Upload & Sell: On
Scott Kroeker wrote:
Ben, this is a terrific photo. Worth all the efforts IMHO and I am glad to see the results of those efforts.
I have a question for you about your gear setup. I just use a crappy digital rig. My long term goal, after winning the lotto, is to upgrade to a great digital system (D800E and some primes) and eventually want to get into LF film. I see you use the Ebony brand and it was the one I decided I would love to get down the road. What are your challenges limitations with a system like that? Do...Show more →
I've always been a big fan of your work. I had always assumed you were working with something along the lines of a D800E or a 5DII, but when I revisited some of your recent posts, I noticed that there wasn't any info to show what they were shot with. As in most cases with photography, it's not about the camera so much as it is the person using it and your work is absolutely gorgeous.
The same thing applies to LF. In this case, the camera is simply a light proof wooden frame with leather bellows. It's that simplicity that I enjoy about film though. If I didn't do my job to get all the settings right at the moment of exposure, the shot won't turn out and I will spend quite a bit of time and money on that mistake.
When I was searching for an 8x10, I had narrowed my search to 2 different brands, Ebony and Canham. While searching the used market, I stumbled across used RW810 on another forum. I looked into the model, snd figured it would be a nice match. It is a very simple, and relatively lightweight camera. When I bought it, I never dreamed I would be able to backpack with it, but that was a result of the lightness.
I don't do my own processing because there is a great lab only 40 minutes from my house. They will develop anything, color neg, color slide, or B&W. The total cost for each exposure is somewhere around $25. If I end up with a photo I would love to print some day, I send it for a high res drum scan at around $200 per image. That's certainly a lot of money, but I only drum scan a handful of images each year.
The availability of film is a bit of an issue at the moment. I've stocked up with Velvia 50 since it's very tough to get right now (it has been discontinued, then somewhat reintroduced), and I have a modest supply of Kodak Ektar 100 and Kodak Portra 160, but I certainly could stand to buy some more boxes. On my most recent trip, I made only 5 exposures, so a box of 10 or 20 sheets of film does last quite a while.
The biggest limitations of LF have to do with wind (even a slight breeze can shake the bellows of the camera), and the inability to set up the camera in dark conditions. Typically I can find a break in the wind to make my exposures, but a morning shot would require me setting up the camera the day before. Overall, I find the process very rewarding, but it did take several years for me to really get the hang of it. I also own a D800 that I use for doing a lot of video work these days, but I'm much more comfortable with the 8x10. It's kind of funny how that works.