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View Full Version : A long time lurker from Finland



Uusilehto
24-May-2007, 09:08
Thought I'd say hello.

I am a long time lurker on this forum. I recently created an account but haven't really replied as much as I should. In other words, at all.

Currently I am a student amateur photographer. I have many years of experience with small-format photography but have recently hopped in on the large format train due to recent drops in used LF gear prices. As I said, I am a student and every bit of money saved helps.

My 35mm rig consists of a Canon 1D, 20D, Nikon Nikkormat FTN and Zeiss/Nikon/Vivitar manual focus lenses (with the appropriate adapters to Canon when needed) just to give some idea. That is the last I'll mention of my non-LF gear.

I recently (four months ago or so) stumbled accross a Sinar Norma 4x5" with the Copal shutter and a few Symmars (180, 240), all from 1961-1963. The price was a ridiculously low 300 and I've been hooked ever since. Besides the Symmars, I don't have any "proper" lenses. Graflex 90mm and 135mm Optars are filling the wide-angle gap until I can find a cheap Super-Angulon of some sort. Yes, I know, it's total sacrilege to use something like the 90/6.8 Optar on a monorail but for the moment, I don't have much choice.

I have some 40 sheets of 9x12cm TMX (dated 2001) left but I mainly use 4x5" Shanghai due to the slightly larger size (more or less noticeable at 90mm). I develop everything in Rodinal, do a quick contact print for archiving and a light table repro with a DSLR for web-sized display. Everything that gets printed is obviously scanned with a proper scanner.

Gordon Moat
24-May-2007, 11:19
Welcome to the group. We had a discussion not long ago about light table reproduction techniques. I am curious if you were doing that prior to that thread. If yes, could you post an example?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Uusilehto
24-May-2007, 11:43
I posted a thread regarding this "technique" on another manual/film gear forum. Some of the people there also seem to have accounts on this forum.

Here's the thread from a while back: http://www.kolumbus.fi/uusilehto/img/4x5/toisetnegat/pic01.jpg

EDIT: Now that I look at the thread almost a year later, I can't but help notice how extremely poor English I wrote back then. Interesting what a difference a single year can make.

The reproing method isn't something I like doing. Due to the slight uneveness of the light from the light table, some shots appear as though they had serious flare issues. Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner (I scan the print-versions on an Epson 4990 I have access to every once in a while), so this will have to do for now.

And here are some negs repro'd with that method. The second one was an interesting shot for me. I used an 1897 B&L Rapid-Rectilinear at f/22, although I did cheat a bit by using the Sinar module shutter.

Here's a close-up of the second one: http://www.kolumbus.fi/uusilehto/img/4x5/toisetnegat/pic03c.jpg

I did the close-up by adding another, I think, 20mm extension tube to the 50mm I used to repro the shot.

Lenses used
#1: Graflex 135/4.7 Optar at f/8, 1/50s
#2: B&L Rapid-Rectilinear (130-140mm f/8) at f/22, 1/4s
#3: Schneider 180mm f/5.6 Symmar at f/32 and I think 1/25

http://www.kolumbus.fi/uusilehto/img/4x5/toisetnegat/pic01.jpg

http://www.kolumbus.fi/uusilehto/img/4x5/toisetnegat/pic03.jpg

http://www.kolumbus.fi/uusilehto/img/4x5/toisetnegat/pic04.jpg

Gordon Moat
24-May-2007, 12:20
Cool! Thanks for posting those. My interest is not so much resolution, but it does seem that Dmax is better than from low cost scanners. The other posting I mentioned dealt with colour images, so it is nice to see B/W images worked this way. Obviously not a replacement for a Creo, Screen, or Fuji high end flatbed, but should be good enough for internet uses.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Uusilehto
24-May-2007, 12:35
Cool! Thanks for posting those. My interest is not so much resolution, but it does seem that Dmax is better than from low cost scanners. The other posting I mentioned dealt with colour images, so it is nice to see B/W images worked this way. Obviously not a replacement for a Creo, Screen, or Fuji high end flatbed, but should be good enough for internet uses.

Quite so. For general purpose shooting, the 20D I use has a dynamic range of about 8 stops plus some two stops that the 12 bit RAW format gives on the highlight side. Not as versatile as a straight-up b&w negative but yes. Better than the cheaper scanners. You can of course bracket and combine two different repro exposures for extended dynamic range.
Negative conversion and colour balancing is so much easier when you have the 4096 tone levels of a 12 bit RAW file.

EDIT: As it appears, I messed up the link on the third message. Isn't there any way to edit replied-to posts?
Here's the correct link: http://forum.manualfocus.org/viewtopic.php?pid=15060

Gordon Moat
24-May-2007, 12:53
So a large Cokin filter sandwiching the film onto the light table surface . . . almost seems too simple. Maybe a couple drops of drum scanner oil on the surfaces to avoid Newton rings, though I cannot think of anything else to add. Anti-Newton glass was the solution mentioned in the previous discussion here. What sort of light box are you using for these?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Uusilehto
24-May-2007, 13:05
I'm using a simple Hama lightbox. The most typical kind. You can fit about two 4x5" negs in portrait orientation.

The Cokin filter I used to hold down the 35mm negs is actually a diffusion filter, so it more or less works like an anti-newton glass (well, plastic). Obviously, it doesn't work for 4x5" negs as the filter is too small. So far, I've been simply attaching them with two strips of clear tape along the sides. 4x5" is large enough not to cause curl related problems.

John Kasaian
24-May-2007, 14:55
Welcome aboard! Theres nothing wrong with Optars. :)

Uusilehto
25-May-2007, 01:13
Welcome aboard! Theres nothing wrong with Optars. :)

Except that they're really only good for rear tilts. Not exactly making the most out of a monorail if you only have barely enough coverage for 4x5"

John Kasaian
25-May-2007, 08:48
Except that they're really only good for rear tilts. Not exactly making the most out of a monorail if you only have barely enough coverage for 4x5"

True, they were made for press cameras, which were commonly handheld so any movements (if any at all) by neccesity were minimal, but both Wollensak (Optar) and Ilex also made some pretty impressive lenses later in the game to compete with Schneider and Rodenstock. These will cost a lot less on the used market than say an older 90mm SA (at least in the USA) and offer a lot of value if you're on a tight budget (like I am) Also many old press camera lenses appear to me to be very sharp in the center, as tessars typically are. The ubiquitous 127mm Ektar (I'm sure there are Optar copies of it) I find to be incredibly sharp--of course once you introduce any movement to the edges things rapidly deteriorate.

What I mean to offer is, don't make excuses for your equipment. It is your vision that matters. I think jazz legend John Coltrane said: "You can play a shoe lace if you're sincere enough."

Cheers!

John Kasaian
25-May-2007, 08:52
Except that they're really only good for rear tilts. Not exactly making the most out of a monorail if you only have barely enough coverage for 4x5"

True, they were made for press cameras, which were commonly handheld so any movements (if any at all) by neccesity were minimal, but both Wollensak (Optar) and Ilex also made some pretty impressive lenses later in the game to compete with Schneider and Rodenstock. These will cost a lot less on the used market than say an older 90mm SA (at least in the USA) and offer a lot of value if you're on a tight budget (like I am) Also many old press camera lenses appear to me to be very sharp in the center, as tessars typically are. The ubiquitous 127mm Ektar (I'm sure there are Optar copies of it) I find to be incredibly sharp--of course once you introduce any movement to the edges things rapidly deteriorate. (Press camera Wollensaks "deteriorate: and bring a pittance---portrait camera Wollensaks have "bokeh" and go for the big bucks!:D )

What I mean to offer is, don't make excuses for your equipment. It is your vision that matters. I think jazz legend John Coltrane said: "You can play a shoe lace if you're sincere enough.":cool:

Cheers!