In case you haven’t heard yet, everyone’s favorite camera lover and collector Mijonju is back with The Mijonju Show. We’ve previously seen him test and review the MiNT InstantKon RF70 prototype a few months ago. In his most recent analog adventure, he takes us to a quick portrait session with a 4×5 large format camera. Step right up if you’re planning to shoot large format soon!
Whether you’ve already decided to take the plunge and start shooting large format, or still on the way to get the large format camera of your dreams, Mijonju’s latest video should give you an idea how it’s done. Here, we see him (and a guest photographer) in action with a cool Wista 45D (which has a revolving back!), while giving a rundown of some important points to keep in mind so you don’t ruin your sheet film (yeah, RIP pack film). Remember, sheet film is not cheap!
Before anything else, Mijonju reminds us that these tips are just some general stuff that you’ll have to remember, as your large format camera may have different features and functionalities.
First tip: A light meter will be handy if you really want to nail your exposure right. The light meter reading will tell you the aperture and shutter speed to set on your camera.
To compose your shot, open the lens on the front standard so you can see what’s on the viewfinder. Adjust the aperture with the lens open if you want to see the actual depth of field on the ground glass. The image you’ll see on the ground glass on the rear standard is flipped, and moving the camera will also give you a reverse image.
Next useful tip: Use a loupe (jewelers’/watchmakers’ magnifying glass ) to help you focus.
Now comes the crucial bits. Once you’ve got your focus right, make sure to lock it. Set the aperture and shutter speed, then cock the shutter. Always remember to close the lens before you load the film, or the film will be ruined the moment you lift the dark slide. Take a deep breath, then take your shot.
Another useful tip: Mark the side of the film back that you shot, or else you’ll make double exposures if you load the other side again.
And that’s it! You may also want to note the summary below so you have something to refer to when it’s your turn to play with your large format camera.
Check out The Mijonju Show for more of Mijonju’s videos on super cool cameras and photography stuff.
Screenshot image from the video by The Mijonju Show