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| p.1 #16 · Absolutely, The Best Landscape Camera... |
Ben; I was hoping you would join in as your website is what sparked this question... Your images are amazing... I understand the complexities & expense of LF, but question the legitimacy of someone, like myself, desiring to do our "Best" and never having experienced LF... In your experience is the cost of equipment, film, processing , and drum printing worth it to the pro-sumer ?? Thank you, Jim
Thanks for the very kind words! If it wasn't for the fact that I am trying to market my prints in galleries, I would have a difficult time justifying the expense. 4x5 is very reasonable in price, but 8x10 is quite a bit more. I am planning on ordering a large quantity of Kodak color neg film to hold me over for quite some time, and the expense is quite daunting.
Kodak Portra 160 (one of my favorite films right now) is roughly $150 for a box of 10 sheets. I was planning on ordering enough film to last me for a couple years.... and that amount would be more than the value of a Canon 5DII. This doesn't count developing, and definitely not drum scans.
You can scan the film very well on a flatbed scanner these days, so drum scan's aren't absolutely necessary, but with my target market being art galleries, I really do need to put out the $200 per scan.
I can attribute many of my best shots to the fact that I am working within the constraints of LF, but I do miss many of the great aspects of digital. I hope to add a digital SLR to my collection again at some point. LF is great for some things, but digital SLRs are superior for other types of shots. There isn't a be-all-end-all solution for landscape photography.
I should also mention that my daily video journals have taken much of the sting away from the cost of LF. These videos help tell the story behind each photo. I put my video content out there for free, and there are many very generous people from all over the world who enjoy the content, and contribute to my blog. With the support of these people, as well as the revenue I am able to generate from youtube, most of my film expenses are covered. Their support encourages me to continue my quest, and it gets me through the very strenuous nature of these shooting trips --- knowing that I need to come up with something to show.
I find it a bit ironic that I financially benefit more from these videos, than the images themselves.
I don't like to shoot my LF camera if anyone else is around, so I go on solo shooting trips. I feel that the slowness of my working style would be booooooorrrring for anyone who is not there for the same purpose. It would be difficult to shoot LF if you don't have the time set aside to pursue it without distraction.
If my wife and I are going on a camping trip, I often times don't bring my camera. I'll return at a later date on a shooting trip with a better sense of what I want to capture.