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Author Topic: converting 4x5 to digital?  (Read 3866 times)

rwitthus

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converting 4x5 to digital?
« on: March 14, 2017, 04:35:44 PM »

I have a 4x5 camera I haven't used since Polaroid 55 disappeared. I'm wondering if there is an easy and/or inexpensive conversion to produce digital images using the 4x5.
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Jim Kasson

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Re: converting 4x5 to digital?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 05:32:10 PM »

I have a 4x5 camera I haven't used since Polaroid 55 disappeared. I'm wondering if there is an easy and/or inexpensive conversion to produce digital images using the 4x5.

Depending on your quality requirements and your DIY tolerance, you can use a flatbed scanner without glass mounting, flatbed scanner with glass mounting, shoot your negs with a digital camera, buy an Imacon/Hassy scanner, or send out negs for drum scans, if you can find a reliable scanner operator.

Check this out: http://www.filmtoaster.photography/

You could probably build something similar for next to nothing if you are handy and don't value your time highly.

Oh, rats. I see I got it backwards. You don't want to scan your negs. You want to turn you 4x5 into a digital camera.

I have a Betterlight Super ^K scanner that slides into the back of a 4x5 camera like a film holder. It takes 30 seconds to several minutes to scan a 72x96 cm area, and thus is only good for thing that don't move.

I don't think you can buy them new any more -- not that you'd want to pay the freight -- but I'll bet you can find used ones. They are a pain in the posterior in the field, and need to be tethered to a computer.

Jim
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 05:35:51 PM by Jim Kasson »
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photoenthusiasm

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Re: converting 4x5 to digital?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 12:30:55 AM »

Inexpensive? I am not aware of these and it depends on how much inexpensive is. You can use back adapters (sliding backs) like from phase one to mount a medium format digital back. Or an adapter plate to mount a digital camera. If you want to make use of the technical advantages of a 4x5 camera a digital scanback like from betterlight is the best way to go. Betterlight backs are available from new but are not inexpensive. Their limits in practical use have been pointed out above. To add one more: these backs need a lot of (flickr-free) light, and I mean a lot. I used these for several years (still life photography) and the files are unsurpassed. Even used ones are not inexpensive (according to my wallet).
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framah

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Re: converting 4x5 to digital?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 01:07:43 PM »

...and in that vein... I have a Betterlight 8000K-HS USB-2 back for sale for $4,000 as well as a pair of Northlight 900w studio lights for sale  for $3,500 plus shipping for the pair.
I also have a Cambo Ultima 4x5 camera if you want to upgrade the quality of your camera for $1,500.

 The freight for just the betterlight system would be minimal as overall, it is a small system.

The  lights, on the other hand would be in the couple of hundred range.

.. just sayin'.   :o
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Alskoj

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Re: converting 4x5 to digital?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 09:44:33 AM »

I shot a bunch of 4x5 Fuji Velvia back in the 90s and I'm getting them drum scanned at a local photo lab here in Boulder as I can find room in the budget.
About  $100 to $200 per scan. They print tack sharp 40" x 50". 
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