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lxdesign
27-May-2008, 12:18
Hi all,

so I have just gotten into the business of shooting 4x5 with a view camera... and I love the results! I am looking for ways to possibly project my work in the future... and being that I come from a theatrical lighting background, I know of several scene FX projection systems including http://www.pani.com/ the Pani Projectors we used to have at a company I worked for called Christie Lites Ltd here in Toronto.

But I am wondering if there is slightly cheaper alternative for projecting my slides. Can anyone help me with what exists or where I could find it, or even if I could adapt some other type of equipment to project my 4x5's?

BTW: I did read some of the LF forum posts on this subject, and I am not really interested in turning an overhead into a LF projector... I am looking for something a little more serious! Thanks.

Donald Miller
27-May-2008, 13:12
I believe that you are moving into an area that will involve either an adaption of an existing mechanism or vastly increased expense.

Noblux (don't know if they are still in business) had a large format projector but it appears that B and H no longer has it listed.

If you were to use a graphic arts process camera as the basis for your projector, you might save yourself a lot of money.

Just curious why do you choose 4X5 as the projected format...since Hassleblad and Rollei already have medium format enlargers...

You might check with Lucas Films to see what they use.

Jim Noel
27-May-2008, 13:52
MOst good 4x5 enlargers can be turned to project horizontally. Although bulky on their bases, some type of conversion could probably be worked out.

lxdesign
27-May-2008, 14:40
A 4x5 enlarger.. interesting, but I think it lacks the cooling technology and punch required to project a bright enough image. This technology exists... as evidence.... I provided the link to Pani projectors which I have used first hand. The company I used to work for owned both Pani and Pigi projectors which we used on several projects to project large scale images on the side of buildings and at big events. Those projectors however are really expensive, and quite large to carry around (you need a truck to transport them). I was thinking that if there was something on a smaller scale readily available... it might be cool.

Donald, I already have a medium format projector... I am looking for something larger. The Pani BP-2 projector can project images up to 18cm x 18cm. Pretty cool eh?

Nathan Potter
27-May-2008, 17:13
You could get a used Omega D2 and rework it, with considerable effort, to project in a horizontal position. Remove the normal head and design and build a fan cooled metal housing with a (I'm guessing) 1000 W halogen bulb (could be a point source). If a point source design, don't use the variable condenser, only the two main 6 inch condensers. Distance from bulb to first condenser might be about 12 inches but mock it up first to make sure. Use a piece of heat absorbing glass between the bulb and first condenser. You'll need a projection lens preferably faster than f/5.6 - f/4 maybe OK. I did this some years ago in an industrial setup to examine microdevices for quality control instruction.

Oh, and a good room air conditioner is very handy.

Nate Potter

Struan Gray
27-May-2008, 17:43
Not much help I'm afraid, but here's a tidbit.

A local company was selling off a projector for 4x5 transparencies inteded for outdoor projection of adverts or backdrops. It looked like an overhead projector on steroids. Asking price was 1000 Euros or so, and when I looked up the company online that was about 1/3-1/4 of the new price.

I can't rememeber the name, or find the ad in the archives (mine, or googles). But they were definitely a Geman company.

What you want is out there.

Donald Miller
27-May-2008, 17:53
The problem with using a photo enlarger for this application is that enlargers are seriously lacking in the sort of light output needed for this application. As one increases light output the need for adequate cooling increases as well. As projected distance doubles the needed light output quadruples (I believe that my math is accurate on this).

I converted a 5X7 Durst enlarger to a much larger light output about two or three years ago. I went from a 200 watt lamp to a 1200 watt lamp and I needed a fan to cool this down...melting glass was a result of not having adequate cooling... so you can imagine what would happen to film...or to a lens for that matter. This conversion of mine would not be up to what you want...it would be inadequate.

For the application that you want, you will need at least 5-10 KW (maybe higher) of light...and that is not projecting great distances. I still think that a process camera would get you part of the way to what you want. Also please be aware that some of the high output lamps have high outputs of UV as well. Protect your eyes.

From my experience, I know that evenness of light becomes really problematic at points in this matter.

lxdesign
27-May-2008, 22:11
Hey Donald,

I know full well the danger of UV output, as I am a lighting technician, and work with HMI and Xenon lamp houses all the time. Actually, my theatre is equipped to project 35mm films, and we have 2 projectors with 1kw xenon lamps.

The projector which I was looking for is something such as the Pani BP-2 which is a 2000w Halogen bulb, and is designed to project 18cm x 18cm slides.... the slide holder could be adapted to project 4x5 no problem. I am looking into some local possibilities here.

The Pani projection system is designed for theatrical effects projection... the company I used to work for has a whole wack of this stuff. We also had Pigi projectors which use 7kw Xenon bulbs... I'll never forget the new years show we did with those projectors... it was awesome!

lxdesign
28-May-2008, 12:23
Hey folks, well I did get some info today on the Pani system... and some things that I had forgot about were brought up today when I talked to someone experienced in this field. The Pani projectors do not cool the slides properly... and thus there was concern that even slide film would melt. Apparently most of the prepared images used in this system are printed on some sort of heavy duty accetate which has a heat sheild coating. The print process is done via a lambda printer.

So back to the drawing boards... I would still love to figure it out, I may just end up using an overhead projector. I have a nice one here which has nicer light output. (I should mention that I manage an audio.visual department as part of a large organization).

jb7
28-May-2008, 13:53
Ok, so don't get me wrong,
I don't know what I'm talking about-
just thinking and typing-

But I've been buying projector lenses on that big site-
modern, coated, fast lenses, by Buhl-
7", 9" and 11"- f/2.5 for the shorter ones, f/3.1 for the 11".
they all cover 4x5, the longest one even covers more than 8x10-

I've mounted them, and have taken a few pictures,
but mostly tests, for the moment-

So I've got a metal camera- an Arca swiss-
and looking through that big shutterless lens from the front, the other night,
I was struck by the possibility of using the camera as a projector-
by removing the ground glass, and by a placing a transparency in a Newton's glass sandwich, and lighting it from the rear-

A large low energy light source might reduce the heat;
all it needs is an efficient reflector,
and perhaps a fresnel the right length, placed in a light tight box, and pointed at the film.

ok, so I shouldn't think and type at the same time-
but those lenses are good, and really inexpensive at the moment-

I don't need the project myself, so I'm not going to do it-

But where there's a will, there's a way-
or more likely, there's a wont-
as subsequent replies will probably prove-

ok, I'll stop thinking now...

joseph

Gord Robinson
28-May-2008, 18:35
Here is something that might do the job but it may take only 31/4 x 41/4 inch transparencies. I think it has either a 500 or 1000 watt bulb

http://www.curzon.org.uk/collection/Epidiascope.html

Gord

Jim C.
28-May-2008, 20:41
Interesting thread, I've been looking into projecting 4X5's also, but not as a display
but more as a background using a beamsplitter and Scotchlite reflective material.

Lxdesign, this excerpt of an article from 1968 edition of American Cinematographer
might give some food for thought on how Kubrick projected 8X10 transparencies
as backgrounds for 2001's Dawn of Man sequence -

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/sk/2001a/page2.html

tgtaylor
28-May-2008, 22:51
As pointed out earlier, Noblux made a 4x5 projector that was in production until about2000. B&H and, I believe, Adorama carried them with an initial price tag of around $3000 which was subsequently increased to $4000 or $5000. I saw one on Ebay a couple of years ago for $2000. They are scarce but around. Here's a dated link on the Noblux:

http://www.cameras-scanners-flaar.org/camera_scanner_accessories/Noble_4x5_slide_projector.htm

Thomas

Emmanuel BIGLER
29-May-2008, 08:31
Why not using a regular overhead transparency projector ? They are very affordable now and I'm sure that many instututions are storing them off-duty forever in their attic since everybody is supposed to use electronic projections !!
The ones I stiil use routinely cover a format of about 11x11" (280 mm) and their focal lengths is the same, 11" - 280mm.
In 35mm format and medium format the standard focal length are twice the diagonal of the format i.e. 90mm for 35 mm slides (24x36mm, diagonal=43) and 150 mm for 6x6 or 6x7 slides.
So if we apply this rule to projecting 4x5" slides, the focal lengths should be around 12", 300mm actually very close to the one in use in overhead projectors.
So you would just have to find a good 300mm projection lens, possibly much better than the single lens element mostly used in overhead projectors.
Nothing should be changed to the illumination system designed to focus ligth in the lesn at about 11" of the Fresnel lens. May be one thing important to do is to block the unwanted light outside the 4x5" image.
A friend of mine has bought an overhead projector to enjoy 8x10" black and white slides he made himslef by the classical B&W inversion process. He just made a support to raise the slide one centimeter above the Fresnel lens in order to blur the image of the Fresnel rings on screen.

aduncanson
29-May-2008, 09:31
The amount of light required would seem to depend on the desired size of the projected image and the degree that the viewing environment is darkened (and to a lesser extent on the characteristics of the screen and the desired audience angle of view.) If you imagine using this projector in the same setup and environment as the professional equipment you refer to, then you probably would need comparable light output.

A large array of white LEDs might be able to provide sufficient light without tooo much heat, albeit at some cost. The problem is that it may be difficult to focus the light from the LED array into the entrance pupil of the projection lens, and if you fail that, then much of the light is lost.

Darren Kruger
1-Jun-2008, 23:08
But I am wondering if there is slightly cheaper alternative for projecting my slides. Can anyone help me with what exists or where I could find it, or even if I could adapt some other type of equipment to project my 4x5's?

I am looking for something a little more serious!

Take a look at Ebay auction #260246007726. It's for a Spencer Delineascope which the seller claims can handle up to 3.25x4.25". Not quite 4x5 but close. (pay attention to the shipping charges)

-Darren

lenser
1-Jun-2008, 23:22
For what it's worth, here's yet another thought.

Ansel Adams made his 8x10 enlarger out of a very solid 8x10 camera for which he had a very powerful light source made. It is detailed in his book "The Camera" or "The Print". I believe you might be able to do the same thing with any camera from 4x5 on up. Depending on the distance you need to project, you may even be able to use a bank of the flourescent light bulbs for power and thereby avoid much of the heat problem. You would not need to remove the ground glass as it would act as a diffuser for the light (that's a positive). You would need to rig a holder that fits the camera, either from a film holder or from a 4x5 negative carrier from an enlarger.

If there is a heat problem, a combination of venting and forced air (see the Adam's reference), along with a bellows to separate the light source form the transparency and camera body should solve that problem. Obviously if you are projecting a long distance, you will likely need much higher brightness than the flourescents will give. In that case forced venting and the bellows separation my be absolutely needed.

Donald Miller
2-Jun-2008, 12:26
I suspect that what was once available is no longer because you can do so much more with digital than you can with projected images via film. A case in point is the DLP technology that TI developed and is licensing. In fact, I think that if I were considering projecting high resolution images I would tend to embrace digital for the reason of enhanced capabilities. Coming up with resolution that exceeds large format is not difficult if you entertain using what is currently available. It does not take twenty five thousand dollar digital backs to accomplish.

Justin Cormack
4-Jun-2008, 15:38
I suspect that what was once available is no longer because you can do so much more with digital than you can with projected images via film. A case in point is the DLP technology that TI developed and is licensing. In fact, I think that if I were considering projecting high resolution images I would tend to embrace digital for the reason of enhanced capabilities. Coming up with resolution that exceeds large format is not difficult if you entertain using what is currently available. It does not take twenty five thousand dollar digital backs to accomplish.

No. There is no off the shelf digital projection technology with a resolution over a couple of megapixels. There are some 2k (2MP) and 4k (8MP) digital cinema projectors - I cant remember the prices, but maybe $500,000. To get the quality of an 8x10 slapped on an OHP would require a development budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe much more. Tiling projectors kind of works, but it gets harder the more you use, maybe gets you to 10 or 20 megapixels (35mm!) at about $100,000 or so. After that the costs get really high.

Donald Miller
4-Jun-2008, 17:42
No. There is no off the shelf digital projection technology with a resolution over a couple of megapixels. There are some 2k (2MP) and 4k (8MP) digital cinema projectors - I cant remember the prices, but maybe $500,000. To get the quality of an 8x10 slapped on an OHP would require a development budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe much more. Tiling projectors kind of works, but it gets harder the more you use, maybe gets you to 10 or 20 megapixels (35mm!) at about $100,000 or so. After that the costs get really high.


You are not considering what can be done on the image prior to projection. And I seriously doubt that you are considering DLP technology. Large screen venues are using this technology and the quality (resolution) is astounding. This is not about converting a given film format to a projected image but rather taking a purely digital image and projecting it.

Taking a 8X10 transparency onto an OP one must consider that everything from the transparency to the projected image is going to be degrading it at each step of the way. That is not true of digital to digital projection.

Taking this still a step further, a single projected 8X10 transparency, is going to be limited by to one image at a time...static images...With a commercial DLP projection system one is able to project HD digital video images capable of reproducing 35 trillion colors...film can not accomplish this. On the other hand, if one wants to stay with static images, one could stitch high resolution digital images and introduce them into available digital slide show programs projected through a 3 lens DLP projector again producing at least 35 trillion colors and the resolution would blow the socks off 8X10 transparency film. There is nothing that one could do with available technology to afford the same result with projected 8X10 transparency film.

George Stewart
4-Jun-2008, 23:46
Canon's Realis SX7 is probably the best option when all factors are taken into account:

Less that $6,000
1400x1050 - one can't see the pixels from about 15 feet back
Up to 300-inch image at ~30 feet
Do an entire slide show with effects (dissolves, wipes, pan and scan, etc.) and digitally corrected images (color corrected, cropped, sharpened, etc.) from a laptop.
Auto focus
Auto keystone correction
Auto color correction (measured right off the screen, taking into account the screen's color and the aging bulb)

Even if I had access to a LF projector free, I'd rather go digital: Those slides will not last long with the amount of light needed to illuminate them. This means many dupes. Even the Noblex required changing slides one at a time - is that what you really want?

Tzabcan
6-Jun-2008, 09:57
Overhead projectors work quite well all things considered. The quality isnt fantastic and the the color tends to be on the warm side. You just need to cut a 4x5 window out of a piece of black mat board and you're set.
Call some schools, Im sure you can find one sitting in a storage room for next to nothing.