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Recommended film / workflow to learn the camera
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:56 pm    Post subject: Recommended film / workflow to learn the camera Reply with quote

I am getting a Crown Graphic and am looking for recommendations on film + holders and processing work flow to learn the camera without breaking the bank.

I have shot 35mm in fully manual SLRs, so the actual photography side should not be that big a deal, I think. It's more about learning the camera itself, and large-format in general. I have never developed film and currently do not have equipment to do so.

The way I see it, I could go one of two routes:

1) The negative film route. As far as I understand, this would involve the following steps:

- Get film holders.
- Use cheap B&W film like Catlabs (which seems to be $29 for 25 sheets).
- Learn how to insert film sheets into the holders, perhaps buy a changing bag to do so.
- Use a commercial lab for development.


2) The instant route.

- Buy an instant back.
- Buy Fuji FP-100 film.

In route (2) the instant back seems to be about $100, and the film looks to be about $10 per shot frame.

How much below that budget could I navigate route (1), including processing costs? Of course, eventually, I see myself shooting predominantly negative, so the film holder investment for route (2) might be of questionable long-term value, but of course I may change my mind once I actually do this.

Eventually, I may also want to do my own development, but I'm not sure it makes sense to start that way, as this would likely leave too many variables to figure out between the camera and my development to learn in a reasonable time frame.

What are your recommendations on all of the above?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3950
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What format is the Crown?
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1sPJkp-MdghM0RuVXpkZnRnbVk/view?usp=sharing
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, sorry. 4x5. Should have mentioned that. Thanks for the manual reference in the meantime!
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some other thoughts - which require a 4x5 with graflok back

you can purchase a roll film back and 120 film.

there are some products which allow you to hook up a mirrorless digital camera and they slide to allow you to take multiple digital images and stitch them together to make one image.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/995354-REG/fotodiox_4x5_nk_p_pro_nikon_f_large.html

I'm not sure if it is out yet - lomo has a graflok back which used instax wide film which is quite a bit less
https://www.diyphotography.net/the-lomograflok-instant-back-lets-you-use-instax-wide-film-with-your-4x5-large-format-camera/

lastly - learn to develop film at home, it isn't as bad as you think and @$200 of supplies will let you develop B&W film at home, to me it is very satisfying to do this myself. I've had a learning curve starting with 120 film, but the same kit let me do 35mm too, I've added a larger patterson tank and a 4x5 film reel and now process 4x5 film at home.
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, @ktm_2000!

All interesting suggestions. The coming Instax back seems to be only due to be delivered by July 2021, so I'd like to learn the camera more quickly than that. On the other hand, knowing that that's coming makes the investment in the Fuji FP-100-compatible back even less justified. In the future, if I want to use instant as part of my regular work flow (say, to check a shot before putting it on film), it seems like that one will be the way to go, and not the FP-100 which is discontinued.

The 120 roll film back might be worth thinking about. Looks like I can get one for about $50 ish and we're talking $4-5 per frame processed. That could be a good way to "burn" frames more cheaply as I'm learning.

And, yes maybe I do want to take the plunge and learn to develop. What kinds of supplies do I need to start developing either 120 or 4x5? Can you direct me to a good source for a kit that will get me started?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3950
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard two sided film holders fit the camera.
Arista EDU film is low cost and available from B&H and Freestyle.
A changing bag or room with no light is needed for loading film holders.
If you do not process film yourself you will need a dark bag to put the exposed film in to send it to the lab or take the loaded film holders to the lab.
Roll film holders for 4x5 are the Graphic 22 for 6cm x 6cm images on 120, Graphic 23 for 6cm x 9cm on 120, RH 12 for 6x6, RH10 for 6x7, RH8 for 6x9 all on 120 roll film.

Film holder darkslides have a black edge and a silver or white edge. You can use either side for unexposed as you wish.

Light is light, it does not care what it strikes or is reflected off of.
Light metered with a normal or wide lens on 35mm will be the same exposure on a 4x5 camera with a non telephoto lens.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3950
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What kinds of supplies do I need to start developing either 120 or 4x5?

Developer, fixer if doing B&W; C-41 kit for color.
Daylight developing tank with reel/holder that will hold the size film you are processing.
Accurate within .5F thermometer.
Photoflo (a wetting agent that helps eliminate water spots when drying) and stop bath are optional. Two or more washes in secession work as a stop bath.
Area with running water for processing and an area to hang and dry the film.

B&W is processed at 68F with wash and fixer within 3F of the developer, closer is better. T grain films can be processed at 75F.

Color film is processed at 103F .5F.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1604
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go the 120 roll film route (which, by the way, I heartily endorse!), and you have a conveniently located photo store nearby with a processing lab, have the lab develop your film; then you scan the negatives into Photoshop and print out on a good printer. I use Epson equipment. If you shoot B/W, look into chromogenic films like Ilford XP2 Super; it develops in C-41 (color negative) chemistry, and any photo lab that develops color negs can handle it. This will cost you a lot less in the long run (certainly not $4-5 per image), assuming you already have a scanner with transparency lid and a printer.

Of course, if you're bound and determined to go with 4x5 sheet film, disregard all of the above.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a 120 roll of tmax400 is roughly $7.50 - maybe $1-2 of chemicals

I use sprint standard 1+9 and buy a liter at a time, @$20 and for a roll of 120 it is 450ml of water and 50ml of developer solution. I re-use stop bath an fixer, refreshing each at a bottle of developer.

my $200 estimate was a little high, this list adds up to $180

$30 for a 2 roll patterson tank
$40 for a dark bag
$20 for (3) 1 liter dark brown bottles for storing chemicals
$20 for plastic mixing beakers
$20 for developer
$20 for fixer
$20 for stop bath
$10 - Massive Dev Chart app for my phone
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, @45PSS for all the info! Might start to look into developing at home as well. Doesn't seem so bad.

@Henry, thank you for your input as well. Based on the discussion here, I think the 120 route is excellent, to either process myself or take out to get done. Seems like a good way to learn the camera at a cheaper price, which is exactly what I was after. Once I do that, I can then decide on sticking with it, or going for the full-on 4x5 for those must-have large-format shots.

This has been some great guidance!
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And thank you @ktm_2000. Seems like our messages crossed.

Now I WANT to learn to process film at home!
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2072
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still not clear whether your camera has a Graflok back. If it has a Graflok back, there are quite a number of clip-on type roll film holders that will fit it, none as cheap as the $50 that was mentioned.

If it has a spring (Graphic) back, only insertion type roll holders can be used. There are fewer of these than there are clip-on types. The least expensive, which can sometimes be bought for $50 or less, is the 4x5 size Adapt-A-Roll 620. AARs will feed film from a 120 spool but must take up on a 620 spool. They were made in sizes to fit 2x3, 3x4 and 4x5 cameras. If you get one, make sure to get a 4x5er. And be aware that the 4x5er's gate is offset approximately 7 mm from the lens' axis towards the insertion side of the camera. Other makes of insertion type roll holders (Cambo/Calumet, Sinar, Toyo) can be used with a Graflok back. AARs can't.
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Dan Fromm:

Thank you. It is a Graflok back. Wouldn't, for example, an RH10 do the trick there? Those can be had for about those $50, looks like to me. I hope so, because I pulled the trigger on one.

I did see that there were some in different sizes offered, so I made sure to look that it was 4x5.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3950
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The roll holder has to be made for 4x5 format cameras. Roll holders for 2x3 cameras will not work on your camera.
This is a roll film holder for 4x5
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Graflex-RH10-6x7-120-Roll-Film-Back-Holder-RH10-4x5/114695830550?hash=item1ab4677c16:g:SZ4AAOSw8HpgMXn3
This is a roll film holder for 2x3
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Graflex-RH10-120-Roll-Film-Back/174650011088?hash=item28a9f3add0:g:pzAAAOSwIgdf~NLF
There is a completed auction for a RH10 for 4x5 for $50 + shipping.
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financephotog



Joined: 18 Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The completed $50 + shipping, I believe is the one I went for (seller holding unit in hand in photo). Actually got a discount offer below that from the seller, so $40 + shipping.
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