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Thread: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

  1. #1

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    Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Dear all,

    Im using my Intrepid Gen. 2 4x5 camera with several lenses, but especially with the darker once it could get quite tricky to focus. Are there any ground glasses out there, which are significantly brighter than the standard version? I know about the Maxwell screens, but these are quite costly. Is there a brighter screen out there in the range up to ca. $150-200, e.g. from Toyo, Linhof or one of the other known suppliers in this field? Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Steve Hopf borosilicate glass

  3. #3

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Another option you can try is to very lightly spray evenly, a VERY thin coat of silicone based spray over the frosted side (like Armor-All), where this will increase light transmission slightly by converting the GG to more of an aerial image (but at the cost of less GG grain to focus a loupe on, and less even illumination esp on the edges/corners), but brighter centrally... (But careful with acetone based silicone sprays if you have printed line grids on these, as this can melt/remove them...) If you don't like it, you can wash it off with dishwashing detergent and add a Fresnel...

    Steve K

  4. #4

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    A question for those who know. Aside from a Fresnel, what makes a ground glass brighter or not? Is it the color of the glass or the fineness of the matte? Or something else?

  5. #5

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Maxwell's screens are the best, hands down. Expensive but worth every penny. Steve Hopf's is my favorite plain ground glass so far, but is he still taking orders? I had no reply to an inquiry I made a few months ago.

  6. #6

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cunningham View Post
    A question for those who know. Aside from a Fresnel, what makes a ground glass brighter or not? Is it the color of the glass or the fineness of the matte? Or something else?
    The sides of the individual grains on the GG have more/less transmission due to the amount of fine grit blasted, but in the old days, some GG's were blasted, then slightly etched with hydrofluoric acid to smooth the grit slightly... (This is a lost art of balancing these points, and now hydrofluoric acid etching is largely banned everywhere...) Some original top GG screens on some RB Graflexes still have these...

    One screen I had seen a long time ago was a blasted glass GG, that had a liquid (oil?) layer between an attached Fresnel, then sealed... The Fresnel tended to even out the central "hot spot" somewhat, the grain disappeared, and the Fresnel about focused the eye to where the focal plane would be on the GG...

    A fine grain screen tends to hold more detail on it's surface to see, but dimmer... But I have talked to some photogs that couldn't use bright type screens due to their eyesight issues that didn't mesh with them...

    Steve K

  7. #7

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    One screen I had seen a long time ago was a blasted glass GG, that had a liquid (oil?) layer between an attached Fresnel, then sealed... The Fresnel tended to even out the central "hot spot" somewhat, the grain disappeared, and the Fresnel about focused the eye to where the focal plane would be on the GG..

    Are you talking about the Boss Screen? That had two pieces of glass with a paraffin layer between them. The image was formed on the wax layer.

  8. #8

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    “One screen I had seen a long time ago was a blasted glass GG, that had a liquid (oil?) layer between an attached Fresnel, then sealed... The Fresnel tended to even out the central "hot spot" somewhat, the grain disappeared, and the Fresnel about focused the eye to where the focal plane would be on the GG..”

    Are you talking about the Boss Screen? That had two pieces of glass with a paraffin layer between them. The image was formed on the wax layer.
    I think it was a variation of the Boss screen by someone else, Bob...

    I used to assist many commercial studio photographers in the 80's-90's that would buy every gizmo that came out then, and this was one of these...

    Bright, but weird if you were used to a standard GG, but the grain and Fresnel pattern mostly disappeared (and still corner fall-off)...

    Steve K

  9. #9

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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    I think it was a variation of the Boss screen by someone else, Bob...

    I used to assist many commercial studio photographers in the 80's-90's that would buy every gizmo that came out then, and this was one of these...

    Bright, but weird if you were used to a standard GG, but the grain and Fresnel pattern mostly disappeared (and still corner fall-off)...

    Steve K
    We were the Linhof and Wista distributor then and had just stopped making the Linhof Super Screen about then. So we had experience with virtually all of the enhanced screens on the market. Never saw or heard of 9ne like you mentioned available commercially.

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Search for brighter ground glass for Intrepid 4x5

    I have a couple Satin Snow 4x5" screens still in the package. (This is not a For Sale)

    I'll save my impression because I haven't eyesight good enough to critique. But they are so pretty. Regarding usefulness, perhaps others can comment.

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