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Thread: Getting back into film - why not LF?

  1. #11

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    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    Mikey, an engineer such as you might enjoy at least some of Harold Merklinger's in-depth treatment of depth-of-field and discussion of the "hinge-line."
    file:///C:/...Local/Temp/FVCADNDM.pdf

    I worked at it for a bit and made myself a little chart, but the math is out of my scope, and I found the use of the hinge line too cumbersome in the field. I haven't a mind for geometry. The principle, however, is interesting.
    Merklnger's information is very interesting and I am very familiar with it. I old never recommend it to a 1st time user of LF. It may well cause them to get so involved with the technicalities that they end up not making any images.

  2. #12

    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    A local camera shop has a Wisner 4x5 kit available, including 4 lenses (Schneider 75mm and Fujinon 90mm, 125mm, and 210mm), 9 film holders, fresnel, dark cloth, tripod plate, and 6 month warranty (including lenses). Supposedly all tested, functional/in spec, and light tight. I’m not sure I will find a better bang for the buck setup...

  3. #13

    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    I was a little hesitant to buy the Wisner kit locally, largely due to the no-longer-in-business status of Wisner and the potential headaches that could arise if I needed any camera-specific replacement items. And after researching the specific lenses, it looks like I would have paid a bit of a premium for the kit (but at least I would get a warranty).
    So I researched current companies, and like many others was drawn to Chamonix, and got myself on the waiting list. Looks like I will have a 45F2 by the end of the month! (Along with loupe, folding viewer, and extension board). Now time to start shopping for lenses and everything else...

  4. #14

    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    Update! My 45F-2 arrived a week or two ago, and since then I've been piecing together the rest of my kit. So far, I have amassed:
    • Jobo/Chamonix loupe
    • Folding viewer from Chamonix
    • Extension board
    • Fujinon 125mm f/5.6
    • Rodenstock 210mm f/5.6
    • Cable releases
    • Used Minolta Spot Meter F
    • Slik S103 tripod ($10, good enough for now!)
    • 3 film holders (used Fidelity Elites)
    • Film (TMAX 100, HP5+, and Foma 400)
    • SP-445 "flight pack" with the Foma 400 and SP-76EC, Fixer #7, and SP-H2O Flow
    • Stearman Press Zone-Calc, Zone-view, and logbook
    • thermometer, variety of measuring beakers, chemical bottles, clothespins
    • Epson V600
    • Igloo backpack cooler from Goodwill ($6); insulated/padded, happens to fit the 45F-2 bag perfectly! Camera takes up about half the space with more than enough room for everything else


    I shot my first 4 sheets of film last night (Foma 400, by far the cheapest per sheet) using both lenses (from 8s to 1/8s exposures, variety of apertures from F5.6 to f/22), and developed this morning. Metered at ISO 400 (oops, should have used 250 or 320) but I have a feeling the shutters run a bit slow (maybe partially offsetting my ISO mistake). Slightly pushed the development (based on ZoneCalc output and metering mistake) by mixing the SP-76EC 1+8 (N+0.5?) and developed for 9min, doing my best to follow Stearman's recommendations for the process/chemicals/film. No leaks from the SP-445! And images showed up! They aren't awful, but other than a very quick and dirty iPhone camera scan of one of them, I'll have to wait until they dry to scan and find out if they're more than "not awful". So far I am not seeing any obvious light leaks (loading/unloading in a closet within a closet, handling loaded film holders, and in-camera).

    I did make one silly mistake: using a mailer from Delta Airlines I made a 4"x5" template to practice loading the film into the SP-445, since I don't yet have any scrap film sheets. After developing, in addition to 4 sheets of film I also had a mailer from Delta come out of the tank, so it seems I forgot to remove it from one of the SP-445 holders before I loaded the film into them! Thankfully it didn't seem to affect the quality of the development very much (I think I still had the emulsion side out), and definitely won't be happening again! The sheet was offset by about 1/2", but other than that it looks okay.

    I think at this point I might now be officially "introduced" to large format, and despite some nail biting it is very enjoyable so far!
    Last edited by Mikey Antonakakis; 28-Jun-2021 at 16:13.

  5. #15

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    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~ILIM/courses/...gs/TIAOOFe.pdf is the original address for Merklinger.
    OR just search for "the ins and outs of focus"

  6. #16

    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    Figured out a workable process for negative scanning with the V600. Made a template/mask, scan twice to capture the full negative, then photomerge in Lightroom.
    Spent a lot of time scratching my head on adjustments to make in the scanning software, and finally settled on a no-correction scan ("No Color Correction" in the Configuration menu of EPSON Scan, linear response) followed by a rough estimate of a 2.2 gamma curve in Lightroom. Part of my reasoning for not correcting is to get a more accurate appraisal of the exposure before I do any further processing.

    Here are the first four shots (all Foma 400 metered at 400) in two posts, each processed a bit due to a bit of underexposure:

    #1, First LF photo: Rodenstock 210mm, 8s, f/22. Focused on the mirror frame. Level camera with front rise to center the mirror. Forgot to adjust for the long exposure time, so came out a bit underexposed.
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    #1 detail, ~10x crop:
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    #2: 210mm, 1/8s, f/22. Taken 15 minutes before sunset with overcast skies, mountains with 3000ft prominence directly to the west (peaks are 1.5 mile away). Focused on one of the foreground homes, a little rear tilt to get some of the clouds "in focus".
    Click image for larger version. 

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    #2 detail, ~10x crop. Downtown is 5 miles away and was not used to focus. Pretty cool that I can count the windows, blows my iPhone12 out of the water at least. Forum upload is hurting the resolution on these crops.
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  7. #17

    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    #3, Fujinon 125mm, 1/2s, ~f/6.7, focused on the shutter speed ring of the lens and used some front rise. Cropped out about half of the negative. After a closer look, there may have been a little camera shake.
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    #4, Fuji 125mm, 1/4s, ~f/7. Don't think I used any movements, or maybe used the leftover rise from the previous shot. After 10 minutes I got tired of waiting for the hummingbird to show up again and just took the shot. Was losing light quickly at that point.
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    Last edited by Mikey Antonakakis; 29-Jun-2021 at 21:41.

  8. #18

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    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    Looks GOOD, do the effective B&W film speed testing to set up the basic effective film speed, developer used and development time/process and the remainder of the print making system (in this case scanner). Give up notion if the negative is poor, it can be "fixed-up in software.. Information that was never recorded on film has a strong tendency to resist being recovered unless that information is created then installed.


    Bernice

  9. #19

    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Looks GOOD, do the effective B&W film speed testing to set up the basic effective film speed, developer used and development time/process and the remainder of the print making system (in this case scanner). Give up notion if the negative is poor, it can be "fixed-up in software.. Information that was never recorded on film has a strong tendency to resist being recovered unless that information is created then installed.
    Thanks Bernice! Your point regarding "fixed-up in software" definitely rings true, and my primary aim right now is to get good negatives (to that point, I just started reading Ansel Adams The Negative). In my line of work (railcar testing engineer), I learned pretty quickly that a good analog signal is paramount - the best you can hope to do when digitizing is to not mess it up! And if you digitize a bad analog signal, well... you just end up with garbage data. There are many many telemetry sensor manufacturers that claim their software can do some magic to ensure a good signal; in fact, those sensors work great on a bench, but as soon as you put them on a freight railcar with all its vibrations, they are completely useless.

    I've already identified the first few steps for improvement in the negatives:
    • adjust ISO to a more realistic value (Foma 400 datasheet seems to have some good info, and I will look into film speed testing)
    • measure shutter speeds; already done with the Fuji 125mm, as suspected it runs at least a bit slow at most shutter speeds... it's close to perfect at 1s and 1/2, and somehow also at 1/250, the rest of the range is 10-15% slow. Oh, and 1/400 = 1/250
    • don't forget to adjust with long exposures. Foma datasheet seems to be too pessimistic here (6x multiplier with 10s shutter, my 8s exposure with zero compensation was underexposed, but I don't think by 2+ stops)
    • don't leave literal garbage in the developing tank!


    P.S. I seem to have fixed the attachments in the second photo post, hopefully they show up now.

  10. #20

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    Re: Getting back into film - why not LF?

    Mikey, it's great to see that you've gotten off to such a fine start and are enjoying it so much. You seem to have avoided a number of typical pitfalls, which may be due in part to your thoughtful and analytical engineer training. All the better. (And $10 for a decent tripod is hard to beat.)

    You may have done this automatically, but if not, consider keeping a record of servicing for your equipment, perhaps on a extra Excel sheet, if you keep your equipment inventory data in one, and set calendar reminders for next service. Since our lenses, shutters, and meters are no longer manufactured, keeping them serviced is wise. Periodic clean, lube, and adjust (CLA) will vary with condition, last check-up, use, and, in some cases, climate and conditions. I have three formats of camera, 35, 645, and 4x5, and keep records and reminders for all (along with battery change reminders).

    Looking forward to seeing more of your successes!
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

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