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View Full Version : Ebony SW45 with 150mm - how close can you focus?

harryculy
19-Jul-2014, 15:51
Hi,

This is my first post on here so please forgive my ignorance.

I bought an Ebony SW45 off eBay recently, The camera was labelled as a Ebony 45S on the auction, however when i opened the box i noticed it looked somewhat different to the pictures i had seen of the 45S, after a bit of research i realized that i had been sent the SW45, which is more suited to landscape and architectural work. I had originally wanted a multi purpose 4x5 so i could do close up portraits and still life scenes, but also wider landscapes too. I am going to get a Rodenstock 135/150mm lens.

My question is this:

with the Ebony SW45 and a 135/150mm lens will i be able to shoot close up head and shoulder portraits (filling most of the frame)? the bellows are not all that long on the SW45 - i just want to know how close i will be able to focus with the lens mentioned above- i have no way of testing because i am still to purchase the lens.

If anyone can help me with this it would really help me out as i can't seem to find the answer anywhere on the internet.

Thanks!

Tim Meisburger
19-Jul-2014, 16:15
I have the 45s, and its a great camera. You should return that one if you can, as it is intended for landscape, and I don't think it will work very well for portraits.

Ken Lee
19-Jul-2014, 16:20
According to http://www.ebonycamera.com/cam/main.SW45.html the maximum bellows draw is 190mm.

I presume SW stands for Super Wide, since the camera is described as "An extremely lightweight non-folding view camera, specifically designed for use with wide-angle lenses"

You can use the formula found on Formulas for Bellows Extension (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/bellows.php).

Given a 150mm lens and 190mm bellows draw, how much magnification can we get ?

M = (B-F) / F
where M = magnification ratio, B = bellows extension, F = focal length
M = (190-150) / 150
M = 40/150
Magnification = 27% or 1:3.75

At closest focus with a 150mm lens, your subject will be 3.75 times the size of the film: roughly 15 x 19 inches. That's just about head and shoulders.

Given a 135mm lens and 190mm bellows draw, how much magnification can we get ?

M = (B-F) / F
where M = magnification ratio, B = bellows extension, F = focal length
M = (190-135) / 135
M = 55/150
Magnification = 37% or 1:2.73

At closest focus with a 135mm lens, your subject will be 2.73 times the size of the film: roughly 11 x 14 inches. That's getting pretty tight, but you're using a slightly wide-angle lens: at that point and the perspective my not be flattering for portraits due to foreshortening (http://www.pinterest.com/robertalp/draw-foreshortening/).