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View Full Version : Fast shooting with 4x5 and 5x7...help me decide.



Gene McCluney
16-Jun-2007, 15:06
I use a Super Graphic for 4x5 and a Toyo metal field half-plate size with 5x7 back for 5x7. They both use the same size lensboard, so I have quite a few lenses mounted up on the Graphic type lens boards...from 65mm to 400mm. I often shoot 4x5 and 5x7 of the same location shot. I am always changing lenses to get the view I want. The thing that slows me down is installing the cable release on the lens I want to use. I have thought of buying cheap cable releases for each lens, and just leaving them on, but this gets to be a kinda cluttered storage problem for the lenses. I then thought about the little cable release "L" adaptors which would make the attaching of the cable release easier for me, and then I thought about the short cable release extensions. I think I am leaning towards the cable release extensions, leaving them on the lenses, then quickly attaching my favorite cable release to this?

My buddy, who I go out shooting with, uses a digital SLR, so he is quick. I am quick also, except for the darned cable release installation for each shot. Got quick-release plates on each camera bottom, so getting the camera up on the tripod to shoot is fairly quick. Composing, focusing and metering (when I meter) is quick. the bottleneck is getting the darned cable release on with some of the lenses I use, where the cable release socket is so close to the lensboard my big fingers have a hard time turning the release to screw it in.

Opinions, anyone?

Sheldon N
16-Jun-2007, 15:33
I use the cheap generic cable releases, and have one for each lens which stays attached. I wrap the excess release around the rear element a couple times to keep it out of the way.

It's a big time saver.

Ed Richards
16-Jun-2007, 15:34
I put a cable release on each lens, and I keep them 1 foot or less so they do not get tanged up. Even 6 inches is fine, as long as you do not want to get in the picture. Use a little locktite (the kind you can get off) and they will not fall off.

JavaDuke
16-Jun-2007, 15:37
I have cable releases permanently (almost :) attached to all my lenses, saves me some time in the field. But IMHO being quick with large format is not the best thing. One of the advantages of large format is that you have some time to study the scene while you set up your camera. Yes, I can be very quick with dSLR and zoom lenses - but the downside is that I keep maybe one shot out of fifteen...

Bob Gentile
16-Jun-2007, 15:43
A few years back, I read an article in View Camera by Kerry Thalmann where he suggested a short (6 to 10-inch) cable release on each shutter. I thought, "DUH!"

There's no storage problem.

David A. Goldfarb
16-Jun-2007, 16:07
I like the short Gepe flexible release extensions.

I've tried separate cable releases for each lens, but I don't really like them flopping around, winding them around the lens in the case, or the potential hazard to the cable release socket that comes with having a release attached all the time that could get jarred or caught on something.

Gene McCluney
16-Jun-2007, 17:03
I have cable releases permanently (almost :) attached to all my lenses, saves me some time in the field. But IMHO being quick with large format is not the best thing. One of the advantages of large format is that you have some time to study the scene while you set up your camera. Yes, I can be very quick with dSLR and zoom lenses - but the downside is that I keep maybe one shot out of fifteen...


Well, I don't know about you, but I can't think about angle, composition, etc., when I am futzing around trying to attach a cable release, so the "slow down" thing doesn't relate to quality time with me in my situation. For example: On thursday I went out with my buddy and shot 28 sheets 5x7 and 40 sheets 4x5 in about 8 hours. We were shooting antique bridges, our hobby. I would rather spend the time thinking about the shots rather than futzing with cable release attachment. I can't say about my buddies keeper ratio, but all my shots are keepers. I shot 2 sheets on each view, so I have 20 4x5 views and 14 5x7 views as keepers. The double sheet concept is so I have backup if a processing flaw or dust issue comes up.

Bill_1856
16-Jun-2007, 20:35
The Super Graphic has a built-in push-button electric shutter release solenoid. If yours is broken, get it fixed and you won't need seperate cable releases. The batteries are available from Radio Shack.

Richard Kelham
17-Jun-2007, 01:47
Schlepping around two cameras, of different formats, plus maybe half a dozen lenses *and* trying to compete with a buddy banging away on a DSLR does seem like masochism even without hassles with cable releases.

Why not just take one camera with a couple of lenses, both with cable releases already attached. That way you can be up and running in no time at all. Relatively speaking.



Richard

Gene McCluney
17-Jun-2007, 03:02
The Super Graphic has a built-in push-button electric shutter release solenoid. If yours is broken, get it fixed and you won't need seperate cable releases. The batteries are available from Radio Shack.

While in theory this is true, in practice you need special lensboards which are hard to find that have an actuator built-in, and this actuator will only trigger certain design lenses, not all the types of lenses I like to use, and this doesn't address the issue of shooting the Toyo half-plate w/5x7 back, which uses the same size lensboards but does not have any electric trigger capability. I think I am going with the Gepe cable release extensions for each lens.

Nick_3536
17-Jun-2007, 03:06
Are you hauling both cameras? Why not build yourself a 4x5 back for the Toyo? A spare back is a lot lighter then a whole camera. Plus if you really wanted to you could take one shot with the 5x7. Swap on the 4x5 back and take a shot that way. All with the camera on the tripod.

Gene McCluney
17-Jun-2007, 03:09
Why not just take one camera with a couple of lenses, both with cable releases already attached. That way you can be up and running in no time at all. Relatively speaking.



Richard

The subject matter I am shooting (antique bridges) may be from 40' long to several hundred feet long, with limited area for locating a camera to encompass the whole structure, (fences, poison ivy, etc) so I have to have a wide selection of lenses readily available or I would not be able to capture the whole structure. This is entirely different than the average "art" photographer who has the flexibility to shoot what his camera can see, and not worry about getting it "all" in. What I am doing is more like architecture photography. My last trip, I used focal lengths from 75mm to 250mm to get what I wanted.

Gene McCluney
17-Jun-2007, 03:11
Are you hauling both cameras? Why not build yourself a 4x5 back for the Toyo? A spare back is a lot lighter then a whole camera. Plus if you really wanted to you could take one shot with the 5x7. Swap on the 4x5 back and take a shot that way. All with the camera on the tripod.

I have a 4x5 back for the Toyo. It would still require a lens change to get same angle of view, when switching backs. Thus a lens change, thus the time wasted fiddling with attaching a cable release. The solution is having the lenses more cable-release friendly, thus my original question.

Richard Kelham
17-Jun-2007, 06:10
OK, but even with the small (and floppy) cable release extension pieces you are still going to have to waste time screwing in the release. I have used one of these things on a 90mm Angulon when I wanted to use an air release: the attachment was too fat to screw into the shutter when flush with the lens board so it was a matter of necessity to use the angled extension. But it was still a fiddle attaching the release...

And I still don't understand the necessity of shooting on two different formats, even if they do share common lens boards.



Richard

David A. Goldfarb
17-Jun-2007, 06:43
The Gepe extensions are less fiddly than the cable release sockets on the shutters, and the extension is stiff and short enough and doesn't have a metal plunger on the end that could swing around and hit something.

Larry Kalajainen
17-Jun-2007, 09:11
Yes, I can be very quick with dSLR and zoom lenses - but the downside is that I keep maybe one shot out of fifteen...

A 15:1 shooting/keeping ratio? Wow! Last time I checked (back in the analog days; Lord only knows what it is now) National Geographic photogs shot at a 90:1 ratio. I expect I'm somewhere in between (I don't have the deep pockets for unlimited film usage that NG does.)

Larry

Scott --
17-Jun-2007, 09:20
Well, I don't know about you, but I can't think about angle, composition, etc., when I am futzing around trying to attach a cable release, so the "slow down" thing doesn't relate to quality time with me in my situation. For example: On thursday I went out with my buddy and shot 28 sheets 5x7 and 40 sheets 4x5 in about 8 hours. We were shooting antique bridges, our hobby. I would rather spend the time thinking about the shots rather than futzing with cable release attachment. I can't say about my buddies keeper ratio, but all my shots are keepers. I shot 2 sheets on each view, so I have 20 4x5 views and 14 5x7 views as keepers. The double sheet concept is so I have backup if a processing flaw or dust issue comes up.

Hey, Gene -

Are any of those shots posted somewhere? I'd love to see 'em!

JavaDuke
17-Jun-2007, 09:42
A 15:1 shooting/keeping ratio? Wow! Last time I checked (back in the analog days; Lord only knows what it is now) National Geographic photogs shot at a 90:1 ratio. I expect I'm somewhere in between (I don't have the deep pockets for unlimited film usage that NG does.)

Larry

That's when digital comes in handy. Get a couple of 4Gb memory cards, shoot in JPEG mode and you will reach 100:1 ratio or even more :)
I'm only 15:1 because I'm not shooting for NG yet :)))

Gene McCluney
17-Jun-2007, 09:56
Hey, Gene -

Are any of those shots posted somewhere? I'd love to see 'em!

You bet Scott, here is a link:

http://www.apug.org/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=16830

These are all 4x5 so far. Haven't scanned any of my 5x7 views yet. I try to add some text describing the bridges to each shot. These are all shot in the Western Arkansas, Eastern Oklahoma region. Basically things I can shoot on a day trip from my home on the Arkansas/Oklahoma border.

PViapiano
18-Jun-2007, 09:27
34 separate views/sheets in 8 hours?

I tried to shoot 31 sheets in May, a sheet a day, in my spare time, and only made it to 21. I'm still trying to finish the project...plus the sun is out full bore in SoCal now and it totally obliterates any nuance in color/contrast during the day...

Gene McCluney
18-Jun-2007, 09:48
34 separate views/sheets in 8 hours?

I tried to shoot 31 sheets in May, a sheet a day, in my spare time, and only made it to 21. I'm still trying to finish the project...plus the sun is out full bore in SoCal now and it totally obliterates any nuance in color/contrast during the day...


YEP, 34 views, and that is not my most productive day. I have 30 years of experience shooting sheet film. B/W is not that hard. I once saw a local photographer (back in the 1960's) shoot a whole Rodeo Parade with a Graphic press camera and film holders, and he photographed every float as they came down the street.