Negative Feedback: Shooting Large Format for the Very First Time

Many (if not most) of the people reading this have shot 35mm film, and a chunk of those people have shot 120 medium format film, but only a fraction of that fraction has ever touched a large format camera. Here’s your chance to see what it’s like to shoot 4×5 film for the very first time.

In this episode of Negative Feedback, host and Negative Feedback founder George brings his friend Jack along to take each other’s portraits using a Canham DLC45 field camera. George has experience shooting 4×5 film; Jack, on the other hand, has shot 35mm and 120, but never large format.

The video follows the duo as George teaches Jack the large format ropes and they each take turns playing both model and photographer. Watching a novice try to learn the process really drives home how complicated—compared to modern day cameras and even 35mm SLRs—large format photography is… we’re not in “point and click” territory anymore.

Rounding out the video, the two photographers spend the last half discussing their experience. Jack, as you might expect, is blown away by the sheer quality of the negatives, but isn’t sure if they’re worth the hassle and cost involved. Particularly when you compare it to shooting medium format, the quality of 120 film is still fantastic, but the process is leaps and bounds easier.

Of course, there are myriad advantages to large format that George and Jack never even touched on… but that’s to be expected unless they wanted to make this video two hours long.

Check out the video and their full discussion of the pros and cons up top. Oh, and if you’re curious, you can pick up your own Canham DLC45 camera plus 3 lenses for the low Buy It Now price of just $2,600 on eBay.

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