After meeting the local New York Streetphotographer Louis Mendez
in New York last year, his Graflex large format camera inspired me to get hold of one on eBay as well. After visiting a really cool large format workshop in Braunschweig at Spürsinn some weeks ago, I found time to use my Graflex for the first time alone in the urban environment.
As large format camera‘s work great, but not fast, I choose some architecture at Kassel for my first venture. I had loaded my 4x5“ large format filmmagazines with Fomapan 400 film (with 26 sheets / pictures) and went out to have some fun.
Detail of the first picture
For metering I used my trusty Gossen Digisix. After I had visited the castle, the new and the old train station, my given timeframe was over and I headed home.
Today I developed the film(s) - and was at my first point of confusion. I have Rodinal, XTOL and HC-110 developer in my fridge, but in the massive dev chart App on my Pad I could not find any information for the Fomapan 400 film I had used. Now Google is my friend, and in an large format forum someone had asked this question just 5 weeks ago and shared his experiences. So I went for 12 minutes at 20 degr. with XTOL 1:1, and the results turned out well. Then I googled how to loead the special 4x5 Inch JoBo Filmreel with the sheets, practised with one sheet in plain sight, and then ,shaked the soup‘.
Some examples can be found here . . .
Lessons learned this time: I need a larger development tank, as only 6 sheets of film fit in mine. Framing is still a little bit on the trial and error side. And I have to slow down even more :-)
Next time I‘ll be shooting the Graflex will probably be in Venice, where I hope to capture urban landscape as well as some street with this cam.