Large Format Photography Prep

Last week I received my fortnightly update from Intrepid Camera that my 4×5 Large Format Camera is currently in it’s 6th week of production, and is now coming to the final stages of completion which is really exciting!

The weather in the UK over the past several weeks hasn’t been particularly great and I’m currently not sure when the camera will get it’s first outing when I receive it.

I’m hoping I won’t have to wait until spring time but I’m not ruling it out.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some prep for when I receive the camera.

Slowly over the past few months whilst the camera is being made, I’ve bought the essential items I think I will need to start using the camera such as a Lens, a changing bag and dark cloth.

I haven’t quite decided yet whether to purchase a loupe as they are quite pricey and I’m wondering if I will manage to focus ok without one.

For now, I’m going to try without one and if I struggle getting in focus photos, then I shall purchase one.

I’ve been pracitising using the lens by itself with the help of some YouTube videos which talk about my particular brand of large format lens since it didn’t come with an instruction manual and it’s quite old. I also couldn’t find an exact instruction manual for this particular lens online.

To aid my preperation, I’ve also purchased this book. It was originally printed in 1987 and this revised version is from 1992.

I had read some good reviews about it. It’s a good reference book and not a book you read from cover to cover as not everything is relevant to me or my camera I’m using.

However, I have gleaned some useful information which I think will help me with my first attempts at large format photography since I really am clueless about using it and I think only actual practice will help me learn how to use it properly.

I also got this cool log book as I know with large format photography, it’s going to be very important for me to log all what I do when I take a photo so I can learn from what worked and what hasn’t. The book also has a section for noting notes in processing the film. I plan to process my own 4×5 negatives long term since it is quite expensive to get them processed at my local lab.

Lastly, I have really enjoyed reading the re-printed Issue 1 of Intrepid Magazine and also some photozines who have used large format photography such as @conspiracy.of.cartographers who have really inspired me to use this style of camera.

I look forward to updating everyone as I venture into my new journey of large format photography.

12 thoughts on “Large Format Photography Prep

  1. Cool stuff. I recently stumbled across an instant photo online that had really shallow DOF and asked the photographer how they did it. They said “oh I rigged my large format to do instant photos with a back.” Then I saw a Youtube video from Intrepid that showed some guys using an Instant peel-away back on a large format camera. Totally cool stuff. I didn’t realize how versatile they could be. I wish you good luck getting into it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just started using my Intrepid 4×5 and I definitely recommend a loupe. I am starting with paper negatives because they are cheaper. You just cut darkroom paper to size under a safelight and load it into the film backs.

    Liked by 1 person

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