Hello from Mildenhall - am I mad???

dmlb

New Member
Registered User
Hello, I'm Duncan from Mildenhall and I am wondering whether I am mad...

A couple of years ago I bought a Canon 7D, and then last April I bought a Canon 5D. And now, for some reason I've just bought a build it yourself 4x5 kit. It's the Bulldog one that I stumbled across on EBay a couple of days ago. I am really really excited and cannot wait to start building it... Oh, I have full support from my partner to buy this! She even has said she'd like me to take a portrait of her with it - and she never wants her photo taken.

I:
- Have never used anything other than a DSLR
- Don't have a dark room
- Have bought a camera that doesn't even come with a lens or any way to hold film ;-)

My plan is to build the camera up, start with the supplied pin hole lens board and get some backs from Ebay and a pack of B&W film and send it off to get this processed and scanned. I think I might be asking for help with lenses very very soon!

Why am I doing this? I started musing over the Christmas break about what I like taking photos of, which is mainly outdoors, not classic landscape, more go for a walk and sometimes it the the view, other times it may be a tree, or the pigs in the field... Anyway I started thinking about how I like taking photos of trees but don't have the results I want as I don't have a tilt-shift lens. So I looked at maybe getting one of those, and then I thought well what about large format? Then I saw the Bulldog kit on Ebay and just ... well I like making things ... I've got vintage technical Lego, little wooden models, metal kits etc. It was sort of meant to be.

I am more than OK that Bulldog isn't the best 4x5 camera and is limited in what it can do and an Intrepid isn't too much more than I paid for the kit and better, but I won't have built that would I.

All the best

Duncan
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Welcome to sanity. Everything in LF is open to reason and there are no mysteries. No baffling menus to scroll through, either.

About your camera. The film doesn't know or care what kind of camera you have. All LF cameras are just a bag of darkness with a door to let some of it out. A "better" camera is more convenient, or more robust, or has lovely wood and brass that you can fondle between exposures, but it's much the same. The film will notice what lens you are using, of course.
It's very satisfying to build something yourself. All the best!

You don't mention a three-legged friend.
 
Last edited:

gnomus

Member
Registered User
Congrats. I am brand new to the LF game too. So far, I have had a number of magnificent disasters. My favourites include:

Calculating my exposure. Opening the lens up fully to re-check focus. Then forgetting to stop the lens back down again for the exposure itself. Result - 5 stops of over-exposure and some very black negatives (I bracketted shutter speeds).

And my personal favourite. Taking 2 filmholders into the field. Only making two exposure (one film holder’s worth). Returning home and - you guessed it - developing the unexposed negatives. A lovely pair of transparent negatives.

There is a lot to think about.....
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Gnomus,
It's a relief to know that you haven't discovered any hitherto unknown mistakes. I think everybody has done the same. Some of us might have only done it once, but not me. Next on the list might be exposing the same holder twice.
 

KenS

Active Member
Registered User
Hello, I'm Duncan from Mildenhall and I am wondering whether I am mad...

A couple of years ago I bought a Canon 7D, and then last April I bought a Canon 5D. And now, for some reason I've just bought a build it yourself 4x5 kit. It's the Bulldog one that I stumbled across on EBay a couple of days ago. I am really really excited and cannot wait to start building it... Oh, I have full support from my partner to buy this! She even has said she'd like me to take a portrait of her with it - and she never wants her photo taken.

I:
- Have never used anything other than a DSLR
- Don't have a dark room
- Have bought a camera that doesn't even come with a lens or any way to hold film ;-)

My plan is to build the camera up, start with the supplied pin hole lens board and get some backs from Ebay and a pack of B&W film and send it off to get this processed and scanned. I think I might be asking for help with lenses very very soon!

Why am I doing this? I started musing over the Christmas break about what I like taking photos of, which is mainly outdoors, not classic landscape, more go for a walk and sometimes it the the view, other times it may be a tree, or the pigs in the field... Anyway I started thinking about how I like taking photos of trees but don't have the results I want as I don't have a tilt-shift lens. So I looked at maybe getting one of those, and then I thought well what about large format? Then I saw the Bulldog kit on Ebay and just ... well I like making things ... I've got vintage technical Lego, little wooden models, metal kits etc. It was sort of meant to be.

I am more than OK that Bulldog isn't the best 4x5 camera and is limited in what it can do and an Intrepid isn't too much more than I paid for the kit and better, but I won't have built that would I.

All the best

Duncan

Duncan...Sir

A warm welcome "even tho the temperature out my front door (Southern Alberta) is now 'around -30 Degrees C. I don't believe you are "mad'... I believe you may have finally seen the "real light". The 'learning curve' might seem rather 'steep' (at first) but there are many 'here' most willing and able to provide any 'needed' advice ' (at the 'drop of a hat'.). since we have all been 'right where you are right now..I believe the expression is "been there, done that".... bought the 't-shirt' and then wore it out'
You WILL have more 'Fun' working under the dark-cloth than "pixel-peeping through a small view-finder.

KenS
 

dmlb

New Member
Registered User
Well, I thought I'd give a little update.

Unfortunately, the Bulldog 4x5 fell through and the vendor refunded everything very quickly and cleanly. I ended up heading to a camera fair a few weeks ago, and well, I came home with a smaller bank balance; an MPP mark VII with 150mm and 240mm lenses; a 6x9 back; some extra bits and bobs for the camera etc.; a roll of PANF PLUS 50 that expired in 2012...

Which I promptly tried out that evening. And then thought - how the h**l do I get this developed... So I've happily bought a dark bag and and chemicals and jugs from Tesco and ... and been developing my own film, and then realised I want to post process, so back to Ebay for a scanner and anyway here are a few images of the things I've done/shot/got!

My first image - processed by me and scanned by me! Learning point - don't wait too long to wipe the developed film - otherwise you get streaks! Oh, and don't forget to change the shutter to the right aperture, otherwise you over expose... But the f5.6 does blur the background nicely.

ROLL_1_1.jpg


Now from a week later once I'd got some 4x5 film (Fomapan 100), in the local grave yard and my first go at using a lot of movements (front and rear), at 150mm/f22. The 3200dpi scan is amazing (this isn't it). A bit too much rise as I wanted the bottom right hand grave stone not cut off.

FOLIO_2_3_quarter-Exposure.jpg

Out shooting off the last of the roll of 6x9 to try out a set of contrast filters I got (from a Canon 7D) I am using for metering and initial composition.

IMG-4b0e4f6e1dc7127dd720cbca78270b3a-V.jpg
 
Top