• Russ

4X5 Maiden Voyage

Updated: Apr 7, 2018

JUST IN: Check out the Strike Valley photo in the Geologic Wonders gallery. MY FIRST 4X5 LARGE FORMAT PHOTO.


Spring Break we (wife and dog) headed to Capitol Reef Nation Park to be awed, but also, to try out the 4X5 field view camera. I had a blast. Capitol Reef is a geologic wonder in its own right, but we spent two days beating around the back country capturing its beauty.


First thing to know about these larger beasts is that wind hits the bellows and billows like a sail. You can see I anchored the tripod with a backpack full of camera equipment. Might be the first time a Hasselblad replaced a rock? I only opened the 4X5 when I could be assured of protection from the wind as I did not want the shake in the camera due to the wind. I was shooting Velvia, hence ISO 100 would only allow about 125th of second at f/16. Not bad, but we did not need unnecessary vibration.


Second, I learned that old style wooden film holders for 4X5 film are quite fussy. I loaded them in the motel room in Utah, then setup to take the shot. When I pushed the dark slide back into the film holder, the film was outside of the film holder and just trapped the end. Wasted time and film. Seems the black and white Riteway film holders are at least 20th century technology and work much better.


Finally, we have been back for three days and I still do not know what my photos look like. YIKES! After a decade of digital the wait is a bit nerve racking. Today, I bundled up the 4X5 slides (four hopefully successful) and four rolls of 120, and sent them off to be developed.


Of course, no one knows until I get the slides back from developing.


I did return with some awesome photos on the Canon 5D MKIII, as I use it as my light meter. GRINS. However, I am trying to discipline myself into film and ween off of the digital adrenaline.


We had a great week in UT and AZ.

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