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DurbinLewisLtd
21-Dec-2014, 11:28
Hi all,

I was just hoping for some help on what may be the best lens for a shoot I will be doing on 11x14 of an assemblage of Victorian mahogany furniture. Iíll be shooting on Portra 400/Delta 100 (for contacts) and Provia 100f (drum scanned for a 114x145 inch/290x370cm approx. enlargement to Duratrans, I may go for a smaller enlargement but this is the maximum).

The set up will be roughly 3m long and 2.5 m high, Iíll be using a Deardoff V11 with fidelity holders and tungsten lights Ė there will be quite allot of black in the image. I think I will be shooting at a distance of roughly 4 metres to the furniture.

I currently have a Nikkor-M 450mm and Apo Ronar 24in/600mm (a Klimsch labelled one so not sure how old)

Are the lenses I have likely to provide a very high level of enlargement detail or would I need to go with something like a Symmar 480mm or even a 550 XXL?

I thought the Apo Ronar might struggle with the depth of the furniture but wouldnít distort the lines of the furniture if the Nikkor might be considered slightly wide on 11x14 Ė Does anybody know what kind of lens furniture product shots were shot on way back when?

Thanks for any help!
Best,

John

Tin Can
21-Dec-2014, 11:34
I like your last question best.

Let's get some ideas.

I have none, but I am very curious about historical shooting practices with Deardorff SC11, as I have one.

Chicago was the epicenter of catalog sales photography and the reason the SC11 was built here for that market.

Bump!

8x10 user
21-Dec-2014, 12:04
The sharpest 11x14 lens kit would probably consist of the 210mm Super Symmar XL, 300mm Apo Sironar W, 360mm Apo Sironar S, 480mm Apo Symmar, and either a newer Apo Ronar or the Apo Tele Xenar HM.

evan clarke
21-Dec-2014, 12:21
Not going to beat the 450M

David A. Goldfarb
21-Dec-2014, 12:33
To get the kind of DOF you need to photograph a room set, where tilt and swing aren't going to help enormously, and you've just got to stop way down, I doubt you'll see much difference in resolution among relatively modern, and even not-so-modern lenses.

I've read about studios doing this kind of work on 11x14" in Hickory, North Carolina, which is a historic center of the U.S. furniture industry. They would shoot tests in black and white to process them quickly in a darkroom adjacent to the studio before shooting in color.

ic-racer
21-Dec-2014, 12:35
How close will the viewer be from the Duratrans? This would be good to know. Unless you have the ability to do some test shooting, you may want to calculate your acceptable resolution and select your aperture based on the common formulas. 550XXL was, of course, not available back then. Lens selection will probably be the least of your worries in completing this project.

I will say my biggest film size is 8x10 and all my big prints are optical enlargements. Maybe Drew or Bob C. will chime in with some 11x14 and or scanning experience.

Oren Grad
21-Dec-2014, 12:46
I’ll be shooting on Portra 400/Delta 100 (for contacts) and Provia 100f (drum scanned for a 114x145 inch/290x370cm approx. enlargement to Duratrans, I may go for a smaller enlargement but this is the maximum).

Are you aware that Portra in 11x14 is a very expensive ($$$$$) custom order, and that Fuji no longer cuts any film to 11x14?


The set up will be roughly 3m long and 2.5 m high, I’ll be using a Deardoff V11 with fidelity holders and tungsten lights – there will be quite allot of black in the image. I think I will be shooting at a distance of roughly 4 metres to the furniture....

Are the lenses I have likely to provide a very high level of enlargement detail or would I need to go with something like a Symmar 480mm or even a 550 XXL?

I thought the Apo Ronar might struggle with the depth of the furniture but wouldn’t distort the lines of the furniture if the Nikkor might be considered slightly wide on 11x14 – Does anybody know what kind of lens furniture product shots were shot on way back when?

Given a subject with substantial depth, the close range at which you need to work and the extreme degree of enlargement that you're seeking, I'm afraid I would question whether 11x14 is the right tool for the job. Unless you are looking for shallow-focus effects, you are going to have a devil of a time achieving adequate depth of field without paying an obvious price in resolution loss due to diffraction at small apertures - which, incidentally, will largely negate any resolution differences among the lenses you're considering.

DurbinLewisLtd
21-Dec-2014, 13:07
hi all,

the viewer will be able to go right up to the Duratrans - the general aim is to print the furniture at life size.

I've got Portra 400 through Canham's special order and Provia that the seller assured me has been frozen since the Badger Graphics order a few years back

I will be able to do some testing for this next year, just about got everything together - reliably developing the film is the next challenge.

Based on my current work I have found a change when using 8x10 compared to 5x4 - I prefer the spatiality of 8x10 which is fairly subjective I know, and enjoy contact printing. I feel I need adequate depth of field not absolutely perfect, I will be arranging the furniture in such a way to minimize it's depth as much as I can - and photographing it frontally.

Am I right in thinking that the Apo - Ronar will provide more depth of field challenges than the Nikkor and that this will adversely affect resolution. I expect £64 or maybe F45 will be my aperture given similar experience with 8x10 and a 360 mm Symmar S

Luis-F-S
21-Dec-2014, 13:29
+1


Not going to beat the 450M

David A. Goldfarb
21-Dec-2014, 14:06
For the same composition, I don't think you'll see much practical difference in DOF range between a 450mm and 600mm lens on 11x14" at your planned shooting distance. Of course, if you shoot smaller details at greater magnification with either lens, DOF will decrease, but at those distances, it's pretty much a function of magnification rather than focal length of the lens.

I suspect your working aperture is going to be around f:90. Just running that quickly on my DOF calculator (pCAM app on my iPhone), converting feet to meters roughly in my head, that would give you a little less than 3m DOF range for a subject at 4m and a field of view of around 3m wide by a 2.5m high. I'm using the same CoC for that calculation as would be normal for 8x10", since I don't enlarge either format, but that should work for you, since you're making a big enlargement, and you might want a little more DOF than you would get from the standard value (or you might say that if you were using a DOF chart with the standard value for CoC with 11x14", you would stop down one extra stop than the recommendation, because you are making a bigger enlargement and want a little more DOF range).

brighamr
22-Dec-2014, 15:38
Hi John

I have a 210mm f8 Super Angulon that will cover 11x14 very well and will mean that you can probably shoot at more like F22-f32 so you will not have any diffraction issues
are you shooting in London ?

robin

David A. Goldfarb
22-Dec-2014, 19:31
A 210mm lens will only shorten the working distance. It will require about the same aperture as a 450mm lens or a 600mm lens for the same field of view and the same amount of DOF (f:90 for about 4m DOF or f:64 for 2m DOF in a space about 3m wide by 2.5m high, allowing for extra DOF given the size of the final output and close viewing distance), when shooting in this distance range. At this point, it's just a practical question of how much room is there between the camera and the set and how much space do you need for the lighting equipment. A longer lens means more working distance for lighting gear, but requires a larger studio.

Tin Can
22-Dec-2014, 19:49
A 210mm lens will only shorten the working distance. It will require almost exactly the same aperture as a 450mm lens or a 600mm lens for the same field of view and the same amount of DOF (f:90 for about 4m DOF in a space about 3m wide by 2.5m high, allowing for extra DOF given the size of the final output and close viewing distance), when shooting in this distance range. At this point, it's just a practical question of how much room is there between the camera and the set and how much space do you need for the lighting equipment. A longer lens means more working distance for lighting gear, but requires a larger studio.

Maybe I am misunderstanding lens usage in other threads. But doesn't a shorter lens give more DOF over a much longer lens, comparing say the 210 and a 610 at similar apertures?

David A. Goldfarb
22-Dec-2014, 19:54
Maybe I am misunderstanding lens usage in other threads. But doesn't a shorter lens give more DOF over a much longer lens, comparing say the 210 and a 610 at similar apertures?

At infinity or at long distances, yes, but at short distances, the differences are small. Using an 11x14" camera to photograph a room display is essentially a macro shot. The magnification ratio is about 1:8 (width of the film:width of the room), so at that magnification ratio, any lens (that covers the format, etc.) will give you about the same DOF at the same aperture.

Tin Can
22-Dec-2014, 20:01
At infinity or at long distances, yes, but at short distances, the differences are small. Using an 11x14" camera to photograph a room display is essentially a macro shot. The magnification ratio is about 1:8 (width of the film:width of the room), so at that magnification ratio, any lens (that covers the format, etc.) will give you about the same DOF at the same aperture.

Thank you, I plan to do some similar imaging on 11x14 with Wide Field Kodak Ektar 250, as it's all I have that might work in this tiny space. No room for anything longer.

Dan Fromm
22-Dec-2014, 20:02
Maybe I am misunderstanding lens usage in other threads. But doesn't a shorter lens give more DOF over a much longer lens, comparing say the 210 and a 610 at similar apertures?

DoF is the same for all focal lengths at the same magnification (final print size) and aperture.

The OP has set specifications that can't be attained. To get 10x enlargements that will pass close inspection (the traditional 10" or 16" or whatever you want) he needs 80 lp/mm in the negative. The largest aperture that will allow as much as 80 lp/mm in the negative is f/20. Its time to think harder about what's needed or to prevent viewers from approaching the final print (on Duratrans, I think) too closely.

Ken Lee
22-Dec-2014, 20:12
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/foresh.jpg

Depth of field aside, I wouldn't go very much shorter than 450mm on 11x14 if you want the furniture to appear correctly proportioned when photographed at close distance.

For 11x14 film a "normal" lens (one whose focal length matches the diagonal of the film) will be 450mm.

A 210m lens on 11x14 will be rather wide-angle: you can expect considerable foreshortening as illustrated above.

Dan Fromm
22-Dec-2014, 20:42
A 210m lens on 11x14 will be rather wide-angle: you can expect considerable foreshortening as illustrated above.

Rather? 94 degrees and you say rather? Understatement is alive and well in Massachusetts.

David A. Goldfarb
22-Dec-2014, 20:50
It's not that outrageous. Half the normal focal length for an architectural interior is pretty common.

StoneNYC
22-Dec-2014, 22:39
Rather? 94 degrees and you say rather? Understatement is alive and well in Massachusetts.

My Mamiya7 has a Biogon 43mm lens that I use very often, I believe the 35mm Leica Biogon 21mm is the equivalent, if I'm not mistaken, the 11x14 equivalent would be 210mm. I don't think that's THAT wide, I think 14mm or 16mm on a 35mm is wide, which I think is similar to a 150mm on 11x14? Now that's wide!! :)

I'm borrowing an 11x14 camera and I have both those FL's so I'm excited to try them out :)

brighamr
23-Dec-2014, 02:17
"A 210mm lens will only shorten the working distance"

the OP said that he would be 4 m from the 3m wide object so a 450mm or above lens will not cover the shot
a 210mm will foreshorten the furniture but camera movements will be able to deal with the geometry of the furniture

for work I do a lot of location lifestyle room product photography on 35mm format and the 18,21,25mm focal lengths get used a lot
I seldom have the option of backing away far enough to use a long lens as we normally want as wide as possible
the OP did not say what depth the objects had or if the priority was everything had to be tacksharp
it is possible to shoot this at f22 on a 210mm and get a "pretty" shot nothing like Kens photo (not that Ken is not pretty)

My definition of pretty may differ from yours

Kens photo of the big nose effect is not really relevant to product photography as a full hight person at 4m on a 210mm would be about a third of the frame high not a full head close up

regards

robin

Ken Lee
23-Dec-2014, 06:44
Please, I found that photo on the web somewhere - it's not me. It's hard to find photos which illustrate foreshortening.

I was just trying to make the OP aware of the issue, but apparently he already is since he stated something I previously missed: "I thought the [600mm] Apo Ronar... wouldn’t distort the lines of the furniture." and he's right.

David A. Goldfarb
23-Dec-2014, 10:46
f:22 with any lens in this situation is going to yield about 1/2 m of DOF range. Most likely, movements will only help with framing and perspective, but not with the plane of focus (unless you can shoot from a high angle and use tilt--the Deardorff 11x14" studio camera did have a 12 foot high stand), because the typical room setup involves perpendicular objects that aren't in the same plane. If the subject is the furniture, it probably all has to be in focus.

The solution, I think, is just to stop down and not be so concerned about diffraction. f:90 is not really such a small aperture given the format.

Another option would be to shoot a smaller format, but I suspect that the furniture studios traditionally shot 11x14" for a reason. If you're selling furniture, you've got to render the texture of the fabric and the grain in the wood with fine detail. Furniture stores are big spaces where it is possible to hang huge photos for promotional purposes. If the sales banners are hung over a couch, that's a way to keep the viewing distance reasonable. The advantage of reduced enlargement factor by shooting a larger format pretty much always trumps the disadvantages of diffraction, and a small aperture is the only way to overcome the challenge of DOF, given the likely arrangement of objects in the scene.

Drew Wiley
23-Dec-2014, 10:54
Your battle with a neg this big is going to be with depth of field and lack of flatness of the film itself in the holder. Some ULF photographers used a little tab or two
of removable double-faced tape behind the center of the film to help this, though it's no substitute for a true vac holder.

DurbinLewisLtd
23-Dec-2014, 11:15
Hi all,

Thank you for your replies. Robin, I will indeed be shooting in London.

I will be shooting in a large studio, primarily for moving image with a ceiling rig. I will have much more distance than 4 metres available to me - I should have added that 4 metres was my minimum at a guess as not to be too close to the lights. See attached photo in the same space I did recently on 8x10.



I expect the depth of the furniture to be no more than 1.2 metres - although I'll aim to be showing mostly the front face of a wardrobe, for example, rather than its depth at an angle.

In an ideal world I would use a 550 xxl - would this particular lens aid any potential diffraction problems compared to say a 480 symmar - s MC or my 450 nikkor M? If the aperture is at f64 - f90.

On a historical level I do want to follow along the lines of the furniture studios using 11x14 - and apart from this one exhibition showing it as a large Duratrans - the image will mostly be shown as a contact print from the Portra/Delta.

Will def use double sided tape then - any potential drawbacks of using it I should be aware of?

Best,

John

Ken Lee
23-Dec-2014, 11:35
Will def use double sided tape then - any potential drawbacks of using it I should be aware of?

Some adhesive tape emits light when peeled away.

See Triboluminescence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboluminescence): "Triboluminescence can be observed when breaking sugar crystals and peeling adhesive tapes."

Be sure to test it in the dark before spoiling a sheet of film etc. Both on the film and the holder.

Oren Grad
23-Dec-2014, 12:26
In an ideal world I would use a 550 xxl - would this particular lens aid any potential diffraction problems compared to say a 480 symmar - s MC or my 450 nikkor M? If the aperture is at f64 - f90.

No. There may be very modest differences as a result of different optical designs, but the existence of an absolute resolution limit is a fundamental constraint of optics and applies to all lenses. As a rule of thumb, 1600 divided by the f-number gives you an approximation of the maximum resolution you can expect in lp/mm. So f/64 implies no more than about 25 lp/mm, f/90 implies no more than about 18 lp/mm. These numbers apply only at the plane of focus - because of the circle of confusion, they get progressively worse as you move away from the plane of focus, even within the theoretical zone of "good enough" sharpness that you have calculated based on your specified acceptable CoC.

When you divide these numbers by 10 to reflect the intended enlargement for your Duratrans print, will that provide an adequate subjective impression of sharpness and detail for your viewers? As you can see, a lot will depend on your assumptions about how close they can get and how acute their visual perception will be. Since you will be drum scanning and working from a digital file for the enlargements, you obviously have the option of sharpening for output; it will be a subjective call on your part as to how much and what kind of sharpening will help rather than harm whatever subjective impression you would like to create.

For the contact prints, you should be able to pull this off even for a reasonably critical eye. All the potential trouble here is with the enlargements, and everything depends on the criteria for "good enough".

Andrew Plume
23-Dec-2014, 14:01
yes, this is a really interesting (and different) thread

Ken - I knew that wasn't you...........

Stone, you're starting to suffer from the 'dreaded GAS' - thought that you were happy with 10 x 8, yes you certainly show 'all of the symptoms'................yes, indeed

regards to all

andrew

Bob Salomon
23-Dec-2014, 14:19
To get the kind of DOF you need to photograph a room set, where tilt and swing aren't going to help enormously, and you've just got to stop way down, I doubt you'll see much difference in resolution among relatively modern, and even not-so-modern lenses.

I've read about studios doing this kind of work on 11x14" in Hickory, North Carolina, which is a historic center of the U.S. furniture industry. They would shoot tests in black and white to process them quickly in a darkroom adjacent to the studio before shooting in color.

David,

The big one was in Highpoint, NC.

StoneNYC
23-Dec-2014, 21:19
yes, this is a really interesting (and different) thread

Ken - I knew that wasn't you...........

Stone, you're starting to suffer from the 'dreaded GAS' - thought that you were happy with 10 x 8, yes you certainly show 'all of the symptoms'................yes, indeed

regards to all

andrew

Hah! I don't OWN an 11x14, I was borrowing it from a friend to test a lens or two.

Before I got into 8x10 I was going to jump right from 4x5 to 11x14 and had been gifted an 11x14 holder, I had built a home made pinhole camera for 11x14 and so I had some film already for it etc.(x-ray stuff) so I'm just taking advantage of the opportunity to shoot while I have the camera.

When the time comes I may pass on the holder to another to encourage them or use it to upgrade, I think if I'm going to go ULF it will be 14x17 or 16x20, the 11x14 isn't significantly big enough over 8x10 to warrant both sizes, but I'm glad I had some experience with ULF, it certainly helped me with handling of large print paper etc.

I'm actually working on eliminating my GAS.

I'm hoping once I'm finished with a personal project I've been working on that I'll be able to sell my gear. The hardest one to justify is the 35mm gear, it all holds special value that's emotional, but takes up space.

I really like 8x10. I've already sold my 4x5 camera, but I have so much EFKE IR820 in 4x5 that I want to shoot so I'm getting a reducing back.

I know I'll still be left with a bunch of cameras but I'm trying to get rid of the unused ones. The Mamiya7 and the 8x10 are the only two I'm sure I can't sell. The rest I'm on the fence about.