View Full Version : Help please....my first 4x5 shots

Tom N
14-Oct-2005, 18:09
This past weekend I took my new Shen Hao 4x5 camera out for the first time. I had quite the adventure (so many things to remember, wind blowing the dark cloth in my face, etc.)And I came home with my first 2 pictures. I took the film (Velvia 100 Quickloads) to the lab and excitedly picked them up yesterday. Now my problem. On both of these pictures there is a large magenta discoloration in approximately the center of each frame. On both it appears that the left edge of the discoloration is nearly vertical. Any idea what caused it? On picture 1 I used a polarizer and a grad ND filter but I used no filters for Picture 2. The left edge of the of the discolorations appears straight vertical in both shots even though Picture 1 was shot in Portrait orientation and Picture 2 was shot in landscape orientation. So if it was something with the film I would think that the straight edge would be on the left for one shot and on the top for the other shot. I tried looking for light leaks in the camera last night with a bright light in a dark room but I couldn't find any. I'll try again tonight. All I can think of now is that the lens is causing it somehow. I got the lens used from the bay of E.

Any ideas? I'm really concerned about this.

Picture 1 (http://www.tnphoto.ca/PCS/Picture1.jpg)
Picture 2 (http://www.tnphoto.ca/PCS/Picture2.jpg)
I apologize about the quality of these pictures I don't yet have a scanner so I just took a picture of the transparency on my light box.

David A. Goldfarb
14-Oct-2005, 18:27
Is the bellows attached properly to the camera? It looks like it might be a bellows light leak, or possibly something from the lensboard.

It's got to be something that doesn't move when you go from horizontal to vertical, so that rules out any Readyload, filmholder seating, back attachment issues or any lab problems, because the lab will orient the film the same way when they process it.

That said, congrats on your first LF shots. Once you sort this out, you'll be doing fine!

John Cook
14-Oct-2005, 18:59
Looks to me as though a tiny amount of raw light (not coming through the lens) is fogging the image. Since the image is upside down in the camera, I'd look for something on the right-hand side as you stand behind it.

If the light is coming in from the side at a nearly right angle to the image forming light, the line you see is where something solid cuts it off with its shadow. For this reason, I would look toward the back of the camera for the leak, rather than around the lens.

Is your camera groundglass back assembly completely seated on the camera? That would do it. I suppose a partially unglued bellows (back right) could cause this as well.

Brian Ellis
14-Oct-2005, 19:32
What you have, especially the vertical line, looks a lot like what I got when I didn't properly attach the back of a bellows to the camera after switching from a bag bellows back to the normal bellows.

Tom N
14-Oct-2005, 19:39
Thanks Guys!

I just locked myself in a dark room (bathroom actually) with my camera and a head lamp. Wouldn't you know it the problem was that the bellows were improperly attached to the back standard in the top right corner. With my light inside the camera I could clearly see a small line of light all along the right side of the standard. What a relief.

Thanks again!

Ken Lee
14-Oct-2005, 20:07
This is a "known problem" with certain Shen Hao cameras: the rather simple design of the interchangeable bellows attachment, makes it easy for some of us to replace the bellows wrongly. In my case, I have an 8x10, which I had to ship back to China over this issue. It did not appear in the dark, but it all worked out in the end, and I got my camera back, but I went through quite a lot of film before the issue was discovered.

You might want to tell them about your experience, since they do not seem to have modified the design.

Tom N
14-Oct-2005, 21:19
Yeah the bellows are held by 2 pins at the bottom and 2 thumb screws at the top. The bellows have a metal rim and you have to make sure that the metal rim ends up being sandwitched between the wooden frame and the screws. What happened to me was that the screw was instead behind the metal rim and that forced the bellows away and let the light in. You really have to make sure to look all the way around from the inside and make sure that the bellows is tight against the the wood. Now I know!

ronald moravec
14-Oct-2005, 21:48
Like the first one. Go back and do it again.

The rule is shoot 2, process 1 and correct what went wrong. Although in this case it wouldn`t have helped.

MIke Sherck
15-Oct-2005, 09:31
Ok, maybe it's just me, but I thought this thread amazing. Not only did the poster get the correct answer to their question within a few minutes of posting it, but within a few hours they had not only been told what the problem was, but *exactly* where to find it and how to fix it! What a fantastic resource!

I don't suppose that anyone here has tonight's winning lottery numbers, do they? :)

Graham Patterson
15-Oct-2005, 14:24
Altruism has its bounds.

Brian C. Miller
15-Oct-2005, 21:01

If these actually win, I'll be really mopey because I don't play the lottery!