Monthly Archives: December 2016

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4X5 camera with a 120 back first light

Category : Photography

First light is an astronomy and photography term that refers to the first image taken with a camera or the first view through a telescope.  In my case these are the first images from my custom made 4X5 film camera (seen here.)

Custom made 3-D printed 4X5 film camera

My camera is an adapted design from the Holga Mods “Nomad” camera. I was excited to try out 4X5 large format photography, and I started costing out how expensive it would be. I quickly came to the conclusion that by the time that I purchased, processed and scanned the film that it was going to cost about $10 an exposure to shoot 4X5. I have already been shooting quite a lot of 120 medium format film and it cost about $2 an exposure depending on the aspect ratio that I’m shooting. So I decided to shoot the first images with this camera using a $50 6X9 120 roll film back rather than chancing shooting 4X5 film.

Here are the first images: 

These are two composites from four 6X9exposures to make two 6×12 photos. The film is Kodak Portra 400, shot at  f22 125sec. The film was standard C41 processed at a local camera shop and then I scanned the color negatives to digital with an Epson V550 scanner and composited the images in Photoshop. Shot near Golden, Colorado USA.

The biggest advantage of shooting landscapes with film is resolution. These 6X9 cm images from 120 film were scanned at 2400 PPI, which yielded  a 7300 x 4900 pixel (approx. 36 Megapixel) image  to work with with the final composited images being 9400 X 4700 pixels.  When I final make the leap to shooting 4X5  I’l be dealing with images in the  12,000 X 9600 pixel (115 megapixel) range.