ADMIN: WHAT'S NEXT ON THE LF PAGE ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I would like to invite everybody to discuss which new material we would like on the Large Format Page, and to contribute some. I'll suggest some directions for a start here, but I'd be most interested to hear what you'd be interested in reading or contributing.

So far, we have a good number of articles about equipment, but there are still a number of gaps. I was thinking:

There are two types of articles that you could contribute. The first one is a Survey (like what we currently have for 4x5 cameras), which requires a bit of market research, but no actual experience with all the gear. The second would be a Review, which is simpler: you own or use a piece of equipment which hasn't been written about enough (this can be anything from a lupe or a holder to a camera) ? Just describe it, how it works, what are its advantages and drawbacks.

As you have noticed, I've begun to write articles about technique this summer. I'll try to finish up the series on setting-up the camera by discussing view camera movements. It's probably time to think about other subjects (such as metering), and more specific how-to articles (such as how to photograph buildings at dusk).

Where I'd really like to expend the contents is towards trip reports and photographer's profiles. Hopefully this will bring photographs to the LF page.

In a trip report, you'd write about a place you've been, what you liked about it, what the possibilities were, how you handled the logistics. It can be anywhere: a wilderness trip, foreign travel, a road trip, or an afternoon visit to an interesting location in your town.

In a photographer's profile, we would read anything you'd like to tell us about yourself, your subjects, motivations, philosophy, methods and tricks, equipment, and photography. You'd provide a small portfolio of representative photographs. I was thinking to set that up as a chain. We would create a list of photographers interested in being profiled. After your own profile has been published on the LF page, you would pick someone else on the list, and collaborate with him or her on creating his profile by interviewing him, and so on.

What do you think of all those ? Any other ideas ? Say what you want, hopefully somebody will like to write it !

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, September 27, 2000


Add a large format photo critique forum.

-- Aaron Rocky (, September 28, 2000.

Alternative printing processes: Pt/Pd, POP, gum, cyanotype, etc.

-- Chad Jarvis (, September 28, 2000.

I think a section on lighting techniques w/LF and MF would be nice. (just a thought)

-- Bernard R. Negrin (, September 28, 2000.

I like all of these ideas. I especially like the idea of photographer profiles and trip reports. I think just more info and articles in all areas would be great. This is a great resource already, and I think that these additions would make it even better.

-- Dave Munson (, September 28, 2000.

Possibly feature some one' s LF images along with a profile on a weekly basis. Viewers can flip through images and comment.

-- Dave Anton (, September 28, 2000.

If anyone on the list is good at basic cleaning and adjustment of older shutters that aren't too difficult to work on (Ilex and such), a few illustrated how-to's would be interesting.

-- David Goldfarb (, September 28, 2000.

I really appreciate this site and all the work that QTL puts into it. Its hard to imagine many improvements but I'd hugely support a large and medium format image critique section. I like the gear and the technique, must have it, but the end product is the image and frankly, I could use the help in developing a critical eye.


-- Robb Reed (, September 28, 2000.

I particularly like the idea of more information on digital processing of LF images including transparency scanning, equipment, techniques, camera backs etc.

-- Steve Seitz (, September 28, 2000.

I like the idea of travel reports... building a repository of logistical information would be very helpful. Sources of film, and reports of good and bad experiences with processing labs in different locations would be very helpful in trip planning.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 28, 2000.

The trip report sounds goods. I usually take at least one long road trip a year and several long weekend trips that I wouldn't mind contributing information on. I would also like to hear about other locations to visit.

-- Pat Kearns (, September 28, 2000.

I like most of the suggestions, except for the critique, that usually turns into a cat/dog fight and remarks about cropping, ect., the other thing that bothers me is going to med.format, this is LF site, maybe I am selfish but I would like to see it remain that and not degenerate into a med.format/35mm site, with all the bickering and flamming. QTL, I really enjoy the site and hope we can all contribute to and maintain the quality of the site. Regards, Pat

-- pat krentz (, September 28, 2000.

I want to second Chad's response for Platinum and alternatives like Kallitypes. Let's talk about post production!

-- Scott Walton (, September 28, 2000.

I reinforce Pat4s post. This is a LARGE format site.(Or isn't?).

-- Sergio Caetano (, September 28, 2000.

I like the idea. I like the idea of getting to know something about the individuals I'm conversing with. It helps in understanding points of view and backgrounds. I would like to keep this a large format page but there are those who shoot MF w/movements that can add to the discussion. We shoot with roll film backs so I think it can be beneficial to include MF users as long as these point and shooters mind their manners. Ha Ha. I would also like to keep the critiques to specific questions about such things as movements or printing. I don't like questions like "comment on my picture." There needs to be constructive criticism on more than just cropping or "get rid of the tree from her head" or "what do you think of my pet duck?" There are already enough sites like this. And I would welcome any discussion on ULF or alternative process topics. James

-- james (, September 28, 2000.

A little more info on the issues w/8x10 would help those of us attempting to migrate to that format. Things that only become an issue with the larger formats are great help to someone just moving up. I didn't know about the problems with the Dektol/Azo combination (and fortunately didn't have to find out the hard way), and buying a Calumet C-series is a minefield for the unitiated.

Still looking for a $200 Wisner Traditional 8x10...

-- John O'Connell (, September 28, 2000.


Some of the previous posts have mentioned increasing the functionality of the website to include picture posts, and other aspects that are not directly related to large format photography. I think we need to be careful that the mission of the site is not lost, that being the dissemination of information on LF gear and techniques.

While I have no problem with the occasional off topic question in the discussion group, I think we should keep the static content pure to the realm of LF photography. There are many other sites that offer picture reviews, general film and chemical information, and other topics that LF photographers may use, none of this is explicitly part of the LF realm.

For example, covering alternative methods, although mostly practiced by LF photographers, is a clear shift in the emphasis of the site. There are some excellent sites and discussion groups that cover this topic, and I don't think there is a need to re-hash the topic. Adding a page of links to alternative photography sites should be sufficient. I print in platinum/palladium, so I'm not biased against alternative methods, I just don't want to see the site lose it's high level of purity.

However, ULF is a very appropriate topic, and is one that has very little good information available on the net. This is a unique branch of LF in that the gear used, and also some of the techniques, are often old, out of production, out of date, and undocumented. For example, there are precious few modern lenses that are suitable for use on a 7x17, 8x20, or 12x20 camera. This means that the ULF photographer must purchase old lenses. There is not a great deal of information on older lenses, and it certainly isn't all in the same place.

Ultimately, I don't think you want to do anything that requires you to become a full time webmaster for the site. This eliminates everything but static pages, and the basic q&a board you currently have. Personally, I'm satisifed with that. As long as there is a continuous increase in the amount of LF information offered here, and the relevant pages are updated from time to time (lens specs., etc.), this site will continue to remain one of the best on the web.


(Let me know if you would like some help with ULF... I may have some time for that.)

-- Michael Mutmansky (, September 28, 2000.

Some possible areas where little information is available on the web include studio lighting and setup techniques used in still life photography, ultra large format, alt processes.

I like the idea of photographer's profile, photo essay etc.

-- VNC (, September 28, 2000.

All great suggestions. I'd add a grass roots movement thru suggested petitions to influence manufactures to consider making items we could use, such as Reala in sheet film. I'd also try and format down the road a contest where maybe we could gain recognition for our photography thru this forum to be used as an awards reference.

-- Wayne Crider (, September 28, 2000.

There are very few web sites that I visit every day, but this is one of them. There's always something interesting to learn - thanks for all your hard work to maintain it.

I agree with most of the previous postings. The only other area I'd like to see emphasized a bit more is architectural stuff (both exterior and interior, including lighting issues) and the challenges of doing it with LF equipment.

-- Bruce Pollock (, September 28, 2000.

The "Misc 2x3 View Cameras" section is extremely sparse, so if expanding it is what's intended by "MF view and technical cameras" then I think its an excellent idea.

Most of the books I've seen define large format as 2x3 and up. 6x9 format is all but dead in the MF world, but there's quite a number of 6x9 cameras being made by the LF manufacturers.

Its also obvious that there's a growing interest in 6x9 on this forum. I'm starting out with an old 2x3 Technica (although I'm also getting my feet wet with a 4x5 Crown Graphic). There's arguments pro and con about whether 6x9 is a good way to get started in LF photography, but the fact remains that for many beginners its an appealing transitional step. I've also seen numerous posts from professional LF photographers who use 6x9 exclusively. It belongs here.

-- Joe Buechler (, September 29, 2000.

I'd like to see a beginner section for platinum printing and selenium toning. I also like the idea of hand held LF photography. Darkroom techniques also sparks my interest at this moment.

GREAT SITE! I'D be lost without it!

paul schuster

-- paul schuster (, September 29, 2000.

First off, let me say that I agree with Wayne, for the petitions ideas. I also think that having a few more beginers pages would be great - e.g. Platinum processin (including info on how or where to get LARGE copy negs done - a short list to labs providing that service UK and Europe, not just the US would be nice). Other good beginers topics could include setting up the camera and other ancillary equipment for different applications (e.g. portraits, still life, landscape, other people shots not falling into portraits - i.e. group shots and the like, nudes, product). And it would also be a good idea to have sectiond on digital capture, and the scanning in of negs/ chromes. Also I think that having 'shoot reports' would be very helpful - giving you some nice photos for the page, and some more exposure for the photographer.

-- David Kirk (, September 29, 2000.


I'm new to view camera and finding your LF site has been of great help. After many hesitation, I've bought an Arca-Swiss 6x9, so I'd welcome more information concernig that format.. For me the dividing line isn't between LF and MF but wether the camera allows movement or not.. There are specific questions related to 6x9 format and I'd like to see them treated, does it make a difference in the tripod choice or loupe choice ? what about the best suited lenses for 6x9 ?

As for a critic section, my first reaction was positive, but reading some sceptic comment about it, I'd say that it is a good idea, as long as we can keep it focused on special LF themes : what kind of movements were used, in order to correct perspective, or to increase (or decrease) the depth of field..

I'm less interested by alternative process, since I'm mostly scanning the negs.. as for digital printing, there are already a lot of other sites/lists devoted to those topics.. (see the digitalsilver list at or the Mitchel Leben lists at

Thank for all the helpfull information put on the LF pages.

Any way thanks for offering all those ressources.

-- Christiane Roh (, September 29, 2000.

Travel reports? Sounds interesting, so long as they are farly well written (same as anything else, I suppose). If enough of them acccumelate, they could be divided into categories (area, season, etc.)

-- Karl Wolz (, September 29, 2000.

The problem with this site is enough blah, blah, blah! Let's see some real good pictures. This is what LF all about.

-- Aaron Rocky (, September 29, 2000.

I'd be extremely interested in both reading and contributing to travel reports. I'm also very interested in the idea of objective surveys and reviews.

Great ideas.

-- Doug Broussard (, September 29, 2000.

Brilliant site. I like the idea re 10x8 section as I feel that this will be the next area manufacturers will attempt to drop their support in, ie films, pro lab d&p etc etc. Forget medium format as this site has the best for want of a better word atmosphere! and no flaming. If I want medium format help I will go to the MF forum. This site is so good that any none equipment problem is normally answered here.

-- Sean Quigley (, September 29, 2000.

QT Great site...great following... If there is one improvement I would like to would be when there is a paticular thread (question) of interest, that one can tag this thread and have any of the responses go directly to thier email. This will make the threads more sensible, whereas when someone may disagree with the last poster, he may not go re check this thread for long time, hence many other posters fog the rebuttal...whereas if the original poster read the rebuttal, he could go back on and explain or conceed his point...I think everyone would benefit by this system. It also would help us track the items of interest without scrolling through the Q&A page each time...

-- Bill Glickman (, September 30, 2000.


Many compliments on the wonderful creation and maintenance of the LF site. It's truly a great resource for all of us involved in the medium. As for suggestions, I'd like to second several comments that have been made regarding LF photographers who are increasingly using the 6x9 format on their LF cameras. Any articles regarding roll film would be greatly appreciated. After shooting 100% 4x5, I've found myself shooting about a 50/50 mix of 4x5 and 6x9. With pro films getting faster and with ever finer grain structures I've found very little difference between the formats when enlarging to 20x24 or when presenting the images to editors.

-- Mark Malnes (, October 01, 2000.

I was fortunate to find your web site and have been enjoying it thoroughly! I began in MF and still do quite a bit of shooting with that camera and those lenses. My urge to get to bigger images began when I bought a Fuji 617 and have shot extensively in that format. A bit later, I came into LF with a Sinar P and have now stepped up to a new P2.

My story and evolution is probably not usual. Nor have I given up on shooting the other formats-I have merely rotate as the circumstance and mood occurs. I would welcome, discussions, links, articles and sharing of information on MF and Panoramic so that I don't have to dart between a lot of other sites. Also, I am always one to forget conversions and equivelencies between formats so lens comparisons and the like, would be a welcome addition.

-- John Bailey (, October 02, 2000.

I think the idea of a photographers profile would be great. Also Id like to see write-ups of any LF courses that readers have been on...what the teaching was like, tips that they could pass on etc.

-- Peter Gordon (, October 03, 2000.

I feel that this forum should work towards the goal of becoming an inclusive " View-Camera Users Forum " rather than concern itself with film format. The challenges and rewards of view camera photography, extend well beyond mere film size. Each film format has its advantages and disadvantages and can be debated ad-nauseum. The common thread of this forum should be based upon view camera technique and NOT film size. The view camera experience is unique unto itself, their is no confusing it with any fixed lens camera regardless of format. I myself chose an Arca 6x9 view camera over a 4x5 model, will merely changing the rear standard to a 4x5 unit fundamentally change my perspective on photography? I think not. I find that the dialog on this forum is far more relevant to my photographic style, than that of any traditional medium format forum. For those who say ?large format, for large formats sake?, I think that you are short changing yourselves. Inclusion into the view camera fraternity rather than exclusion based on film size, should be the guiding premise. For those of you that I've offended I offer my condolences, for I believe your way of thinking is endangered. But I certainly do not offer an apology for holding this opinion. I shall now set off my soap-box, thank you for you time and consideration. Bob P.

-- Robert J Pellegrino (, October 05, 2000.

I think Tuan has been doing a great job of editing the site, so if it expands to include more on rollfilm view-cameras or MF cameras with lens movements or even TS lenses for 35mm, I'm not too worried. I don't see a slippery slope here leading to a Canon-vs.-Nikon-24-200mm-zoom free for all, and maybe a single page on TS lenses might be a way of introducing some 35mm users to LF. By the same token, some topics might be added in the spirit of "Large Format" on the grounds of film size alone like LF TLRs (Gowlandflex and such, but not MF TLRs) or LF panoramics (Cirkut Camera, but not Widelux) without losing the spirit of the enterprise.

-- David Goldfarb (, October 05, 2000.

A comparison of MTF/contrast quality of 210 mm lenses woud be helpful. For example, does the G-Glaron f/9 210 mm with aperture set at f/22 provide MTF curves at infinity focusing comparable to the f5.6 Apo-Symmar with aperture closed down to as low as f/8? Does the 210 f5.6 XL provide superior MTF's to the Apo-Symmar, and if so, how significantly? How much better if at all is the G-Claron or 210 XL at 1:1 than the 5.6 Apo-Symmar? At what size print enlargement are the advantages if any readily detectable to the nak

-- David Caldwell (, October 07, 2000.

I like this website...lots of good information...Critique would be lpfullgreat..discussions on composition also would be welcomed. also maybe some kind of chat room would be helpfull.

-- Gary Ross (, October 09, 2000.

I'd like to add my interest in camera support. As one who is trying to get equiped in LF on a budget (which I'm starting to wonder if that's an oxymoron) it would be very easy to spend close to a thousand dollars plus on a Gitzo Mountaineer, a good ballhead, and quick releases. Also as a hiker, the heavier and less expensive options are not something my knees relish. I know there are less expensive alternatives, like Slik carbon fiber tripods and Giotto ball heads, but just don't know how they perform. I think some of us neophites might benefit from a review of this sort of equipment.

-- Roger Rouch (, October 09, 2000.

My thanks to QTL for this wonderful site devoted to large format photography. I like the idea of photographers writing about their travels or projects they've undertaken.

-- Ben Calwell (, October 12, 2000.

The photographers' link page is getting unwieldy. Make up an arbitrary 6 or 7 categories (no, not EVERY site will exactly fit but choose the best one) and ask the linking photographer to choose one. Maybe, some sites require pruning.

-- David Stein (, October 15, 2000.

I am experenced in large format 8x10 kodak Masterview as well as 11x14 and regularly use an 14x17 improved empire state from the 1880s. Most of my lenses are 80+ years old too.

I would really like to see pages devoted to ULF/LF discussions including lens selections/availability/sources and cost, older shutter care and use, transportation of this type of equipment, sources of reliable repair and maintainence and allternative printing processes.

I would agree that their should be a place for MF view cameras too. But if topics were organized by format size navigation would be easier.

Finally, I have developed some knowledge of LF/Ulf cameras and the available lenses that will cover these formats such as dagors,protars, plasmats,artars,tessars etc and am willing to participate in conversations and share my limited knowledge with those of similar interests.

-- jim McGlasson (, October 22, 2000.

Glad to see a page on this unusual (for most photogs) subject. I shoot both modern and ancient lenses. The discussion on 8x10 and older lenses really helps. Not many living people with information anymore.

-- Phil Marcus (, October 22, 2000.

As much as I hate to deny it, digital is coming and in fact has arrived to large format. I think this page should supply some information or at least links to the large format digital web pages. The primary limiting factor is cost. Digital backs for 4x5 cameras are $20,000 or more and the scanners, especially transparency scanners are at least as expensive and printers are in the same ballpark. But like everything else that is digital the price is going to come down and be available to even the amateur large format photographers. Information on this new technology should be available even if the equipment is too expensive now.

-- Glen Hoversten (, October 29, 2000.

This is a more technical suggestion: The one thing that would be most helpful to me on this site is a good search engine and catatloging system. That would make this valuable photographic resource even more so. I'm surprised that so few others have suggested it. Regards, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, October 31, 2000.

This is one of my favorite web sites. I enjoy the entire range. Profiles and trip reports are exciting ideas. I would like to add my opinion of what constitutes large format. I have two 5x7 cameras, two 4x5 cameras, a Galvin 6x9 view camera, a Tachihara 6x9 field camera, and a Mamiya Seven. I consider all my cameras to be large format except the Mamiya Seven. But many times the situation I must place myself in to take the desired photograph precludes the use of a tripod, and at those times I am grateful for my Mamiya Seven. A question, does a Wista 4x5 cease being large format as long as it has a roll film back attached? Regards. Jerry Ellison

-- Jerry Ellison (, December 16, 2000.

I use a Linhof Technikardan S23 with 6x7cm backs, and I insist on calling myself a large format photographer, if that's all right with the rest of you!;-) Seriously, though,I really want to say just how impressed I am with this site. The information carried here is immensely valuable, and I love all of it. Even though I intend to keep on with 6x7cm, as my present camera suits my purposes very well, I am very interested in ULF issues, as it's so very hard to find out anything. As far as seeing other people's work, the links to LF photographers here are excellent: there is no need for criticism, just look. The only real problem here is the limited resolution on the web in any sensible timescale, which means that half of the point of LF is lost at the outset - there is really no substitute for seeing the original work. I am very happy to tell anyone anything about my camera, but I have little experience with other 6x9's, so it could not be truly comparative: anyone still interested?

-- Ian Brocklebank (, January 08, 2001.

I am just begun Large-Format-Photography, especially the "old way" with a Dryplate-Camera in 13x18cm and two old Voigtländer ("Avus" and "Bergheil") in 9x12cm (Plates & Planfilm) and 6x9cm with Rollfilm-Back. In germany i have found no websites obut this topic (it is possible that i am really the first guy in germany, that had "ressurect" a old dryplate-camera?? :-) Now i am searching for informations about this "old style photography" around the world. I think, it was a good idea to add a little forum for this old art. Beginning with collodion wetplates, dryplates and old fashioned printing-technics like Argyrotype, Ambrotype, Albumen-Printing etc.

Greetings from germany

Carsten Corleis

-- Carsten Corleis (, January 17, 2001.

Tips for travelling and good locations with 1-3 pictures, would be always very helpfull! But not MTF curves all thes theoretical staff we don`t need!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, March 02, 2001.

Here's my vote for more coverage of MF view cameras and work. There seems to be a few more MF view cameras on the market now as compared to a few years ago. The working methodolgies are the same for LF or MF view cameras. For me, the lower film and processing costs are attractive, and its wonderful to have the view camera movements to boot!

-- Ronald L. Marvin (, November 12, 2001.

I have only recently become aware of this fine site, you are all to be commended for the content. In my lifetime 4 x 5 has been considered to be "medium format" so I hope that I'm not excluded from LF when I include 2 1/4 x 31/4 sheet film cameras on these pages. Yes, I know that we are "red-headed stepchildren" these days. Kodak has completely abandonded us and only Ilford currently catalogs film, and that a single offering. I am able to use the format for survey field work to set up 4 x 5 trips and for B&W copy work. Currently I'm building a copy camera in 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 using a Polaroid MP-3 bellows and focus mechanism. Yes, I'll probably use some roll film holders on it but have no cure for the inherrant film flatness problems.

With that off my chest I would like to endorse David Goldfarb's suggestion for a subject of lens maintenance since the vast majority of my intrest is in field photography and all my lenses are 1960s and older. All are essentially open to the weather. I'll leave the adjustment to Steve but would love to have a general and brand specific owner performed maintenance reference considered as a subject.

Gnit Pickers and English Majors; Please disregard. I never could spell and at my age I never will!!! Thanks, Ken

-- Ken Woodard (, December 02, 2001.

I like the forum for the wealth of information on it but I sometimes wish for some usability improvements to be added.

I get the impression that you don't want to become a full time webmaster / moderator and from what I've read, the members do a decent moderating job if somebody steps out of line (rarely, I know), but I'm a member of another bbs ( & follow the link to the forum) and I like how this is set up w.r.t. displaying the most recent and replied to posts (i.e. the most recently replied to post returns to the top of the pile and things are allowed to die a natural death by dropping off the bottom of the page into an archive if they are not posted to for a while). We've found the data on number of posts and the nuber of times the threads are viewed enlighening as it lets you keep up with the "hot topics"

I'm no computer techie and this probably would include a lot of work to set up but hopefully would run itself (things like smilies and inserting graphics possibly could be disabled to cut down data sizes etc).

As for ruling out posts due to film formats, there was a comment made that it should just be based on whether the camera has movements or not. I think this is a good suggestion as we're all in the same boat then - when I bought my 4x5 I was told that the market was dropping off for this size as professionals (I'm not one) were switching to smaller formats like 6x9 to suit ccds in digital systems and had no need for "cumbersome" 4x5 systems. I only hope that this forum doesn't become overrun by digital topics - I've nothing against it as it's another technique, it's here and I can see some good uses for it but cost prohibits a lot of people (plus logistics for outside work) and there's life in us silver workers (and alternative process people) yet!

-- Andrew Pell (, December 31, 2001.

Tuan, You might consider words related to camera rebuilding & restoration. There are many large format photographers interested in this "hobby" and some have the necessary tools to accomplish a great restoration. I would be willing to contribute my experience with this endeavor.

-- Karl W. Faller (, July 14, 2002.

Add a Wiki to your site. The users themselves will start contributing good stuff to its contents. Wiki is the technology which allows users of the site to create content for the site. It is self-administering and self-maintaining. See for a beginning level wiki.

-- Anand V. Chhatpar (, November 20, 2002.

Almost anything BUT a photo critique section. Would damage this forum and invite undesirables.

-- Scott Fleming (, December 02, 2002.

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