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Friday, 07 January 2011


I know the New Year's resolution. The K-5 spends a week with each commenter who makes a post within the first two hours. Each person uploads the best frames taken with it, along with commentary, to a central site.

Welcome back to Large Format, Mike!

My hunch is that the camera says "Beseler" on the side, and your New Year's 'resolution' will not be measured in pixels. ;)

What camera weight 6 1/2 pounds these days except maybe a large format field or view camera?

Let me guess, it's a Linhof Super Technika V.

Going back to LF?

Linhof Technika. So ...do I win a prize ??!

What? 4x5 for enlargement or 8x10 for contacts? Half plate? Can't wait to see what you produce as a an original "fleeting-moment" photographer with such deliberate gear!
Happy New Year!

"I have also found a very nice new tripod head"

Looking forward to hearing how that Arca D4 works out for you ;-)

Well, either it's "shoot large format", or the ongoing march of DSLR and zoom lens mega-bloat continues at full pace.

My guess is that your new camera is an 8x10 wooden field camera. I think you wrote about 8x10 contact prints not too long ago. Right? Congrats!

Personally, I hope you are getting a Deardorff...

I'd guess, based on the fact that five of the first six commenters jumped to exactly the same place I did, that your update was, perhaps, a bit less enigmatic than originally billed.

I am slightly envious. Large format is the only thing that might tempt me to use a non-digital photographic medium again. I don't know that the results would be better than (or even much different from) digital, but the sheer level of technical fiddlery required makes it appealing. Perhaps this is the same feeling that bakers get when they think about making their own phyllo, or that the mechanically-inclined get on pondering the construction of a kit airplane.

A Holga filled with quarters.

Damn you!

I hope you make great images with the new camera, Mike!

Is it a Leica dangling around a new baby's neck - congatulations, Mike !

My Nikon F2S with its MD-1/MB-1 attached and my 50mm f/1.2 weighs about that much. At least I don't have a 250 back or that weird auto-aperture thing (yet).

Hey I heard they were going to do one but I didn't know the Leica M9 'Lead edition' was out yet Mike.

A Phillips Explorer or Compact II?

It's two Pentax 645Ds, mounted and control wired together so that you can take high resolution stereo pairs.

If the tripod head is for this new beast, I bet it's painted green and better known as a field gun carriage.

Well, you built a darkroom so it was time to buy a camera to go along with it. Sounds like fun.

I like Mike Plews' guess best (Holga filled with quarters). But this is Mike Johnston we're talking about. He wouldn't use cash to fill a Holga.

My guess is a Crown Graphic. Fits his frugal persuasion better than a Deardorf and has pretty good movements for non-technical photography, plus cheap as can be.


My new year's resolution is requiring a rethink, as the drill bit broke off inside the rear rail. No matter what you read on the internet, building a large format camera is always going to cost more than the camera you see on ebay 3 months into the project - I hope that your assumedly fully-assembled camera treats you(and us, hopefully, by extension) well!

Good thinking, but Crowns are not exactly "cheap as can be" any more. Good late Crown Specials with the top-mounted rangefinders commonly go for $600 these days, give or take.


I'm guessing a 5X7 LF camera. It would be too pedestrian for Mike to descend to the humdrum of the .8 format. And he can still do nice size contact prints.

$600? eeeeep!

Shows what I know.


I gotta go along with Rob Griffin. If I recall correctly I believe you have a Saunders LPL670 medium format enlarger, but the heaviest medium format camera I can think of is the a Mamiya RZ67Pro that weighs in at around 5 1/2 pounds with a normal lens. I think there's a Fuji 6x8 camera that may weigh more, not sure. I don't think you plan on investing in say a 4x5 enlarger, so an 8x10 wooden field camera it is. Right?

Have you been using your Mamiya 7 Mike? Was I dreaming or did you buy one last year?Would like to hear what you think of it...I found it really hard to use and ended up selling mine. Couldn't use it for close up work so bought a Mamiya 645 instead.


"Have you been using your Mamiya 7 Mike?"

I did shoot with it a few times (pre darkroom) but haven't taken to it. Yet, at least. Been feeling the need for something far more extreme....


C'mon Mike, just tell us. This wait is getting indecently long. :)

How much does a Gowlendflex weigh?
No wait, that takes two lenses. Mike doesn't seem like he'd be getting a Hulcher , so maybe he got a 5x7 home portrait Graflex SLR, but those weigh ten pounds. Must be the 5x7 compact Graflex , those come in at about 6 1/2 pounds.
Bo wait , Mike is a known Graflex basher, so it must be an 8x10 Gowland pocket view.

My first guess was a Crown Graphic, or similar press camera. Never mind why.

Mike, I discovered on the Large Format Photography Forum that Green-Blue sensitive x-ray film can be had for $35/100 sheets! A fantastic price for experimenting! (And, if you are using 4x5, and are pretty good with an x-acto knife in a changing bag, that works out to be 9 cents a sheet, great for experimenting!) It can be rated at 100 ISO, and has no anti-halation layer, since it is double sided. I believe it behaves like ortho film, but I'm not sure.

Blue-only is also available, if you enjoy wet-plate photography era color interpretation, and you'd like to play with development by inspection. (Apparently sodium vapor lamps are okay, but red LEDs are best.)

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