how old are we? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello to all, After reading the last post it occured to me that most of the respondants were appoximately my age (I too and staring down the 50 year mark!) and I was wondering what the average age of large format shooter is? It occurred to me that I don't think I've seen very many young people using this format, actually I don't see too many people shooting large format at all.

-- joe kras (, May 30, 2002


I got my viagra and my minoxodil mixed up and now I can't get my hair to stay down! If I were enlarging paper they'd have to advertise me as having been stored in a cool New York basement!

-- John Kasaian (, May 30, 2002.

33. I'm new to LF, but hope to stare down my 50-year mark through a ground glass (reversed and upside-down, of course).

-- John Elstad (, May 30, 2002.

34 years old and I've been shooting large format for about 10 years. I shoot anything from 35mm to 5x7. I became interested in large format when I first noticed that my grandparents pictures kicked butt on todays smaller format pictures, at least my smaller format pictures.

Size does matter!

-- Eric Verheul (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 36. Shoot 4x5 and 6x6 for couple of years.

-- Andres (, May 30, 2002.

34 old and 3 years using LF.

-- janez pelko (, May 30, 2002.

I am 40 now , been shooting lf for about 12 years and tired of hearing people saying " whow , is that an oldfashioned camera? or "shooting a movie?" or doing anything to distract you from taking the picture. The solution? Look intensely focused, it works most of the times. For the rest of the times, i'll be " politely rude".

-- domenico (, May 30, 2002.

I win! 22, and new to LF (and loving it, except for my troubles finding accurate developing times for Delta 100 on a Jobo)

-- Patrick Ingram (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 36. I've been mucking about with large format for a couple of years, but now that I've finally fixed up the camera I can get serious! :-) I started photography with a point-n-shoot and then bought a Pentax 6x7. Now I have formats from half-frame to 8x10, and I like them all.

-- Brian C. Miller (, May 30, 2002.

37 - but sometimes feeling 50!! Especially after lugging my gear up hill and down dale!

-- paul owen (, May 30, 2002.

I am 40 and from the UK. Have been shooting 35mm for 25 years, MF (6x9) for 18 months and LF (4x5) for 3 months. I have never seen anybody else out in the big outdoors with LF kit and only a handful with MF. I belong to a camera club but only know one person from the club who has ventured beyond 35mm to MF (6x7). Everyone is going digital now. But as Joe Cornish said once of LF "Its a great antidote to the digital revolution". Oh dear, better stick to the point rather than open that debate.

-- Nigel Sutton (, May 30, 2002.

Hi Nigel - I'm from the UK and I've also never seen anyone else with LF kit, come to think of it, I rarely see anyone with anything but 35mm. Are we a dying breed (in the UK)??

-- paul owen (, May 30, 2002.


I`m 45 years shooting 35mm, MF, LF. LF since 13 years the rest since at least 30 years. Good light.

-- Armin Seeholzer (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 47 (sigh) and on vitamin pills too. Started LF ten years ago. Long live the Forum!

-- Paul Schilliger (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 52, shooting 4x5, 8x10 started with Polaroid when i was 19, 32 yrs here, and still shooting

-- Bill Jefferson (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 40, have been using LF sporadically since 1997.

-- Ake Vinberg (, May 30, 2002.

I know the answer to this question, and nobody can prove me wrong! I'm 45 and started using a 6x9 view camera a little over a year ago after 20+ years of 35mm shooting.

-- Massimo Squillace (, May 30, 2002.

38, still a baby to 4x5, 8 months.

-- adrian tyler (, May 30, 2002.

Patrick, is it just me or does our boat look a little empty? Are there really so few young people out there dedicated at slugging around LF?! I'm 25, using 4x5 and then 5x7 for the last few years. And when I think of it now, I am very likely the only person in SA currently doing 5x7.

-- Riaan Lombard (, May 30, 2002.

35, 8x10 and 5x7. 3 years.

-- Chad Jarvis (, May 30, 2002.

Count me in as one of the young ones. I'm but a scant 20 years of age. I've been doing photography for 7 years, have been shooting large format for 4 years, and 8x10 for 2 of those years. I'm as hooked on LF as one can be, I think, and have every intention to keep shooting the sheet film with zeal until I expire. There don't seem to be a lot of people in my generation shooting large format, but the ones that are that I know are more than a little enthusiastic about it.

-- David Munson (, May 30, 2002.

61 and started shooting LF with 810 in Denver in 1963.

-- Bob Salomon (, May 30, 2002.

43, shooting 4x5 about 6 years, 8x10 about 3 years, 8x20 1 year. What's next?

-- Linas Kudzma (, May 30, 2002.

I am now 51. Started with a Foth Derby when about 10 then 35mm when the family came along. I started collecting old cameras when about 35. This led to LF once I tried using the big old cameras and realised that 90 year old gear can knock spots off modern 35mm. So old is not all bad. Keep taking the tablets.

-- Colin (, May 30, 2002.

34, and just started LF with second hand Wista VX, after 15 years with 35mm and MF. I'm in UK too, btw.

-- David Bickerdike (, May 30, 2002.

44 and I started with LF (4x5, 8x10)11 years ago; some of my equipment is as older than I am...

-- Arne Croell (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 43, which is not only a prime number, but quite young for a Galapagos tortoise.

-- Kevin Bourque (, May 30, 2002.

I havn't decided.

-- Rob Pietri (, May 30, 2002.

I am in Toronto area. I am 48, I have been doing large format from age 19 in university, I have been shooting 35 and medium format since age 12. I got to 8x10 last year. I was a pro doing fashion in Toronto for about 5 years in the early eighties. I got tired of competing against the reyerson grads who slept in their studios and the ad amanagres who would sign off on he polariods and then sill pay slowly or had their partner complain. So I decided that I would become a professional amatuer, That menas I refuse to do photography for money. I don't get into juried competetions either because then I end up truing to shhot to please the judges. I had to get a really good job to afford this but it has frred up the way I thimk and has allowed me to explore the fun of being creative.

-- ED (, May 30, 2002.

36. First stepped into a darkroom around age 9 and have been doing photography ever since. Tried LF a few times in the past, but I've only been doing it seriously for around 3-4 years.

-- David Goldfarb (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 64 and have been shooting LF, along with other formats, for 45 years, both as professional and amatuer. I current shoot 98 percent of work with LF. I spilled Viagra on my tripod and cannot get the legs to collapse for transport. It's good to see we have a lot of members in the 30-40 year-old-range, and even a few dedicated members in their 20s. Seems one takes to LF after they get a little older and more experienced and really know what quality means.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 30, 2002.

hi joe - i'm 36, been shooting 4x5 since i was 24, 5x7 since i was 30 .. and using a camera since i was 6 :)

-- jnanian (, May 30, 2002.

I've just turned 43 and while I own a 4x5 Galvin, I shoot most often with a Toyo 23G and rollfilm. I started using view cameras a little over 5 years ago and lately, have started feeling an urge to move up to 8x10...

-- Jeffrey Goggin (, May 30, 2002.

Great question Joe, I'm 21, from saratoga springs, NY, shooting 8x10, souping azo in pyro. I'm proud to say that 3 years ago my first camera was a tech III.

-- joe freeman (, May 30, 2002.


43 here, started with medium format when I was 13(when I look at Old negs, I think I was more skilled at 13 or at least had better Artistic View, what ever the hell that is) now I'm back into LF for the last 6-7years and enjoying it the last 3-4. As for the "50 year mark" that you mentioned, well I remember when I thought that was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY OLD! Now, I even know a few people that "OLD". As for young people not being involved...... well I think all of us "OLD" people need to keep trying to change that every chance we get. They say "OLD People have a lot to offer" well so do our young people.

-- R. L. (Mac) McDonald (, May 30, 2002.

12 stuck in a 36 year old body. Serious 35mm about 3 years, 4x5 about 3 months. Pittsburgh, PA

-- Dave Mueller (, May 30, 2002.

22, started shooting 4x5 in school when I was 19. Missed a year when I got out of school and lost access to all the cameras. Just recently got back into it by purchasing a old Crown Graphic. Never realized how much I enjoy the process of shooting large format untill I didn't do it for a while and then came back to it. Its great.

-- Chris Long (, May 30, 2002.

I will be 69 in October. Using LF since I attended Ansel Adams workshop in 80 with a 35mm slr. I bought my 4x5 on returning home.

-- Barrt Trabitz (, May 30, 2002.

I just turned 52, and I've been shooting large format since 1982. My interest in photography started with a Pentax Spotmatic in 1968. With age, I've noticed that my equipment is starting to feel heavier to me, especially the old Bogen 3051 and C-1 8x10. I'm glad I've got a light weight wooden Wista 4x5 to fall back on (not literally). I also have a Linhof 5x7, which I'm starting to use, too.

-- Ben Calwell (, May 30, 2002.

49¾! Large format since '94. 4X5, 5X7, 8X10, 11X14. Looking for a 5X12 and after yesterday's post, a cirkut. Gotta try 'em all. AZO in Pyro?? Love this forum.

-- Jim Galli (, May 30, 2002.

22. Started shooting when I was 16. I shot a few sheets of 4x5 a few years ago in high school. But the large format bug didn't really get me until this year. I'm a photography major at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Took a view camera class this spring and just fell for it, bought a Canham 4x5 on student loans and I've been shooting 5- 20 sheets a week since mid January. Haven't even looked at my 35 lately. Loving it!

-- Ethan Bickford (, May 30, 2002.

44 in a few weeks. Bought my first real camera, a Canon FTb, when I was a freshman in high school with money earned hauling hay bales in the summer. Started in large format about 3 years ago.

-- Dave Schneider (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 35, have been using 5x7 on and off since my second year of college in 1986. After taking a six year hiatus (grad school and other forms of angst) I am again staring at ground glass. I 'discovered' this forum only six months ago, but really enjoy it.

-- jason (, May 30, 2002.

39 in spirit! 55 according to the calendar!

Started LF 38 years ago (apparently at the mental age of 1).

-- Per Volquartz (, May 30, 2002.

22 - I've been interested in photography for about eight years. I've studied LF on and off for a few years, and I began using an LF camera several months ago. I think that I may have a mid- life crisis when I turn 25 (a quarter of a century). I may need to save up for some big glass.

-- Matthew Runde (, May 30, 2002.

I am 37. Started serious photography with a 35mm Ricoh as an exchange student in Spain at 14. Then a Nikon, then a Pentax 67, then a toyo starter 4x5 in 1989. Then a Canham 5x7 in 1997, pyro in 1999 and an 8x10 this year. My day job is in radio so spending free moments focusing and "moving" a big camera is a welcome balance.

-- David G Hall (, May 30, 2002.

Ha! I guess I'm the youngest here...

I am 16, and I just started LF with a horseman LE (used) and an Angulon 90/6.8

although I am new to this page, the archives have helped me immensely. I hope to participate and learn more from all you experienced people out there.

-- Ho Jianghai (, May 30, 2002.


Just purchased my first 4x5 three weeks a go and i'm hooked!!! Look at those chromes!! :) And I'm 27 years olds.

I don't see too many people shooting large format at all.

Or selling the film!

-- Daniel Flather (, May 30, 2002.

I am 50 and brand new to LF. I have shot 35 since my Kodak Brownie days and MF for several years.

-- Bob Haight (, May 30, 2002.

In dog years, I would be dead! Hi everybody -- I am 37 years young! I got my real start in photography when I received a Canon 35mm from my parents on my 16th birthday. Prior to that, I had either borrowed my sister's 35mm or used my trusty Kodak Pocket Instamatic, complete with flip flash ;-) !

In college, I was 2 1/2 years into a Mechanical Engineering degree when I started taking photo courses in Film & Television Production. I received my BS in F&TV (photography option) with the thinking that if it looked as though I was doomed to flipping burgers, I could always go back and finish up engineering. It's been 14 years since and I haven't looked back. I consider myself fortunate that I am able to do what I love for a living.

I started in LF and MF about 16 years ago. I sold my first LF camera (Omega 45D) and worked mostly with MF until I acquired a 4x5 technical field (Wista SP) about eight years ago. My absence from LF photography only rekindled my love for the large format process. Today, most of my shooting is done with 4x5 (although my Mamiya 7II is kind of fun too!). Additionally, with the help of some fellow LF forum members, I am well on my way in the restoration of an 8x10 Korona. When people stop and ask me what kind of camera I am using, I simply smile and say that it's a "new old camera." (Their response is usually, "Boy, I bet it takes good pictures!")

Sorry for the long-winded answer to a simple question -- I hope that none of you have fallen asleep face-down on the keyboard. Good light to all!

-- Matt Long (, May 30, 2002.

Am I the only O.F. here? I'm 71 but only a "mini" LF photographer with a Horseman 980. The pack with tripod weighs in at over #25 which gets very old after a few miles. I'm sure my 28 marathons have helped me drag the "stone" around. Just got back from the Greek Islands where, because I've become enamored with my 2450 and 1280 Scanner/printer, I took more color than B&W.

-- George Nedleman (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 44. I first became interested in photography in 1971. My first camera (other than a Polaroid Swinger) was a Crown Graphic. After a year of taking this seriously and having several pictures appear in my local town newspaper (Port Washington, NY), my dear father generously bought me a Beseler 45MCRX enlarger and a new Nikon F-2 with three lenses. My first love always remained with large format (and later medium too). I received a college degree in photography but ended up getting a BS and MBA in business. My career went in this direction. I've worked at Lockheed Martin for 21 years and currently work in international business. I moved from NY to LA to Atlanta and now Fort Worth. I had a long absence from photography...I should have never gone to school for it and kept it as a hobby. I guess I got burned out on the subject. Between 1980 and 1997, I did buy a Hasselblad, hoping to respark my interest. Finally in 1997, something clicked (no pun intended). I now own a Linhof and a few Graflex products, along with collecting early Hasselblads. Unfortunately, I don't have that first Crown Graphic as I traded it for a Super Speed Graphic in 1974. I'm grateful that I got my start with large format as I made several mistakes and had to learn the hard way. The Nikon seemed like a cinch after a year of 4 X 5! I guess one would say I'm an advanced amateur who loves to read about photography as much as shoot! I collect literature and have extensively studied the 40's through 60's period (This is why I pipe in on questions about Graflex and Linhof equipment). Over the past eight months, I have been building a darkroom. I'm also a big fan of Leica and just traded up to the new M7. I travel to Europe with my job a few times a year...this has become my favorite time to shoot.

I admire all of you for your contributions and I have looked at several photos and websites! Kerry's shots of Oregon still make my jaw drop! I think websites like this has been a tremendous help for interest in photography is as stong as it was in the 1970's (too bad I don't have as much free time as I did then!!!)

Joe...I think your question was a great idea, as I've enjoyed reading about the others.

All the best,

J. P. Mose

-- J. P. Mose (, May 30, 2002.

50. Interested in photography off and on since high school. After 25 years of sitting in front of a computer all day, I have become anti-tech in my hobbies. Thus most of my photography is either LF, pinhole, or both.

The digital revolution got me spooked, fearing that LF would die out before I had fully experienced it, so I am in a LF feeding frenzy. Do it now, while you still can.


-- Christopher Condit (, May 30, 2002.

55. Been shooting 8x10 and 5x7 for two years preceded by Brownie, Nikons and b/w darkroom.

-- Nicholas F. Jones (, May 30, 2002.

I am currently 38, started LF 4 years ago, not addicted but just can't quit. And I enjoy coming to this forum everyday.

-- dennis lee (, May 30, 2002.

40 years old, here in Indianapolis. And I feel younger at 40 than I did at 25!

I've been shooting and printing 35mm since I was 20. I had a girlfriend in college who was good in the darkroom, and introduced me to B&W. Girlfriend’s long gone, but I still love photography! Another girlfriend got me into playing music at church with her - I'd do anything for a pretty face back then! Again, girlfriend's long gone, but I still do church music today (professionally). Go figure!

I've shot MF since I was 23, and I'm still breaking in my 4x5 which I purchased last June. Or perhaps it's breaking ME in?

Thank you to all who contribute to this wonderful forum!!!

-- Scott Soper (, May 30, 2002.

55, newly retired to devote time to photography.

Early recollections of my parent's darkroom, I helped 'soup' their prints, (left hand in the developer, right hand in the stop and fix - don't rub your eyes!).

Did my own developing/printing at 10 or 11. First 'job' was candids and groups for my Jr. High Yearbook - 1963. 35mm Miranda D, tri-x and D-76.

First MF, a Mamiyaflex C-3 in 1966.

First Calumet CC-402 4x5 in 1968. With 210 Symmar (convertible). As I recall, all for about $300.

Now: 35, MF, 4x5 and 8x10. Current favorite combination: FP-4 and PMK

Some things just get better and better!

-- Fred Leif (, May 30, 2002.

30...Jeeze, you finally made me realize that I'm old, thanks!

-- Peter Chipman (, May 30, 2002.

36 years old. In LF years, about 4 boxes of TMax 400. (Still a baby.) Without the internet (and Ebay), I would never have known about this large format stuff. I still feel like an idiot everytime I put my head under the horse blanket in a crowded place. Perhaps the feeling will go away when I'm pushing 50.

-- (, May 30, 2002.

50 and don't know if I've ever seen someone else using an LF outside of a studio. I hide out with my cameras in the country.

-- Mike (, May 30, 2002.

i'm 38 with a solid foundation of Seattle moss on the north side of my bones; just mixing up my ginko-biloba/viagra smoothie here (helps me remember what the f**k i was doing...). i'm fairly old in Velvia years-- recently calculated the cost of LF film i've consumed over the last 12 years and realized i could have paid cash for a really nice bay-view condo. yikes. instead, i've got 54 gigabytes of 0's and 1's sitting here on my hard drive (which i wouldn't trade for any condo in the world...).


-- chris jordan (, May 30, 2002.

40 I think! Been using large format since 1988. Originally from the UK but now resident in Las Vegas, USA. Use 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10.

Nigel Turner.

-- Nigel Turner (, May 30, 2002.

lemme see......4x5=9 that's when I started to play with my dad's Rolleicord then 6x6=36..adding up those figures....arghhhh my math is wrong....ain't no good in math, better go back to the dark room.... :)

-- dan n. (, May 30, 2002.

41. 8x10 for 2 years after 1/2 of that time on 4x5.

-- hugo Zhang (, May 30, 2002.

38-- started taking pics when i was 5 with a 126 instamatic. got hooked on 4x5 @ 19. Can't believe its been so long. Now I shoot 1/2 frame on up to 4x5, with a heavy dose of 6x9 these days. Joe, since you asked, I think it falls to you to add up all these numbers to get our average!

-- Erik Gould (, May 30, 2002.

Joe, Don't you know its rude to ask a LF photographer their age. I'm 52 and already forgetting what day it is, let alone what F-stops to use!


-- Trevor Crone (, May 30, 2002.

Just turned 39. Again.

OK, actually 41...

-- Danny Burk (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 27 and have been shooting 4x5 for 3 years. Don't have much time for it now because of med school. Instead, I photograph my classmates with a Mamiya C330 and get dirty looks. They think I'm working some evil mojo on them or something.


-- floren (, May 30, 2002.

76 years old in what seems to be the body of a 90 year old. started in l938 with a 39 cent univex and soup bowls for trays. in 39 got very used, leaky bellows graphlex. now have 6x9 4x5 and 11x14. still love it. frank ferreira

-- frank ferreira (, May 30, 2002.

I am bored sitting here at work.

61 people so far. Assuming Joe Kras is 49, the average age is 39.66.

So far.


-- David G Hall (, May 30, 2002.

44, MF, 4x5, 8x10, far so good, we will see the next 44 years...:-))

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, May 30, 2002.

57 and counting. Primarily MF 32 years. LF (4x5) 17 years on and off. Now (for last 2 years) primarily 8x10. Shooting less film but enjoying it more!

-- Alex Weiner (, May 30, 2002.

Age 44 here -- more MF and less 4x5 and 8x10 than I'd like these days.

-- Donald Brewster (, May 30, 2002.

I'll raise the average age with my stats. Yesterday, I celebrated my 72nd birthday. Made my first print in a darkroom at age 16. Addicted to photography ever since. Started large format with a 4X5 Speed Graphic at age 18. Hand held large format photography. Very difficult for a little guy to haul that huge fiber box filled with film holders and flashbulbs. Soon, moved to a much more compact, lighter, and more practical Rollei TLR. A stint in the in the armed forces using a 35mm Exacta. Back to civilian life, and medium format and 35mm for the next 26 years. In 1982, purchased a Calumet 4X5, and it's been B&W large format negatives ever since. Much easier to print than 6X6 and 35mm negs. I leave the small format and digital imaging to my young, beautiful wife.

-- Eugene (, May 30, 2002.

I am 40. I got started in large format about seven years ago so that I could photograph furniture with a corrected perspective. Then I saw the fluid work of Jack Welpott. When I went outside, he was sitting there on a bench. I took an intensive with Jack, who showed me a way.

-- John McDonald (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 40 years old and started shooting large format 13 years ago, shortly after moving to my adopted home state of Oregon.

I began photographing the landscape at the age of 14 with my father's Argus C3. Moved up to an Olympus OM-1 bought with my summer job earnings at the age of 16. My first large format camera was a Speed Graphic that came with a 127mm Ektar and two film holders. It was a purchase that changed my life forever.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, May 30, 2002.

68 years behind me, just gettin' tuned up...

Started in '45 or '46 with a Brownie Hawkeye, moved up into the big time with an Argus C-4 (remember them?). Got serious about '59 with 6x6 and 4x5. I still go through 120 & 220 film like thre's no tomorrow, using an 25+ year old RB-67, a couple of Mamiya M7's, a Cambo Wide 612, and a Fuji 617.

Somewhere around '63, I started using a 4x5 Graphic View, then swapped it for a Tachihara. About 1980, I convinced some guy to sell me a 5x7 Deardorff for $175.00. About that time I got a hot flash and built my own 6x17 view camera using a 90mm Super Angulon.

Then, about 5 years ago I woke up with this irresistable urge to get a Canham 8x20. Now when I go on a photo trip, my pickup is jammed with a forest of tripods, cameras, filmholders, and lens cases. It's crazy... (fun, though)...

My wife of 62 is my faithful sidekick, record keeper, and umbrella holder, she sure makes oprating that 8x20 easier. I should be able to go another 20 years, or so...

-- Reinhold Schable (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 29, 'been shooting 4x5 for about 1 year or so. 'Been shooting with a serious eye about 14 years.

-- Dominique Labrosse (, May 30, 2002.

Hello, I'm 50 yrs old and been using large format for ten years. I know and have seen working about a dozen LF workers in the UK


-- Robin Coutts (, May 30, 2002.

I am 45, originaly from France but leaving in Northern California since 1983. I started 4x5 about two years ago.

-- Georges Pelpel (, May 30, 2002.

I am 49. I started with a Brownie back in the late 50s/early 60s. Now I use whatever I have handy or fits the situation best, 35mm, medium format, 4x5 and 8x10.

-- Steve Gangi (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 51 (barely) and started using LF in the early 80's. Have gone to medium format for certain things, but there's nothing like a BIG neg.

-- Gary Meader (, May 30, 2002.

I'll be 48 on July 1. Please send me presents: - 110 XL - 7x Silvestri tilting loupe - medium Domke cloths (2)


-- Sandy Sorlien (, May 30, 2002.

I am 56. I have taken photographs since 1956. With a serious interest since 1958. Started shooting 4x5" in 1968 in photography school in Germany since it was mandatory. Got my first 8x10" in 1982 and an enlarger for that format in 1983. I like the big pice of film the more I use it longer. Recently I started potographing digitally because of clients demand. I still like film better, the bigger the sheet the better the results ! My camera for snaps now is a 6x7 cm one.

-- Gudmundur Ingólfsson (, May 30, 2002.

Another 40 here - seems to be about average? I've played around with a Linhof TechIII 5x7 for a few years, then decided it was too heavy and bought a Linhof Color 4x5 this winter. I know there are one or two others in Norway, but I've never met any...

-- Ole Tjugen (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 48. Shot 35mm for 20+ years, shot MF for 6 months, and have been shooting LF for 2 years. "... a little voice inside said don't look back, you can never look back."

-- Steve Baggett (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 35 and having been shooting 4x5 for 3 years. Based on the above list it looks like we have many 30 somethings here. I'm glad to see it!

-- Richard Ross (, May 30, 2002.

Turned 50 in January. Got photo flu at 17 and had it on and off ever since. Got LF'itis a couple of years ago which has turned into a full blown disease, and I will either likely die from it or probably starve from it.

-- Wayne Crider (, May 30, 2002.

I'm a young 66 years old, and just getting warmed up. Got out of a lifetime of photojournalism and advertising photography (Shell Oil, Samsonite, Pentax, Rollei, Borg Warner and other clients) to help build the new Denver International Airport. Earned my 'wings' as a Navy photo recon and patrol pilot, and a B.F.A. in photography at Art Center in California with Dave Muench, Larry Gordon and others. Ex- Director of Photography at the Colorado Institute of Art. National UPAA photographer of the year, picture of the year IPPA/MWPPA and eight gold medals in Denver advertising..and a CINE Golden Eagle for film. Retired four years ago as deputy director of DIA. Came roaring out of retirement last year...and back into photography. I am finishing up a five month contract on a big construction project on Cherry Creek in Denver...for a very nice financial reward. Shooting construction progress with 3 Canon EOS-1VHS and will do the finish with my museum condition Linhof Super Technika V and lenses. Yeah, I'm nearly 67....and I'm 6'2 and 200 lbs. I spend my day crawling through dirt, mud and dust, and loving it. 66...If I can do it so... can you. GO FOR IT! (This OK, JP?)

-- Richard Boulware (, May 30, 2002.

80 People. Average age 43 and a half. So far...

-- David G Hall (, May 30, 2002.

I'm - let's see, two from seven, carry the . . . I'm 54, for almost the remainder of this year. While I had some forays into photography as a kid (I still remember 620 box cameras), I only got into it on an ongoing basis while in Vietnam. Shot half-frame and full-frame 35mm, then came home and did some experimentation with various cameras. Shot some 116, and some Rapid, then had a ball for a while with a Miniature Speed Graphic. Settled down to 35mm until about 1994 or so, when I first got really into 4x5. Got the 8x10 almost two years ago and have been a committed LF shooter since. Sold all my 35mm stuff about a year ago, and now my 'small' camera is a Mamiya 7. The 8x10 is my real baby, though.


-- Anthony J. Kohler (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 55. Started shooting 4x5 8 years ago. It's been an on again off again situation with me. I haven't decided if it is worth the trouble yet. I enjoy it much more than 35mm. I just haven't been able to sell large format, not that I have submitted much. The few customers I have dealt with seem to be more receptive of my 35mm work.

-- Wes Carroll (, May 30, 2002.

The kids keep reminding me I seem to behave like I’m 75 years old. She “who must be obeyed” says I’m still in my teens especially when Saturday night company comes over. A couple of years ago at the age of 45, I regained a lost interest in photography and brought my darkroom back out of the boxes from a 20 year rest. A few months later I bought my first 4x5 and began having the time of my life. Blending my outdoor activities and especially hiking with Large Format shooting has been a pure delight. I shoot both color (mostly Velvia) and B&W negatives. I also do all my own processing from start to finish and enjoy the quite time in my darkroom almost as much as the shooting sessions in the hills.

This is a great thread and I’m glad to read that there are many others like myself.

Good light to everyone but especially to the 4x5 crowd.


-- James Phillips (, May 30, 2002.

A "walking antique" at 57: Too old to be afraid, too stupid to die.

-- Arthur Gottschalk (, May 30, 2002.

45, so I am about average, huh? Been doing LF for about 17 years in formats from 6x9 through 11x14.. I also run a custom b&w photo lab, Labwork, in Cleveland, Ohio for all those who do not do their own processing or printing. Long live traditional processes! Most of my current work is done with an Ebony 45SU, makes my life a lot easier. For my birthday in September I'd like a 38XL Super Angulon or a Nikkor 500 tele, thanks.

-- Jeffrey Scott (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 31, a graduating MD/PhD student in New York, starting residency in San Francisco this month. Got into 4x5 last year with a Bender kit which I still use. Picked up an inexpensive Sinar P 8x10 with reducing back for home use (go ebay!). Mostly landscape and some macro work, mostly with Velvia. Would like to begin the journey into B&W soon (bought some Azo). Sold my Pentax 67 of 5 years to get into LF. Started shooting 10 years ago. Have a Canon 35mm SLR system and now getting into rangefinders.

Great post.

-- Tony Karnezis (, May 30, 2002.

36 years old (one year older than my father, who is 35 and staying that way). Got my first 35mm SLR ten years ago and my Tachihara 5x4 four years ago. I dearly love the 5x4 but make more money from the Nikon.

This is one of the best threads I've seen in 4 years. Thank you Joe.

-- Graeme Hird (, May 30, 2002.

48, anxiously awaiting retirement (from a non-photographic career) at 55, so I can do more picture taking and less picture talking.

-- Sal Santamaura (, May 30, 2002.

32 and glad to see somebody else struggling to get accurate developing times for Delta 100 on a Jobo. Patrick - if you figure that one out, let me know!

-- Scott Killian (, May 30, 2002.

Older than I've ever been, young as I'll ever be -- I guess that makes me 36 now. Started off drawing as a kid, began photographing about 14 or 15, got hooked on B&W at age 17 when I saw that first print develop in the dektol. Always had a darkroom since. Started shooting 35mm, moved onto 120 with a Mamiya TLR, then a Rollei SL66 for a few years. Wanted to move up to 4x5 since the early collge days, and started LF about 10 years ago with and old monorail 4x5 borrowed from the college. My first LF camera was an early Linhof 5x7, about 7 yrs ago. For a while, I tried to convince myself to be practical/simple and just shoot 4x5 in Readyloads, and dabbled in various formats between 2x3 - 8x10, but somehow keep getting drawn back to 5x7. Finally settled on the Canham MQC57 as the most reasonable compromise in a 5x7. Of course, the wife would be beyond ecstatic if I would stick with 35mm P&S only.

-- Vishal Mathur (, May 30, 2002.

I'm hoping to be response #100. I never would have guessed there were 100 LF shooters that frequent this board (and I can think offhand of at least a handful that have not responded).

Anyway, I'm 32 -- trying to bring the average back down. I started LF about a year and a half ago when I read a newspaper article about a local photographer who does Pt/Pd printing and thought those prints were amazing. I quickly figured out what contact printing was and that contact printing 35mm really doesn't work. It's been a steep learning curve since and I still have yet to make a Pt/Pd print but I've found the rest of LF so rewarding not sure when I'll get there (if at all).


-- Jennifer Waak (, May 30, 2002.

going for the 100

I;m 42 but also lie a lot

-- Wayne (, May 30, 2002.

I gotta stop that, durnit

I'm only 38

-- Wayne (, May 30, 2002.

Oh, how _old_! I'm sorry, misunderstood. yeah I'm uh 39. again

been shooting LF seriously, off and on, but not necessarily well, since 85. Finally starting to figure some things out, I'm a slow learner. Father was a photographer so I've been around all those chemicals since I was tiny. That woulda been the early 60's or so. I became interested in it in 80, 12 months after he sold or threw out most of his old stuff-view cameras, an old 8x10 enlarger, damn!damn!damn! ouch ouch. But I did get the 4x5 Busch Pressman that got me started, and still have it, and gazillions of wooden holders

-- Wayne (, May 30, 2002.

55 and climbing, working on career number 8, sadly, its not photography. Been shooting and processing film since the late fifties, 127, 120, 35, MF about three years ago, and LF only abt 2 years ago. Finally found enough money to buy some gear (actually, figured out that saving for the golden years is out, These ARE the golden years:) Did an interesting stint for a couple a years processing and printing glass plates on an awfully big Durst for book publication, back in my univesity years, oh, at the beginning of the first millenium). I think I waited too long to build a great career shooting the beautiful people. Most now just think I'm weird.(Yikes!, could they right?). Greetings, it has been a pleasure to meet you all.

-- Paul Coppin (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 44. That's young. Really, really young! Honest! :)


-- Mike Sherck (, May 30, 2002.

I am 52. 1971:35mm; 1982:MF; 1998:LF

-- Sergio Caetano (, May 30, 2002.

40, been shooting LF exclusively since the first time I picked up a camera, five years ago. Now mostly 12X20 portraiture...


-- Nathan Congdon (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 45, which seems to be somewhere near average for this group. I've just started using an 8x10 within the past year, after using a 4x5 off and on for about three.

I got my first camera, a Kodak instamatic 126 with a pack of four- sided flash cubes, when I was about 13. My first 35mm came a few years later, then MF about seven years ago. Someone gave me an old Speed Graphic a few years ago that had been sitting unused for 25 years and stored in a box for the last 15 years in a hot and humid garage in South Louisiana. It was dirty and stiff and mouldy, and the 135mm Optar lens was full of fungus, but the bellows were in surprisingly good condition. I picked up another old lens and a box of Tri-x, cleaned the ground glass as best I could, and exposed a few sheets. My first results weren't all that impressive, but I knew I was hooked when I examined that first negative on a light table with a 4x loupe.

-- Skip Abadie (, May 30, 2002.

Wow, I can't believe the number of responses! I just turned 36 and in the two years I've been shooting 4x5 I've never, ever seen any one else with a LF camera, even in national parks throughout the U.S. Where's everyone hiding?

-- Andy (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 46 but feel like I'm still 18 (until I get vertical in the morning, then it's downhill for the rest of the day). Started with a 127 camera ~39 years ago, went through 620, Polaroid, 35mm, 6x7, 4x5, digital, and 5x7 in that order - still using everything except the 127 and 620. Andy had a good question... where IS everyone hiding? I've never seen another LF shooter in the field either. I'm in Pennsylvania.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, May 30, 2002.

52. They're in the bushes.

-- Tom Perkins (, May 30, 2002.

47 yrs old, but I started with this format at @ 23 yrs old. I know a few my age or older (excluding commercial still life photogs) using LF but the majority are fine arts students less than half my age.

-- Richard Cove (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 52, and the first photos I shot were of Spiro Agnew. Who's that you say? I have been shooting 4x5 for about 10 years, MF & 35 for 30 years. I wonder where all the LF photographers are as well. In all my years I haven't seen another in the field. I think at times I will see a Unicorn before I see another LF photographer. Pat.

-- Pat Kearns (, May 30, 2002.

42, have been shooting 4x5 for 15 years, 8x10 for about 4yrs and gathering components for a home brew 11x14. Have been shooting 35mm since 20yrs starting with a good old reliable college issue Pentax.

-- James Chinn (, May 30, 2002.

I'm 46...Man does the time fly. Instamatic and polaroid as a kid in the sixties. Around 10 years old stopped in the Nikon shop and gallery in NYC and the interest took hold. Dad gave me his Graphic at 13. Music took over at 14. At 15, NYC photographer Victor Laredo showed me briefly how to work in a B+W darkroom. Bought a Nikon FM at 22. Leica M at 33...then it really began. At 35 sold first B+W prints taken with a Yashica twin. Sold in local gallery Leica shots as well as medium format stuff and 4x5. At 44 bought a 12x20.At 45 a Anba 5x7......What next? Hmmmmm Platinum??

-- Emile de Leon (, May 31, 2002.

39, started about 18 month ago with 6x6 and a few month later with 4x5, before that I bought a 35mm slr ten years ago for some snapping, but the SLR just catch dust the last 9 years.

Scanning this thread it looks like that the modus operandi for LF is: old enough for having the bucks to buy LF gear and young enough to lug everything around.


-- Huib Smeets (, May 31, 2002.

When I started in photography (1972), Zone VI didn't exist yet, Ansel Adams was a young man of 70, there were no SLR commercials on TV, Kodak 35mm film came in a screw top aluminum can inside a box with a separate instruction sheet, some of their developers came in metal cans; I think the only large format field camera was a Deardorff, and the only automatic 35mm SLR was a Konica Autoreflex!

Anyway, 46. Ouch!

-- Anthony Guidice (, May 31, 2002.

41. Have been doing 4x5 for about 4 years now.

-- fw (, May 31, 2002.

What an amazing post! I am 46 and two years into large format (4x5). Just took a John Sexton workshop and am INSPIRED and revamping my darkroom for some serious photo phun! Always wanted to be a fine art B&W photographer, but got talked out of it as a teenager. Have studied photography ever since, but realized two years ago with a reduced work schedule, that I could still try out my dream!!!!

I am having a ball. . .


-- Scott Jones (, May 31, 2002.

I am 38, started LF a 29. Jennifer, you thought that there were less than 100 participants in this forum ? Are you serious ? Between January and now, 1500 different people posted a message.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, May 31, 2002.

51. My dad set me up with his 2x3 Busch Pressman at age nine. I got serious about LF in 1973.

-- Andy Eads (, May 31, 2002.

Fifty right now. A day older tomorrow. LF for twenty years, Pt/pd for ten. The reason that most of the LF crowd is older is that we can no longer squint through the viewfinder of a 35mm SLR any more!

-- Joe Lipka (, May 31, 2002.

Just turned the big five-oh(no). I returned today from a shoot out on the Olympic Peninsula of my home state, Washington, and after lugging around a pack of camera gear for a couple of days I'm beginning to realize that 50 has its drawbacks. Started too many years ago to remember with an OM-1, then a Pentax 67, followed by a Wista SP, added a Pentax 645 and have sold all of the above and now shoot exclusively with an Arca-Swiss 69. I shoot professionally (nature) for stock and am hoping the economy turns around real soon.

-- Mark Windom (, May 31, 2002.

At 66, I'll bring up the average age a bit for this forum. After a lifetime of shooting 35mm, I started with LF six years back. Now retired in the Bay Area, I get spend real time with my Canham DLC and then lurk here on the forum between shoots.

-- Frank LaHorgue (, May 31, 2002.

35, started photography at 14. moved up to lf for close to 15 years ago? has it been that long? gulp. shoot all kinds up to 8x10, but don't use it too much anymore... too heavy.

any patrons care to loan me a wizzy exped 8x?


-- trib (, May 31, 2002.

35 as well...bought a speed graphic when I was 17, was forced to use a view camera in photo school and spent my following years after graduation in sveral small dark closets loading film holders for hours on end & earning minimum wage....never dreamed I'd be using a view camera to make a living, but after almost 10 years now, I'm starting to almost enjoy a moment of temporary insanity earlier this week I bought an old kodak 8x10, so we'll see where that goes right now it's hogging up what little empty space I had in my darkroom, so I guess I better get shooting.....

-- dk thompson (, May 31, 2002.

I'm exposures average 30 seconds.

Started with 6X6 in '68, moved to 4X5 in '79, swerved into 6X7 in 85, and 8X10 in '97.

Bounce around all of those and do a little digital from time to time.

-- Marv (, May 31, 2002.

Sixty Six big ones. Am trying to switch to LF from 35 so I'll slow down and make "great photographs" in my dotage. (Good 35mm requires too much energy from an old man.)

-- Willhelmn (, May 31, 2002.

20, shooting 4x5 large format for about 6 months now. Like Tony, I'm a medical student (however nothing as hardcore as MD/PhD). I suppose lugging a 4x5 monorail around the streets of Melbourne beats the old stereotype of medical people having Hasselblads and not knowing what to do with em...

-- Justin Chan (, June 01, 2002.

living here in the west I HAVE seen other large format photogs in places like Death Valley, or Bodie ghost town. So far they've always been too good to talk for 30 seconds to the likes of me! So consider yourselves lucky if you never stumbled into one!

-- Jim Galli (, June 01, 2002.

Well, I am 47. Started doing astrophotography with an Exacta body at age 14. First LF in 1975, but have been doing significant LF since 1980. Mostly 4x5 and digital now.

-- Glenn Kroeger (, June 01, 2002.

Per - I've also got 55 good reasons NOT to schlep around a LF rig. But it's a persistant passion.

cj - The condo won't be nearly as satifying.


I've learned more by my 19 years of photographic failures and I have by my successes.


-- Steve Feldman (, June 01, 2002.

i started to shoot lg format back in the 70's with a 5x7 kodak found out about pyro from old photo books from the turn of the century the experiens became like a religion i'm 52 and have shared with my sons the beauty of the medium. i guess i taught them to see before the camera format became important i have never shot out west only the intimate landscapes of new england years ago when walking around with a view camera people always asked "do you shoot weddings" no they say oh your a real photographer !

-- lee nadel (, June 01, 2002.

Hmm...If things go really well, I`ll be 47 in January. Started with a borrowed 35mm in 1972. Now that I think about it, all these years of traveling, and I`ve rarely seen anyone use anything other than 35mm. In the past I`ve used up to 11x14, but have to say that 5x7 and 6x12 have become my favorites.

-- Steve Clark (, June 01, 2002.

OK, OK if EVERYONE else is going to post on this one I guess I don't want to be left out. I'm 44, started photography in college with a Nikon FM. I needed a major and Photography sounded fun. I had a blast and did well. After shooting for a few years for pleasure and working in photo labs for money I sort of petered out. I guess partly because all I had at the time was 35mm equipment (I had tried 4 x 5 at school with there equipment) and became unsatisfied with the quality. I felt limited to 5 x 7 prints or maybe 8 x 10. And partly because I spent all day printing other peoples negs and chromes. Anyway, last year I started remembering how much I had loved photography once apon a time. Which brought me to purchacing a 4 x 5 kit. So hopefully I still got it. I’ll let you know. ;-)

-- Ed Candland (, June 01, 2002.

I am 31, I've shot 35mm since I was 4 years old, medium format for the past 6 years, and 4x5 for a couple of months now. I bought an old speed graphic to try out large format to see if I liked it, and am now having a blast. All those years shooting smaller formats, I've really been missing out.

-- Scott Stadler (, June 02, 2002.

I am 57. I started in photography about 1963 with a Fujica Half frame and I have steadily moved up in format size over the years. I absolutely love LF. I log onto this page several times a week - but rarely contribute answers - I get a bit overawed by the wisdom of many of the contributors - I suspect there would be many like me that get a lot of enjoyment and value from the site - but rarely contribute. I have often wondered about where the contributors come from - I live in Adelaide, south Australia - and wonder where others hail from. Thanks for a great forum

John Quinn

-- John Quinn (, June 06, 2002.

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