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Thread: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

  1. #1

    New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Hi to all. First i would like to say that im enjoying very much this forum. Im a professional photographer with experience in 35mm , medium format and digital DSLR.
    A retired photographer friend of mine has provided to me a Cambo sr 45. It is in mint condition because he used it one or two times only. It has a Calumet back for 120 film and a Polaroid back also its normal 4x5 back with a Fidelity Cassette. It only has 1 optic , a Rodenstock Sironar - N 5,6 210 mm mounted in a Copal 1 shutter.

    I have some questions about the equipment.

    1.- About the optics, wich would be necessary in order to cover the normal ( 150 mm ) and the wide angle? Wich brands / types would you recommend to me?
    2.- Do i need to change the optics and the shutter or only the optics?
    3.- i would like to start taking BW 4x5 film. Some recommendations on cheap film in order to practise?
    4.- Is there any possibilities for this camera to attach a Digital Medium Format Back? Wich? Do i need some adapter ?


    thank you very much in advance!
    Greetings from Spain!!

    Roberto

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  2. #2
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Hi Roberto, and welcome aboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by valdeazores View Post
    1.- About the optics, wich would be necessary in order to cover the normal ( 150 mm ) and the wide angle? Wich brands / types would you recommend to me?
    A wide-angle lens for 4x5 would be 120mm down to 65mm. A couple are available even shorter, like 47mm.
    One important thing to check when considering a lens is the diameter of the "image circle" (IC). This should
    be at least 165mm to properly cover 4x5. A larger IC permits greater movements. This is a concept unique*
    to large format photography, and you may not be familiar with it.

    The IC is normally specified at f/22 for f/5.6 lenses, and f/16 for faster f/4 lenses. You'll find it on the datasheet.
    Some datasheets also specify the IC at full aperture. If you expect to shoot wide open be sure to check that.

    LF lenses are not fast, with f/5.6 being the norm for lenses of most focal lengths. Some short lenses are f/4, and
    many long lenses are f/8 or slower.

    There are four "major" manufacturers: Schneider-Kreuznach, Rodenstock, Nikon (Nikkor), and Fujinon.
    I suggest you download their catalogs (readily available online) and read the descriptions of the various types.
    All of their lenses are excellent. You won't find a bad one in the entire group.

    I would stick with modern lenses. You'll find lots of older ones with very low prices, but there's a reason.
    Also, stick with modern Copal shutters like you already have. They come in sizes 0, 1, and 3. There is no 2.
    Many Fujinon lenses come in Seiko shutters. These are probably fine, but I've never used one so I don't know.


    Quote Originally Posted by valdeazores View Post
    2.- Do i need to change the optics and the shutter or only the optics?
    The optics and shutter are normally kept together as a unit, just referred to as the lens.
    The aperture scale on the shutter must match the optics if you expect the settings to be valid, so
    most people do not interchange optics and shutters.

    Most people have a separate lensboard for each lens, and leave the lens mounted permanently. Lenses are removed by unscrewing the rear cell, then removing the retaining ring around the shutter using a special wrench. The hole in the lensboard is larger than the threads on the shutter because the retaining ring has a ledge that sits in that hole.
    Here's the lens wrench: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ns_Wrench.html

    Your Sironar-N is an excellent lens, with apochromatic correction, although that's not engraved on the lens.
    It's slightly longer than a "normal" 4x5 lens, but many people would use it as their normal lens on 4x5.

    Quote Originally Posted by valdeazores View Post
    3.- i would like to start taking BW 4x5 film. Some recommendations on cheap film in order to practise?
    My personal favorite b&w film is Fuji Acros, with a speed of 100. It's a marvelous film, particularly
    well suited to long exposures since it has almost no reciprocity law failure. It requires no compensation
    at exposures up to 120 seconds, and only 1/2 stop extra for exposures up to 1000 seconds.

    My second choice is Ilford FP4+, also 100 speed. There are faster films but I don't use any of them.
    There are several other films available, but the number is decreasing rapidly.

    Quote Originally Posted by valdeazores View Post
    4.- Is there any possibilities for this camera to attach a Digital Medium Format Back? Wich? Do i need some adapter ?
    I expect you can put a digital MF back on that camera. I'm sure you'll need an adapter (check with SK Grimes).
    I have an adapter to put my Hasselblad CFV-39 on my Sinar.

    Lenses are always a concern with MF adapters. A 135mm lens for LF works exactly the same as a 135mm for your MF camera, meaning that it provides identical coverage. If you like to shoot wide with the MF, that probably won't work using the MF adapter on the LF body.

    This subject is so broad that you could write a book about it, and many authors have done just that.
    Search Amazon.com for "view camera" and you'll find lots of books and videos on the subject.
    Also, take a look at the homepage here. There are good tutorials available.

    A couple of online resources you might want to check:
    KEH Camera (used equipment dealer) www.keh.com for a good overview of available equipment and prices.
    I highly recommend KEH if you want to buy used equipment. Excellent company to deal with.

    For custom machine work (adapters, lens mounting, etc) SK Grimes www.skgrimes.com

    - Leigh

    *Yes, I know there are shift lenses for 35mm, but they're a poor imitation of LF movements.
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  3. #3
    retrogrouchy
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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    If you want cheap film to play with and learn how to apply movements, have a look at the Arista EDU line from Freestyle. It's rebranded Fomapan and certainly not as good as FP4 or Acros or whatever, but you can still make great images with it and it's far, far cheaper when you're just learning how to use the camera.

  4. #4

    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Hi, thank you Leigh for all your advices, i aprecciatte your help very much. I have another questions about the optics. When you buy another focal to complete your equipment is it better to choose the same brand ? I think that different brands of optics on differents focals can vary the final results in terms of quality of the image ( sharpening , color, etc..)
    And the second question is what kind of optics do i need in order to take macro pictures, like jewelry. I ve seen this Rodenstocks apro Macro Sironar
    http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/en/m...macro-sironar/

    it seems it is special for macro shoots, because with my 210 mm i think it is very dificult to have a short focus distance. I have to separate too much the lensboard and the Glass to obtain a minimal distance of focus.

    Thank you Polyglot for the recommendation of film, i ve founded Fomapan in Spain and the price is cheaper than any other film. Ive founded it here:

    http://www.foto-r3.com/pelicula-byn/...-plana/-placas

    Thanks to all
    Roberto

  5. #5
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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    The use of a macro lens does not reduce the bellows extension. The macro lens is just corrected for use at 1:1 and greater magnifications, rather than for more distant subjects. For jewelry, you'll probably be in the range of 3:1 when using 4x5, and if you are anticipating maintaining a sense of infinite detail in large prints, a lens optimized for macro will work nicely. Don't underestimate the challenge: For 3:1, you'll need an extreme extension of the bellows, maybe beyond the length of your rail, even with the shorter macro lens.

    I have never found it necessary to match brand across a lens range. I have both Rodenstock and Schneider lenses, and my Schneider lenses are of widely varying vintage and design. I think you'll find that modern multicoated lenses perform so well and vary from each other so little that any differences will be quite subtle if visible at all. These differences are tiny compared to the big effects of how you make prints, scan, or otherwise prepare your images for display. All lenses made in the last couple of decades are superb, with the best of the most recent designs that use low-dispersion glass and aspherical shapes being only very slightly better. Large-format lenses do not suffer from lateral color and geometric distortion the way lenses for smaller cameras do, because they are all at least somewhat symmetrical (tessar designs excepted) and that automatically corrects for a range of issues.

    If you purchase lenses priced well on the used market, you can experiment and if they don't work out, you can usually sell them for what you paid. That will not be the case, of course, for new lenses, but it provides a means of gaining experience before committing to the high cost of new lenses if that is your ultimate intention.

    If you want a short lens (say, around 120mm) for landscape use, you might start with a wide-angle design like a Grandagon or Super Angulon, which will support strong movements at infinity focus. Then, experiment with that lens for the jewelry to learn what all is required for such photography. Use that experience as the basis for determining whether you also need a shorter macro lens.

    Rick "start general and work up to specific applications" Denney

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Hi Roberto,

    Quote Originally Posted by valdeazores View Post
    When you buy another focal to complete your equipment is it better to choose the same brand ? I think that different brands of optics on differents focals can vary the final results in terms of quality of the image ( sharpening , color, etc..)
    I generally stay with certain lens families just because I think they will yield more consistent images from one focal length to another.
    All of my medium lenses are Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S. My shorter lenses (120mm or less) are Nikkor SW or Fujinon SWD.
    The long lenses (300mm and longer) are Nikkors, either the M series (only available in 300mm and 450mm) or the Nikkor W 360mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by valdeazores View Post
    And the second question is what kind of optics do i need in order to take macro pictures, like jewelry. I ve seen this Rodenstocks apro Macro Sironar
    http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/en/m...macro-sironar/
    it seems it is special for macro shoots, because with my 210 mm i think it is very dificult to have a short focus distance. I have to separate too much the lensboard and the Glass to obtain a minimal distance of focus.
    The "macro" or "makro" designation on a large format lens means that it is optimized for close-up work.
    All lenses will work at all distances, but closeups may be a bit sharper with macro lenses.

    I have the 180mm Apo-Macro-Sironar, and would highly recommend it. It makes beautiful closeups.

    Basic rule of optics:
    For a 1:1 ratio (image on film is the same size as the subject), the lens will be in front of the film by a distance equal to twice its focal length, and the subject will be in front of the lens by the same distance. For your 210mm lens, that means the subject will be 420mm in front of the lens.
    The exact distances may be slightly different due to other factors, but this rule is close enough for setting up a shot.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7

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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Rick "start general and work up to specific applications" Denney
    That is the best advise that can be given to a neophyte in any area.

  8. #8

    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Thank you all for your help. I've read in a book about the relation is the bellows extension and the factor of size reproduction. Also I understand the advantages of macro lens but also than they're not strictly necessary.
    I'm working since 1992 in photography but in the last two weeks I have been learning a lot about LF only reading this forum.
    Greetings!!
    Roberto

  9. #9

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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    Valdeazores

    I bought this recently and it's wonderful for calculating bellows factor. I would recommend you get one while you still can

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/EZ-View-Bell...item4d08507a7e

    It comes with a card that you measure it's size on the ground glass with the including ruler which is marked in stops of compensation.

    Nik


    Nik

  10. #10

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    Re: New For 4x5 format. Some orientation please!

    To help calculate exposure compensation for bellows extension, I just bought a cheap, super compact plastic tape measure from the sewing isle and then used the appropriate formulas to mark it for every half stop of compensation needed. Do it in such a way that you just measure the distance between the standards while focused on your subject and you can just read off the correction. You'll need to make different marks for your different lenses. You only have to do the calculations once. Just make sure you remember where you are supposed to put the end of the tape measure as you calculated things.

    Also, be aware that movements can mess up these measurements. I think it best to measure between the centers of the sides if either standard is tilted much.

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