December 03, 2014


Music | In a Sentimental Mood (1964) by John Coltrane

I have the best of friends... Just at the beginning of my foray into large format photography, I met a guy named Chris during a gathering of large format shooters. They would meet once a month, show prints, talk photography... I was the odd man out as I didn't shoot much large format, but really wanted to. I'm not sure if he knew it or not at the time, but Chris was on his way out. He had intimated in so many words that he just wasn't getting what he wanted out of the various analogue processes he had immersed himself in. During one of our gatherings, I decided to bring prints I had made digitally just to show my work. I printed them ~11x14. I remember Chris was especially interested as they were digitally produced, and I'd like to think, very high quality. He took an interest with the way I produced them, equipment including cameras, lenses, printer and even paper.

Fast forward a few months, Chris got me going with film processing equipment and an unopened box of 4x5 film. I think he recognized poor starving artist and he empathized! It meant quite a lot as I was able to shoot and learn more about the little 4x5 camera I had at the time as well as learn technique in processing the larger film.

Years have gone by, at least 7. Chris has moved on living the dream of Paris and photography. He is a master of the digital photography realm and I can tell he has found his outlet, his joy, to be able to let out his expressions of his art.

About a month ago, I got a message from Chris about a lense he came across in Paris. Not knowing a lot about it, but the price being right he just bought it. Turns out it is a 15 cm f:3 Petzval lense  that he was thinking about adapting to one of his digital cameras.

Well, the project stalled and the message Chris sent was to ask whether or not I wanted the lense. A Petzval that I knew at least would fit on my camera was all I needed to know to say yes! I received it a few days ago, quickly made a fitting lense board for it and mounted it on the Chamonix 4x5. I am hopefully going to be able to test it soon, but the view I'm getting out of the ground glass is bright with a wonderful depth fall off. Maybe a new signature look... I am quite excited!!!

Chamonix 4x5 with no name Petzval 15 cm f:3 lense

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