The Allure of Photographing With 4×5 Large Format Film cameras
So while I love digital photography, I also have some film cameras for when I want to slow way down. And with large format… you are going to slow WAY down.
Differences Between Digital/35mm and Large Format Film
Let me start by saying that shooting with 4×5 large format is nothing like photographing with an SLR and certainly nothing like shooting with a DSLR/mirrorless. It is something akin to wrestling with an octopus armed with knobs and various loose bits… or perhaps it is more accurate to say that you feel a bit like an octopus wrapped around a contraption which is comprised of various knobby bits to turn and adjust. All of this while keeping a large piece of fabric over your head, so that you can make out the image on the focusing screen.
Be Prepared To Look Out Of Place When Shooting Large Format Photographs
If it looks like the camera is eating me…. that’s because that’s how it felt. As for adjusting aperture from under the hood, you just need to memorize where that particular dial/ring/lever is located on the lens… oh and it’s a bit different on each lens….
The Pros of Large Format Film Photography
Still. when it all goes sorta right, you are rewarded with a really cool image…
A bit faint in the outside light, but under the hood, it’s definitely clearer.
In this closeup shot,I had my A7Riii on a wider aperture and slow shutter speed, so it got blurred. However, seeing the details emerge on the focusing screen is quite rewarding.
The Cons of Large Format Film Photography
What is less rewarding is the ache I now feel in my back due to the hunching over… ergonomic, large format photography is not.
For those who are curious:
- Camera: Intrepid 4×5 v2.0 large format camera
- Tripod: ProMaster XC-M 525K Professional Tripod Kit with Head – Blue
- Lens: Fujinon 90mm mounted on Copal Compur Prontor 3 Lens Board
- Hood: Wanderer Dark Focusing Cloth
- Film: Arista EDU 100 ISO 4×5 BW sheet film
- Metering: Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera
Will post the results of my shots once I’ve gotten them out for developing and have scanned them.