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

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

One other thought that will make your large format life more enjoyable.

Allow for vagueness, embrace it.

For example your question about which hole and my answer of whatever. The real work that the framework of your camera does is position the lens and film in space.

You could, and some have, mount a lens on one tripod and the film on another and stretch a bellows between the two to make a camera.

The framework of your camera is just there to make it easier than that. There is no right or wrong way to use it.

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

One way to think about bellows extension is just that it's a measurement from one standard to the other.

If you are using a 90mm lens, focused at infinity, your front standard and rear standard will be about 90mm apart. If you are focused close, at 1:1 reproduction ("macro") the standards will be 180mm apart. How many stops do you need to correct? Take a zero off the mm and convert them to apertures - 90 vs. 180 becomes f/9 vs. f/18. Then you can look at your aperture ring on your lens and count the stops - 2 stops. So if you're at 1/60th shutter, you really should be at 1/15th, all else equal.

Let's say you have a 90mm lens, and it's focused closer than infinity, but not 1:1. Say you measure 135mm between your standards. f/9 vs. f/13.5, kind of weird, but that's about one stop. So instead of 1/60th, you use 1/30th.

Let's say you have a 90mm lens, focused at 2:1 macro. You've got 360mm between the standards. How many stops? f/9 to f/36? Looking at the aperture ring on the lens, and count off four stops, or about the same as f/8 to f/32.

A good thing to carry with you is a small measuring tape, or just remember that your first finger is Xmm long, and your thumb is Ymm long, etc.

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

Thanks. And yes, now that I am grasping the actual workings of lens, film, camera, it helps me to comprehend it. Yeah I can use my Hasselblad and Leica and other cameras, but never did I think much about the science behind it all. Literally moving the lens back and forth, is new to me...in a way. Although I understand now this was always happening when focusing any analog camera, just more pronounced and apparent in a view camera.

Because I didn't fully understand what I was doing, is why my mind was rambling for, "well shit, which hole do I use?"

Just growing pains.

And for the app, yes that is what I am using (well not when I took the shots)! For "bellows extension" am I correct inputting the distance from "middle of the lens" to the film plane. Not the total distance minus the focal length or anything "additional extension". For instance:

Focal Length: 210mm (8.3")
Bellows Extension: 310mm (12.2")

Meaning it is an additional 3.9" beyond where it would/should be in focus for a scene at infinity. Correct, no?

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

Originally Posted by fishbulb
One way to think about bellows extension is just that it's a measurement from one standard to the other.

If you are using a 90mm lens, focused at infinity, your front standard and rear standard will be about 90mm apart. If you are focused close, at 1:1 reproduction ("macro") the standards will be 180mm apart. How many stops do you need to correct? Take a zero off the mm and convert them to apertures - 90 vs. 180 becomes f/9 vs. f/18. Then you can look at your aperture ring on your lens and count the stops - 2 stops. So if you're at 1/60th shutter, you really should be at 1/15th, all else equal.

Let's say you have a 90mm lens, and it's focused closer than infinity, but not 1:1. Say you measure 135mm between your standards. f/9 vs. f/13.5, kind of weird, but that's about one stop. So instead of 1/60th, you use 1/30th.

Let's say you have a 90mm lens, focused at 2:1 macro. You've got 360mm between the standards. How many stops? f/9 to f/36? Looking at the aperture ring on the lens, and count off four stops, or about the same as f/8 to f/32.

A good thing to carry with you is a small measuring tape, or just remember that your first finger is Xmm long, and your thumb is Ymm long, etc.
Ahaha. Got it sir. That is what I began to think. Perfect!!!! Thank you.

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

Originally Posted by appletree
Thanks. And yes, now that I am grasping the actual workings of lens, film, camera, it helps me to comprehend it. Yeah I can use my Hasselblad and Leica and other cameras, but never did I think much about the science behind it all. Literally moving the lens back and forth, is new to me...in a way. Although I understand now this was always happening when focusing any analog camera, just more pronounced and apparent in a view camera.

Because I didn't fully understand what I was doing, is why my mind was rambling for, "well shit, which hole do I use?"

Just growing pains.

And for the app, yes that is what I am using (well not when I took the shots)! For "bellows extension" am I correct inputting the distance from "middle of the lens" to the film plane. Not the total distance minus the focal length or anything "additional extension". For instance:

Focal Length: 210mm (8.3")
Bellows Extension: 310mm (12.2")

Meaning it is an additional 3.9" beyond where it would/should be in focus for a scene at infinity. Correct, no?
Not sure about how to use the app, don't use it. No need to be that exact.

In the interest of embracing the vague make the math super simple. If you double the focal length add two stops of exposure, half way between (310ish) just add half that, 1 stop. It's an infinite scale between the two, with a little practice you can just know that I'm stretching out a ways I need to add a "some" extra.

Negative film has a huge usability range, a little under the meter or a fair chunk over, generally ain't no thing to worry about, you adjust for differences when you print. Perfect textbook exposure only counts when you are shooting slides, not negs.

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

Thus the following. Using my previous posted numbers.

210mm focal length lens.

NO EXTENSION
front of lens to film plane: 9.5" or 241.3mm
front standard to film plane: 7 5/8" or 193.675mm

EXTENSION
*used the photos as reference and extended it out very similar to that during take these shots
front of lens to film plane: 14" or 355.6mm
front standard to film plane: 12 1/8" or 307.975mm

The only number I really need is that one.
210mm at infinity would be f/21.
310mm extension would be f/31.
Thus about 1/2 a stop additional would be needed, plus whatever reciprocity factor is included in.
No! Wrong. A full stop. Half stop would be like f27 or something weird.

So, from this exercise and me thinking about 90mm vs 210mm, I was wrong, I think...
I thought I would be able to get more macro/closer to the subject with my 210mm lens. But I think this is wrong. Because I could start with the lens further back (closer to the film plane) and not need to extend the bellows as much to double the distance to 180mm.
Or am I way off/confused?

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

Originally Posted by Mark Barendt
Not sure about how to use the app, don't use it. No need to be that exact.

In the interest of embracing the vague make the math super simple. If you double the focal length add two stops of exposure, half way between (310ish) just add half that, 1 stop. It's an infinite scale between the two, with a little practice you can just know that I'm stretching out a ways I need to add a "some" extra.

Negative film has a huge usability range, a little under the meter or a fair chunk over, generally ain't no thing to worry about, you adjust for differences when you print. Perfect textbook exposure only counts when you are shooting slides, not negs.
Ok, understood and thanks. Simple math is always a struggle for me...I am an engineer and a perfectionist. But for the sake of all things considered yes you are right. As long as I expose for the shadows (slightly overexpose) and develop for the highlights (slightly underdevelop). I mean film (negatives, from my experience) is very forgiving.

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

My daughter is an engineer too, we joke that she can't handle "real" numbers just "fake" ones, so yes I understand.

As for forgiving, I develop all my negatives normally, my contrast adjustments are done when printing with VC paper. Under and over developing film is only important for matching the paper you use. If you aren't using single grade paper then...

As to exposure, shot anywhere from 1 under to 2 or 3 over I can print exactly what I want. Try it sometime, meter and do all the math then shoot one sheet at 1-under and one at 2 or 3-over and then try and make the same print from both. I can do either reliably. Knowing that allows me to set exposure like I salt my steak, a good guess is typically plenty close.

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

Great. Thanks for all your help.

And I would test it easier, but I rent a lab to do my printing.
And I have printed primarily on Ilford MGFB Warmtone Semi-Matte paper. As well as Ilford MG Art 300 paper.

I am a novice at printing! Self taught and not enough practice. It is an entire art form, I think Ansel said it is where the magic happens.

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

Originally Posted by appletree
So, from this exercise and me thinking about 90mm vs 210mm, I was wrong, I think...
I thought I would be able to get more macro/closer to the subject with my 210mm lens. But I think this is wrong. Because I could start with the lens further back (closer to the film plane) and not need to extend the bellows as much to double the distance to 180mm.
Or am I way off/confused?
Yes, the trials and tribulations of macro photography. Bellows extension is just like using extension tubes on 35mm. You can get a better reproduction ratio with a wider angle lens and a shorter bellows (2:1 with a 90mm = 360mm bellows, versus 1:1 with a 210mm = 420mm bellows). But the tradeoff is that the angle of view on the 90mm is much wider than the 210mm, so at 1:1, the 90mm is much closer to the subject than the 210mm would be at 1:1.

Just like with 35mm macro work, you can use a shorter lens for subjects that aren't going to move and you don't mind getting your camera real close to them - inches away. For skittish subjects (bugs, lizards, whatever), or if you need space between the camera and the subject to avoid casting shadows, then you need a longer lens with a narrower angle of view so you can keep the camera further away.

If you do really get serious about macro on large format, you may want to buy a dedicated macro lens like the Nikon Nikkor-AM ED 120mm f/5.6 or a similar lens from one of the other manufacturers. These lenses were specifically designed to be used at 1:1 reproduction - the tradeoff is that they don't perform well for other uses, but are excellent at 1:1. But they aren't that cheap (\$500+ for the Nikon) so it's a lot of money to spend for a single-purpose lens.

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