View Full Version : Architecture and multi use camera

Karl Beath
14-Jul-2005, 09:35
Hi to the forum.

I apologize for the long-winded message; I felt I had to give the background. I thank you for reading it and perhaps I can sort this out once and for all in my mind.

I shoot scenic, a 67 in the std format and cropped to panoramic, architecture and interiors using the 67, hence my need for a camera with movements. I donít want 3 cameras cluttering up my office; I can also only afford one. I donít want, or need to shoot 4x5 cut film, 120 gives a beautiful 16x20, and even bigger, print.

Here are the scenarios. If I get a Wista VX, I can use a 612 back for my panoramic, and I can get a moderate camera for architecture using a 90mm lens. Then I thought if I was to use a 6x7 rfb on the Wista, I can still shoot the ideal format, but in 67, and with the widest lens useable on the Wista, a 55mm, get close to what I am using on my Pentax 67 (45mm smc), but with movements.

My question is, would the amount of rise (mm)required for the 6x7 format be less than that required on the 4x5 to give me a corresponding effect of correcting the perspective?

If this is true, would I be able to get enough rise, using a 55mm lens on the Wista, with a bag bellows and recessed lens board because I would need less movement because the image circle would quite easily cover the 67 format, would this be the case?

Is anyone using this lens/film combination on a Wista VX or other similar tech-camera?

The Arca is hugely expensive and I canít find anything 2nd hand, it would also not give me the 612 option for my pans, but may be a better camera in the long run.


Kirk Gittings
14-Jul-2005, 10:27
"My question is, would the amount of rise (mm)required for the 6x7 format be less than that required on the 4x5 to give me a corresponding effect of correcting the perspective?" Yes but........

Tell me more about the coverage of the 55mm. That may be the limiting factor. I use a Schneider 47 XL and a 65 on 6x9 and they have plenty of movements. The camera setup sounds ok with the bag bellows. You should have plenty of movements. However with the 55mm you may have issues with the bed getting in the image and if you drop the bed you limit your rise by the amount you drop the bed. Has anyone tried this combination?

Leonard Evens
14-Jul-2005, 13:19
I used a Horseman 980 Technical camera for years with a 6 x 7 roll film holder. The Horseman has relatively limited movements.
During the past four years or so, I've been using a Toho FC-45X, which is a light monorail type 4 x 5 view camera. So I have experience with both.

You do need rise/fall and shifts for architectural photography, and the limitations of the Horseman in this respect was one reason I decided to switch. But you need tilts and swings less because of the inherently greater depth of field with medium format compared to 4 x 5. (See below for further comments about that.) You can certainly use a 4 x 5 view camera with a 6 x 7 roll film holder, but there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. 90 mm is normal for 6 x 7 and 6 x 9, but it is wide angle for 4 x 5. Most 4 x 5 view cameras will have less movement for shorter focal length lenses because of bellows stiffness. That problem can be resolved by using a bag bellows. You also have to be sure that camera's minimum bellows extension is short enough to allow you to use the kind of lenses you have in mind. As long as the lenses you choose can cover the 6 x 7 format with adequate movemnts, you would probably be okay.

But it should be remembered that when you use a camera designed for one purpose for another purpose, you are not using it as the designers planned. so you may encounter various unanticipated problems. For example, you discuss wanting to use a 55 mm lens. In terms of angle of view, a 55 mm lens for 6 x 7, is equivalent to a 94 mm lens for 4 x 5. I have a 90 mm lens which I find adequate for most wide angle architecture uses, but I also have a 75 mm lens. That would be equivalent to about a 45 mm lens for 6 x 7. Some people even use 65-70 mm lenses with 4 x 5 which would be equivalent to 38-40 mm with 6 x 7. So using a 4 x 5 camera with a roll film back as a 6 x 7 camera might preclude your going much shorter than moderate wide angle.

You might be better off getting a view camera designed for use with 6 x 9. Everything will be scaled down, and depending on the capabilities of the camera, you will be able to do pretty much what you want. Such a camera can be expensive and beyond what you want to pay, but ideally it would be the best solution. You should at least do a web search to find out what is available along those lines.

A comment about depth of field. If you keep the same point of view, same angle of view (necessitating changing lens focal length), and the same size final image, you generally get a multiplier of about 120/70 ~ 1.7 when compareing 4 x 5 to 6 x 7. That means that if you get the same depth of field at f-number N with 4 x5 as you would get with N/1.7 with 6 x 7. In other words you have to stop down about 1 1/2 stops more with 4 x 5. That means at the same f-stop you get more depth of field in the 6 x 7 case than in the 4 x 5 case. The main reason for using tilts or swings is to compensate for limited depth of field, so the occasions for needing it are less in the 6 x 7 case. Also, the needed tilts turn out to be less when needed. In addition, if you keep the same f-stop, you can use faster shutter speeds (by about 1 1/2 stops) to avoid subject motion.

Karl Beath
14-Jul-2005, 22:21
Hi Kirk & Leonard

This is all rather theoretical at the moment, because I have neither the lens nor the camera. I have an option on a snd hand Wista VX, but not a 55mm lens or bag bellows to test it with. The only 55mm I know of is the Rodenstock 4.5 which has an image circle of 163mm. The diagonal of the 6x7 trannie is 89mm, which should be allow for some movement, the question is, can the Wista give me the movement with bag-bellows and recessed lens for sufficient rise. I only have a Pentax 67 at the moment, so if I could get enough rise, even though the camera doesnít have back shift this should be better than what I have at present.

My thinking goes, that this camera, unlike a rail camera, would have less movement than I would like for architecture. However, if I use a 67rfb, which I would rather use in any event, the amount of rise required would be less to create the same perspective correction, because the format is a given % smaller than 4x5. Is this assumption true though, I donít know?


michael meyer
15-Jul-2005, 06:27
Why not use a shift lens on your Pentax 67? Would that get you where you want to go? It's not like having a view camera, but it may do the trick. Hartblei has a shift lens that works on a variety of cameras:


Kirk Gittings
15-Jul-2005, 06:57
Theoretically your approach is sound. I have never owned the Wista either. I did use a Tachihara for 4x5 for many years on the road shooting for Architecture Magazine. Believe it or not I use a 40 year old and very modified Calumet Widefield for shooting 6x9 for commercial work now. I am always looking for a 4x5 that will accomodate a 47mm XL without a recessed lens board and not get the bed or rail in the way. The Calumet will do that. The Wista should have enough movements WITH a bag bellows. 6x7 needs less movements than 4x5. Somebody out there must have tried this. Maybe they will chime in. The best 6x? view cameras out there are the Arca Swiss, but as you know very pricey.

"Why not use a shift lens on your Pentax 67?" Its not wide enough for architecture.

Ellis Vener
15-Jul-2005, 11:33
Kirk wrote:

I am always looking for a 4x5 that will accomodate a 47mm XL without a recessed lens board and not get the bed or rail in the way.

Not a problem with any of the Arca-Swiss F 4x5 models or 69FC. it is worth mentioning that the standard board for the 4x5 Arca Swiss cameras is recessed 13mm at the edges of the lens boards, so there is plenty of room for your fingers. The 4x5 A-S cameras have no problems with 6x12cm roll film backs. An Arca-Swis Discovery should work fine for Karl and be close to his budget.