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Steve8088
5-Nov-2014, 12:23
I am new to LF photography. I am using a Schneider-Kreuznach 75mm lens. I have to use a recessed lens board to focus. This is my problem , the ground glass on this camera is frosted (and lacks composition guides / lines) and the image appears somewhat muted ( I donít know if this is the right term) . Is it possible to get better image quality by changing to a different glass ? And can anyone suggest where I could obtain a new glass.
Thanks
Steve

BrianShaw
5-Nov-2014, 13:05
Ground glass is supposed to be frosted; otherwise it doesn't wok very well to produce an image that you can focus. The composition lines are a convenience and not required... maybe not even as helpful as onemight think.

Are you sure that the image is really in focus? Describing as "somewhat muted" makes me think maybe not. A different ground glass might make the situation a little brighter but maybe not as much as you expect if your basis of comparison is a SLR.

it is not clear which old Calumet you are using, but for some the recessed lens board is only one thing necessary to focus a short lens. More details (pic) of your gear would help.

djdister
5-Nov-2014, 15:50
If by "muted" you mean it is a bit dark and hard to focus, make sure the aperture (f stop) is at its largest setting, which may be something like f/5.6 or more likely f/8.

Other lenses will offer a faster (wider) maximum aperture, yielding a brighter image to focus on. Also, adding a fresnel lens to your groundglass will help, in addition to using a focusing loupe and dark cloth.

Peter_Jones
5-Nov-2014, 15:59
I had similar issues with an old MPP and a SA90/8 - I cut a cheap and cheerful "page magnifier" fresnel down to size, and placed over the ground glass, resulting in a better spread of light, and a much more "see-able" image. Had to make sure the darkcloth wasn't letting much light in though, as it was quite reflective. I'm sure a proper fresnel designed for the purpose would be worth seeking out.

ic-racer
5-Nov-2014, 16:09
I am using a ...75mm lens

That would be a tough lens to learn how to use a view camera. Do you have access to a 150mm?

mdarnton
5-Nov-2014, 16:18
Name of the lens you have, please, beyond the maker's name you gave? Not all 75mm lenses are suitable for 4x5

Also, where are you? Some of us might be local to you and be able to help.

Tom Monego
6-Nov-2014, 13:09
Is the 75 able to focus on the camera? Been a while but I thought a 90mm was the shortest lens that could be used on the standard Calumet, there was a wide angle version, the rail on that camera was 10 inches to a foot in length while the standard was about 18 inches. The other issue with the longer rail on the standard camera is even a 90mm would catch the rail in the image. Look for a 150mm to start, f4.5 or 5.6 normal lenses are much brighter on ground glass than wide f8s. The edges are easier to see too.
KEH has decent prices for lenses, also look at B&H or Adorama used departments. If you don't mind no warranty there is always Craig's List or Ebay, I'd stick with the established stores.

DrTang
6-Nov-2014, 13:19
are you using a dark cloth over the camera back and yourself to focus - you know..like old timey photographers did (guess what - they still do)

if not - it would be dang hard to focus, esp with that lens and almost impossible outdoors

ImSoNegative
6-Nov-2014, 16:54
yes that would definitely be hard lens to learn with, better a 150 or 180, can a 75mm even focus on a calumet without a recessed board? I don't think it can, my old sc wouldn't even focus a 90 without one, and unless its the super angulon it wont cover 4x5 I don't believe

ImSoNegative
6-Nov-2014, 17:00
if its an sc you have to move both standards in front of the tripod mount, if its one of the 401s or whatever they are called can it even focus a 75?

Steve8088
7-Nov-2014, 03:43
The lens is an SK75mm Super Angulon the camera is the 401 model.

BrianShaw
7-Nov-2014, 07:40
Oh... I think you need to get a new lens: 90mm or greater.

Alan Gales
7-Nov-2014, 10:16
Oh... I think you need to get a new lens: 90mm or greater.

Or a new camera. :)

ImSoNegative
7-Nov-2014, 20:17
The 401 is a good camera to start out with and learn on but I'm pretty sure it won't focus a 75mm lens look for something in the 135 to 150 range they can be found pretty reasonable especially the older glass like an optar

ImSoNegative
7-Nov-2014, 20:20
Or even a 127 ektar you won't get anything in the way of movements but you will be able to shoot some nice images. Great little lenses that can be found in good shape for under a hundred dollars

jbenedict
8-Nov-2014, 08:51
There are a number of 210 Geronars at KEH for less than 200. These days, 210 Symmars are going for between 175 and 250. Both are modern lenses in modern that you probably would never have to replace. There is a glut of these lenses on the market because of the "digital revolution" in the professional photography studio so you can get a good one for not much money.

Alan Gales
8-Nov-2014, 12:36
If you really like the 75mm pick up a Cambo SC cheap and sell the 401. Calumet/Cambos go for very little nowadays.

AtlantaTerry
9-Nov-2014, 10:18
I am new to LF photography. I am using a Schneider-Kreuznach 75mm lens. I have to use a recessed lens board to focus. This is my problem, the ground glass on this camera is frosted (and lacks composition guides / lines) and the image appears somewhat muted ( I don’t know if this is the right term). Is it possible to get better image quality by changing to a different glass? And can anyone suggest where I could obtain a new glass.
Thanks
Steve
May I ask why you selected this combination of lens and camera?

Depending on what you want to photograph, a 75mm lens may not be appropriate. What will you be photographing?

What is the maximum aperture of the 75mm? An f/5.6 lens is easier to see the ground glass than an f/8, that will help you compose and focus, too.

If you want an extreme wide angle for 4x5 work such as the 75mm, you may find you also need a center ND filter to even out the light over the film. This is especially true when using 4x5" transparency film.

Also, to get lens movements with a 75mm lens you will need a camera with a more flexible bag bellows as opposed to the standard stiff bellows. I don't believe the camera you have will allow the bellows to be replaced. The above suggestion of a Cambo by Alan is an excellent one, I have three. Also, you could look for a used Toyo or Sinar, just be sure you get a bag bellows and recessed lens board for it to use with your 75mm lens.

Kirk Fry
9-Nov-2014, 22:12
Get 6X or so loupe and look in the middle of the ground glass and focus the lens on something far away. Do you see anything that is sharp using the loupe? If not you probably can't compress the bellow far enough. Try to focus on something close up, say 3 feet away. Now the lens will be farther away from the focus plane and you might be able to get a sharp image. Anyway get a 150 or 210 lens to learn to use a view camera. I started with a 210mm on a Calumet. Great camera.

joselsgil
11-Nov-2014, 00:47
The lens is an SK75mm Super Angulon the camera is the 401 model.

Steve,

Where are you located? That would help. Prices are not the same thru out the world. If you are located in Patagonia or in the Goby Desert, it may be harder to find equipment at reasonable prices.

The standard Calumet model CC-400, has 16 inch bellows. The 401 model had the longer (22 inch) bellows. According to Calumet, the minimum extension-lensboard to film, for the CC-400 and CC-401 is 3 5/8". CC-402 model is 1 7/8".

According to Calumet with their model CC-425 super recessed lens board, you could use a lens as short as the 65mm Super Angulon. It would also permit maximum swings and tilts with the 90mm wide angle lens.

I would search for a longer lens, (135mm to 210mm), and switch to a flat lens board. Just make sure you get the correct lens board. They measure 4"X4". If you can't find a lens board. Send me a PM, I should have a spare I can part with for cheap.

Jose

WayneStevenson
16-Nov-2014, 11:40
Sounds like you're not focusing to infinity. You really need a different lens for that camera. Or a different camera for that lens.

I have the CC-403 by the way. Which I think has a 20" rail. The CC series is a great camera and very durable.