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Author Topic: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital  (Read 1827 times)

Lorenzo Pierucci

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Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« on: February 23, 2014, 10:03:01 AM »

Hi LS,

thanks to the great help of the forum i menage to create my 4x5 digital system Toyo view + Leaf Valeo 22. Beside all the struggle ( using a 4x5 camera show me how little i know about Photography ) I'm happy to see that clients feel the difference between a 55 mm on 4 stitched frames compared at a 17 mm shoot on a D800.

Is all great but i have a problem with the focus: the Toyo view ( i guess is a film aimed camera ) simply can handle that precision. I do get in focus with my live view, but take ages…

I saw that Sinar have a double wheel for the focus, which one suppose to be for micro incremental, and as far i can see the F2 and the C both have it. But when i look on ebay, looks like not all of them come with this mystical double wheel.

Did anyone had some experience whit this and can point some good model?

Of course a Sinar P3 or a Linhof Techno will do the trick but…. still out of budget for a couple of years i guess :)

Thanks for the time reading this :)

L
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 10:10:09 AM »

You might want to have a look at the Arca Swiss F Metric.
A laser pointer helps as well.
Cheers
~Chris

Lorenzo Pierucci

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2014, 10:17:17 AM »

You might want to have a look at the Arca Swiss F Metric.
A laser pointer helps as well.
Cheers
~Chris


Thanks for the reply Chris,

yes i did look at it but i was looking for some used camera in the 1500 USD max range. I just start with this new system and invest more will might be risky.

Laser point for evaluate the distance, but… what u will do with the distance then? My Toyo as far as i ( little ) know does not have a distance scale…  ???
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 10:19:29 AM »

Thanks for the reply Chris,

yes i did look at it but i was looking for some used camera in the 1500 USD max range. I just start with this new system and invest more will might be risky.

Laser point for evaluate the distance, but… what u will do with the distance then? My Toyo as far as i ( little ) know does not have a distance scale…  ???

A laser pointer gives you an exact spot you can focus on.
Not for distance measuring - just to give you a clear focusing mark on the ground glass - you focus on the red dot.

Lorenzo Pierucci

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 10:23:51 AM »

 Also today i learn something :)

I use the live view as i have a fix DB adapter, but will consider this for film shooting.
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Lorenzo Pierucci

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 11:31:21 AM »

which toyo view system are you using?
 togo g has micro focusing

Toyo view G… it has the Fine focus but i feel is so un precise. Maybe i said a profanity so that is the best focus available for view camera, but i feel that with my Rodenstock 55 is so easy get out of focus…

Still a lot to learn tho...
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BrianWoolf

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 01:50:15 PM »

Lorenzo,
Years ago I used a Leaf Valeo 17wi on an old Toyo view camera and I did have the Leaf Live View dongle. I found the focusing very hard even with the Live View. After using another photographer's Sinar P2, I bought an old Sinar P because I liked it so much over the Toyo. I still found it difficult to do the Live View focusing, with the crummy B&W live view. The Leaf Valeo 17wi was a tethered to a computer back. So this made the 'trick' I stumbled on very easy.
Since the Sinar P, P2, P3 have self locking knobs, you just let the focusing knob alone and it locks itself in position. You do not have to do the Toyo, left knob unlocks the back standard so you can use the right knob to focus and the relock the left knob, just relocking the left knob can cause some small travel on the back standard.
The trick - so I would first focus my old Sinar P first using the ground glass, slide the back over, shut the lens, do the f-stop, take an exposure. Lets say I was photographing a soda can. If my point of focus was off and the side of the can was sharper than the front label, I would just "roll the focusing knob back a tiny amount, just enough for it to move, like 1 degrees worth of a 360 degree circle" and take another exposure. Often that small 'blind' focusing adjustment would nail the focus just where I wanted it. If it was still off, do another one, either forward or back as needed. It was so simple and quick to do, takes 20 seconds, just advance the shutter, take another exposure and check the focus on the computer screen. It was so much better than opening the lens and refocusing with the ground glass or with live view. Try it.
The Sinar F is an entry level Sinar and I don't think it has self-locking focusing knobs. The Sinar C has a front F standard and a rear P standard (this standard has the self locking focusing knob, so it should work). This 'trick' works with an large format camera with self locking knobs.
Brian
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RobertJ

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 08:58:27 PM »

You might want to try and get a used Sinar P. 

However, I had a Sinar P, and despite the fine focusing and self-locking gears, I preferred the friction style focusing on my Horseman LS metal view camera (Arca Swiss does the same thing, take a look at the M-Line Two). 

What I mean is that you can lock the knob down just enough so that you can still move the standard, which allows you to move the standard fractions of millimeters at a time, while still being locked down, even if you have the rail at a steep angle.  Nothing will move, it's rock solid.  It feels more precise, secure, and solid than any Sinar I've used.
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Lorenzo Pierucci

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 11:17:11 PM »

Lorenzo,
Years ago I used a Leaf Valeo 17wi on an old Toyo view camera and I did have the Leaf Live View dongle. I found the focusing very hard even with the Live View. After using another photographer's Sinar P2, I bought an old Sinar P because I liked it so much over the Toyo. I still found it difficult to do the Live View focusing, with the crummy B&W live view. The Leaf Valeo 17wi was a tethered to a computer back. So this made the 'trick' I stumbled on very easy.
Since the Sinar P, P2, P3 have self locking knobs, you just let the focusing knob alone and it locks itself in position. You do not have to do the Toyo, left knob unlocks the back standard so you can use the right knob to focus and the relock the left knob, just relocking the left knob can cause some small travel on the back standard.
The trick - so I would first focus my old Sinar P first using the ground glass, slide the back over, shut the lens, do the f-stop, take an exposure. Lets say I was photographing a soda can. If my point of focus was off and the side of the can was sharper than the front label, I would just "roll the focusing knob back a tiny amount, just enough for it to move, like 1 degrees worth of a 360 degree circle" and take another exposure. Often that small 'blind' focusing adjustment would nail the focus just where I wanted it. If it was still off, do another one, either forward or back as needed. It was so simple and quick to do, takes 20 seconds, just advance the shutter, take another exposure and check the focus on the computer screen. It was so much better than opening the lens and refocusing with the ground glass or with live view. Try it.
The Sinar F is an entry level Sinar and I don't think it has self-locking focusing knobs. The Sinar C has a front F standard and a rear P standard (this standard has the self locking focusing knob, so it should work). This 'trick' works with an large format camera with self locking knobs.
Brian

Hi Biran, u really nail the problem. This is what is going on here. And i have exactly the same feeling, even with the contrast control i feel like i often go before or after the focus point even if i move really really slowly….

Your technique is quite similar at what I'm doing now. So the Sinar have self lock, that is quite the thing. I don't know why i was sure they have double knobs: one for focus and one for even finer focus…  :(
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free1000

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 03:29:18 AM »

You will never get the precision required with this technique. The tolerances in the focus and movement mechanisms of view cameras are insufficient.

For this reason architectural photographers who have a real commercial need for movements, and sometimes stitching, have almost universally adopted a specialised technical view camera for medium format.

Cameras such as the Alpa, Arca RM3d, Cambo WRS are the solution to the problem.

This may change if new CMOS backs with good live view become practical, the new phase P250 is the first option that might work, but at an initially high price. But even there I think the workflow will still be slower with a trad view cam because of the relatively low precision of the movements.
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Lorenzo Pierucci

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Re: Micro focus 4x5 camera for digital
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 12:09:41 PM »


Cameras such as the Alpa, Arca RM3d, Cambo WRS are the solution to the problem.


This is quite true.  Unfortunately. But at least with the View system u can have the quality, just lose way more time.
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