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Bean Tree, near Rochester NY.  Contact print from an 8x10 negative. This negative required a bit of contrast adjustment in the printing. The mid-morning sun was to the side and slightly behind the tree. Since I was using an uncoated Cooke 18" lens, a lot of flare was bouncing around inside the camera. As a result, with #2 (normal) contrast paper, the dark tree trunks were about a Zone II value - with no detail. I wanted them black, so I used a # 2-1/2 multigrade filter in the printing.  The print is on the edge of being harsh, as is happening in the sunlit foreground area. I suppose that portion could've been softened" with low contrast filtration applied locally, but I really saw no need. The picture still looks good. Contact prints almost always hold together well. But, for example, if an enlargement needs manipulation to balance the tones, or more exposure in the corners - I do it. "It isn't a moral issue."

TIDE Print (and film)Washer - 8x10

This washer works on a water exchange principle. It holds (14) 8x10 prints or negatives. Print washing takes 1 hour and 20 minutes with only 20 minutes of water run time - at a trickle. Negatives are washed in about 12 minutes, with 6 minutes of run time. It also holds 24 5x7 negatives or prints.

It takes up the same space in the sink as an 8x10 tray, and holds a bit more than 3 gallons of water. It's very efficient and economical to operate. The separators are made of styrene - prints or negatives don't stick to them, and it's very easy to get the prints in and out.

Prints are inserted and, as they "still wash," the hypo goes into solution. When enough hypo is in solution, you run the washer and exchange the water. The TIDE washer feeds from the side. Each compartment has 8 fill ports. Hypo-laden water exits from the bottom opposite, and drains from a spillway in the exit chamber. It drains from the bottom because that seems to be the most efficient way to exchange the water - not because hypo is heavier than water. It drains from a top spillway because, with the water shut off, the tank stays full. The first modern print washer - see the full description on the product page.

Format Viewers - "See" the picture

Expressive photographs are made when you're behind the camera. If you see a compelling picture properly, you'll make an effective photograph of it. Emotionally resonant photographs are never the result of darkroom hocus pocus.

The illustriation at right shows a Defender Format Viewer in the 5x7/35mm proportion. They're also available in 4x5/8x10/6x7 and 6x6 (2-1/4 square.) Viewers are made of "Sintra," a closed cell, polyvinyl material that's lightweight, scratch resistant, and durable. One August, while working in a swamp near here, I dropped a 5x7 viewer. It stayed there all fall and  winter. In the Spring I found it, rinsed it off, and continued to use it. I still have it.

A Format Viewer looks deceivingly simple, eh? Camera images, especially in low light - and upside-down view camera images particularly - can mislead you. You might not see the entire image. Format viewers assure that you do. When I'm out photographing, a viewer might be the single most important pieces of equipment I use. See the product page for more information.

Format Viewers are 3x4" overall, and come with a neck cord. Available in 3 format proportions, Format Viewers allow you to do what's most important for a photographer -  to See.

Now In Stock! - Large Format Camera Cases

5x7 mono - inside w_mono.jpg

These camera cases are set to be introduced this year after numerous prototypes, 2 years of testing in the field, and dozens of modifications. These American manufactured cases are a superior product: strong, versatile, protective, and white to keep equipment and film cool. The first case is an 8x10 film holder bag, and the second is the case shown at left - a 5x7 and 4x5 monorail camera case. The final prototype is shown (hence no label). Both should be available in a few weeks.

The "Indestro" Monorail and 5x7 Field Camera Case is the most versatile model - it will hold most 4x5 monorail cameras and all folding 5x7 cameras - Canham, Shen Hao, etc. (My 4x5 Linhof Kardan is a hefty German monorail camera and it fits nicely.)  The center compartment is spacious enough to hold monorail cameras upside down with the lens in place. When I use an Indestro for my Linhof, it holds 14 holders, 3 lenses, a spotmeter, format viewer, screwdrivers,  - and the folded focusing cloth. We're also developing a similar case for 4x5 folding field cameras - same idea but smaller.

The 8x10 film holder case holds 12 8x10 holders - horizontally (properly). For carrying 6 holders, dividers can split the space for the 6 holders, plus lenses, meter, etc. You carry the tripod-mounted 8x10 over your shoulder, and the case holds your other gear for quick access. Both cases are rugged, functional, and versatile.

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