Multi exposure on LF - avoiding movement? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have an odd ball question. Is there anyway to take maulti exposures (3 to 5) on a 4x5 and 8x10 camera and avoiding the camera movements that occure everytime you cock the shutter? If you do this say 3 - 5 tiimes per exposure, what is the liklihood of the slight image blurr that usually results from movements?

I know there is a solution out there, such as electronic shutters, but for an additional $3k per lens, that is way too much $$$. Possibly there is some other type of lens cocking device that does not put pressure on the front standard? Does any one have any experience at this, maybe I am just being too paranoid over camera shake. This would be for outdoor landscape / flash shots with multiple flashes

-- Bill Glickman (, December 08, 1998


you might consider Prontors self-cocking shutters. They are "only" around twice the price of a Copal. There is also a remote command module which lets you set f-stop.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, December 08, 1998.

I priced Pronotor shutters, they were approx. $2k -$3k per lens i.e. I give them my lenses, they remove the copals and replace them, so 4 lenses would be about $10k? Were they quoting me the correct item? Does that sound about right to you?

-- bill Glickman (, December 08, 1998.

Bill: it sounds like the prices you were given were for new lenses, not your lenses in new shutters.

I have done up to 24 to 30 multiple exposures on one piece of 4x5 film (Fuji Provia Quickload) with no registration problems. the camera i used was an Arca Swiss F-Line and the tripod was a Gitzo 410 fitted with an Arca B1 monoball. The photos were a series of architectural interiors where we had to balance great depth of field (often shooting at f/32 or f/45) sunlight bouncing off of trees visible through windows in the shot and stobe fill. In short the objective was to capture the feel of the rooms in daylight but without the green cast from the light reflected off of the trees that surrounded the house affecting the delicate colors in the house. the solution was to shoot multiple exposures at 1/60 of a second so the cumulative exposure was correct for both the view seen the windows and also for interior exposures with strobe. We only had 4000 w/s spread out between five heads. If I had had another 4000 w/s seconds I could might have been able to cut the number of multiple exposures down to twelve or so per image. The stability of the Arca Swiss F-Line contributed mightily to the sucess of the project. I have since upgraded the head on the 410 Gitzo to an Arca Swiss B2 Monoball.

-- Ellis (, December 09, 1998.

i forgot to mention a couple of things in the previous posts:

1.) My lenses are in standard Copal shutters, so I was cocking the shutter by hand between each exposure.

2.) It made me really want to get Prontor Press shutters (at least for my wide angle lenses.) I believe Calumet's cost is about US$400 each. Evidently a skilled technician will have to remount your lens for you to get the rear spacing right.

-- Ellis (, December 09, 1998.

Bill, are you sure that nothing on the camera is moving? I have found that small amounts of play in lensboards and rotating backs on my older Cambo can sometimes cause registration problems on multiple exposures. Taping lensboards and backs in place has solved this problem, but soft ground under tripod legs and stray dogs running into tripods still require constant attention.

-- Jim Blecha (, December 14, 1998.

I agree with Ellis. I did multiple exposures for interior architecture in hotels, though not as many as Ellis, but up to 5 exposures were common and never noticed any unsharpness. I used a Sinar F with 75 Super Angulon and 120 on just a simple Manfrotto tripod (58B I think). If you really want to make sure, you could try two tripods supporting the optical bank - one under the back- and one under the frontstandard. I do not know what camera you use, but Linhof has a device for macro: it attaches the tripod on the two holes - instead of one - on the bottom of this field camera. Second-hand it should be cheaper than your $3K shutter device.

-- Lot Wouda (, December 20, 1998.

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