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travelman
17-Mar-2012, 06:35
Hi All, I'm new to LF photography however I have read up lots about the processes. I am already a photographer but new to LF.

I have just assembled a Sinar F1 that I just bought send hand (my first ever LF Camera - really exciting)

However before I start burning film a few questions to make sure I've set it up properly.

1. I have bubbled up on all levels. When the bubbles are all level there is a slight arc in the bellows i.e.. the front plate and back plate are at a slight V shape (very slight) is this normal or should they be level?

2. How far apart to set the bellows to a neutral position to start with.

3. When I set the horizontal; movement i.e. forward and back to zero on the side slide scale - I presume I should then zero the +/- dial on the dial knob at the front?

3. When Im looking at the ground glass I presume I just turn the movement tracker back and forth until the image is sharp....

Any advice here would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

E. von Hoegh
17-Mar-2012, 10:27
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

Frank Petronio
17-Mar-2012, 11:16
The bubbles are really jokes, they are just for roughing in. You really can't depend on them to be perfectly true.

The bellows will arc naturally, they're flexible. Google photos of Sinar F1s to see how they normally look.

Camera standards can be however far apart you like, usually you aim to set them about infinity on your lens, so a 150mm lens might want the bellows about 150mm apart.

Yeah just put everything at zero and the lens should center on the ground glass.

Movement tracker? Do you mean the focusing knob? Yep, just play with it. Short of using a hammer it would be hard to break anything with any common sense. Some controls have lever locks so don't force anything too hard.

Not to be a wise ass, but you have a lens and film holders and all of that, right? And a sturdy tripod and loupe? You know the ground glass image will be upside down and reversed, right? Just checking....

E. von Hoegh
17-Mar-2012, 11:19
The bubbles are really jokes, they are just for roughing in. You really can't depend on them to be perfectly true.

The bellows will arc naturally, they're flexible. Google photos of Sinar F1s to see how they normally look.

Camera standards can be however far apart you like, usually you aim to set them about infinity on your lens, so a 150mm lens might want the bellows about 150mm apart.

Yeah just put everything at zero and the lens should center on the ground glass.

Movement tracker? Do you mean the focusing knob? Yep, just play with it. Short of using a hammer it would be hard to break anything with any common sense. Some controls have lever locks so don't force anything too hard.

Not to be a wise ass, but you have a lens and film holders and all of that, right? And a sturdy tripod and loupe? You know the ground glass image will be upside down and reversed, right? Just checking....

It's OK. He's "read up lots about the processes".

Tim k
17-Mar-2012, 11:29
I think you might be overthinking a bit.

Try this, just noodle with things till you like what you see on the ground glass.

Marizu
17-Mar-2012, 11:46
I would caution against tightening anything up too tight.
The F1 standards seem to be quite brittle where you tighten the front rise and where you tighten the standard to the rail.
They are difficult to repair for some reason. Glues that I have tried don't seem to adhere well.
I have seen repaired ones on eBay where people have wrapped fibreglass around the whole thing.

The F1 is my favourite camera and now that I know not to overtighten, I expect it to last indefinitely.

rdenney
17-Mar-2012, 20:08
If you want to check your F1, remove the bellows, set the standards so that the standards are a couple of inches apart, zero all the movements, and then use a good caliper to measure the distance between the two standards at the upper and lower corners. The movements have detents at the zero points, so don't read the scales, just zero them using the detents. I think you'll find they line up fine. Both my F and my F2 standards were parallel within a thousandth when the movements were zeroed using the detents.

Then, level the camera using an 8" torpedo level on the vertical edge of the standards. Using the tripod to find this fine degree of level.

You can then using a small Phillips screwdriver to turn the upper and lower screws on the bubble levels to zero them out. A quarter turn in opposite directions will move the level around a bit--the screws are slightly cammed to allow this fine adjustment.

I had to remove a shim from one standard when I was lining up an older F2 rear standard with a newer F2 front standard, but that's a bit more advanced. They were parallel, but one clock slightly clockwise from the other when both were tightened on the rail. The F and F1 multipurpose front standard has a bit more wiggle room than the F2 front, so you can usually just line it up visually.

If the bellows are too compressed, they will force the standards to flex slightly. If your lens is short enough to bind the bellows even a little, use a bag bellows.

Rick "noting that sometimes mixed-and-matched parts aren't perfectly aligned to each other" Denney

travelman
18-Mar-2012, 04:18
Thanks Guys, What a response, thanks a million, I want expecting such enthusiastic and generous responses.

I am very excited by all of this LF photography. I like the contemplative nature and slowness of it and the precision of it.

I have a 210mm Rodenstock sironar-n 5.6 lens - which may not be working so well now as yesterday when securing the bellows 5 flipped the wrong lever and the lens board fell out ...ouch!!!!!! BIG OUCH!!!. The lens seems fine though - lets see how accurate the shutter is after this though.

I have a loup - a sinar binocular reflex magnifier. I have a light meter. And most important of all I have enthusiasm......

I have three sheets of Polaroid 55 so I'm going to do some tests today or tomorrow. I'll report back how they go.

I think I have enough info here now to get started. I'll report back how I get on......

Thanks

Frank Petronio
18-Mar-2012, 07:37
The shutter will likely survive worse knocks than that without issue.

If the reflex viewer frustrates you or you want to see the image differently, simply remove it (and throw it away!) and use a cheap $8 plastic magnifier or even strong reading glasses - use a black t-shirt or dark towel as a dark cloth. It gives you more options than the reflex viewer, which is sort of a crutch. It is also bulky and cumbersome.

Three sheets of Type 55... give it a little extra development time and use it in mild conditions as it is old, it may not work.