Could they right the image?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Prime, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. Prime

    Prime Member

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    How easy would it be for lens manufacturers to right the image so that we could see things right-side-up on the ground glass?
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Prime @ Oct 24 2002, 06:50 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>How easy would it be for lens manufacturers to right the image so that we could see thing right-side-up on the ground glass?</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    I haven't gotten into Large Format yet, but from what I hear people learn to see the image right side up. I read about an experiment where some college students were fitted with special glasses. These glasses turned everything upside down (or I guess you could say right side up since our brain is interpreting the original as upside down). Anyway, they could not remove these glasses. After a period of time they all reported that they were now seeing everything right side up! So their brains had learned to re-interpret the image. It must take a lot of focus to learn to do this only when it's needed.

    Isn't there a back you can place on a large format camera that will re-orientate the image? I guess you could lug one of those around, do the initial composition with it, remove it, then do your fine focusing. They look heavy though.
     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    To right the image you would probably have to add another set of elements wich would do nothing to improve the image and/or the circle and would only take light away from the projected image. I have one of those right angle viewers for my 4x5 and have not used it once. Once you get used to the reversed image there really is no need to "straighten" it.
     
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    To answer your question, yes it could be done, but for me, the upside down image is a great thing! It is one of the many things I enjoy about large format work. It slows me down, and quickly gets me out of the rapid fire motor driven 35mm mindset.

    Brian
     
  5. BobF

    BobF Member

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    At first the inverted image of a view camera was something I was able to deal with. Then it became something I got used to and was comfortable with using but I always realized it was inverted and thought of it as such. I thought this was as good as it gets. "Wow I have arrived, I are a LF photographer".

    At some later point it became right, or natural, or normal. Whatever you want to call it I no longer noticed the gg image was different from the subject. I don't even know how long it had been before I noticed that my brain had apparently learned to switch between GG viewing and "reality" viewing but when I finally noticed it I just stood at the camera stunned.

    It made me consider how much of what we percieve of the world is in many ways controlled by how our brain has been trained. Is this self induced brain washing? If I can train myself to do this what else is possible? I have come to believe from this and other observations that our reality is far more maleable then we would like to believe.

    But I digress from photography and will end up in politics and religion if I don't stop. So to get back to the initial question, your brain can invert it for you so in the end you don't need the lens to do it for you.
     
  6. Prime

    Prime Member

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    So, to right the image would be to wrong it.
     
  7. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    right
     
  8. Robert

    Robert Member

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    You could add a mirror setup. Isn't that how the the Graflex SLRs worked?

    I think it's partly what you're used to. If you've used a TLR then being backward isn't a problem-)) Just need to get used to the upside down stuff.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are reflex finders, but they can be cumbersome, particularly as format size increases.

    The inverted image is something one gets used to. It also makes it easier to see the composition of the image abstractly.

    Try this exercise: pick up some albums of the work of your favorite LF photographers and read them upside down, or even better, you might use a mirror to see them upside down and reversed, though this can be a little awkward. I find this particularly interesting with Weston. His forms become much clearer that way. Someone ought to do an upside down exhibit of Weston.
     
  10. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    god forbid my c1 was any heavier. It's weird, but I am more likely to rember the GG image than the place. Sometimes I go back and am suprised that everthing is backwards(right to left). I am not suprised though that it is not upside down.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That is very true. I printed a double portrait a while ago, and I was sure I had the negative upside down in the contact frame, because I distinctly remembered the man being on the right and the woman being on the left, though they would be reversed in the print. I had the notches in the right place, though, and the emulsion was toward the paper as it should have been. I was clearly remembering the groundglass image, and not the real orientation of the scene.
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    A simple trapeeze arrangement that allows the photographer to hang upside down by his knees behind the camera would do the trick.
    I hope you guys don't try to steal this idea before my patent comes through.

    Sinar has/had a reflex finder for their 4x5 F. I thought it was kind of useless. You don't need it for shade in the studio and you have to remove it to critically focus with a loupe. As far as inverting the image, it makes absolutely no difference to me at all. My brain does that for free. The only time I notice it is when someone looks over my shoulder and says "Hey, it's upside down!"
     
  13. cjarvis

    cjarvis Member

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    Why not just turn the lensboard or ground glass upside down? That would be far easier than the aforementioned trapeze arrangement.
     
  14. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Viewing the image upside down and backwards enhances your compositional eye considerably. It triggers right side brain response. I've read that Henri Cartier-Bresson at one time had Leitz fabricate a prism for his Leica which turned the viewfinder image upside down.
     
  15. coolpix9

    coolpix9 Member

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    PRIME, I believe I have the answer for your dilemma. What you have gotten yourself into is a matter of Hemispherical Proportions. The camera you are using is obviously designed to be used in the Southern Hemisphere
    What you need to spend your hard-earned money on is a "Gray-Market"
    Northern Hemisphere Large Format Camera. This will solve all those problems with the incorrect image. Trust me on this one, throw your present camera away. Rush out Monday and make a huge LF purchase of the correct model for your Hemisphere. This will do two things,#1 a lucky retailer like myself will get to sell a LF outfit and #2 you will be filling the local land-fill with heavy metal. Thanks Jim
     
  16. Prime

    Prime Member

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    Thanks for the advice, all. Apparently, I need to make some modifications in order to right the image. I may look into creating a roll-up mirror out of aluminum foil.

    I have a question for Jim (coolpix9): What if I wanted to use the Northern Hemisphere Large Format Camera on the equator? Would I need to purchase a prismatic ground-glass? Also, do you accept CODs?
     
  17. coolpix9

    coolpix9 Member

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    Equatorially speaking, I believe you would only be able to shoot panoramics. If you mount the camera upside down on the bottom of your tripod, it would be easier to use then standing on your head.
    COD's are fine with one easy payment up front. Thanks for letting all of us poke fun at your question. The boys here at the store are rolling with laughter at some of the suggestions. Jim