“Are you crazy!!”
I got this question a lot while at Tulsa Raceway this past weekend, toting around my giant Toyo VRX-125 4″x5″ view camera. I was there with my client Tombo Racing and shot several digital images for them, but also wanted to get some old time black and white images show on film. I brought both my 4×5 and my Pentax 6×7 film cameras. The 6×7 was pretty easy – it handles like my DSLR’s and has a great viewfinder for manual focusing (more pictures from it later). However, I also wanted some pictures from my 4×5 of this high octane sport.
This was not an easy task.
My Toyo must be mounted on a tripod to shoot. Some older 4×5 like the Speed Graphic are designed to make it easier to shoot sports. They can be hand held and come with an external “finder” and focusing grid. For my Toyo, I have to focus by looking at the ground glass and once I load film, no more focusing. So I was having to basically pre-focus and guess where the car or bike would be. I tried several different vantage points to get the shot and exposed 10 sheets of film total. However, only 2 shots actually turned out and with these I missed focus by a hair. I had some trouble developing the negatives so that cost me about 6 shots, and the remaining pictures were either out of focus completely or improperly exposed.
I am going to keep after it – I plan to go to the PMRA races in Tulsa again in the future and see if I can do a better job next time. In the meantime, here are the only shots I got from the drag races with my Toyo 4×5 camera.