Parallel Standards : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


My old Deardorff has no detents to indicate parallelism between the planes of the front and rear standards.

I can guess at the positions real good, but I'd also like to put some marks on the camera that indicate "0" positions.

I have heard of some kind of mirror set-up that can be attached to a view camera and used to determine the parallel locations of the planes.

I was wondering if anyone has used the device and can offer suggestions concerning where to buy one.



-- Jason Kefover (, May 19, 2000


I think you're referring to the zig-align mirrors. Try I've also remember reading an article by Howard Bond where he talks about constructing something similar to test enlarger alignment. Good luck. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, May 19, 2000.

Sears sells a small "angle-finder" that uses a bubble and an attached protractor that can be used to level cameras. Assuming both the front and rear standard are at the same angel, they should also be parallel. They're about 3 inches square, and they cost only a few dollars.

-- neil poulsen (, May 19, 2000.

just use a stick and make sure that the mark on the stick is the same at the top of the camera standards as the bottom of the standards.

-- james (, May 20, 2000.

You can easily make your own alignment mirrors or get a glasscutter to cut them to size from mirrored tiles. The first should be the size of a lensboard (or large enough to cover the hole on a spare board). The second should be the right size to replace your ground glass panel. Drill a hole in the middle of one of the mirrors, or carefully scratch away the coating to reveal bare glass.

Mount the mirrors, one one each standard, with their silvered surfaces facing inwards. Look through the hole and you should see an infinite line of image holes caused by the multiple reflections off the two mirrors. Adjust the standards so that the hole images line up and bingo, your standards are aligned.

If you're a cheapskate like me you can do the same trick with two scrap CDs.

If it's too dark inside the camera you can remove the bellows, or mount a laser pointer shining through the hole and look for the reflected spots. If you do the latter, you'll need at least a T-square to make sure the pointer is perpendicular to the glass.

-- Struan Gray (, May 21, 2000.

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