New beginner's mistake - painful / carrying Toyo CX : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have just purchased my first large format (posted a message earlier) about how to get film from the camera to the lab. I've just got back from using it for the first time and managed to do something I hope not to repeat in a hurry. I'm using a Toyo 45CX and removed the plastic covers from each end of the monorail so that I can slide the camera on and off more quickly (the Toyo has annoying little clips to hold the plastic ends in place which are an annoyance). Anyway, I'm all set up with my head under the cloth. On removing my head of course I hit the end of the rail causing a nice two inch cut on the top of my forehead. Any similar stories from other people ?

With regards to carrying the Toyo CX, I was unsure what I was going to do and thought I would have to buy a new pack once I had bought it. However, it fits perfectly in the Tamrac 767 backpack I already have with room for 8 film holders, loupe, meter etc. There may just be room for a second mounted lens but I'm not sure since I only have one lens at present.

-- Edward Hattersley (, July 16, 2000


Well Edward... aren't true artists supposed to be willing to suffer for the sake of art? My biggest problem seems to be pinching my fingers in the tripod. After 30 years or so, you would think I could be more careful...

BTW Edward... how did your first photographs turn out? There is ALWAYS comfort in a good negative! With a handshake - Dave

-- Dave Richhart (, July 16, 2000.

It's interesting how when we become familiar with equipment, and are able to concentrate on the creative process, the equipment becomes secondary. I used a 4X5 for 12 years or so and became quite used to where eveything was when the camera was set up. I was amazed when I moved to 8X10 how much BIGGER the camera is. I hit my head a number of times while moving and using the 8X10, just because I was used to moving in a certain pattern around the setup. I have heard it said that we must do something different 21 times before it became a habit, ie., putting your coat on left arm first instead of right arm. I was able to change this pattern in about 4 good smacks; pain can be such a good educatior! (The tripod still gets me now and then also!)

-- Marv (, July 16, 2000.

Edward, it isn't just new large format users who get bit by that tripod mounted monster once in a while. Just recently I was shooting with my 90mm lens and had the lens and camera back racked out to the front end of the rail. I was rushing to get a shot before the clouds moved and when I leaned over to loupe the ground glass I jammed the end of the rail into my Adam's Apple. I wondered if I would ever talk again. That was just before I managed to close the tripod on my hand. My technical camera bites me every once in a while when I close it up and leave a finger under the bed stops (my wife makes the grandson put his hands over his ears when I close my camera). I have been using LF cameras since 1958 and I expect to get it right any day now. Welcome to the world of LF. You will find it is worth a pinch or cut once in a while. Good shooting.

-- Doug Paramore (, July 16, 2000.

Edward, beware of mean tripods. On a cold November morning in Monument Valley I was opening my tripod and felt the pressure on my little finger. I close the leg to remove my finger and saw the fleshy pad fall to the dirt between my feet. The temperature was about 25 degrees and the numbness of my hands prevented any pain. Now I always pack bandaids and antibiotic cream in my camera bag. I honestly say that my photography is a combination of blood, sweat & tears.

-- Pat Kearns (, July 17, 2000.

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