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Thread: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

  1. #1
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    Hi all! I hope this is in the right place, if not feel free to move Mods.

    Thanks always for the sound advice and help. A few questions after shooting some still life's last afternoon/night. 6 total on expired Delta 100 for practice.

    ::Helpful information::
    Camera: Chamonix 045N-2
    Lens Owned: Schneider Symmar-S 210mm f5.6 and Nikon Nikkor 90mm f5.6

    ::Process::
    I did the following (loosely): Got subject and camera in position. Focused roughly with the lens wide open. Then focused using my loupe. I kept my glasses on (for far distances) as it worked better. All under the darkcloth. After this I metered the scene and went back under darkcloth to check everything again. I had to view the image upside down (literally turning my head to visualize) haha...on a few images. I know I will get use to it, but I was worried about it being disproportionate/crooked, etc that my eyes might not catch with the image upside down on the ground glass. I made the subject horizontal and the edge of the table/background do it's own thing. Once everything checked out I put the film holder in. Closed the lens and cocked the shutter (messed up once and didn't close the lens! it was a 4s exposure so maybe not ruined, I noticed it wasn't triggering the shutter after a few seconds and quickly closed the lens). Took out the darkslide and took the photo. Reversed the darkslide and inserted. Then noted everything down.

    ::Questions::
    1) First of all how do I know which hole to use for my front standard? I google'd it and it seems no definitive answer. I guess there is no right or wrong? Just whatever works to give the user the most lateral movements?
    For example, (if I understand correctly), I used a 210mm focal length lens for subject that was maybe 2-3ft away. Thus my lens was extended far out. No point mounting the standard on a hole closer to the film plan as I might run out of movement room or simply extend it much further than that which makes sense?

    2) Movements. I didn't use any. Should I be using them if I want to focus on a different plane? For example on a diagonal line or something? Otherwise, am I "incorrect" in not using them?

    3) One of the darkslides I noticed much later was not inserted all the way. About 90%. It seemed to have been hung up on the flap that is at the bottom of the film holder, had to "jam" it in to get the slide to go all the way down. Not sure if light was getting in or not. I should develop tonight and will find out.

    4) Speaking of that flap. I felt like I didn't have enough fingers when loading film. I was so nervous about dust and scratching the negative. When I inserted the negative, film notches to the bottom right, I tried to hold down the flap from rubbing on the backside of the negative when being inserted in the grooves.

    5) The negatives seem to move slightly once "seated" in the holder before closing the flap and darkside back. Is this normal?

    6) I forgot to rap the film holders. Although I was very careful with dust. Had my rocket blower with me and cleaned em all off beforehand, then back into the ziplocs. Then only out of the ziplocs when loading or taking a shot.

    7) Aperture. I guess this is no different than the other 3000 photos I have taken. Based on the subject, movement (wind, etc), and DOF I want I go from there. I metered and chose apertures the same as always, not sure if I am supposed to do something different or take bellows into account or anything? Delta 100, my meter was saying about 1/2s to 4s for f5.6, whereas a shot at f22 was 30s. Perhaps I should have taken reciprocity into account for the 30s shot. I should be a better photographer. Well, lots to learn!

    A few random photos:



    Thanks for any advice in my first time adventure. Excited/hopeful to see if I made any images!
    Last edited by appletree; 21-Apr-2015 at 12:03. Reason: Typo!

  2. #2

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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    dude..your apple is upside down.. maybe your camera is broken

  3. #3
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    Nah, I may be new, but I know it's supposed to be upside down. My mind just has not gotten use to it yet! I only did it (turned my head around like a goofball) for two images to make sure I had the proper angles and POV that I wanted. My brain will adjust in time.

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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    Please read the basic articles on operating the camera, loading film, etc. on the LF home page, if you have not already done so.

    "Once everything checked out I put the darkslide in." Do you mean film holder? If not, you probably exposed the film before realizing it.

    Regarding loading film in the film holders (question #3) : avoid jamming the slide, or otherwise forcing things. If you have to force something, that usually means something is mis-aligned. I would test that film holder for light leaks before using it for an important picture.

    The film should not move much in the film holder (maybe 1.5 millimeters in the short-direction). Of course it can move a lot in the long direction, but you should feel a positive stop in the film if it is fully inserted. If you decide to use a notching system on the flap to identify film, the notch won't show if the film is fully inserted (assuming you use a double sided film holder like a Riteway or Fidelity), so you will have to move it slightly back towards the flap.

    Your first pictures could be test shots of things with a wide tonal range, to get used to film and processing, as well as checking shutter speeds if not already calibrated; close shots with long bellows extensions complicates the situation -- keep it simple when starting out. Also, movements can be tricky to evaluate on the ground glass. You may want to take scenes that don't really need it to make sure your basic focusing skills are good.

    Expect to make a lot of mistakes in the beginning, and learn to slow down.

  5. #5
    fishbulb's Avatar
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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    The trick I found for loading film holders: only slide the darkslide out about an inch before loading - don't take the darkslide all the way out. Then it is almost impossible to accidentally load the film into the slots that the darkslide slides in.

    My loading process: I usually hold the film holder in my left hand, with my thumb and pinky on the sides. I use my first finger of the same hand to hold the flap back so it doesn't get in the way. With my right hand, I reach down and grab a sheet of film with my thumb and middle finger, and with my right first finger on the top (notched) edge to double check the orientation. Then I slide the film in.

    As far as the plastic flaps, just make sure they are all closed - re-check them once you're done loading them - before you turn the lights on.
    -Adam

  6. #6
    Les
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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    If it helps any, put up a sticky note onto the camera...defining proper sequence...and just follow that. Ha, the tree could be upside down, so long the apple is right side up, eh ? :>).

    Les

  7. #7
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    Thanks for the advice. Yes I meant film holder! I am fairly confident I did everything fine, other than a few bumps here and there. Overall ended up with a few easy questions, I would assume. Had someone been standing next to me, it would have been one sentence answers for most of my questions.

    The play is only 1-2mm in the short range. I suspected it normal and for varying sizes of film from manufacturers.

    And yes, I spent about 2hrs on the 6 photos. Just getting used to the camera, my tripod, focusing, playing with the apertures, etc.

    I tested the speeds of the lens and it seems fine. And I agree, might be wise to have some test shots (which is what these were) of more distant subjects without the bellows extended and a wide tonal range.

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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    #1. What holes? My Deardorff does not have holes.
    #2. Don't overuse movements, only if you need to change the plane of focus.
    #3 & #4 What flap? Load a holder in the light so you can see what the hell you're doing.
    #5. Who cares?
    #6. I thought rap had something to do with music. I haven't rapped holders in 30 years.
    #7. If you're using Dagors, use f45. If modern lenses f22.

    L

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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by appletree View Post
    7) Aperture. I guess this is no different than the other 3000 photos I have taken.
    Not necessarily. If your previous work was done with smaller format cameras then bellows extension factor was not, well, a factor. Keep in mind that when a lens is racked out to twice its focal length (420mm in the case of your 210mm) you need to either open the lens up two stops or extend the exposure time by two stops to compensate. In this hypothetical case a 15 second metered exposure would become 60 seconds.

    Perhaps I should have taken reciprocity into account for the 30s shot.
    Perhaps so.

    J.
    Last edited by jcoldslabs; 21-Apr-2015 at 19:44. Reason: Syntax.

  10. #10

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    Re: First Photos Taken on 4x5 - A Few Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by appletree View Post
    7) ... I metered and chose apertures the same as always, not sure if I am supposed to do something different or take bellows into account or anything? Delta 100, my meter was saying about 1/2s to 4s for f5.6, whereas a shot at f22 was 30s. Perhaps I should have taken reciprocity into account for the 30s shot...
    Yes and yes. You probably should have corrected for both reciprocity failure and bellows extension factor.

    This from the Delta 100 data sheet, which is similar to other Ilford B&W films in terms of reciprocity correction needed:

    For exposures between 1/2 and 1/10 000 second, no adjustments are needed for reciprocity law failure. When exposures longer than 1/2 second are given,
    100 DELTA Professional along with other films, needs to be given more exposure than indicated by a meter.

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