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Thread: Tips on focusing (4x5)

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    I just find it easier to use. It's more like looking through a microscope, and I can adjust it so that I don't need to try looking through my glasses (although I can, with the progressives.)

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Kalamazoo, Michigan

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    At 64 I finally keep a pair of +2.5 reading glasses in the camera bag. They work great for quickly getting close. Then I fine focus with a loupe. Works great for me.

  3. #13
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    i got one of these years ago
    a guy on ebay sold it to me for like 20$
    it comes in handy on pretty much every camera i use it on ...

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by dentkimterry View Post
    At 64 I finally keep a pair of +2.5 reading glasses in the camera bag. They work great for quickly getting close. Then I fine focus with a loupe. Works great for me.
    I keep a set of flip-up magnifiers in my bag. It is not just the focus screen - I am convinced the numerals on the lenses are becoming fuzzier each year... Fisherman's Eyewear sell good ones. I like having my regular glasses on - I may not see trouble coming, but at least I'll recognize it when it arrives!

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    SF Bay Area

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    Is it possible that your ground glass/Fresnel are not positioned correctly? I recently saw a camera with the ground glass installed backwards, so not possible to get an in focus image on the film plane.
    Jon, my initial thought also.

    Mario,what camera are you now using? How are you judging the soft images, from negatives or prints? You need to provide more information on your process --- the problem may be other than your eyes.


  6. #16

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon and Austria

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
    ... the problem may be other than your eyes.
    Indeed. If your negatives are soft all over, i.e., nothing at all is in focus, then you likely have problems other than focusing. Is the image sharp on the ground glass as you view it through the loupe? Regardless of whether you need to wear glasses or not, you should still be able to see the image come into focus with magnification.

    Try this: focus on an object 10-15 feet away in a scene with lots of other objects nearer and farther away and make a negative (or maybe you have one already). Examine it closely with a loupe. Something should be in sharp focus; ideally, the object you focused on, but if not, something a bit closer or farther away. If nothing is sharp, you've definitely got other problems. If something other than the object you focused on is sharp, you may have a ground-glass misalignment. But, first things first; do the test above and report back.



  7. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Camano Island, Washington

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    I would also look at the lens. I have two older lenses that really don't focus well. One is a fake Gorez dagor made by Burke and James and one is a Hugo Meyer that is probably not spaced right in the Deltax shutter that someone put it in. Neither will give a sharp focus. Also are you getting focus shift when stopped down? Are all of your lenses producing the same out of focus result? If so than I would think that (as mentioned above) your ground glass may be out of alignment. Additionally I used to get camera movement from an undersized Gitzo tripod head - and wind.
    Last edited by Robert Opheim; 27-Aug-2016 at 12:51. Reason: addtional info

  8. #18
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: Tips on focusing (4x5)

    My favorite magnifier is a Pentax SMC Photo Lupe 5.5x.

    But if nothing is sharp, I would check the lens, ground glass placement, film holder, and support system (tripod + head).
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

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