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eric black
7-Dec-2008, 11:42
I have been wanting to get into 4x10 photography for a while now and came up with the following solution that according to my field testing this morning- it works! Sorry for the crappy pics (courtesy of my wifes litte point and shoot but they are only here to give you all the general idea). The system I decided to build is a 8x10 holder sized piece that in turn centers and holds a 4x10 holder. The conversion piece is a sheet of hardboard that has been sized to mimic an 8x10 holder. It has a groove milled into it that catches the ridge on the 4x10 holder (done using a table saw). Another two pieces of hardboard are used to sandwich some adhesive velvet (hobby store- commonly used to line jewelry boxes) around a pair of blocks that are planed to provide a total thickness (when coupled with the smaller hardboard pieces_ to exactly match that of the 4x10 holder. I made these a bit large with the idea of clamping them to the backing piece with a 4x10 holder in place to provide and exact fit when the whole assembly was screwed together. I then trimmed the excess from the edges to give this holder. Total cost- about $5-10 and a couple hours of time. The velvet was masked with tape and the innards were spraypainted with matte black and the device was tested first in my darkroom in place on the camera with flashlight looking for leaks- none found. The final test was this morning- with no leaks even using a long exposure. I'm sure something like this has been done before but it was fun and best of all, I can shoot interchangably between 8x10 and 4x10 with only a small amount of added weight (14 oz) added to the pack- hope this gives someone else a good idea- it really wasnt too tough to make.

Brian Vuillemenot
7-Dec-2008, 12:47
Sorry to burst your bubble, but why not just use a half 8X10 darkslide? That way, you wouldn't need to invest in expensive 4X10 holders or cut 8X10 film in half in the dark, which can be very tedious. Also, the cut darkslide weighs next to nothing.

eric black
7-Dec-2008, 13:01
Already had the holders and my 8x10 camera doesnt easily center an image circle on either the top or bottom half of the ground glass and still provide any tilt movements which I commonly use- you make a good point though- I may experiment around a bit more and see what else I can come up with.

BTW cutting the film in the dark for the holders was the easiest part of the whole thing- just taped a ruler to a rotatrim cutter for a stop took the whole thing into my dark room.

luis a de santos
7-Dec-2008, 14:19
I have tried the half dark slide method also and it is very poor, not only you are using the wrong area of the sweet spot of the lens but also ,and very frequently, the slide moves and you get cut off, fog because of the edge poor seal and other problems.
I had Mr. Brubecker do a devive like yours and have used extensively and it is a joy.
Most people recommending the half dark slide solutin have had little hand on experience with it.


Best Luis

Ken Lee
7-Dec-2008, 14:21
May I ask: Who made the 4x10 holders ?

Mike Castles
7-Dec-2008, 16:09
Nice job Eric, I like the idea..maybe enough to give it a try sometime. IIRC, there is someone making plastic 4x10 holders much like other modern holders, just can't recall where I say them...fleabay maybe.

Brian Vuillemenot
7-Dec-2008, 17:03
I have tried the half dark slide method also and it is very poor, not only you are using the wrong area of the sweet spot of the lens but also ,and very frequently, the slide moves and you get cut off, fog because of the edge poor seal and other problems.
I had Mr. Brubecker do a devive like yours and have used extensively and it is a joy.
Most people recommending the half dark slide solutin have had little hand on experience with it.


Best Luis

I've the half darkslide method for years and never had a problem. Most of my lenses have plenty of coverage for 8X10 so I don't have to worry about getting the sweet spot. Even if this were any issue, simply use front rise or fall to center the image circle over the area of film to be exposed.

Another issue with shooting 4X10 film is that is it very difficult to find a lab to process it, if you don't do it yourself. I shot 4X10 E-6 in a 4X10 camera for a while, and actually paid more per sheet for processing than I would have to for an 8X10 sheet (which of course has two 4X10 exposures). That, the difficulty of cutting the film in the dark, the expense of 4X10 holders, and the extra weight make the half darkslide the best choice (in my humble opinion). Sure, you can get around all these issues, but photography is hard enough as it is.

eric black
7-Dec-2008, 17:39
May I ask: Who made the 4x10 holders ?

The 4x10 holders are I believe the Canham type- got a set of 4 of them on the bay a while back when I was first thinking of shooting this size.

Drew Bedo
7-Dec-2008, 18:48
Hello Eric,

that looks great...and the systsm tested well too,; also agood!

Another way might be to cut a nominally 4x10 windoe (say, 3 7/8 X 97/8) out of one half of an 8x10 dark slide. When shooting (with 8x10 film in standard 8x10 holders) you would compose for the top half of the GG, draw the standard Darkk Slide, replace it with the 4x10 mask and shoot. Repete for the bottom half of the film.

The result is two 4x10 images on one 8x10 negative. This allows (requires) identical processing for both frames. It would also be much cheaper in terms of custom equipment and so on.

I'v never done it...would this work out or do I not understand something about 4x10?

IanMazursky
7-Dec-2008, 20:47
Really neat idea! It looks fantastic. Any film plane/sharpness issues?

Ive been thinking about doing the same thing on my 12x20. 6x20 seems like an interesting format to me.
I can probably make a single shot holder for 6x20 and cut down some of the old tri x 12x20 i have.
Or a paper negative developed using a reversal bath....now im really interested...:D

Craig Roberts
7-Dec-2008, 21:57
In a word CROP. Shot the picture and crop it. Craig

Turner Reich
7-Dec-2008, 23:02
I put the 4x10 in the center of an 8x10 holder, taped, I have a lot of 8x10 holders so it's not a problem.

Nick_3536
7-Dec-2008, 23:24
Isn't this the same basic idea Toho [Toyo?] did with their reducing holders?

Colin Graham
8-Dec-2008, 07:15
What a great idea, nice job Eric.

eric black
8-Dec-2008, 08:17
Really neat idea! It looks fantastic. Any film plane/sharpness issues?

Ive been thinking about doing the same thing on my 12x20. 6x20 seems like an interesting format to me.
I can probably make a single shot holder for 6x20 and cut down some of the old tri x 12x20 i have.
Or a paper negative developed using a reversal bath....now im really interested...:D

No issues found in the film plane thus far- and yes, I do believe this is similar to the Toyo reducing back, but far less expensive and much more readily available. I may try some of the ideas using the window cut into a darkslide- my only concern is remembering which half of the film is already exposed ( the downfall of being slightly absent minded) and having enough movement left on the standard after centering the sweet spot to get a back tilt in. The big advantage I see to that approach is that I develop my film myself and currrently with the 4x10 cut film I am only able to use 1 well per sheet with a Jobo and a 3005 drum- two prints on one sheet would cut down on my developing time and resources. As for shooting and cropping later- this is what I have been doing in the past- if I were wealthier Id probably keep doing just that:D

Daniel_Buck
8-Dec-2008, 08:52
I have tried the half dark slide method also and it is very poor, not only you are using the wrong area of the sweet spot of the lens but also ,and very frequently, the slide moves and you get cut off, fog because of the edge poor seal and other problems.


hm... I've had absolutely no problems with a cut darkslide :) Maybe I'm just lucky :) (I so use rise/fall to get the lens more centered though)

Vaughn
8-Dec-2008, 10:00
Great work-around, Eric!

I use the modified 8x10 darkslide technique for B&W work...it has its advantages and disadvantages. At first, I did come home with a blank half and/or a double-exposed half! I try to make a point of exposing both 4x10's while out -- usually with the same image...sometimes with the same exposure to have a back-up neg.

Centering the lens on the film and using movements is no trouble with my Zone VI (except with the Wollie 159mm). Precisely determining the framing of the negative in the inner portion of the 4x10 negs can be difficult. If one wants to give the two images different development, one must cut the negs in the dark before developing. Not too bad if one has a good reason to...can't say that I have done it.

One is tossing in two extra steps into the process of taking a photograph (I have only left out that important "put the full darkslide back in" step once...it was enough!). But what I like is having the option of going both 8x10 and 4x10 and all I have to carry extra is a modified darkslide to make it possible. I made my modified darkslide using a metal slide -- after damaging a regular type in the field.

Vaughn

Brian Vuillemenot
8-Dec-2008, 14:00
I may try some of the ideas using the window cut into a darkslide- my only concern is remembering which half of the film is already exposed ( the downfall of being slightly absent minded) and having enough movement left on the standard after centering the sweet spot to get a back tilt in. The big advantage I see to that approach is that I develop my film myself and currrently with the 4x10 cut film I am only able to use 1 well per sheet with a Jobo and a 3005 drum- two prints on one sheet would cut down on my developing time and resources. As for shooting and cropping later- this is what I have been doing in the past- if I were wealthier Id probably keep doing just that:D

Eric, to remember which half of the 8X10 sheet has been exposed, just put a little sticker (I use little round colored circle stickers available at many stores) on the film holder just above the half of the film that has been exposed. Also, when cutting the darkslide, cut out slightly less than half of it (to leave an unexposed border between the two shots) and cut in the shape of an "L" (to prevent light from getting in).

David A. Goldfarb
8-Dec-2008, 14:11
I have tried the half dark slide method also and it is very poor, not only you are using the wrong area of the sweet spot of the lens but also ,and very frequently, the slide moves and you get cut off, fog because of the edge poor seal and other problems.

It sounds like you just cut a darkslide in half. The half-darkslide mask should be L-shaped, leaving the darkslide handle and about an 2-3 cm of darkslide along the handle intact (it should extend as far as possible without cutting off the image), so that the darkslide stays in position and completely closes the light trap. I've used this sort of mask without any problems.

As for whether the lens can be centered over the frame, that will depend of course on the capabilities of the camera.

argos33
8-Dec-2008, 14:36
Eric, that is a great solution to your problem. At least you know your getting the frame centered, and you really can't argue with the price. I am going to try a modified darkslide (as some of the others suggested) if I have enough movements, otherwise I will do something similar I think.

As for just cropping away half the image, anyone shooting 8x10 color will sadly shake their head at that thought.

Evan

Vaughn
8-Dec-2008, 15:08
snip...As for just cropping away half the image, anyone shooting 8x10 color will sadly shake their head at that thought.

Evan

Also, I use alt processes and like to show the film rebate around the image -- cropping does not allow for this very easily.

Vaughn