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View Full Version : Attention Chamonix Owners -- Front Standard Placement



lilmsmaggie
18-Nov-2011, 07:16
I've only used my Chamonix 45n-2 for about a year now, shooting mostly with a 210 and 135mm and as a result of a recent discussion I had with another newbie Chamonix owner, I decided to ask this question:

"How do you know which hole to use in placing the front standard of your Chamonix?"

OK - before any of you decides to go ballistic, and start using terms like "Silly Billy," "You Idiot," etc., etc., the obvious consideration is that it depends on the focal length of the lens in use. But then what? :confused:

It would seem that this would not be unique to the Chamonix - but apply to all large format cameras.

Hugo, if you're out there, feel free to jump in.

David R Munson
18-Nov-2011, 08:31
Habit? I also use a 210mm and 135mm. I know the 210 goes in the far front hole, and I can't tell you off the top of my head which hole I use for the 135mm, but my hands seem to know just fine. I've considered trying to add index marks of some sort for different lenses, but as long as I'm just using the two lenses, it doesn't seem to be an issue.

Greg Davis
18-Nov-2011, 09:11
I don't have a Chamonix, but I use a Kodak Master 8x10 which uses a similar design with respect to the front standard. When using a medium or long lens, I place the front standard fully forward and extend the camera as needed. For wide angle lenses, I push the front standard back until it is in focus. If the front of the camera is in the image, then I will move it forward and move the rear standard to compensate.

sethlatimer
18-Nov-2011, 09:52
I have been using the 45n-2 for a couple of months. I am interested in this too. I use a 210mm and a 90mm. For the 210 I put it one hole from the last, not the last. That way I always rack out a bit and it seems like I generally have a better balance between using the front focus and back focus. I have no idea why I use the second from the first hole for the 90mm lens. It almost always requires pushing the back focus in, maybe because I am paranoid about the bed vignetting.
Seth

lilmsmaggie
18-Nov-2011, 10:49
No not an issue, it just seems that there should be some logical, repeatable method one uses to determine proper selection without too much of the fiddle-factor, guesstimate stuff. I haven't referred to any of my LF reference materials recently (e.g. Steve Simmons, Ansel Adams (camera, lens), but off the top of my head, I don't seem to recall any mention of this. Standards are only mentioned in terms of controlling perspective, tilts, swings, shifts, rise and fall but not in the way we're discussing here.


Habit? I also use a 210mm and 135mm. I know the 210 goes in the far front hole, and I can't tell you off the top of my head which hole I use for the 135mm, but my hands seem to know just fine. I've considered trying to add index marks of some sort for different lenses, but as long as I'm just using the two lenses, it doesn't seem to be an issue.

engl
18-Nov-2011, 10:53
You only have to figure it out once, then remember (or make a note on the lens board :) ).

As for figuring it out, it is up to you. It will depend on what lenses you use, and how close you need to focus. Those using longer lenses and often focusing very close might want to extend the rear standard and/or mount the lens in a hole far forward to get a longer possible extension, missing out on infinity focus may not be an issue.

Personally I try to keep the rear standard aligned with the rear of the baseboard, and use the rearmost hole that puts the focus beyond infinity with the front standard non-extended.

For longer lenses, where you'd need to use the frontmost (is that a word?) hole and considerable front extension to reach infinity, extend the rear standard and then choose a hole.

Edit: the reasoning beyond this way of choosing is that the camera should be the most stable using as little extension as possible. I rarely focus very close.

For wides: use the rearmost hole that does not include the bed in the image with the lens focused at infinity. Bring the rear standard forward as needed for infinity focus.

BradS
18-Nov-2011, 11:41
The issue is certainly not specific to the Chamonix - although the Chamonix's peculiar design does seem to emphasize the dilemma.

As others have said, after a while, your mind becomes trained to the camera and, in deed, the whole process. When your brain is liberated from thinking about the technical issues, you stop working the camera and are free to concentrate on working the image.

Jim Peterson
18-Nov-2011, 12:01
I also have had the Chamonix for a couple of months and have a 135mm and 200mm lens. I use the second hole out for the 135 and the third hole out for the 200. Just by trial and error. This seems to be the best spot for each lens that minimizes the amount of focus rack for most shots. Now that is in my brain I go right to those holes for those lenses and then I start worrying about other things. Good luck. Maybe you will find something else that works better for you. Jim

Robert Oliver
18-Nov-2011, 12:13
you need to find the spot that gives you the best balance on the tripod, I try to center the rear and front standards over the tripod head. After you find the sweet spot, it seems pretty easy to remember which hole each lens goes in.

Try the lens in a couple of holes and step off to the side to view it's position over the head... then make a note or commit it to memory.

lilmsmaggie
18-Nov-2011, 12:23
I agree. Once you've found the optimal spot for any particular lens, it becomes second nature. My mentor, the late Per Volquartz seemed to know this intuitively, when teaching me. It's just that I was having so much fun learning and awed in Per's presence, that I never stopped to ask him. Besides, there were just some many things to learn and so many other questions to ask - it just slipped my mind.

For Per, after a lifetime of shooting both in the field and in the studio, it was as simple as breathing but as a newbie, instead of taking it for granted without at least asking a question of "why there?" was a lost learning opportunity for me from one of the best LF photographers and men I have yet to meet.

vinny
18-Nov-2011, 12:44
If u use a rectangular filter holder system, the sliding track will prevent the filter from sliding down far enough if the front standard is screwed in too far back. I usually realize this after composing and focusing the shot. A few four letter words are appropriate. Other than that i just put the front standard in the middle.