From time to time I had been thinking about trying a large format camera, but I never made any effort into it, and most importantly I have been more than happy with my Contax 645. It is really great camera, which fully suits all my landscape photography needs and its autofocus ability is also quite handy when it comes to family snapshots. However, when Marek showed me his new Linhof Techno and all the fantastic features which large format camera can offer I was very impressed, and I started to think about trying it by myself. It is quite obvious that Marek has quite big influence on mine own photography and unfortunately also on my cash-flow:) Few month latter after Marek’s visit here in Geneva, I was ordering my first large forma camera from Robert White in UK. I was quite happy, because they just got very gently used Ebony RSW 45, which is designed by Robert White and Joe Cornish especially for wide angle landscape photography. Due to its design it can take lenses from 45 to 210 mm, which is the perfect focal range for my type of photography. On the other hand this is entry level camera, which provides limited movements, which at the end I do not mind, since it is much easier to use and it should also minimise a chance for error. When I took the camera from box I was surprised that it is actually smaller than I expected. The precision with which Ebony cameras are made was obvious on the first look, the dark ebony wood together with titanium metal parts look simply stunning. The whole camera is very solid and all movements are very smooth.
So it was finely here, I was ready to go out and test the new beautiful toy. I was already aware of some Marek’s mistakes, therefore I did not expect any significant problems. (haha how wrong i was:) ) It is definitely not easy to get some results. First off all to load a 4x5 sheet film into holder is challenge on its own. Secondly, focusing cloth is very handy until wind starts to blow and in bit heavier wind makes its used almost impossible. Thirdly, it is not easy to coordinate all necessary tasks when the mother nature bless you with some additional rain. Finally, it is not easy at all and at some point I really felt like there is no fun to use large format camera at all. My frustration was exaggerated when I develop the films and found out that there is not much to admire:( Despite the fact that my first attempt in large format camera world was big failure I am not giving up and trust me I will be out there next weekend trying to get it all right. Somewhere deep in my mind I know that when I master this discipline the results will be worthy of all this struggle.
To demonstrate Marek’s influence on me I want share with you today my first bit usable large format picture, which I intentionally conceive as the one Marek showed you here few month ago. I will keep you posted about my progress:)