Buyer’s Remorse

This is another one of my (very) infrequent personal entries that you should probably just skip. 

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m sort of a photographer. I have an interesting collection of film cameras in addition to my dSLR and phone. Most of them are medium format but I also have a couple of 35mm cameras as well. 

A couple of weeks ago I was using my 2×3 Speed Graphic as a field camera, taking advantage of its tilt and shift capabilities to play around with depth of field and perspective. The Speed Graphic is a press camera by design so the tilt and shift is limited in nature. As I was doing this it occurred to me that I’d be better off with a real view camera that allowed all of these movements and more. I was able to find a Toyo-View 45D in very good shape for around $55 (plus shipping) on eBay and also picked up a Polaroid 545i instant film back for $20. I now have almost everything I need to at least get started in large format photography.

Notice I said “almost”. View cameras, like all cameras, require lenses to actually be useful. The Toyo did not come with one, of course. Lenses for large format are expensive, to say the list. Many more times more expensive than the camera. More expensive than I care to deal with. And let’s not even think about the costs associated with film developing (non-Polaroid) and scanning large negative/transparencies.

So now I have a camera that I can’t use that requires lenses I can’t really afford. I’m very close to selling the lot back on eBay or Craigslist. I wish I had taken a deep breath and considered the reality of what I was getting into. It’s not the first time, but at least I haven’t gone off the deep end, yet. 

You’d think I would have outgrown this by now.

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