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

  1. #21
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome25 View Post
    I assume you are using a Kenyon Gyro then? Because unless shooting from a hot air balloon, 1/500th is pretty slow without one and often results in unusable images. I shoot aerials professionally and like to really produce when I am paying $500+ an hour for air time. So my tool of choice at least for aerial shots that are offered as fine art is a Hasselblad 500ELX with the 9 volt conversion mounted to a Kenyon KS-6 gyro, up to 6 backs loaded and usually 60mm & 100mm CF lenses.

    I see the appeal for a larger neg but as always at the end of the day, a banger shot on MF can make shelving the idea of 4x5 an easy one.
    I don't often shoot aerial (anymore).....but when I did I preferred a setup similar to what he is describing. This is good advice.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  2. #22

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    +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.
    Interesting--I hadn't considered that. Thanks! I will learn more about the plasmat design -- is that whats used in a typical 152mm lens on a Crown Graphic? Also I am still thinking about movement of the camera back and front in the wind. I was thinking that I could try a Crown Graphic or Anniversary -- maybe a loaner -- on an assignment where Im shooting digital and take a few 4x5 test shots! Excited!

  3. #23

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

    I fly in light choppers and Cessnas. I will search and learn more about Grafmatic holders -- but for now, can you tell me the advantage?

  4. #24
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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    Quote Originally Posted by pchaplo View Post
    I will learn more about the plasmat design -- is that whats used in a typical 152mm lens on a Crown Graphic?
    I think the 152's you'll find on Graphics tend to be tessars - one of our Graphic experts can correct me if I'm wrong. What I meant by "modern plasmat" in this context was any of Rodenstock Sironar-N/Apo-Sironar-N/Apo-Sironar-S, Schneider Symmar-S/Apo-Symmar/Apo-Symmar L, Nikon Nikkor W, Fuji Fujinon W/Fujinon CM-W.

    Quote Originally Posted by pchaplo View Post
    Also I am still thinking about movement of the camera back and front in the wind. I was thinking that I could try a Crown Graphic or Anniversary -- maybe a loaner -- on an assignment where I'm shooting digital and take a few 4x5 test shots! Excited!
    Yes! Get your feet wet ASAP, start to play with the sort of camera you have in mind, get a feel for how it handles and what you can and can't do with it, and you'll make much better-informed decisions for your aerial work. And you can have plenty of fun along the way!

  5. #25

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pchaplo View Post
    I fly in light choppers and Cessnas. I will search and learn more about Grafmatic holders -- but for now, can you tell me the advantage?
    Grafmatics are six shot magazines. They let you get off six shots between taking one Grafmatic out of the back and putting the next one in. With regular film holders, its take the first shot, remove the holder, turn over, reinsert, take the second shot, remove the holder, insert the next holder, ... There are many good reasons why cameras used for aerial surveys and most military aerial cameras used roll film. 5" and 10" roll film, depending on the format.

  6. #26

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Grafmatics are six shot magazines. They let you get off six shots between taking one Grafmatic out of the back and putting the next one in. With regular film holders, its take the first shot, remove the holder, turn over, reinsert, take the second shot, remove the holder, insert the next holder, ... There are many good reasons why cameras used for aerial surveys and most military aerial cameras used roll film. 5" and 10" roll film, depending on the format.
    Those dark slides do tend to want to take flight, lol! I like shooting from Super Cubs because they go sow and they have clamshell doors.
    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.

  7. #27

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Grafmatics are six shot magazines. They let you get off six shots between taking one Grafmatic out of the back and putting the next one in. With regular film holders, its take the first shot, remove the holder, turn over, reinsert, take the second shot, remove the holder, insert the next holder, ... There are many good reasons why cameras used for aerial surveys and most military aerial cameras used roll film. 5" and 10" roll film, depending on the format.
    That would be helpful -- I will read more about the Grafmatic -- thanks!! Wondering: do Grafmatics scratch the film? They sound ingenious! I can see why roll film was used and as I said I shot aerials for years with Pentax 6x7 ...I just want to play with 4x5 and perhaps find a Jobo and do some processing. To me its like cooking

  8. #28

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

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Those dark slides do tend to want to take flight, lol! I like shooting from Super Cubs because they go sow and they have clamshell doors.
    I started working from high-wing aircraft, now most of my work is helicopter. I have to think about safety and the dark slides. I might need to secure them. Also I need to find more Fidelity Elites -- is there a buy/sell forum here?

  9. #29
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestion for affordable 4x5 camera and film for hand-held aerial photography

    My $0.02 worth:

    what about one of the footman cameras? No bellows and infinity could be locked in in some way, I'd think.

    When the Wanderlust project comes out, that would be a less expensive option as well.

    Fixed focus without movements means that a DIY camera is possible. A Grafloc back a cigar box and shop tools could be made to work.

    Whatever you do, please let us know and post a picture.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  10. #30

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pchaplo View Post
    Also I need to find more Fidelity Elites -- is there a buy/sell forum here?
    Yes there is! IIRC, after 30 days you can access.
    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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