View Full Version : Viewing 5x4 transparencies

26-Jul-2005, 05:22
Hi all,

I enjoy viewing my Provia transparencies on a light panel type light box, no scan or print gives me quite the same effect as viewing the origional this way, and I think for many of us, the look of a LF tranny on a light box got us into this whole thing in the first place.
My question is, Is there any loupe/viewer type device that would magnify the whole image in one go, sort of a GEPE 35mm slide viewer for LF?
Many non photographers seem to struggle to appreciate an image unless it's page sized, and I would like to show these trannys magnified somehow.
A standard magnifying glass results in massive distortion, particularly at the edges, as you would expect from a single element lens.
Any thoughts, or sources of huge (corrected) loupes I should consider??
No prizes for the first to suggest shooting 10x8, this is for viewing existing work.

mark blackman
26-Jul-2005, 05:37
Have you tried making a mask and using an OHP in a darkened room? O course you may have problems with colour casts depending on the bulb used and what you are projecting onto.

Bruce Watson
26-Jul-2005, 08:50
Assuming you don't want to use the trannies for their original purpose (projecting onto a screen), there are other ways that are nearly as effective. For example, you can make enlargements onto backlight film (they are called display transparencies IIRC) and display them on light boxes made for the purpose. Here's an example:


You can get this done on a LightJet using Kodak's Duratrans material, I think, so you should be able to go pretty large. This, IMHO, would be much better than any kind of viewer option simply because it takes out the optical system between you and the display. This lets you move around as you want, and gets rid of the residual distortions that any but the most expensive optical systems are bound to introduce. Plus, your friends can see it too ;-).

Craig Wactor
26-Jul-2005, 20:12
This seems a little cheesy, but you could use a 4x5 bino reflex hood for that, if you have one, or want to buy one. It would flip the image and you need a light table or diffusion behind it, but it would be the right size.

Christian Olivet
26-Jul-2005, 23:40
Get a proyector! Or... Put your tranny on the inside of your camera's ground glass. Get an intense reflector to shine light through the tranny and adjust the bellows to focus you image on a bright white proyecting screen. Darken the room as much as you can. Voila.
Don't melt you tranny!!!

Scott Fleming
26-Jul-2005, 23:46
Have em scanned and look at them on an Apple 23 or 30 inch cinema display. Incredible. I have all my trannies on an endless loop slideshow that comes with the standard Apple software. I love it.

M Brian Mills
27-Jul-2005, 12:14
I struggled with displaying my 4x5 transparencies in a manner that I felt befit the images as well as my effort. I found that the best way for viewers to appreciate them in the manner that I did was to put them in a situation that was similar to when I am shooting the images. I made light boxes back-lit with 12 LEDs and then sewed several dark-cloths from black satin and affixed them to the boxes.
Examples can be seen here:

Creating the experience has proved much more successful than any other display I have tried.

Scott Fleming
27-Jul-2005, 13:55

Cool! Of course you put them in there upside down and backwards, right? ;)

Would be even cooler if the boxes were on a height adjustable slide.

M Brian Mills
27-Jul-2005, 15:01

When I first thought about displaying in this manner, I thought about putting the transparencies into the back of multiple 4x5 cameras on tripods and putting the LED panels into the camera as an installation in a gallery so it would be very much the same as my experience, but that was too literal for what I wanted to do. I've shown these in several places and they have been fairly well received.

Ah yes, the debate as to how to position them...that is where I succumbed to the audience and placed them not as if they were in the camera, but as if they were a print on the wall. I only feel mildly as if I am a prostitute for positioning them that way. :o)

Thanks for the "Cool!"

28-Jul-2005, 10:27
Thanks all,
I have some good ideas to consider here, I like the idea of Brian's virtual camera as a viewing aid and may give it a go. The issue remains of magnifying the image, perhaps the adapted ground glass magnifying viewing hood is the best soloution for this. Brian's post has made me consider taking the camera (Horseman FA) along with the images I am showing, as some viewers struggle to understand the piece of film they are looking at was once in a camera.
Another question to you all if I may, what is the biggest (coverage) loupe made, and who sells them?