly I check that the middle of the picture is sharp - it is possible to have a focusing hole, with movements, with the top and bottom sharp and the middle soft; again stopping down a bit usually solves this.
2) LF lenses are slower than 35mm; most shots are taken on about f16 to f32, so the corresponding shutter speeds are slower. You wont be able to freeze sports action using LF! In practice I find that in normal light shutter speeds are in the 1/30 to 1 sec range which is enough to blur large amounts of movement. Either I will wait for the movement to stop or use it as an integral part of the picture. In low light, exposures can head to the 4-20 second range; further complicated by reciprocity failure on film which further increases the exposure time required. I got used to it.
Hope that helps. Ansel Adams's book 'The Camera' is a really good starting point and explains the basics well.
LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY
I spoke to you a couple of weeks ago about maybe taking the plunge from DSLR to Large format, (from sheffield), got a couple of questions that would hopefully help me more to decide whether to buy a camera.
When I take pictures of Landscapes with my DSLR I focus using the hyperfocal distance as i aim to get close things in focus to infinity, (to be honest I do take a few pictures with different lens movements to make sure I've got the focus I want), (10d + 17-40L), my question is with a field camera, (not a monorail), would I usually get enough movement to get near things to infinity in sharp focus.
My other question is if you are shooting landscapes with vegetation and sky interest with LF and maybe using F32 ore more etc, would you have overly long exposure times, (I do not know how long typical exposures are, seconds, minutes?), is it a fact of life with LF that unless there is no wind or very little wind that things that move in the wind, vegetation/flowers/clouds will always be consigned to a blur?
This does not bother me too much as there are lots of landscapes that don't move, it's just that one of the reasons LF appeals to me is the size of the negative and the sharpness that can still be obtained with big enlargements.
Thanks for your time Jon, (Hope you enjoyed the advanced LF workshop).
I saw a few guys coming back from the Ullapool trip when I was in Glencoe in Febuary. Sounds like you had a great time.
It took me a while as well to get scanning working how I wanted it - and I still keep adjusting the workflow, but I'll have a go. Monitor calibration is really important - without it, you will find that when you come to print out you get results that bear no resemblance to the screen.
Using Silverfast, (I think a version comes with the V750? - I upgraded to Studio version), once the slide is positioned, i tend to hit the automattic button just to see the result. What I will then do is go into the levels and curves tabs and adjust. I turn off the automatic colour adjustment and set the white point and black points so that they are outside the histogram, not clipping. I may also adjust the shadow part of the curve (especially with velvia) to bring up the shadows. I scan in 48bit (creating a 16 bit TIFF file).
The result is a file that lacks a bit of contrast. I can then adjust the image in photoshop, adjusting the levels and usally adding a slight S curve to regain/increase contrast (the curves tool). I will put the slide on a light box, whilst I am doing this, so that I have a reference. I will probably increase the saturation a bit as well. Usually I find the colours to be pretty close to the slide. But if not I will adjust the colour balance. (The old Velvia 50 has magenta and slight red shift so its easy to add these if necessary).
Velvia 50 can be hard to scan, especially in the shadows. Hence I tend to lift up the shadows to make sure I get what detail I can and then restore the contrast in photoshop. I've just started experimenting with scanning as a raw file and using silverfast HDR to convert later but not got far with this yet. Hope that helps?
Hello. I have been enjoying the viewpoints section on your website - and your images on the light and land website and on your own site. I am from Yorkshire too and went on a light and land leading lights tour this year with David Ward. I am interested in trying to scan images on to a website. I was wondering if you would be able to give me any information on scanning. I have recently brought an Epson v750 to help scan my medium format images however I am struggling to reproduce the colour of Velvia 50. I am new to photoshop and to scanning. You mention that you scan in Silverfast using low contrast - how do you do this ? Do I need a Vevia 50 IT8 sheet ? How beneficial is Monitor calibration - I have a basic monitor calibration and scanning calibration program (MonacoEZcolor) which came with the scanner. So far I have spent 2 weeks with little decent results. If you have the time to reply I would be very grateful for any help, many thanks, Ross Brown.
No sorry but glad you like my images.
I heard through the grapevine you might be the Jon I knew from college. We where in Eugene OR and friends through Katy Dahlberg. You promised to take me to the Oscars if you ever went. Jon I hope this is you. If not sorry. Your pictures are beautiful!!!!!!
Large Format Photography
First thing is that you will definitely need to use a tripod; large format is too cumbersome to do anything otherwise. Using a large format camera is fiddley , but I guess you won't really know how practical it is until you try it. Each camera is different with the controls in different places so you may be able to find one that suits you.
I learned with help from David Ward/Joe Cornish at light and land ( http://www.lightandland.co.uk/default.aspx). You could always give David a call and ask his advice - I know they were running one day workshops for new large format users earlier in the year - a great way to learn because they have a selection of spare cameras to use.
As to buying - you have two choices. I bought some second hand gear on ebay - started out with a wista dx and a 150 (=50mm) lens. They are pretty easy to sell again second hand. Alternatively you can buy starter gear new from Robert White and then sell if it doesn't work out . http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/wista.htm#Label01.
Other good sources are Teamwork in London (new) and Ffordes (second hand) where I got my Technikardan.
There are a few extras you will need to get including a quickload holder, some quickload film and some way of metering (if you don't already have a spot meter). You can use a tee-shirt for a dark cloth (very effective, just doesn't look stylish!). A focussing loupe helps to get accurate focusing. Depending on which manfrotto tripod you have, you may also find your tripod is not stable enough in wind. Mine wasn't.
The V700 is great for scanning LF - I scan at 2400 dpi and get more pixels and quality than I can deal with and can easily print very sharp prints at 30x20" and beyond. I have to down-sample the images to print. The quality is good but it is the experience as much as anything that I enjoy. I also use digital.
LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY
I would be so so grateful if you were able to assist me or point me in the direction of someone who can.
My interest is landscape photography, (I have a canon 10d, 17-40L lens and 0.3/0.6/0.9 Lee soft graduation filters, cable release, (used with mirror lockup to avoid mirror vibration), manfrotto tripod and an Epson 2100 printer.(I use photoshop to interpolate up to A3 when I need it but Im still not convinced with the quality compared to it printed 10x6 inch with no interpolation)
I am striving for big sharp prints A3 and well beyond which has led me to seriously look at Large format 5" x 4" as I also take my pictures that way, slow and deliberate and I like taking dramatic photos of the peak district full of highlight and shadow and prepared to get up early/do a lot of walking for my shots.
I have no experience at all of large format, only Digital SLR, so now I am interested in really learning photography!
Some kind of hands on with the equipment or if I am able to watch someone would be fantastic.Short of buying a view camera and all the equipment I do not know anyone who owns these cameras nearby, (I live in sheffield near meadowhall, I do though have a car. None of the local camera shops stock secondhand large format and I do not know anyone else with LF so I can't have a play!
The other reason it would be more important to me to try first is that I have a hand disability, I have a thum for my right hand and a small left hand so I just want to know if I can use the focus controls/ tilts/and processes involved on a monorail/view camera.
Tripod work suits me better but i can handhold the DSLR ok.
Do you live in Sheffield or nearby, or do you know of somone in the area who I might be able to get advice from? I can also travel in my car so transport is not a problem.
It would also be great to talk with like minded individual(s)and see print quality for myself, digital capture against film capture scanned.
Thankyou for your time.
PS - I wondered if the epson v700 would do large format justice short of going down the drumscanner route, it sounds as though you are happy with it.
....on setting up such a wonderful site. I checked it out a while back but never got chance to tell you how good it was. Where does the time go?
Speak to you soon, hopefully see you soon too!
Hi you do not know me but I heard alot about you ,thanks to your dad. We have a common interest in art especially on Thursdays when more talk is done than paint to canvas. We often discussed the relationship between art and photoghaphy relating to composition, colour, light etc .Chris has autumn river on his wall , Its ashame the pc does not the true depth of image . I to like landscape and appreciate the lengths taken to capture the image that is first portraid in the mind eye before the picture or moment is processed. Both artist and photographer must learn from each other, I see you have learnt from your dad ?? Really like your work especially the one Chris showed me of a valley with frost on one side and sun capturing the other side with haze rising from the bottom .Was it Lakedistrict or Scotland ? It was amazing anyway so much detail sorry about poor description.I wish you every sucess , you have a fan hear . Rob