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Thread: Human sized camera

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Human sized camera

    Hi all,

    I've been lurking here quite a few times in the past, looking for insights about ULF. I'm really interested in ULF projects like Ian Ruther a or Kurt Moser did. I'm a french professional photographer, I also teach in a school of photography. Here is my website : www.tiphainebuccino.com

    My project
    No electricity, no photography. No oil, no photography. No plastic, no photography. One night, as I was looking for sleep, I wondered why there isn't it already a "green" photography. I mean, today all is rebranded with an ecological bias. There will be a day soon that some big brand come to you with a greenwhashed camera and our conscience will be happy.

    I started wondering: "what a real ecologic way to make photography ?" Short answer, there is none. You can just be careful, use less.

    I then began to imagine a photography that can work autonomously. I wanted to be autonomous (Photographic paper is one big question but we come to it later); not depends on a manufacturer, a brand, an energy.

    Large prints were always on the table. It always as. I mean, it is not really bound with the ethical and autonomous approach I dream of. It is just the way I like to see and show my work. And all that times I teach the concept of camera obscura to people, I would have liked for us to be in the camera, so much easier to understand; So powerful !

    Camera
    Building a human sized camera. Lightweight and that can be taken to pieces (like Abelardo Morell's one). I'm thinking of a tent like structure made of wooden bars.

    Lens
    After many searches on internet, I found the APO NIKKOR 1210mm seems to suit my project. The image diagonal/price ratio is my priority. It has to make the biggest image, for the less money.

    What for
    Landscapes mainly. Would love to try long exposures of farm animals also.

    Technology
    I am really into color photography and I want my setup to be mobile. Direct positive (Type-R) was my first choice, but sadly, Cibachrome is over. Then I found about the Harmann Direct Positive Paper wich develops in cafenol. This is the option I take for now.

    I would like to use this thread to asks you all for advices, show you the progress of this project I'm starting and may be long to achieve.

    Questions

    - Is the 1210mm a good option ? The diagonal is around 1,20m isn't it ? Does it exists other affordable lenses in that kind of ranges ?
    - Is there a better place than eBay to buy lenses ?
    - Would it work with a simple hole ? What would be the cons and pros of a pin hole ? Is it just about sharpness ?
    - For the tent, I'm looking for something lightweight, fully opaque, without plastic or oil in it. Any ideas ?

    I'm open for any kind of tips, ideas, artists to discover, so feel free to share, I look forward to read you !
    Last edited by tiphaine; 7-May-2020 at 05:37.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    590

    Re: Human sized camera

    Refrigerator box roughly 4x4 feet/ 1220mm in the USA, not sure what size a fridge in France would be but there may be other furniture boxes you could use. Tape roll printing paper to moveable wall/easel inside of the box for focus. May need to create a cloth cover to make it opaque and you will likely need a support for the lens. Coat your own paper for faster speeds than enlarging papers.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    4,565

    Re: Human sized camera

    Start practice with smaller formats, with focal around 600, a Lomo O-2 600, a cheap Apo Ronar...

    You may use simple Variable Contrast paper, use a yellow-green filter to lower contrast. You obtain a paper negative and later you make a contact copy (emulsion side on emulsion side). Regular BW photo paper can also be reverse processed.

    Learn all you can about sensitometry, you have to nail your exposures and highlight/shadow depiction: "Beyond the zone system" book, Phil Davis.




    Quote Originally Posted by tiphaine View Post
    - Is the 1210mm a good option ? The diagonal is around 1,20m isn't it ? Does it exists other affordable lenses in that kind of ranges ?
    It is an excellent choice.

    1210, f/12.5, dialyte, 40 coverage, near 4kg

    https://galerie-photo.com/apo-process-nikkors-en.html

    Image circle (format diagonal) is 880mm, if focused at infinite, See how it is calculated:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Image circle is the one manufacturer says image is good inside, it may illuminate more than this but quality degradates beyond the Image Circle boundary.

    With process lenses image circle may be given for close subject distance, not at infinite. With a close subject you extend bellows to focus, and the same coverage angle gives a larger circle than for infinite focus, be careful with that because circle can be specified for 1:1, not for infinite focus.


    More choices: Zeiss Apo-Tessar 900mm/9 , 769€ Ebay now

    See this: https://www.angusparkerphoto.com/blo...ndations-14x17 (ronar, germinar, artar...)



    Quote Originally Posted by tiphaine View Post
    - Is there a better place than eBay to buy lenses ?
    It's not about the place, it's about you. You need to know what you want and being patient to find a good opportunity. Ebay is good because you know the seller's reputation, paypay protects you, and you may buy articles that can be returned, but there are other ways.


    Quote Originally Posted by tiphaine View Post
    - Would it work with a simple hole ? What would be the cons and pros of a pin hole ? Is it just about sharpness ?
    Of course it will work, your aperture will be small so exposure will be long. With pinhole you have the blurr confusion circle around the hole size, suposing subjet is far, a larger blurr circle if subject is close.

    For a 1200mm focal you are to use a 1.5mm hole delivering f/822 . Here it balances optimal diffraction vs hole : https://www.mrpinhole.com/holesize.php

    Your image would have a 1.5mm blurr circle.

    Pros: you only need a hole, a 1.5 mm one it's easy to make. Holes for smaller formats have to be better machined to do a good job.

    Cons: low speed, 1.5mm blur for f= 1200.


    Quote Originally Posted by tiphaine View Post
    - For the tent, I'm looking for something lightweight, fully opaque, without plastic or oil in it. Any ideas ?
    Not lightweight but quite convenient:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Human sized camera

    The largest Harman direct positive paper I see on their website is 11x14. So, as a budget lens you might look for a 210 mm Angulon.

    If you want to do 'long focal length' photography, like Feininger, a +1 diopter close up lens has a focal length of 1000mm. You could use that.

  5. #5

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    Re: Human sized camera

    OP, you are mistaken about the 1210/12.5 Apo Nikkor's image circle. According to Nikon literature and as was pointed out in post #3 above, it covers 40 degrees. This means an image circle of 880 mm at infinity, larger closer up.

    Extension -- distance from a lens' rear node, which for process lenses is "not far" from the diaphragm, to the film plane -- when the lens is focused at infinity is the lens' focal length. Greater when focused at closer distances.

    Tent and trailer fantasies are all well and good but the lens and film holder really have to be mounted on the same support -- platform, rail, ... -- to keep the film plane perpendicular to the lens' axis.

    About buying lenses. If you must have a 1210/12.5 Apo-Nikkor, they turn up more often on yahoo.jp than on ebay.com. I get into yahoo.jp via buyee.jp, a front end with a translator. They're uncommon and expensive. Budget $4k.

    Good luck, have fun, visit galerie-photo.info and seek help and advice there.

  6. #6

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    Re: Human sized camera

    Sounds like you need a pretty large lens.

    Scroll through this link and on the second page you will find a landscape image (the only one I believe) taken with the custom made Fuu-Diing-Chen lens for the ill fated "Dream Community" project

    https://www.photrio.com/forum/thread...ogress.122544/

  7. #7
    Scyg's Avatar
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    Re: Human sized camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post

    Start practice with smaller formats, with focal around 600
    I'll respectfully disagree here - go right to your intended size. Starting small won't ease the learning curve. The only advantage is material cost, but you'll be buying two sets of optics and building two sets of cameras. Doesn't seem like an efficient way to go about figuring things out.

    I may be biased, but I'd recommend going with a pinhole, at least at first, until you've got your process figured out better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    For a 1200mm focal you are to use a 1.5mm hole delivering f/822 . Here it balances optimal diffraction vs hole : https://www.mrpinhole.com/holesize.php

    Your image would have a 1.5mm blurr circle.

    Pros: you only need a hole, a 1.5 mm one it's easy to make. Holes for smaller formats have to be better machined to do a good job.

    Cons: low speed, 1.5mm blur for f= 1200.
    All true, but at large print sizes your longer viewing distance makes up for a lot of the softness. It'll never look like something done with a Nikkor, but you'll get a lot fewer problems with DOF and messing with the plane of focus .

  8. #8

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    Re: Human sized camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    I'll respectfully disagree here - go right to your intended size. Starting small won't ease the learning curve. The only advantage is material cost, but you'll be buying two sets of optics and building two sets of cameras. Doesn't seem like an efficient way to go about figuring things out.
    Well... not only material cost, building a MF (Monster format) setup may require several design iterations, but YMMV.



    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    I may be biased, but I'd recommend going with a pinhole, at least at first, until you've got your process figured out better.
    At 1200mm focal the good pinhole aperture is around f/800, and Type-R paper is ISO 1 to 3. Combination of the two things... OP may use a 3mm hole with that blur and regular photopaper with ISO around 8, which would divide exposure time by 30.



    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    but at large print sizes your longer viewing distance makes up for a lot of the softness. It'll never look like something done with a Nikkor, but you'll get a lot fewer problems with DOF and messing with the plane of focus .
    If a print has to be sharp at reading distance orat viewing distance this is a personal choice, but that pinhole print would only look sharp from around 3m far, around x10 times the reading distance as it would resolve 0.6 lp/mm with a 1.5mm hole.

    Instead if you shot (say) regular 5x7" then you can enlarge a monster print that is totally sharp at reading distance.

    Here also YMMV, nothing wrong in crafting that with pinhole, but the Kurt Moser way mentioned by OP is/was a high performance bet, wet plate has amazing resolving power, and the APO-Nikkor 1780mm has to be resolving an impressive IQ for the format, to the point that we would need an strong magnifier (x15) to see the image limits of that directly crafted image...

  9. #9
    Scyg's Avatar
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    Re: Human sized camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Well... not only material cost, building a MF (Monster format) setup may require several design iterations, but YMMV.
    Agreed, though upscaling is a somewhat different process than simple design iteration, and introduces additional variables into the equation. Question of personal choice how you tackle the problem.

  10. #10

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    Re: Human sized camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    Agreed, though upscaling is a somewhat different process than simple design iteration, and introduces additional variables into the equation. Question of personal choice how you tackle the problem.

    in this case uscalling it's easy. We have a tent with probably a vertical Melamine Board working as a projection screen...

    Look: no holders...

    We throw 3M Re Mount glue on the Melamine Board, hanged from a frame... it can tilt. The frame can swing as it rests on the ground.

    After framing we place place a cap on the rear cell and we open red light.

    We place the photo paper on the Board and we remove the cap on the lens...

    Then we develop inmediatelly inside the tent, or we place the sheet in a tube to be processed at home. But we may want to process test strips in the location to see how good is exposure.


    What is upscalling here ?

    Well, it is making a 1.2m tray for the media size OP suggested, and locating a 1200mm lens. The nikkor or an APO-Ronar-CL...


    The 1200 glass is the big investment... and it may take months or years locating one. Instead we may start with a $150 600mm glass in two weeks, using a regular 38" darkroom plastic tray, $40. Enough to judge if one likes that path and what amount is worth to spend in the 1200mm glass.

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