Large Format

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Large Format

Postby craig.rohse on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:06 pm

Was looking around for LF cameras and found a Sinar Norma 13 x 18 + 5,6/ does anyone know anything abut the sinar norma cameras ??? Are they any good ??? 13x18 ??? I have got no idea about LF but would love to learn all about it.
I have seen some very nice portraits made with a 4x5 and am very impressed.
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Re: Large Format

Postby surenj on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:22 pm

Can I ask what attracts you to this format (for portraits?). Is it the availability of lenses, quality of photos from particular film or being able to enlarge it to billboard size?

Is there anything that a current digital (say 5D, sony a900 or D3X) couldn't do, that you could do, with the large format?

Just curious to know as I don't have any knowledge of large format... I know it's clumsy to carry one of these around though...
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Re: Large Format

Postby craig.rohse on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:45 pm

surenj wrote:Can I ask what attracts you to this format (for portraits?). Is it the availability of lenses, quality of photos from particular film or being able to enlarge it to billboard size?

Is there anything that a current digital (say 5D, sony a900 or D3X) couldn't do, that you could do, with the large format?

Just curious to know as I don't have any knowledge of large format... I know it's clumsy to carry one of these around though...


Not an expert either but what I have seen so far in terms of portraits with 5x4's is very impressive. The softness of the images is just fantastic, I know they are very clumsy and heavy and it takes time to set everything up, but that is what i like about it you take the time to look at the subject and have a good think about it and adjust everything before taking the picture. I guess the resolution softness/warmth of the photo comes into play as well.
It wouldn't be until christmas until I get myself a new toy but I saw this camera and thought it was very affordable.
One more thing I just love playing around with old quality build equipment :D
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Re: Large Format

Postby gstark on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:49 pm

As a brand name, Sinar are well known in pro circles as an excellent workhorse camera.

This is a 5x7 (13x8), but there should be more details of the lens and shutter, which will be mounted within the lens.

The camera will have frames that are mounted on rails, and joined by a bellows. The front standard (frame) has a lens board which is what the lens mounts to; the rear standard should have a ground glass focus screen and accept a double dark slide; the dark slide is where you will load your film. Which will not be an inexpensive exercise, but it will be very rewarding, and a whole lot of fun. 4x5 is cheaper, but still expensive.

The front and rear standards should be able to move freely along the rails, and all shifts and tilts should also be able to be easily attained. All movements should then be able to be solidly secured. The bellows should be sound and light tight. The usual precautions when buying a lens all apply, and be sure to check the shutter through all of its available speeds.

Surenj, this is real photography. You need to be deliberate and take your time. You set focus under a dark cloth on the focus screen: the view that you have is upside down and reversed. Shifts and tilts let you do all manner of things not easily attainable with a SLR of any type. Film must be preloaded into your double dark slides before you venture out into the field, and not many places these days process LF film: DIY is a viable option here.

It's not cheap, but it's sure as hell fun, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to experience real photography.
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Re: Large Format

Postby craig.rohse on Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:06 pm

Thanks Gary
The lense is a Symmar-S 5.6/210mm


Symmar-S 5.6/210mm


OPTO-MECHANICAL DATA
(with lens focused at infinity)
Available Mounts Compur 1 Prontor Prof. 1 Copal 1 BK 1
Lens Elements, Groups
6, 4
6, 4
6, 4 6, 4

Flange Focal Distance 200.9mm 199.5mm 201.0mm 200.9mm
Accessory Thread
M 77 X 0.75
M 77 X 0.75
M 77 X 0.75 M 77 X 0.75

Mounting Thread
M 39 X 0.75
M 39 X 0.75
M 39 X 0.75 M 39 X 0.75

Max. f/#
64
64
64 64

Weight
590g
570g
550g 480g

Overall Length
73mm
73mm
73mm 73mm




IMAGE DATA
(with lens focused at infinity)
Recommended Format Size
130 X 180 mm
(5 X 7")
130 X 180 mm
(5 X 7")
130 X 180 mm
(5 X 7") 130 X 180 mm
(5 X 7")

Image Circle Diameter at f/22
294mm 294mm 294mm 294mm
Angle of View at f/22
70 degrees 70 degrees 70 degrees 70 degrees
Lens Displacement at f/22 (vertical/horizontal)

90 X 120 mm ; 83 X 114 mm 71/62mm 71/62mm 71/62mm 71/62mm
4 X 5" ; 96 X 120 mm 63/56mm 63/56mm 63/56mm 63/56mm
5 X 7" ; 121 X 170 mm 33/26mm 33/26mm 33/26mm 33/26mm
130 X 180 mm ; 122 X 171 mm 32/25mm 32/25mm 32/25mm 32/25mm



OPTICAL DATA
(with lens focused at infinity)
Effective Focal Length (F')
209.9mm
209.9mm
209.9mm 209.9mm

Back Focal Length (S'F')
174.7mm
174.7mm
174.7mm 174.7mm

Principal Point Separation (HH')
-4.0mm
-4.0mm
-4.0mm -4.0mm


This is all I could find on the lense from Schneideroptics
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Re: Large Format

Postby Reschsmooth on Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:12 pm

The other questions will relate to which film you use (negative or transparency, B&W or colour) and how will you develop the film? I know you can get some 4x5 daylight developing tanks; from where locally, I don't really know.
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Re: Large Format

Postby gstark on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:13 pm

craig.rohse wrote:Thanks Gary
The lense is a Symmar-S 5.6/210mm



OK. I think that this would be the "normal" focal length for this format.

OPTO-MECHANICAL DATA
(with lens focused at infinity)
Available Mounts Compur 1 Prontor Prof. 1 Copal 1 BK 1


This tells us the types of shutters that may be fitted to this lens, but doesn't tell us what actually is fitted to the one you're looking at. The vendor should be able to supply this information, or if you can get access to the camera, then you can look for yourself. Not that this is vital information: as long as it has a serviceable shutter, all should be good.

The rest of the data isn't all that important, and what (of it) is, we already know. :)

For home developing, I think I'd be looking for something like an old Cibachrome or Jobo print processing tank, probably 8X10, given that this camera is a 5x7. A proper setup with rectangular tanks and hangers would be nice, but OTT. And would require a full darkroom setup. As would an enlarger.

Hmmm ..... 5x7 double dark slides ..... Hopefully the camera will come with a couple: two would be the minimum I would be wanting (four photos), anything greater than that is cream.
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Re: Large Format

Postby craig.rohse on Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:34 am

Thanks Gary for the information I will keep looking around for a nice one. Should be a nice Christmas present :)
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Re: Large Format

Postby Matt. K on Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:03 pm

Craig
The film (black & white} would be easy to process at home in the bathroom at night. I could talk you through that one evening. You could even do it in a plastic tray though as Gary said...a Jobo tank with film holder inserts would make it easier. I gather you would not print directly from the negs...very expensive...but scan the negs with an Epson V700 and print via a desktop printer or send to a lab?
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Re: Large Format

Postby surenj on Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:02 pm

craig.rohse wrote:Not an expert either but what I have seen so far in terms of portraits with 5x4's is very impressive.

Interesting. I would love to see your results. I am imagining the model has to be very patient.


gstark wrote:Surenj, this is real photography. You need to be deliberate and take your time. You set focus under a dark cloth on the focus screen: the view that you have is upside down and reversed. Shifts and tilts let you do all manner of things not easily attainable with a SLR of any type. Film must be preloaded into your double dark slides before you venture out into the field, and not many places these days process LF film: DIY is a viable option here.


Thanks for the info Gary. Come to think of it, I think I have had my passport photo taken in the studio with one of these. :bowdown: There were HOT lights everywhere.... the memories of childhood....
One of my friends also had their wedding group shots taken in the studio with one of these!! Imagine trying to get a large group to pose for one of these!
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Re: Large Format

Postby gstark on Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:10 pm

surenj wrote:One of my friends also had their wedding group shots taken in the studio with one of these!! Imagine trying to get a large group to pose for one of these!


It's possible that your friends may have been shot using a LF system, but more likely that it would have been MF - 645, 6x6 or 6x7: Hasselblad, Bronica, Mamiya or Rollie being the most likely culprits. MF is often used in the studio, frequently on a tripod.

As to trying to shoot a large group with LF ... That's exactly how it used to be done.

Rumour has it that Ansell Adams had all sorts of problems getting El Capitan to stay still for some of his iconic Yosemite Park images.
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Re: Large Format

Postby surenj on Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:32 pm

I remember that in both the passport and wedding photo, there was a large black cloth in which the photographer hid before the photo was taken... If you add the black cloth to the equation, does that help distinguish the format?

El capitan has a knack for running away! :rotfl2:
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Re: Large Format

Postby gstark on Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:36 pm

surenj wrote:I remember that in both the passport and wedding photo, there was a large black cloth in which the photographer hid before the photo was taken... If you add the black cloth to the equation, does that help distinguish the format?


In that case, yes, that would be likely to be large format.
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Re: Large Format

Postby Matt. K on Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:11 pm

After the end of WW2 August Sander, the brilliant German portrait photographer, was nearly bankrupt. At this time every German citizen was required to have a current ID card with photograph attached. Sander would line them up in a group of 20 at a time...shoot the group with his 10 x 8 inch plate camera and then make 1 print. He would then cut the heads out into individual ID shots and charge each customer his usual fee. He was soon solvent again. :D :D :D
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Re: Large Format

Postby Murray Foote on Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:35 pm

Hi Craig

I have a 5x4 field camera, a 5x4 monrail camera and five lenses, two of which also go with my 6x17 camera.

The camera you are contemplating is probably fine. The main thing you need to assure (or check, if possible) is that the shutter on the lens is OK. They may become slow with age and this is more apparent at the slower shutter speeds so is easy to check by comparison, or even by ear.

The main problem you are likely to have with that camera I think, is availability of film. I would carefully research that before commiting to purchasing to it. 5x4 may be a better option. Cameras can be available fairly cheaply and 5x4 film is available readily and cheaply on the internet.

You will also need a hand-held meter (probably mainly for use as an incident meter) and a good solid tripod.

Then the next consideration is the scanner. The Epson V700 is the most likely choice but you won't need to scan full resolution. Full resolution is probably somewhere between 2400dpi and 3000dpi anyway despite the claim of 4800dpi which is a theoretical resolution rather than an actual one. Epson software is OK but you will probably get better results with Vuescan of Silverfast (which cost extra). Scanning is the bottleneck but you can still get graet quality even so.

Then the comuter is a consideration. Depending on what resolution you scan at, your files will come in at something like 350MB, much larger than digital-sourced files. So you will need lots of memory and disk space.

Regards,
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