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Thread: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

  1. #1

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    Question 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    I've recently taken-on a project for large format photography and couldn't be more ecstatic!

    My initial plan was to shoot the entire project on 8x10, but I've discovered that that certain images will require shutter speeds at/or around 1/250 - 1/400, and concluded that I might have to fallback to medium format to get the job done - the project itself covers a province that is renown for its wind and heavy seas, which in turn, will require capturing in the work portfolio.

    Having said that, and as the initial terms were set on large format, I was wondering if I might gain shutter speeds on a 4x5 system w/Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 and 800 film?

    For the record, I don't need any movements whatsoever, and could ultimate resort to using a 6x12 back on a 4x5 system if that would help.
    Though other than that, I would love to consider some ideas on how I might achieve the intended results without compromising on the initial terms?

    Thanks in advance for all your help with this

  2. #2

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    If you're going to use 4x5 and don't need movements and won't need lenses longer than 375 mm and no shorter than 65 mm, a Speed Graphic will do. Curtain shutter, speeds to 1/1000.

  3. #3

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    I think there are issues beyond shutter speed if you are going to use a large format camera in inclement conditions.

    1. Copal 0 and 1 shutters will get you where you need to be in terms of shutter speed but 4x5 and 8x10 usually require quite small f-stops for optimum depth of field so you will need to take that into account. Shooting at f5.6 or f8 in dull weather has a lot of other potential downsides.

    2 Large format cameras do not fair well in the wind and are not waterproof so that needs to be considered. If you are going to use a wide angle there are more rigid options than a traditional view camera that might be worth looking at. Otherwise setting up an event shelter and shooting from that might be one way of shooting in wind and rain, or even from the boot of a 4x4?

    3. It's quite likely you'll have to push your film too, so that will require some testing. If you pushed HP5 to 1600 that would give you 1/500 at f11 or 1/250 at F16 if we assume 1/500 @ f5.6 is the standard reading for a cloudy day at 400 iso. But would that yield more quality than medium format rated at 400 iso?

    There is a lot to think about!

  4. #4

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    a speed graphic and a fast projector lens.

  5. #5
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Esstee View Post
    Having said that, and as the initial terms were set on large format, I was wondering if I might gain shutter speeds on a 4x5 system w/Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 and 800 film?
    You won't gain any shutter speeds by switching formats, but using higher-speed film will help.
    Test your film as much as you can before starting on this, and use the equipment that you're most comfortable with under these conditions.
    What matters in the end is the quality of the photographs and if your client is happy. They don't care which format or film you're using.

  6. #6

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    it is the rare LF shutter which will produce the shutter speeds you are talking about. The only reliable one is a Speed Graphic on which the focal plane shutter has been CLA'd by a reliable repairman recently. NO between the lens shutter is likely to do what you desire.

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    The only leaf shutter to accomplish that feat is that of the Super Speed Graphic also found on the so-called “Model 1000” Top RF Speed Graphic (in actuality a top RF Crown, but went by the Speed moniker). I’ve put mine on a shutter tester and found the top speed to be shy of a true 1/1000 (closer to 1/700-1/800 depending). I believe there were two or three lenses offered with this shutter but the most common being a pretty garden variety 135mm Rodenstock.

  8. #8

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    If stop motion is involved, a medium format camera system WILL do FAR better than any view camera. Larger film does NOT instantly result in higher quality images.

    Curious, why and where did the belief-idea larger film is a "better" way over smaller film formats?


    Bernice


    [QUOTE=Esstee;1601622]

    My initial plan was to shoot the entire project on 8x10, but I've discovered that that certain images will require shutter speeds at/or around 1/250 - 1/400, and concluded that I might have to fallback to medium format to get the job done -


    ***the project itself covers a province that is renown for its wind and heavy seas, which in turn, will require capturing in the work portfolio.***

    Having said that, and as the initial terms were set on large format, I was wondering if I might gain shutter speeds on a 4x5 system w/Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 and 800 film?

    For the record, I don't need any movements whatsoever, and could ultimate resort to using a 6x12 back on a 4x5 system if that would help.
    Though other than that, I would love to consider some ideas on how I might achieve the intended results without compromising on the initial terms?

    [QUOTE]

  9. #9
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    I've done those sort of shutter speeds with 8x10 but wouldn't recommend any 8x10 for windy weather.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAjyYixKXm8
    It's a speed graphic used as a behind the lens shutter.
    If 4x5 then a normal speed graphic might be a good option. Older ones have more shutter speeds.

  10. #10

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    Re: 4x5 lens recommendation for fast shutter speeds

    Now that you mentioned it, being near shore = higher humidity that can cause the sheet film to buckle badly until it evens out on it's own, so a roll format might behave better...

    The Graflex 1000 leaf shutter is not holding up well in time, so not a sure bet to use...

    Even 1/500 - 1/1000th sec is kinda slow with heavy surf, so test first if possible...

    Steve K

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