Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Large Format, The Way of the Future

Well, at least it is for me! While I am getting together information on my next post on developing a website, I would like to jump in my next venture after my portfolio class is finished, View cameras and large format photography.

Last week in my Intermediate class, my teacher introduced us to probably the most flexible, time consuming, and incredibly customizable area on the shooting side of photography. I never imagined being able to make an entire object be in focus just by tilting the front of the camera. Nor did I think it was possible to adjust the composition without having to move the entire camera. Its incredibly mind blowing after spending the last few months with my twin lens trying to get the subject just in the right area. Moving this way, moving that way. trying to get it just right.

There aren't too many downsides to large format that I can see. The main ones are the cost of film, using a ground glass to focus, the weight, and the cost. Well, the cost of film is debatable. Some, like Ken Rockwell, say that shooting large format is actually cheaper than shooting 35mm, since you shoot less and you get more. (I tried looking for the article where he said that, but I found a good Film vs. Digital one instead. He has a section where he compared the cost of shooting digital to the cost of shooting film.)

I think, I'm going to jump in the easy way. I just started looking on eBay at Graflex Crown Graphics and Speed Graphics for an inexpensive way to get into the format, even though they are somewhat more of a middle ground between 35mm and View cameras. With the Graphics, they are only able to tilt and turn on the front by the lens instead of being able to do it on the front and back And they both come with a Rangefinder, a ground glass, and a wire sports finder frame for multiple ways of focusing and setting up the shots.

If anybody has any comments on the Crown Graphics or view cameras in general, leave a comment below