Large format at the beach

My large format camera is almost always with me when on a phot trip. Actually is in my car waiting of a subject worth of using it. As expected, most of the times I will choose another camera and will wait for a real good scenery you shoot with my 4×5.

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(Sinar Norma 4×5, Schneider Symmar-S 210mm f/5.6, Kodak TMAX 100
Aperture: f/11, speed: 1/400)

The uneven sky is probably due to me making some mistake in placing the film on the MOD54. No light leaks from the bellows (I recently taped a couple of pinholes). Thankfully, its very easy to fix this sky on post processing.

I used Ilford’s DD-X developer instead of R09. Its far more expensive, but gives wonderful results with the TMAX 100 film, and a very fine grain. The detail and sharpness on the print is of course stunning.

Now, a few words about my Sinar Norma monorail. Its by all means a fantastic view camera, built as a tank, very sturdy and with all the movements you will ever need. But carrying it far from the car is not the easiest thing. Either I have to dismantle it (which I really don’t wanna do) or carry it on a tripod which is also a difficult task. Its not heavy, but the balance is really awkward and the thing is full of metal edges which can bruise or cut you very easily. So, for a long distance walk its not practical. I knew that of course, but the price was really low compared to a wooden field camera.

Currently, investing on a field camera is not a option, I have already gone way beyond my budget with the large format system (lenses,boards,holders, etc). The thing is that when I look at the w images I have do so far with the 4×5, they are not up to the composition quality I get from my other cameras which are of course far more portable.

A monorail excels in architecture, macro and portraits, and as you can easily guess by readings some posts of this blog, I am not doing much if them. For landscape work, the light and easy to carry field camera is really the best option. What does it mean in practice ? Well, not much actually,since I am staying with the Sinar and will probably have to bear the disassembling process when I want to go for a long distance from my car.

I am loading some more TMAX 100 film in my holders and hope to be able to find some good subjects on my next week trip.

(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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3 Responses to Large format at the beach

  1. Angus says:

    When you make the jump to field camera may I recommend the Chamonix 4×5 or its knock off Shen Hao PTB 4×5. There is a new version of the Chamonix with even greater movements. I hike with my Chamonix and set up is pretty fast and it is extremely light and can do up to 450mm lenses.

    • kbesios says:

      Thank you for the suggestion. The Chamonix would be my first choice as a field camera, I’ve read excellent reviews.

  2. I use the MOD54 too – the uneven parts of the sky might be due to uneven development. I’ve seen this on my negatives too sometimes and I *think* it might be caused by too much agitation. It might also just be a compromise of the MOD54 design; the designer has released a new version recently and I think he continues to refine it to improve the developing results.

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