Novice user needs help on 4x5greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
Hi, I was stepping up from 35mm to medium format.After gathering whatever amount of money I can find, i went into the camera shop hoping to come out of it with either a mamiya 7 or Fuji GSW690...instead I ended up with a Horseman 45FA.Really beautiful camera and it came with a rodenstock 150mm SironarN lens. Unlike the other cameras that i reviewed on that day,I couldn't find a single trace of usage by the previous owner(no dust,no scratches even on its metal edges) .I got myself a fuji instant film holder as well as a quick loader II.No user manuals so I tried my best to figure things out,hoping that all the knowledge of my 35mm handling would be enough for me.Many posters shared their experiences on how a 6x9 or 4x5 negative can weaken their knees and I certainly would like to be overblown too.However, after trying one whole pack of the instant film, I was more overblown by all the difficulties in the picture-taking process and unfortunately at the end I wasn't rewarded with any nice decent looking shots....all of them were dull,underexposed,neither sharp nor contrasty...total embarassment(they actually looked worse than pictures from recyclable P&S cameras!)I wish to get the best quality out of this camera so any kind of help or advice will be greatly appreciated. Here are the problems I faced: 1)The gg(groundglass) showed an image that is upside down!What an eyeopener for me,the most I was expecting was an laterally inverted one...couldn't believe my eyes!I really had a hard time composing. 2)Everything shakes when I mount the camera on the heaviest tripod I have(manfrotto 390) which obviously wasn't stable enough...what would be the lightest yet good enough tripod to use? 3)I only have the 150mm so far and would like to expand the range but I am not sure on this camera what is the shortest & longest i can mount(My preference on the 35mm are 24mm & 105mm)Please recommend wonderful lenses by any manufacturer. 4)I only have my F90X as a metering device but maximum is f32.What do i have to do in order to utilise the smaller f-stops like f64.Also, I couldn't preview any dof on the gg simply because the gg went blank when the aperture is f8 or smaller(my own reflection in the gg was the clearest of all!It was like staring into the mirror!)So far I could only use the gg at f5.6(brighest i can get)Is this all part of the fun & enjoyment LF photographers so often talked about?I am in for more surprises! 5)I used the Fuji instant film holder & FP100C instant film but I never was able to get a decent sharp picture although the image looked sharp on the gg.I suspect the plane of the instant film wasn't the same as the ground glass but how do i check that? Secondly, the 4x5 instant film(like polaroid)are they supposed to looked like final prints?Am I right to expect the equivalent of the final output(print or trans)from a polaroid?maybe i should use polaroid instead of fuji instant film but can a polaroid film fit into the fuji instant holder ? 6)The gg is very dim and everytime I need to place the shutter at 'T' and f-stop at 5.6 before I can see anything on the gg.I ended up burying my head and the gg under my t-shirt...fun i must say but i am sure you guys do have much smarter ways to get things done right?I don't mind looking into additional add-ons if it can help me to focus better. 7)There are some distance markings on the side of the rail for 3 focal length 75,105 and 150(I am not sure the f means focal length,just my guess).After i have mounted the lens am i suppose to pull the bellows until I aligned the lens with some marking?I got myself lost here,I basically just move the lens along the rail until I get a sharp image on the gg.Where am i suppose to park the lens prior to focussing?Advice me please. 8)The lens has a screwed-in rear glass element.I have not encountered a LF lens before so pardon me for all my ignorance & stupidity-do i have to unscrew it? 9)when you have read my mail up to this point i hope you haven't dropped dead laughing at some of the stupid problems I encountered.If you are/were a Horseman 45 user, i would like to hear your experience and comments on this camera.I bought mine in an excellent condition at $1200 and I really hope to become a better photographer through it(meanwhile quite disappointed but still hopeful) Thank you all in advance and i really envy all you guys who can take nice sharp big pictures!!!
-- limmengwei (email@example.com), May 03, 2001
I'm sorry you passed up the Fuji 6x9! It's a wonderful camera and so simple to operate. Regarding your questions, I would search this forum and pick up a copy of Simmon's book on view camera technique. Having said that, I'll take a crack at a few quick answers.
(1) Inverted image: Think in terms of compositional elements and how they relate to 4x5 compositional space. Many would argue that once you learn to organize inverted images it's actually easier to compose. Most of all don't get in the habit of twisting your head to normalize the view.
(2) Tripod: Check the rating on your tripod to see if it is cabable of supporting your camera weight. Calumet, B&H, and most large retail sites have data on tripod capacity. The conventional wisdom on tripods suggests wood for vibration resistance and carbon fiber for weight. The two best are Reis (wood) and Gitzo (carbon fiber). Tripods are expensive! Expect to pay $500+ for one of these unless you can import for less or pick one up on the used market.
(3) Lenses: My preference is 90mm, 210mm and 300mm. There are many other options, however, depending on the specific type of work you do. If you prefer 24mm in 35mm, you may want a 75mm lens. Be sure that your camera can use a 75mm lens. It may require a bag bellows or recessed lensboard. I would buy used lenses and focus on the major manufacturers: Schneider, Nikor, Rodenstock, and Fuji.
(4) Metering/Darkcloth: If you have the money, I would get a Pentax spot meter. Otherwise I would learn to judge existing light. Start with the sunny 16 rule and work on enhancing your judgement and intuition. Also, get a good oversized darkcloth. Make your own or get one from Darkroom Innovations.
(5)Polaroids/Film plane distance: Polaroids are small! They are great for checking composition and for instant negatives (see Type 55 film), but the beauty of LF comes with enlargement or, in the case of 8x10, a larger contact print. Start looking for a 4x5 enlarger! On the film plane question, get a small ruller with small increments. Measure the distance from where the film sits inside the filmholder to the front of the filmholder. Then mesaure the distance from the front (inside) of the ground glass to where the filmholder is normally seated against the front standard. These distance should be equal. If they are not, check to make sure the groundglass is mounted properly. It may have been replaced and not seated correctly. Also, make sure you are fully inserting the filmholder in the camera.
(6) The rail markings are probably a simple focusing aid to quickly position the front standard for three lenses (75,105,150). You can also do this by using your eye and the ground glass. The marks simply limit the amount of time you spend under the darkcloth which can get hot.
(7) No need to unscrew the lens unless you are mounting a new lens on the old lensboard. There are some "convertible" lenses which increase in focal length after the front element has been removed. Check to see whether or not your lens is marked "convertible."
I hope this helps!
-- Dave Willison (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2001.
Sorry your first time wasn't pleasantly memorable. Previous poster is right on with advice. I would add the following. Go for a faster film speed than 100. With LF you will need smaller apertures to get depth of field, so film speed is important. Start with 400 speed film. Stick with the lens you bought. Right now having one lens is good. It is one less decision you have to make. Remember, as Ted Orland has stated, if you have more than one lens, the wrong one is always mounted on the camera.
LF is a process. You will have to learn how to set up, compose and focus your camera before you can take pictures. You will have to practice. At home, practice taking your camera out, setting up your tripod, focusing on something. Do this 100 times. Yes, 100. We're not talking art here, we're talking developing the physical skills to feel comfortable about working with a new camera that is vastly different than your previous camera. Once you feel comfortable with the mechanics of manipulating your camera, then you can start putting film in the camera. The polariod idea is good. That is how I learned. Immediate results. You can use a loupe or a magnifying glass to check out the polaroid to see if you are focusing correctly.
Good luck and stick with it.
-- Joe Lipka (JoeLipka@Compuserve.com), May 03, 2001.
First of all, and I think you're realizing this now if you haven't before, the type of photography is very different between 4x5 and a MF rangefinder. (and I'm going to get that Mamiya 7 someday to get quicker more portable shots when I want a bigger neg than 35mm). Make sure that this is what you want to stick with.
As for manuals, try Fuji's web site. I haven't looked myself, but most film manufacturers have the manuals on their web sites.
I don't think you're going to be wowed with the instant print. You get wowed when you develop your first 4x5 negative, and wowed a lot more more when you print it to just 8x10. Polaroids are blah.
The Manfrotto 390 is the US 3405 or Junior. That's definitely not going to hack it. But you don't need a $500 wood or graphite wonder. Another Bogen/Manfrotto that can handle 15 lbs should be adequate. I use a 3046 legset with a 3047 head with my Toyo 45A and it is overkill. That's a 028 and 029 in non-US terms.
To use smaller f-stops than on your Nikon, just remember the relationship between f-stops and shutter speed. Each f-stop is equivalent to halving or doubling the shutter speed. If your f90 is saying that you need 1/125 at f/22 and you want to shoot at f/64, f/64 is 4 stops smaller, (22, 32, 45, 64) so you need to set the exposure time 4 stops longer (4 doublings of time - 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8) to give you an exposure of 1/8s. Some will tell you to "do it right," you need to go out and get a spotmeter. Use what you got for now. See how you like the format before you get discouraged buying all "the right stuff."
I do think you need something better than your t-shirt for a darkcloth - that is a cloth that connects to the back of the GG and blocks out light so you can see the image. It does the same thing you're doing with your T-shirt. You can buy them (The BTZS cloth is highly recommended from darkroom-innovations.com), but you can use some makeshift one until you see that you're going to like the large format.
You're focussing correctly. I don't know if your camera has infintiy stops. The marks are probably there to tell you where to set the lens to begin with for inifinty focus for those focal lengths. You're right with setting to "T" (unless the shutter has a preview lever) and opening up to focus. LF is very manual.
Your front element screws on, too. I don't know why you'd want to take them off. There is no reason to unscrew it. Make sure they're screwed down tight or the whole lens will not be sharp.
Overall, I'd say that you did a fabulous job of figuring it all mostly out without any instruction.
I'm not sure where you are, so I don't know what access you have to books (using the non-US designation for the Manfrotto tripod leads me to believe that you're not in the US.), but Kodak has an inexpensive book on LF that I describe as a quick-start book. You can read it very quickly and get you started very quickly. For about the same price, you can get the more in-depth Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons, but reading it is going to take longer and may have more info than you need at the moment.
Oh....If you still have problems with fuzzy images even though things look good on the ground glass, many cameras have a flat fresnel lens mounted with the GG. It is not uncommon among used cameras to find that a previous owner incorrectly reassembled the camera, putting the fresnel in the wrong place from where the manufacturer intended, ruining registration of the film when the holder is inserted - but please don't go taking your camera apart until you've had some negatives developed and printed to really see how sharp your images are.
I wish you the best, but add that there is no shame in trying something new and finding out that it just wasn't for you or for you at this time. I think that few here would be disappointed if you decided that the MF rangefinder was what you needed now for your style of photography. Those cameras have advantages of their own. They're small and handheld, and can grab shots that you never will get with the 4x5, and the negative size is not that much smaller than 4x5. The rangefinder design allows you to use really wide, distortion-free (in the case of the Mamiya) lenses that you can't get in an SLR. Like I said, I want to get one myself to meet another need.
-- John H. Henderson (email@example.com), May 03, 2001.
I also meant to point out that some of us can't get 4x5 processed locally, whereas the 120/220 is no problem.
-- John H. Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2001.
Basically you need to go back the store and have the salesman give you a tutorial using the instant film.
1)The gg(groundglass) showed an image that is upside down!What an eyeopener for me,the most I was expecting was an laterally inverted one...couldn't believe my eyes!I really had a hard time composing.Not only was it upside down it was also reversed left to right. You quickly get used to this. IT actually is a help in terms of teaching your brain to see what your subject will look like as an image.
2)Everything shakes when I mount the camera on the heaviest tripod I have(manfrotto 390) which obviously wasn't stable enough...what would be the lightest yet good enough tripod to use? A gitzo 320 with a rational 3 head or the manfrotto equivalent.
3)I only have the 150mm so far and would like to expand the range but I am not sure on this camera what is the shortest & longest i can mount(My preference on the 35mm are 24mm & 105mm)Please recommend wonderful lenses by any manufacturer. Start with a 90mm and a 300mm f/9 (the 300mm f/5.6 lenses are designed for 8x10 cameras and are much more expensive and heavier).
4)I only have my F90X as a metering device but maximum is f32.What do i have to do in order to utilise the smaller f-stops like f64. f/64 is exactly two stops slower than f/32. Do the math. Also you will rarely actually use f/45 or f/64.Also, I couldn't preview any dof on the gg simply because the gg went blank when the aperture is f8 or smaller(my own reflection in the gg was the clearest of all!It was like staring into the mirror!)So far I could only use the gg at f5.6(brighest i can get)Is this all part of the fun & enjoyment LF photographers so often talked about?I am in for more surprises! Get a darkcloth and a decent 4x loupe.
5)I used the Fuji instant film holder & FP100C instant film but I never was able to get a decent sharp picture although the image looked sharp on the gg.I suspect the plane of the instant film wasn't the same as the ground glass but how do i check that? I suspect that either you attached the holder the wrong way or the image on the groundglass wasn't really sharp to begin with. Was it a new or used holder?
Secondly, the 4x5 instant film(like polaroid)are they supposed to looked like final prints?Am I right to expect the equivalent of the final output(print or trans)from a polaroid?Yes, but bear in mind that instant films like Polaroid and the Fuji FP-100C aredifferent materials from film.Maybe I should use polaroid instead of fuji instant film but can a polaroid film fit into the fuji instant holder ?Frankly I don't know.
6)The gg is very dim and everytime I need to place the shutter at 'T' and f-stop at 5.6 before I can see anything on the gg.I ended up burying my head and the gg under my t-shirt...fun i must say but i am sure you guys do have much smarter ways to get things done right?I don't mind looking into additional add-ons if it can help me to focus better.Once again: you need a darkcloth and loupe. You also need to have someone show you howto use the little sliding lever on the side of the lens so you won't need to use the T setting to open the shutter. I believe Toyo makes a couple of viewing aids as well.
7)There are some distance markings on the side of the rail for 3 focal length 75,105 and 150(I am not sure the f means focal length,just my guess).After i have mounted the lens am i suppose to pull the bellows until I aligned the lens with some marking?I got myself lost here,I basically just move the lens along the rail until I get a sharp image on the gg.Where am i suppose to park the lens prior to focussing?Advice me please.Those are the infinity settings for those lenses. You may also want to lock your lens in to place there and then rack the rail back and forth to focus at different distances.
8)The lens has a screwed-in rear glass element.I have not encountered a LF lens before so pardon me for all my ignorance & stupidity-do i have to unscrew it? No.
I reallly strongly suggest you contact Toyo and get a manual for your camera! Also see the tutorial about using a view camera on the homepage of our forum's website.
-- Ellis Vener Photography (email@example.com), May 03, 2001.
Ellis gives good information except that I would contact Horseman about your Horseman camera instead of Toyo.
-- John H. Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2001.
There are many good suggestions above but I thought I'd add my 2 cents.
First, head to a local bookstore or hit an online source to pick up a view camera book. At the beginners stage, there really aren't any BAD large format books (Heck, there's hardly any available at all!), though there are one or two that may be too in depth to start.
Next, in case you didn't get to this forum through the Large Format homepage, you can find it here: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~qtluong/photography/lf/ Sometimes we forget that people occasionally find this forum through sources other than Q's excellent web site. There are several articles that will help get you started.
If money isn't an issue, buy the best quality accessories you can because they're worth it. Many who start large format are strapped for cash after getting the camera though, so here are some suggestions to get you started relatively inexpensively if you're in that boat.
From your message, I see 3 key items you're missing:
1. A heavier duty tripod - Manfrotto 3011 is probably the lightest I'd use and is pretty reasonably priced. If you're not strapped for funds, you can spend all most as much as you want on a tripod. 2. A dark cloth - A t-shirt just ain't going to cut it! A local fabric shop can get you started cheaply. Dark courduroy works pretty well, but hold different materials up to the light in the store until you find something that blocks out as much light as possible. The best material I've found is a "microweave" suiting material. A yard and a half will cost you between 5 and 15 bucks and is more than enough. If you want to get fancy, buy two yards of the same material in white and sew them back to back. You can then put the white side out to help keep you cool in warm weather. Get a few feet of adhesive backed velcro too. As you use the cloth you'll find that sticking it together in a couple of places can be helpful. I'd stick it on where needed in the field, then sew it on permanently when I get back home. 3. Loupe - I've used a cheap plastic 8x slide viewing loupe forever. Most slide loupes have a clear base which works OK, but you can paint over the clear plastic with an opaque paint to make viewing even better. Use it on the GG to help make sure you're really in focus. It helps if it has a cord on it so that you can handily wear it around your neck. You should be able to get on of these for less than 20 bucks. Again, you can find loupes for several hundred dollars if you've got the cash, but the cheap ones work fine and don't bring you to tears when you drop it at the end of the day onto the rocks below you. (Ask me how I know!)
I wouldn't bother with another lens or a spot meter yet. Those things will just add more complexity at this point. What you want to do is concentrate on the PROCESS of large format photography. You need to get the hang of this process before you can really focus on the results.
Having said that though, I WOULD suggest that you change over to a slide film (Fuji Velvia or Provia would be a good start). The results will be much more satisfying to view and, in my opinion, it will be easier to judge how your mastery of the process is coming along. If you make this switch, don't opaque the base of your loupe. It will serve double duty as magnification for inspecting your film. Assuming there's no problem with your equipment, adding the 3 items listed above will help ensure that your images are as sharp as possible.
Good luck, and don't give up! Viewing your first successful large format images is well worth the work you put into it.
-- Tim Klein (email@example.com), May 03, 2001.
Everyone has been giving you some really solid advice here, and I don't have too much to add, other than to say that while large format is actually pretty simple in a way--I don't mean this in a condescending way-- there is a bit of a learning curve involved if you come from a background of automatic cameras and little or no darkroom skills. I think you do need to just slow down and practice with the camera, maybe not even shoot any film for awhile, just play around with the controls and see what they do in relation to different subjects. I won't attempt to answer every question you ask, but like others have said, Polaroid is meant as a proofing material really....but it takes some practice (and understanding of either E6 films, or B&W processing) to learn how to read the results. At this stage, I wouldn't get too bogged down in spot meters and all that, although I'd say having a decent incident meter and knowing how to use it would be a start. What film you shoot will ultimately depend upon what type of stuff you want to do. Transparencies are a great way to learn about exposure and light control and all that, but I'm thinking in a way this may be too much to start out with. Simply because you're going to have to know how to nail your exposures. I'd say to get a dark cloth (or make one), a halfway decent loupe, whatever tripod you finally upgrade to, and a polaroid holder...or think about getting into the darkroom end of it as well. Good luck whatever you do...and while I use a 4x5 mostly on the job (because I have to) I find myself shooting 120 or 35mm on my own time, so I will say that whatever you do, you need to be having fun learning it & using it. I personally do not believe in any one magic format, I'm just trying to tell you to enjoy the process, don't worry about it too much. Good luck.
-- DK Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2001.
oy. that went on for too many responses.
-- Sarah Barwig (email@example.com), May 03, 2001.
Thank you...I cringed when I saw my response....
-- DK Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2001.
A little HTML knowledge can be a dangerous thing. (Don't forget to close that tag next time... besides underlining should be reserved for LINKS.)
Regarding the original question: stick with your view camera. Don't give up on it. Although it is MUCH different than 35 and MF, it is worth doing. I think that's why we all do it. (Of course I just bought a Pentax 67; I HAD to have it.)
-- Chad Jarvis (email@example.com), May 03, 2001.
No need to say the above is good advice - it nearly always is on this forum. My two cents is to keep logging onto this forum, and read lots.
It is a steep learning curve, but can be made shorter by going out on some shoots with other LF users nearby (if there are any). Watch how it is done. I must say that the person who sold you the camera really should have spent more time finding out about your needs and experience level before selling you such a technical piece of equipment. The next month will either see you give up in frustration or get bitten by the LF bug in a big way. Don't give up - put the bug repelant away and let him bite!
I regularly use one of Nikon's most expensive and heaviest light meters (the F5) with my LF camera. To get around the f-stop shortfall, use the exposure compensation button, dialing in plus exposure for each stop above the min aperture (eg. f45 will be +1 and f64 will be +2). I also dial in my filter factors (eg.+2 for the polariser). When you use Velvia (my suggestion for you to be overblown ;-)) just stick with the matrix metering system until you're more confident about spot metering. The matrix system is VERY accurate in 95% of the situations we encounter when shooting transparencies.
-- Graeme Hird (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2001.
Everybody has given you some good answers so far. Here are a few I would suggest.
If it's possible where you live, take a class. I relatively new to LF and I started by taking a class at my local community college. It was fantastic. Now if my wife could only see what a necessity a 4x5 camera is. If you can't take a class, then I'd suggest following a sequence like we did.
We learned to set up the camera, focus, etc. We learned to load, unload, develop film. We took pictures in the zero position. Get used to this. When you're comfortable, move on. We learned one movement at a time. For example, open your lens wide and take a picture of a scene with foreground, midground, and background at zero position. Now use the front tilt (focus according to the instructions on the LF page) to increase the depth of field and take the picture at the same aperture. You'll appreciate what the tilt can do for you.
I agree that you should get a heavier tripod. In my class, we used mid-line Bogens for Calumet field cameras. The kits also included a dark cloth and a Gossen light meter that did incident and reflected readings, but no spot. While spotmeters would have been nice, I got some really nice shots by metering my palm and opening up a stop.
You've got a nice outfit, but it takes a while to get used to the way you take pictures. I think LF has made me a better photographer and my 35mm photography will improve from this.
Good luck. Dave
-- Dave Willis (email@example.com), May 04, 2001.
You will not be able to focus a 300mm lens of normal optical design on that camera. The bellows draw is too short on a stock 45FA to allow this. An alternative is to get a 300mm telephoto design lens such as the Fujinon 300T. This lens requires only about 180mm of bellows draw and will work quite nicely. There are some other limitations of a tele lens used on a technical field camera, but for the typical landscape work most do with that type of instrument, the Fuji or similar lens will work fine. At least it did on mine.
-- Robert A. Zeichner (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2001.
You have with the Horsemann one of the lightest field cameras and if you drill with it you will be happy! I have the Horseman HF the brevious modell of the FA,but quite similar to your FA. As Robert told you with a normal 300mm lens you get troubles,but like I have a Ronar 300mm for my Horseman then you need an extention cube on the lensboard you can get them from a Horseman dealer. But in the beginnig just work with teh 150mm up to the point you were sure 4x5 is youre came! P.S. Instant films are just to controll the composition etc. they are very bad in resolution!
-- Armin Seeholzer (email@example.com), May 04, 2001.
" P.S. Instant films are just to controll the composition etc. they are very bad in resolution! " have you ever tried the polaroid Type 55 negative.
-- Ellis Vener Photography (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2001.
Don't make it any more complicated than required.
For this reason, I wonder about trying to use transparency film. If you don't mind bracketing, perhaps this will work. Transparency film has a narrow margin of error; you have to be within about a half stop of optimum to get decent results. On the other hand, negative color film is more forgiving. It requires a contact print to see your results, but it's easier to get a good negative than a good positive. Plus, I seem to get better color prints with negatives than with transparencies.
There're too many complexities involved in using a spot meter with either B&W or color. Go for a standard meter that has both reflective and incident capabilities. Again, don't make it any more complex than you need at this point.
Getting a fresnel lens, as someone has already suggested, is a great idea. The image will be easier to see, all be, it's still inverted and reversed! I was delighted when I got a camera with a fresnel lens. Unless the camera is specifically made for the alternative, mount the fresnel so that the gg is between the fresnel and the lens.
As for lenses, I've always liked the combination of Symmar-S lenses with Super Angulons of about the same age. (Within a few years.) Caltar-S II lenses are Symmar-S lenses in disguise, and are very reasonably priced.
For camera movements, you might want to stick with rise and fall, and perhaps some shift, until you get more experience. This is about all you need for landscape photography.
Have fun. LF is worth the terrific results and the additional controls that can be achieved.
-- neil poulsen (email@example.com), May 06, 2001.
He, the beginner was using FP 100C he states in hes first posting and thats just a normal instant film from Fuji and there are many others similar from polaroid. I not was talking about the only exception like the 55 negative film! I did not use it and I plan not to use it! I not have everything to do what holy Adams did! Or you want confuse the beginner Ellis?
-- Armin Seeholzer (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2001.
Hello everybody,it's really heartening to receive all the help you guys rendered to me.Thanks a great deal!!! I followed ALL the advice given.The first thing I did was to inspect the gg.I realised the grain-side was facing me rather than the lens so I turned it the other way.Secondly,there was another piece of glass in between the gg and the lens.I tossed it around and realised it can be used as a magnifying glass so I reckoned the function of it is to magnify the image onto the gg.But my logic tells me the image should fall on the gg first before it get magnified so I actually re- assembled the elements in the following order: the magnifying glass followed by the gg clear side followed by the grainy side,then the lens.Did I get the order correct? Many of you mentioned a fresnel lens...but what is that or how does it look like? Many also mentioned using a 4x loupe...I am going to get one since i need it to inspect the negatives as well, but did many of you actually hold the loupe in one hand while using the other hand to focus?(I am just imaging how difficult that will be, as now I am already struggling with one hand with the focussing knobs and one hand holding my darkcloth T-shirt)Yes, I am going to get a proper darkcloth as many of you suggested too. After re-assembling I tried another shot.I was able to control exposure much much better now.The instant film looked much better and i can see more details this time with lots of DOF.Though the image wasn't as soft as before,it wasn't tack sharp either.(you know,bitingly sharp as what I would expect from what a LF negative should look like, or as clear as what i saw on the gg)I was wondering is it the nature of the instant film which couldn't really resolve better than a good film or there are still some operator's error on my part that I have overlooked? I have decided to first get myself the loupe and the darkcloth,try the instant film again and this time actually expose the same thing using the Provia film with the Quickload.Send it for processing and observe the outcome.I suppose I should be able to learn or realise something when I compare the two. I have not done any processing on 120 film before let alone 4x5 so I wonder how much more expensive 4x5 processing/printing will be compared to 120 processing/printing.I am thinking of getting the 6x12 back for my camera because I like panaromas but some posters in other threads mentioned the option of cropping 4x5 is better.If that is true, the additional bonus I can think of would be: a 90mm lens will be enough instead of having to look for a 75mm or 65mm to provide a 24mm equivalent in 35mm for the 6x12 film. How can i make better sense about this? Thanks to all of you who extended your helping hand, I am truly grateful to all of you and this forum.In a place where there aren't many LF photographers around,your advice are the only means I've got.I am enjoying learning to use this type of camera and I am determined to nail a good photography with it.(I actually had fun taking it apart while figuring all the concepts and functions of all the different parts)The day will come when i finally be able to take a good satisfying photo from it and when that time arrives,be very well assured that every time when I look at those pictures, they will remind me how they would not have been possible without all the help you guys've given! May all of you be truly blessed.Best regards.
-- limmengwei (email@example.com), May 06, 2001.
Armin, it's not that I feel the need to explain Ellis's post, but since you bring up Ansel Adams in yours, let me ask you if you've ever seen AA's book "Polaroid Photography". I believe this book is out of print now, but can be found in most libraries. I checked one out of a local library a few years ago and xeroxed the chapetr that dealt with Type 55, but he also covers extensively most of the other emulsions that were available back in the mid 70's when this book came out. He was using some of the print films for final art as well, including Type 52. My primary recommendation for someone beginning large format, would be to get a 545 back and spend some time shooting polaroid films.
-- DK Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2001.
I only knowing the books the camera, the negativ, the positiv from Adams and I like them very much and they could also be a good lecture for a beginner! I by myself like polas really only for the testshoot, but of course an other man can have an other thinking on thad! I just remember me when I shooted my first pola, I was`nt blown away from what I sow. But if I take a Kodak TMX or a Delta 100 ASA or Gigabitfilm and enlarge it up to 30x40 cm or of course a Fuji Velvia etc. then I get the wow! effect, thats all I wanted to comunicate! Good light to all!
-- Armin Seeholzer (email@example.com), May 06, 2001.
Hi limmengwei, in your second posting you mention a glass sheet that acts as a magnifying glass. That is your fresnel lens, and I think that with your camera, it should be placed between the ground glass and the protective clear glass for you to get the best results. The order of assembly (from inside out) is GG, frosted side to the lens, fresnel lens and then the protector. Assembling your camera this way should remove that last bit of fuzziness yu are seeing.
-- Graeme Hird (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2001.
I think that you really should contact Horseman about the proper arrangement of your ground glass and fresnel lens (the magnifier sheet). The most common arrangement for cameras designed for it that I know of is to have the frensel toward the lens, followed by the ground glass with the ground side toward the lens. You don't want any more glass. You don't want any glass between the lens and the ground surface of the glass.
Contact Horseman and ask them. We can speculate all day on this.
-- John H. Henderson (email@example.com), May 10, 2001.