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Thread: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

  1. #1

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    iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    searching for a viewfinder for my old cambo wide 650 to no avail, I have been considering other options. Thought of using an Iphone. Any thoughts? May seem like a long way to go, but it would be cheaper and bigger than anything available in an optic viewfinder - and more importantly AVAILABLE - or closer to being available.

    The stock lens on the iphone - from what I have read, I have a droid, is equivalent to about 35mm on 135 film, so I would need a wide accessory lens of some type.

    Was thinking I could use the viewfinder app which appears to be great. GPS and notes would be added benefit. Wondering about a rangefinder app, I know it exists but could not find anything on its accuracy. Would be great to have them both combined in one app but that does not seem likely, unless the viewfinder app has it?

    Couple questions. I would like to mount the phone behind the camera, but that involves somehow rigging the wide lens adapter to the phone, in a way that would allow it to protrude out beyond the camera body with film holder attached.

    I found this from alpa: but the price is crazy and I would rather mount the phone on the back of the camera instead of the top.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    any input appreciated. thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    also to anyone using the viewfinder app - can you customize the frame lines? It appears you can. thanks.

  3. #3

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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    I guess the viewfinder app designers DIRE make a version labeled for Alpa that, from the screen shots only appears to have some sort of rangefinder built in.

    http://www.alpa.ch/en/products/tools...a-efinder.html

  4. #4
    joseph
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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    Yes, you can customize everything on that app- film size and format, lens selection-
    You can also set it to a zoom view, useful if you're adding extension on the larger formats. Focusing at 1m on a 65mm on 4x5 will add 5mm extension, which takes a significant crop off the edge.

    Using it on a p&s- usually a 4x5 p&s is quite wide, so getting the iPhone lens as close as possible to the taking lens will help reduce parallax.

    I use a cheap wide angle adapter, about 20$ from amazon- there are more expensive ones, and I like the design of the Olloclip, but I doubt whether the extra expense is going to produce measurably superior results, and the cheaper one is just fine as a viewfinder. However, I might have to try to get a wider adapter, to be able to use it with super wides. A fisheye might be needed, if you go shorter than 65mm, and below 72mm, a 0.5x adapter is needed, and these are hard to find.

    I haven't mounted it on a camera yet, but it's an obvious solution to the p&s viewfinder problem...

  5. #5
    jadphoto
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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    Steve,

    An 8x10 carboard with a 4x5 cut out works just as well, and requires fewer batteries.

    JD

  6. #6

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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dickerson View Post
    Steve,

    An 8x10 carboard with a 4x5 cut out works just as well, and requires fewer batteries.

    JD
    But you can't make calls on it. (bangs head on desk)
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  7. #7
    Scott Walker's Avatar
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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    +1 on everything jb7 said, it is a very user friendly app.
    I have been working on a project with an 8x10 on my boat and I use the iPhone as my viewfinder once the image is focused and composed.
    Since boats tend to move about however they please even when anchored it is nearly impossible to get the image composed, focused, film holder in, darkslide out, and shutter tripped before the boat is pointing in a completely different direction. So I compose and focus on the ground glass then insert the film holder and watching on the iPhone screen I wait until the image comes back as I composed it.
    Only weird part is the image on the iPhone isn't upside down or backward.

  8. #8
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    Can't you just flip the phone over?

    Seriously . . .Isn't there a way to invert the image (I dunno . . .I have a pre-droid flip phone as big as Cpt Kirk's).
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com


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

  9. #9

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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    Can't make calls on the iPhone either a lot of the time. Great computer, crappy phone.

  10. #10

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    Re: iphone as viewfinder for 4x5 PS

    I was skeptical of the viewfinder app, but it works great and is completely customizable. If you are using a 90mm lens or wider on 4x5 or something like a 165mm on 8x10 you will need a .67 wide angle adapter on the iPhone to view and angle that wide. It allows you to set up four different cameras with different lenses and understands the different formats (i.e. it understands what angle a 300mm lens is on 8x10 versus 300mm on 35mm).

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