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Foray into Large Format

Recently I got my hands on a Linhof Color Kardan 4×5 camera on the cheap.  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at large format for a while now, and it was a case of the right price at the right time, so I took the plunge.  Unfortunately the camera was just that, however: just the camera.  What I didn’t really appreciate at the time (but I do now) is how much else you need to put together a full large format kit.  After weeks of scrounging, however, I finally have a more or less complete setup and am ready to take some pictures. 🙂  Here’s the full accounting to date:

Linhof Color Kardan 45s monorail camera body (c. 1975 or so): $50
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 tripod with 3030 pan/tilt head: $60
Film holders, darkroom supplies, and various odds and ends: $70
Caltar II-N 135mm f/5.6 lens + shipping: $350
Ilford HP5+ 4×5 film (25 pack): $25

Grand total to date: $535

Ouch.

So it got a bit more expensive than I originally planned.  But on the bright side, I had a lot of fun doing the scavenger hunt for all of the parts (and I could have spent a TON more money buying everything new).  Craigslist is awesome like that.

So tonight I did my best to block off all of the light coming into my bathroom and loaded up my film holders.  It was actually quite a bit easier than I had anticipated.  The film loading that is.  Darkening up the backroom not so much.  I was amazed how much light leaked in though my flimsy brown-paper-bag-over-the-window job.  There was also a bit of light leaking in through the door jam (I did block the bottom with a towel).  So yeah… I’m hoping it didn’t fog my 400-speed film too much….  Well, I’ll find out soon enough. 🙂

Now all I have to do is get my butt up in the morning and find some subjects to shoot.

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