If you're a fan of my facebook page you've probably seen my latest note about gift ideas for the ever-tricky photography lover.
If not, you should check it out(:
I got to use a large format, 4X5 camera last week
& here are the results:
the film is pretty expensive, and you can load 2 sheets of the film (2 shots) in the film loader, using dark slides to keep the light out. It is tricky though, and a lot of people in my class had problems with light leaking in.
Since you only have 2 shots each time (unless you have multiple film holders) you have to be really choosy on your composition/lighting/etc. It is also recommended that you take the first shot, then use the second one to shoot the same subject again, to ensure you get the best results possible. I went for it and took a chance with shooting different things.
A nice classmate took some photos of me while operating the beast-of-a-camera: