Today was a bit of a sad day for me. For years, I use to shoot my TOYO 45A field (view) camera fairly often. That tapered off quite a lot over the last few years. It was not totally because of digital, as much as it was having to shut down my darkroom. Since I use to develop my own film, it kind of impacted the whole process.
Although I shoot digital for pretty much everything job related, it was always great to take out the 4×5 view camera. It made you think differently, it slowed you down and it was just a lot of fun. My film choice for most of my shooting was the KODAK 100T-max Single Sheet READYLOADS. If your not familiar, they were basically a sheet of 4×5 film in an individual packet (which required a special film holder to operate). They were great! The best part, you could carry around twenty (dust free) sheets of READYLOADS in about the same space as four sheets in traditional film holders.
If you hadn’t guest already, KODAK discontinued their READYLOAD films a while ago. Prior to them doing so, I had bought one last box of film for myself. I’ve been slowly shooting those READYLOADS. Savoring them for just the right shoot. The problem was, I kept making the excuse that nothing was worthy of my last few sheets. So this morning, I decided to let it go and face the fact that I couldn’t keep them forever. I headed out to the woods, and photographed some Black – Eyed – Suzan’s.
I’m not sure if this means that I will quit taking out my 4×5 on occasion. However, if I do plan to continuing to shoot with it, I will have to once again adapt to some changing times… or to better put it, go back to loading film as it was done prior to the READYLOADS.