36097449 Medium and Large Format Photography Moving Beyond 35mm for Better Pictures

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    MEDIUM AND LARGEFORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY

    moving beyond 35mm for better pictures

    Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz

    -

    Amphoto Books

    An imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications/New York

    by Ne Quid Nimis (www.AvaxHome.ru)

    http://www.avaxhome.ru/http://www.avaxhome.ru/
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    First published in the United States in 2001 by Amphoto Books.

    an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications, a division ot

    BPI Communications, Inc., 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

    www.watsonguptill.com

    First published in the UK in 2001 by David anc Charles

    Copyright Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz 2001

    Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz have asserted their right

    to be identified as authors of this work in accordance with

    the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. 1988.

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

    stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,

    electronic or mechanical, by photocopying, recording or otherwise,

    without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

    Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 00-110235

    ISBN 0-8174-4557-9

    Printed in China by Leefung-Asco

    Publishing Manager Miranda Spicer

    Commissioning Editor Anna Watson

    Art Editor Diana Dummett

    Desk Editor Freya Dangerfield

    (page 2) BANK AND CLINIC, DHARAMSALA

    Many of the pictures in this book were shot with our Alpas, very simple

    (though very expensive) scale-focus roll-film cameras. With their high-quality

    lenses and good-sized negatives, they have produced some of our favorite

    pictures. Roger took this with his 12 WA, fitted with a 38/4.5 Zeiss Biogon

    and a 66x44mm back, on llford HP5 Plus - which is another product thatfigures very large in this book.

    http://www.watsonguptill.com/http://www.watsonguptill.com/
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    CONTENTS

    Introduction and Acknowledgments 6

    1 Why Move Up? 8

    2 Roll Film 36

    3 Large Format 66

    4 Lenses and the Outfit 96

    5 The Darkroom 126

    A Personal Style: Roger 148

    Frances 150

    Appendices:

    I Learning LF with Polaroids 152

    II Three Custom Cameras 154

    III Hints, Tips and Checklists 156

    Index 158

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    Introduction &AcknowledgmentsFor the most part, becoming a better photographer is generally a question of

    enthusiasm, effort and practice. The only real expenditure is on materials, and

    perhaps in getting to places that inspire you to take better pictures.

    It would, however, be foolish and irresponsible to pretend that equipment is

    irrelevant. Even where a new camera brings no real, inherent benefit, the mere

    decision to try something new can still spur the photographer on to tryingharder. The bigger the change, the more likely this is to be the case; and

    the move from 35mm to roll film or sheet film is a pretty major step.

    The trouble is, it is entirely possible to spend a small fortune (or even

    a large one) on new equipment, without any real benefit. In fact, the new

    purchase may even have the opposite effect to what was intended: it is hard

    to use, or you just don't get along with it, so you waste a lot of time fighting

    with the equipment, and your pictures actually deteriorate. This is where we

    hope this book will be of particular use.

    The basic message is simple. Medium format (MF) and large format (LF)

    cameras are actually easier to use than 35mm. The bigger format is more

    forgiving at every stage: exposure, processing, printing. This is, after all, why4x5in survived for so long in newspaper photography.

    The difficult part lies in ridding yourself of your 35mm mind-set: taking lots

    of pictures and using only a few, trying to built a "universal" outfit with a lot of

    lenses, the whole received wisdom on exposure and development.

    To a large extent, too, moving up is a matter of going back to basics. You

    may or may not choose to go back to basics on focus and exposure - if you

    want, you can buy auto-everything 645 cameras - but you have to go back to

    basics on what you want to photograph, and how you want to photograph it. If

    you are reading this book, the chances are that you can use your 35mm

    equipment without having to think too hard; you are so familiar with it that you

    just take the picture, without any great concerns about technique. Move up to

    MF or LF, and you have to start thinking again,

    The potential rewards are, however, considerable. We think that this book

    contains some of our best work, and one of the reasons for this is the sheer

    technical quality that MF and LF make possible.

    As ever, we have tried to indicate the least expensive route into each new

    area of photography, along with those areas where you have little alternative

    but to grit your teeth and spend the money. If you can afford to jump in with a

    somewhat greater investment than we would normally contemplate, then the

    very best of luck to you, but remember this: neither MF nor LF is likely to be

    anything near as expensive as you may think. We believe that once you have

    seen the results that even a cheap MF or LF camera can deliver, you will be all

    the more willing to find the money that you need for a better camera. Of

    course, this may be a good reason not to buy the book!

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    We should like to thank all the manufacturers who

    have lent us MF and LF cameras over the years,

    especially (in alphabetical order) Alpa, Contax, Gandolfi,

    Gran View, KJP Linhof, Mamiya, NPC, Polaroid, Bob

    Rigby. Rollei, Toho and Walker. Among dealers, we

    should particularly like to thank Linhof and Professional

    in London) and Robert White (in Poole) for the loan of

    equipment, and Silverprint (London) and The F Stops

    Here (Santa Barbara, California) for advice on LF. Kevin

    at Camerex (Exeter) and Bill Orford at Linhof and

    Professional help keep our cameras repaired and

    eady for action, and Camera Bellows, a division of

    Lee Filters, has supplied us with new bellows for many

    an old camera; we also use filters and hoods from

    he parent company.

    In the darkroom, we would like to thark De Vere

    large format enlargers), Fotospeed (chemistry), Nova

    processing equipment), Paterson (enlargers and

    chemistry), RH Designs (timers and analysers) and RKPhotographic (enlargers). Our 35mm and MF films are

    stored in Print-File sleeves and cleaned with Kinetronics

    brushes, while our prints are retouched with SpotPens.

    Then there are the materials manufacturers, most

    especially llford (whose monochrome films we now use

    almost exclusively), Kodak (whose color films we now

    use almost exclusively), Polaroid (a strong argument in

    hemselves for moving up to MF and LF), but also

    Bergger (specialty papers and film), Kentmere

    specialty papers), Tetenal (color paper and chemistry),

    Fuji (film), Adorama (paper) and Silverprint (printing-outpaper). Acknowledgments like this may seem a bit

    edious, but by supporting companies who are

    genuinely helpful and enthusiastic, instead of the ones

    who are run by bean counters, you can help to ensure a

    ourishing photographic community.

    Martin Morana of the Maltese Tourism Authority deserves special thanks

    or facilitating our shooting on that incredible island where, in a few square

    kilometers, there are surely more photographic opportunities than anywhere

    else on Earth of comparable size. If you can go there, do.

    On a personal level, we should particularly like to thank Marie Muscat-King,

    several of whose pictures appear in this book (as they do in most of our booksnowadays); Dr A. Neill Wright, doyen of the MPP Users' Club and inventor of

    both the 617 Longfellow and the 4x5in Fish (these references will become

    clear in the text); and Mike Gristwood, whose encyclopedic knowledge of

    photography is both legendary, and generously shared. On those rare occasions

    when he does not already know the answer, he can (almost) invariably dig out

    he leading papers on the subject, by the oest authorities. But - the usual

    disclaimer - any errors in these pages are, of course, our own,

    POPEYE VILLAGE, MALTA

    The movie set for Popeye was not torn

    down: it remains as a permanent tourist

    attraction near Mellieha in Malta. The

    advantage of roll-film color negatives is

    that you can use reasonably fast films -

    this is 6x9cm Kodak Portra 400 VC- and

    not worry for an instant about grainor color saturation.

    ALPA 12 S/WA, 58/5.6 SCHNEIDER SUPER

    ANGULONXL. (FES)

    RWH

    FES

    Minnis Bay 2000

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    Chapter

    1

    WHY M