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Thread: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

  1. #11

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Quote Originally Posted by adelorenzo View Post
    Bradford Washburn was the first name that jumped into my mind as well. He shot his aerial photographs with formats up to 8x10, always handheld. I believe he used miltary aerial cameras, I see them on eBay from time to time but they seem to fetch a pretty decent price.
    I've got a K-17 with both lenses, and a roll film processor that I haven't been able to give away. If I could fit it in the VW without bottoming out the suspension, I'd drop it off at the San Diego Aviation museum (Castle Air Museum doesn't want it.)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #12

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Yellow K2---not much of a filter factor to deal with(I forget exactly how much it.) Fortunately the Tiffen filters from my Nikon SLR fit the M
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #13

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    William Garnett messed around with 4x5 for a long time; he used a K-20 aerial camera as well as an Anniversary Speed Graphic but had problems with the film picking up vibration and causing blur due to play in the film holder. He ended up using the Pentax 67, calling it the ideal camera for aerial photography.

  4. #14

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Why do you need to use the 150XL on 4x5? Get a better smaller 4x5 150mm like a Sironar S for less money/weight/hassle.

  5. #15

    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    I think a modern metal body 4x5 like the ones from Gaoersi or Dayi are perfect for this. No issue with bellow and can take 150mm easily. They are with $600-$900 though plus lenscone and lens.

  6. #16

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    pchaplo,

    For aerial, roll-film backs or cameras will enable more frames certainly on a choppy, cramped flight while shooting through a windy opening. Bellows and focusing could be challenges.

    If 4/5 sheet film is your choice and distance is infinity, then a solid/non-bellows camera and aiming device could work well for you. As a craftsman, a DIY HOBO type is solid and if you weld aluminum you might be almost done. I found that additional weight (ballast) was useful on choppy flights.

    While not much, aerial experience has been on North American B-25 Mitchells, a Curtiss C-46 and North American SNJs. Noisy, bumpy, windy and each an experience.

  7. #17

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    I've done a bunch of aerial work, mostly in winter out of Bell 212 helicopters. I am glad that Bradford Washburn's name came up. He was the master of aerial work. If I chose to shoot 4x5 i'd use Grafmatic holders...but like some of the others here, my cameras of choice were medium format. Fuji rangefinders especially the GSW690iii & the Mamiya 6. I still have some 220 in my fridge & typically shot at 1/250 with a yellow or orange filter at 1/250th. What kind of machine are you flying in & will you have a small window or the door off? If you're paying for the flying, changing holders will be costing you money. I have some very nice enlargements to 20x24" with excellent sharpness.

  8. #18
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Anybody remember the door to door aerial photography guys, that would shoot all kinds of semi-rural areas, and then knock on your door to sell you a cool shot of your property? I bought one, it was much better than Google Earth.

    Of course this predated Google Earth by decades.

  9. #19
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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    Why do you need to use the 150XL on 4x5? Get a better smaller 4x5 150mm like a Sironar S for less money/weight/hassle.
    +1.

    With the SS-XL, you get inferior optical performance compared to a compact modern plasmat optimized for 4x5, you're carrying a pound of unnecessary extra weight, you're spraying a lot of unnecessary, possibly flare-generating light around the inside of the camera because of the vast excess coverage, you're running a higher risk of damage in rough handling because of the huge front cell, and of course you'd have much more money at stake if something goes wrong.

  10. #20

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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    Anybody remember the door to door aerial photography guys, that would shoot all kinds of semi-rural areas, and then knock on your door to sell you a cool shot of your property? I bought one, it was much better than Google Earth.

    Of course this predated Google Earth by decades.
    Yep.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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