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View Full Version : Not new to photography, but, new to LF



PCC
5-May-2015, 07:49
I've been into photography since taking photography classes back in high school. That was 1982-ish. I've been shooting 35mm film and always dreamed about moving onto the larger formats, but, the cost has always been a limiting factor. When DSLRs hit the market it took me a while to jump onto that bandwagon, but, I finally did and have had a renewed interest in photography ever since.

A week or so ago I read about the Cambo Actus, which gives the Nikon DSLR the ability to have swings and shifts like a proper view camera, but, the cost was prohibitive so I thought I could buy a broken 4X5 view camera and roll my own. The first hit on that popular auction website was for an Omega View 45E for less than $100 shipped, BIN. The seller was local, less than two miles from my house, so I contacted the seller and bought it minus the $15 shipping fee. Now I own a 4X5 view camera with two lens boards and nothing else. I still need lenses, film holders, and a few small accessories to be able to make images. There's nothing wrong with this camera that I could find, having inspected the bellows at full extension with a flashlight.

I was referred to these forums by a member of the Nikonians forums so here I am, with more questions to ask and gear to buy. I probably won't have anything to contribute, but, have the experience to search before creating a new thread.

ghostcount
5-May-2015, 08:18
Welcome.

After the 30 day cooling period you'll have access to the Classified section, there you'll find what you'll need for your system.

Enjoy.

John Kasaian
5-May-2015, 08:41
Welcome aboard!
For what size holes are your lens boards drilled?
Which subjects/genres are you interested in shooting?
Q-T has provided a vast resource of great, really useful information on the Large Format Homepage, just click on the blue banner at the top of this page.

fishbulb
5-May-2015, 10:26
Yeah if you want tilts/shifts/swings on a DSLR, then a tilt-shift lens for that brand (the Nikon PC lenses for example) is really the best bet, or spending a lot of money on a Cambo Ultima 35 and some Schneider Digitar lenses (http://www.cambo.com/html/products_photo/set01/english/internet/item85.html), which are designed for the task (I'd love one set up for Sony E-mount, and a Sony A7R).

For lenses, I'd recommend any modern multicoated lens from Nikon, Fuji, Rodenstock, or Schneider. All Nikon LF lenses were multicoated. The Fuji's with the lens markings (like "Fujinon 150mm 5.6") stamped on the outside of the lens barrel are multicoated, the older single-coated lenses have the markings inside the filter ring like most DSLR lenses. Don't know about Rodenstock or Schneider specifically.

The "kit lenses" for 4x5 are typically 90/150/210. This is about a 28mm/50mm/70mm give or take. There's no exact "crop factor" or multiple for 4x5 (since it's a different aspect ratio than the 3x2 of DSLRs, see these charts for details (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/album.php?albumid=128)), but the common "rule of thumb" is 3x the 35mm focal length.

The 90/150/210 lenses are typically lightweight, inexpensive, and work on almost every camera, because they don't require extremely short or long bellows length. They are good lenses, and are inexpensive on the used market mainly because they were popular - not because they were lower-quality. If your camera will support them (you have enough bellows flexibility), a 75/150/300 combination will give you about a 25/50/100 range, so that's another possibility. I typically go out with a 90/135/300 for the lightest weight. The 90mm is the f/8 version, and the 300 is the f/9 version, so they are lighter than their f/4.5 and f/5.6 counterparts.

I would recommend avoiding lenses in Copal #3 shutters until you can hold one yourself and see how heavy and huge they really are - you might not want to schlep them around. For example, the Nikon 300mm f/9 in Copal #1 weighs 290g (0.6lbs) but the Nikon 300mm f/5.6 in Copal #3 weighs 1250g (2.76lbs) and is much larger in size as well.

PCC
5-May-2015, 12:42
Welcome.

After the 30 day cooling period you'll have access to the Classified section, there you'll find what you'll need for your system.

Enjoy.

Thanks. The 30 day wait is actually a good thing since I now need to find out how badly I'm in trouble with the wife for buying this new toy. LOL!


Welcome aboard!
For what size holes are your lens boards drilled?
Which subjects/genres are you interested in shooting?
Q-T has provided a vast resource of great, really useful information on the Large Format Homepage, just click on the blue banner at the top of this page.

I believe the recessed lens board is 34.6mm and the flat one is 41.6 making them Copal #0 and #1 compatible. I still need to take a caliper to them to know for sure. Regardless of this I can always open them up if needed or even make adapters to neck them down since I have a miniature mill and tabletop lathe in my garage.


Yeah if you want tilts/shifts/swings on a DSLR, then a tilt-shift lens for that brand (the Nikon PC lenses for example) is really the best bet, or spending a lot of money on a Cambo Ultima 35 and some Schneider Digitar lenses (http://www.cambo.com/html/products_photo/set01/english/internet/item85.html), which are designed for the task (I'd love one set up for Sony E-mount, and a Sony A7R).

For lenses, I'd recommend any modern multicoated lens from Nikon, Fuji, Rodenstock, or Schneider. All Nikon LF lenses were multicoated. The Fuji's with the lens markings (like "Fujinon 150mm 5.6") stamped on the outside of the lens barrel are multicoated, the older single-coated lenses have the markings inside the filter ring like most DSLR lenses. Don't know about Rodenstock or Schneider specifically.

The "kit lenses" for 4x5 are typically 90/150/210. This is about a 28mm/50mm/70mm give or take. There's no exact "crop factor" or multiple for 4x5 (since it's a different aspect ratio than the 3x2 of DSLRs, see these charts for details (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/album.php?albumid=128)), but the common "rule of thumb" is 3x the 35mm focal length.

The 90/150/210 lenses are typically lightweight, inexpensive, and work on almost every camera, because they don't require extremely short or long bellows length. They are good lenses, and are inexpensive on the used market mainly because they were popular - not because they were lower-quality. If your camera will support them (you have enough bellows flexibility), a 75/150/300 combination will give you about a 25/50/100 range, so that's another possibility. I typically go out with a 90/135/300 for the lightest weight. The 90mm is the f/8 version, and the 300 is the f/9 version, so they are lighter than their f/4.5 and f/5.6 counterparts.

I would recommend avoiding lenses in Copal #3 shutters until you can hold one yourself and see how heavy and huge they really are - you might not want to schlep them around. For example, the Nikon 300mm f/9 in Copal #1 weighs 290g (0.6lbs) but the Nikon 300mm f/5.6 in Copal #3 weighs 1250g (2.76lbs) and is much larger in size as well.
That's great information. Thanks!

I actually thought about buying the Nikon Shift or T/S lenses, but, decided against it due to quality and cost, respectively. The plan then was to go with a Pentax 35mm lens for the 645 and get a shifting adapter, but, that's going to cost about what my budget is for this LF setup with very limited usability so that idea was thrown out. Who knows what I'm going to do with this down the road, but, it should be a fun trip regardless.

I forgot to mention that I like shooting landscapes and macros on my (D)SLRs. On the LF side I doubt I will be doing macros, but, we will see.

fishbulb
5-May-2015, 13:45
If you haven't found the manual for your Omega, it's here: http://www.cameramanuals.org/prof_pdf/omega_view_45e_45F.pdf

Looks like a fun camera. With a bellows extension of 86-452mm, you should be able to barely use a 90mm on the wide end and up to a ~400mm on the long end. With the recessed lens board you should be able to use even wider lenses, or get more flexibility in the bellows for movements with a 90mm.

For macro, any lens can be a macro lens. As you focus closer, the image circle gets larger, so no problem there. For any lens, focused at infinity, the bellows will be as long as the focal length of the lens. To focus at 1:1 the bellows must be 2x the focal length. For 2:1 macro, the bellows must be 4x the focal length. So with a 150mm lens, you could get infinity focus with about 150mm long bellows, and 1:1 macro focus at 300mm long bellows (measured roughly from the lens board to the ground glass, i.e. the length of the bellows). Don't forget to correct for the long bellows extension when focusing close and calculating your exposure.

If you want to save some money on lenses, you can get older, single-coated Fuji lenses for pretty good prices (lens info stamped in the filter ring) and as long as you keep them away from "lens flare" situations the image quality should be very good. You could probably get a single-coated 90, 150, or 210 for under $150 each. And there are also the early multi-coated lenses, like the Fuji W 150 5.6, but older than the CMW version, and can be had for much less than the later versions. There are probably other options for cheap older lenses from Rodenstock and Schneider too.

For film holders, you can often get the metal-handled Fidelity, Regal, Lisco, etc. film holders for $5 each. The later style all-plastic holders typically sell for more like $10/ea. They are a bit lighter supposedly but really are pretty much the same. The important thing on used film holders is to get ones that are straight, unwarped, and generally un-abused. A warped film holder (often caused by being left out in the extreme heat/cold too much, should be pretty obvious) will cause you all sorts of problems with not enough film flatness, light leaks, etc.

robert4x5poole
6-May-2015, 08:53
Yes the Copal no.3 is big but the lens need not be. I have just bought a Schneider Apo-Xenar Compact 400 mm and it weighs less than 1 kg with shutter. It's worth it!


Yeah if you want tilts/shifts/swings on a DSLR, then a tilt-shift lens for that brand (the Nikon PC lenses for example) is really the best bet, or spending a lot of money on a Cambo Ultima 35 and some Schneider Digitar lenses (http://www.cambo.com/html/products_photo/set01/english/internet/item85.html), which are designed for the task (I'd love one set up for Sony E-mount, and a Sony A7R).

For lenses, I'd recommend any modern multicoated lens from Nikon, Fuji, Rodenstock, or Schneider. All Nikon LF lenses were multicoated. The Fuji's with the lens markings (like "Fujinon 150mm 5.6") stamped on the outside of the lens barrel are multicoated, the older single-coated lenses have the markings inside the filter ring like most DSLR lenses. Don't know about Rodenstock or Schneider specifically.

The "kit lenses" for 4x5 are typically 90/150/210. This is about a 28mm/50mm/70mm give or take. There's no exact "crop factor" or multiple for 4x5 (since it's a different aspect ratio than the 3x2 of DSLRs, see these charts for details (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/album.php?albumid=128)), but the common "rule of thumb" is 3x the 35mm focal length.

The 90/150/210 lenses are typically lightweight, inexpensive, and work on almost every camera, because they don't require extremely short or long bellows length. They are good lenses, and are inexpensive on the used market mainly because they were popular - not because they were lower-quality. If your camera will support them (you have enough bellows flexibility), a 75/150/300 combination will give you about a 25/50/100 range, so that's another possibility. I typically go out with a 90/135/300 for the lightest weight. The 90mm is the f/8 version, and the 300 is the f/9 version, so they are lighter than their f/4.5 and f/5.6 counterparts.

I would recommend avoiding lenses in Copal #3 shutters until you can hold one yourself and see how heavy and huge they really are - you might not want to schlep them around. For example, the Nikon 300mm f/9 in Copal #1 weighs 290g (0.6lbs) but the Nikon 300mm f/5.6 in Copal #3 weighs 1250g (2.76lbs) and is much larger in size as well.

PCC
6-May-2015, 19:56
This is all great info! Thanks everyone!

PCC
11-May-2015, 21:22
Okay, one step closer to being able to take photos with this camera: I bought a single film holder. Why only one? Because people say that they are usually around $5 used and I bought one at a local camera store used. The price was $15 but the guy charged me $7 so I should have grabbed a second. Oh, well, next time.

I also bought a 10X magnifier at the local flea market. It might be overkill. I'll try out the large 4X magnifying glass as well.

Andrew O'Neill
13-May-2015, 16:33
Welcome!

PCC
13-May-2015, 19:10
Thanks!

PCC
21-May-2015, 17:46
So, reading up on the "in "Galli style"" thread it occurred to me that I have two meniscus lenses that I had extracted from a photocopier lens (I used to repair them and, while doing a stint in the shop, was given a few photocopier lenses from junked machines). One of them has a red coating on it and the other has no coating. A bit of time on the mini lathe and I should be able to make something. Combine one or both with a bare shutter and I'm set. The problem is that bare shutters are about as expensive as a full lens with shutter so it's hardly worth it. The other problem is a severe lack of funds since my current job ends in about three weeks and then it's off to look for a new job. No excessive and unnecessary spending until I've secured a FT job. In the meantime, this camera is turning out to be a nice industrial sculpture that my wife absolutely hates.

PCC
20-Jun-2015, 15:19
I exposed my first negatives with this camera today. I still need to get a proper lens, but, I did get a Schneider Kreuznach Radionar 105mm f/4.5 lens from an unsalvageable Franka Rolfix folding camera and mounted it to the recessed lens board. I bought a roll film back from the Classifieds section so I'm able to make photos, albeit using a camera that is way larger than I need, on 120 roll film. It's a good way to learn the movements and go through the paces of using a LF camera without the expense.

Sirius Glass
20-Jun-2015, 15:32
Welcome to the Large Format Photography Forum

PCC
20-Jun-2015, 17:52
Welcome to the Large Format Photography Forum

Thanks!

Randy
27-Jun-2015, 20:07
Something you may want to consider, as like some of us (me) we have to be frugal when it comes to large format film - you can get 8X10 X-ray film in 100 sheet boxes for about $40, cut it down to 4X5 and your shooting now costs less per exposure than shooting with 120 film. Good times...

PCC
27-Jun-2015, 21:59
Thanks! That's good to know. Is X-Ray film sensitive to darkroom safe lights! I don't want to be cutting paper completely in the dark as I'm very attached to my fingers.

Randy
28-Jun-2015, 15:45
You can use a red safe-light as from my experience, the film is (at least mostly) orthochromatic. I process by red safe-light with no problem, but you will need to do a test to make sure your particular light will not fog the film.

PCC
28-Jun-2015, 19:02
Okay, that seems like the best way to go. Thanks!

Sirius Glass
29-Jun-2015, 11:18
Thanks! That's good to know. Is X-Ray film sensitive to darkroom safe lights! I don't want to be cutting paper completely in the dark as I'm very attached to my fingers.

I too keep my fingers close at hand.

PCC
29-Jun-2015, 20:28
Thanks go out to cdholden for the package that he sent to me. You see, I bought his Calumet roll film back and, while discussing it over PMs, we struck a deal where I would buy one of his lenses for a more than fair price. What I received in the mail today was that lens, a bunch of film, and the lens elements from another lens. Basically, I'm pretty much set for taking photos with this camera now. I just need a Copal #1 shutter and I'll even have a second lens to use. Thanks again for your generosity and please let me know if I can ever return the favor.