best place to sell equipment? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have recently realized that large format just wasn't my style, and I am going to sell off my (brand new) equipment. What a shame.

Is eBay the best place to sell, or something like or this forum?

For those who might be interested I have the following:

Canham DLC 45 (new, used 1 month) Rodenstock APO-Sironar S 210mm f5.6 (new, used 1 month) Zone VI modified Pentax digital spot meter (new, used 2 weeks) 4 Lisco 4x5 holders (new, never used) Polaroid 545i holder (new, used 1 month) Fuji Quickload holder (new, used 1 month) Btzs dark cloth for 4x5 camera Zone VI dark cloth

-- Andy Biggs (, July 14, 2001


This forum is not the place. Ebay and Note that this large format website links to both. -jb

-- jeff buckels (, July 14, 2001.

eBay can be a great sales tool. But, why so quick a decision that 4x5 just isn't for you? Not much time to get used to it at all and almost no time to get any experience.

-- Dan Smith (, July 14, 2001.

If you sell on eBay, list all the items separately for the best price.

As Dan says, one month is a pretty short time. What's not working for you?

-- David Goldfarb (, July 14, 2001.

Hard for some large format people to comprehend ....that for many people it's not the right tool for the job or the soul....dont feel right..isnt a Leica too be sure!!!! Right Dan!!!! Anyway that said... If I were you I would keep the camera unless you need the money.... because you will kick yourself later on when you may need large format for those big beautiful prints that the smaller formats can't provide.Also as a stimulus for inspiration when you are tired of the other formats.

-- Emile de Leon (, July 14, 2001.

I am really taking what you all have said to heart.

I shoot landscapes. Most of my frustration lies in a few areas: my lack of space at our home to develop and print sheet film (we live in the Bay Area, and square footage is at a premium). I wanted to do B&W work, and an enlarger at home is out of the question. So, digital printing, right? But you just cannot get that great silver print look with digital. Ok, let's go back to color film. Every time I shoot an image, the film cost + processing is almost $6 per shot. Ouch.

Ok, then work with a roll film back to reduce the cost. Then comes my second frustration: wind. It is really really windy in the SF Bay Area, and maybe I don't have the patience or proper equipment (Bogen 3221 with a Linhof Profi II ball head that I use for my 35mm gear). Anyway, I am finding out that I am not shooting enough shots these days. I tend to bring out my 35mm gear, fearingI fear that I will get a few more lenses, only to figure out the same frustrations.

Maybe I just need to be talked out of this one. I am signed up for a 'making a better negative' class next month, and will be using zone system techniques. Should be fun.

If I shot product or portraits, I would have a better excuse for hanging it up, right? Landscapes really need that detail and continuous tones. I guess I need to get inspired again by picking up my newly arrived 'Large Format' magazine. Viva Steve Simmons.

-- Andy Biggs (, July 15, 2001.

I know next to nothing about digital, but when you pick up the latest issue of View Camera, take a look at George DeWolfe's piece on digital printing. If you don't have room for a darkroom --right now or ever-- the new digital capabilities he discusses may be an answer for you to enjoy large format capabilities and advantages and the cost may be less than equipping a darkroom. You obviously already have a computer, so you're on your way. Best of luck.

-- J. Wolfe (, July 15, 2001.

I'm with the others- DON'T DO IT YET!!! When I first started shooing 4x5, I was hooked instantly and never regretted the move. However, a year ago when I sunk $2500+ into a Deardorff 8x10, Ries tripod, lens, etc, the positive reaction wasn't exactly immediate. It took me at least 3 months to really start to get used to the new format and enjoy it. After about the first month with it, I was seriously contemplating selling off what I had bought and using the money for new medium format stuff. I got talked out of it, and I'm glad. At this point not only am I enjoying shooting 8x10 an incredible amount, I'm using it more than any other format. My message is this- stick with it and wait a few months longer at very least before you make your decision on large format. You never know how things will change, and if it turns out to be something you enjoy and want to continue, you'll find a way to make it work, guaranteed.

-- David Munson (, July 15, 2001.

When I lived in the bay area I did custom B&W processing & printing for 34 different photographers using a darkroom made in a 5x8 foot storage shed. I carried the water into in in a bucket and rinsed prints in the kitchen sink. I toned on the kitchen table & rinsed again in the kitchen sink and shower stall for bigger prints.

As for bay area wind... go to the library, Friends of Photography gallery and other places & look at the images of Morley Baer, a noted bay area photographer. Many, many others have lived with the breeze & done well. We all have it to contend with.

Give it more of a chance before hanging it up.

-- Dan Smith (, July 15, 2001.

Andy, I'll second everything that's been said already, DON'T SELL!! If you're really having so much trouble, then pack your LF gear away and only shoot 35mm for a few weeks, then go back to your LF and try it again! As for space restrictions, I print in a converted room that is 5 1/2 feet by 3 feet by 8 feet high, and still houses the toilet and sink!! I wall mounted the enlarger and constructed a work surface that fits above the toilet. I am able to print all formats from 35mm to 5x4 and can print 5x4 to 16x20 without having to drop the easel. My prints are developed in a Nova vertical processor and prints are taken in a tray to the kitchen to be washed in a Nova washer. There are times when I long for a bigger room, but when the print comes out of that wash I am just grateful to have a darkroom!! I just remember the conditions/equipment that some great photographers endured and thank my lucky stars!! Give it a go! You may surprise yourself! Best of luck Paul PS I'm not into DIY, but such a conversion is well within the reach of anyone with even the most basic skills.

-- paul owen (, July 15, 2001.

I live in a tiny 1-bedroom in Manhattan, so I feel your frustration with the space issue, but I black out the window in the bathroom and print there. I have a small enlarger that handles my 35mm and MF work that I bring in and out for printing sessions, and I contact print my 8x10" negs. You could contact print for now, and when you have an image you really want to enlarge, consider renting darkroom space. You've got enough sun out there to consider platinum/palladium or POP as well. If you're short on space for the "wet side," you can get a tray ladder to stack darkroom trays stepwise. For 4x5" negs, a daylight tank is also an option.

The wind can be tough (I found this out flying the 8x10" box kite in Hawai'i), but it can be managed as well. You can eventually learn to shield the camera with your body, or bring an umbrella. Much of it is just being patient and waiting for the wind to settle.

-- David Goldfarb (, July 15, 2001.

Hi Andy, wind can be a pain alright. It was often windy in the intermountain region where I began using LF, that's around Yakima and Ellensburg WA. After sitting up a shot I would wrap my bellows in my dark cloth to weight them against vibration, and then I shielded the camera with an umbrella. I don't know if these precautions worked, but I got some good images. As for cramped quarters, don't all darkrooms have stoves and refrigerators? Best, David

-- david clark (, July 15, 2001.

Andy: I agree with the others....don't sell yet. Give LF a chance. It might help if you could find a more experienced LF shooter and go out with him/her a few times. I learned LF while I was living in the Panhandle of Texas, where a standard day would bring out the weather warnings down here in Alabama. As peviously stated, why not make contact prints until you get darkroom space and rent space to make large prints. 4x5 contact prints mounted in 11x14 frames can look positively elegant. You may can come up with some ideas for utilizing teh space you have. One of my friends made a stand out of 2" PVC pipe that would fit over his commode to use as an enlarger table. He used PVC elbows and tees for the connecting elements, and instead of glue he drilled small holes and dropped nails in the holes to hold it together. It was suprisingly stable and could be broken down and stored in a closet or under the bed. He used a 3/4 piece of plywood for a tabletop. It would be such a shame for you to have to dummp all that great equipment at a loss when there is the possibility that you may get comfortable with and love LF. Good luck, and stick with it a little longer.


-- Doug Paramore (, July 15, 2001.

I read your complete list of equipment. Suggest that you buy a tripod and try it again; it makes LF photography much easier and more enjoyable.

-- Bill (, July 15, 2001.

When I switched to 8x10, I thought about selling the camera the first several months. After six months, the camera felt right, and now I would not give it up.

-- William Marderness (, July 15, 2001.

I agree with all previous posts: Give yourself more time. I have used 4x5 and 8x10 for several years and struggled for several months when I started out. I probably made every mistake possible when learning (loaded the film backwards, forgot to pull darkslide, double expose film, pull darkslide with shutter open, etc, etc.) But I stuck with it and all it took was a couple of great images out of 20 to keep me going back then.

I also faced the problem of limited space for a darkroom. My solution was to buy a JOBO CPE processor. The JOBO fits on a counter top and allows you to process film and prints without trays and the need for a lot of space. The old style drums allow you to develop 4 to 6 negs at time. I also did not have an enlarger early on so I contact printed with a contact printing frame and a homemade light source. I figured as long as I had the negatives anything that was exceptional as a contact I could have enlarged for me. That lasted about 6 months and I found a way to make darkroom for a D2 enlarger. You can find JOBO processors and accesories often on Ebay and in Shutterbug adds. If you still don't have room for an enlarger sell the 4x5 and move up to 8x10 and forget an enlarger as those contacts will blow you away. You can still use the JOBO for all your processing. Good luck.

-- James Chinn (, July 16, 2001.


You have gotten some kind words of encouragement so far from this forum and I want to also say to give it some more time. I live in the Bay area and while I haven't taken the large format plunge yet, I have been thinking about how I will process when I do. I plan on processing B&W film in my bathroom (been doing 35mm for years) and going to a community darkroom to print. There are several in the Hayward area. My favorite is "The faultline" in downtown Hayward. They have nice facilities and if you get a monthly pass, the cost is quite reasonable. They even have a dry-to-dry processor for color paper that works well if you want to print color negatives. I plan on going digital when I shoot color. At the very least, I can proof my prints on the computer and then take the proof and the film to a pro lab to have printed. The only printing instructions I will give them is "match it"! Good luck!

-- Nicholas Fiduccia (, July 17, 2001.

Lack of printing facilities would not in my opinion be a compelling reason to leave LF. In fact, I have several thousand transparencies and so far have printed about 25. You can always print latter, or rent a darkroom for B&W. If you buy transparency film by boxes of 50 and have it processed at one of the labs I mention on my homepage (not the LF page), the cost would be less than $3/sheet.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, July 17, 2001.

wind: you need a heavier and sturdier tripod. one for medium format in the least, not 35mm.

too many shots: the larger viewfinder is great for composition. if its not good in the viewfinder, dont bother wasting the time and $ and be happy that you walked away. 35mm is great for spontaneous shots, but large format is not. your ratio of good/junk shots will be much higher than with 35mm. pay heed to the guy who shot 1000s of trans and printed only 25.

but finally if you want to get rid of that top of the line equipment, damn. merry christmas in july.

-- ab (, August 26, 2001.

Do it. You've tried it. It's not your bag. Get rid of the stuff, and go back to making pictures with eqipment that you enjoy using, not something you have to fight with. Photography is for pleasure, not for collecting expensive toys. Ansel Adams and Brett Weston quit using view cameras several years before they died, and both claimed that the prints from their smaller negatives were better than those done earlier with the 8x10s (note: they were both into enlarging their negatives, not contact printing fanatics). Don't feel guilty because it wasn't for you. Dump the stuff and get on with it.

-- Wilhelm (, August 26, 2001.

Andy, I disagree with everybody for pro or con selling your equipment. I think you first need to really soul search and see what you want in your photography. Do you really want to do B&W? Are you hapy with your color prints? Look, I am a LF photographer, I was one of those lucky enough that went from 35 mm to 4x5 and after 8x10 and the bigger the easier it was for me, BUT I also have many friends who shoot 35 mm, and those who shoot slides produce some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen! I specially have one friend who shoots only 35 mm, he is greatly talented and his landscape shots, printed in cibachrome are absolutely wonderful. On the other hand as a LF photographer I have yet to see something better than a contact print in B&W. In the end, examine carefully your style first! ask yourself what do you want to acheive with your photography? and don't forget, even with 35 mm, using digital techniques like those of Dan Burkholder (who shoots only 35 mm, but is capable of making 16x20 negatives for contact printing) you can still make large negatives later on, if you decide to go this route. I think your disatisfaction derives from your lack direction more than your inhability to use the camera. If anything don't sell your camera until after you took your workshop in the zone system, I think you would regret it if you do so and then realize how much easier you could have acheived your goals with the zone system and a properly exposed negative. I wish you luck and hope you soon find what you are looking for in your art.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, August 27, 2001.

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