New to 5x4 how do I...

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Mal, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Mal

    Mal Member

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    Hi,

    I've just picked up a Zero 5x4 pinhole and a couple of double darkslide backs.

    I've not used 5x4 before and was wondering if someone could give me a clue as to storing exposed negatives prior to processing without leaving them in the film holders...

    My concern is getting them mixed up - especially if I have bracketed a series and not being able to work out which is which...

    I would love to take more than 4 images per session...

    Thanks for your help, Mal...
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.297 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Best way be in a spare bag that negs come in. Box too. In any event, they must be kept in the dark, cool and dry.
     
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  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Mal,

    Just remove the exposed negatives from the holders and put them back in film boxes. Label the boxes as necessary. If you currently have only one film box, just clip different corners of the sheets to indicate how they were exposed. Better write down your clipping code in case enough time to forget goes by before you get around to processing.

    Actually, if you're "just starting out," you're probably just as well off processing your sheets in one batch using "normal" developing times to help you zero in on your particular film/developer times. The different exposure times should be evident in the exposed film. The fewer variables the better at your stage of the game. For simplicity's sake, start out with four sheets (since four 4 x 5 sheets will fit onto a single 8 x 10 sheet of contact paper).

    Konical
     
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  4. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Hi Mal
    If you are out in the field and do not want to leave them in their holders, you are probably best storing the exposed sheets in an empty film box. Do you have a changing tent or similar? If you are later processing the bracketed sheets all normally, and the brackets are not too narrow, you should be able to tell after processing which one is which by their relative densities. If you do really need to know which sheet came from which holder, some people put notches in the edge of their film holders to enable ready identification of individual sheets - the notches show up as areas of exposure on the edge of the negs.
    Failing that, you may want to get a couple more holders...
    Ian
     
  5. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Additional holders (double darkslides Downunder) are cheap, convenient, easy to use.
     
  6. Mal

    Mal Member

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    Thanks all... I have managed to find a place to store the exposed sheets. Now I just need to find a suitable bag to carry all of the paraphernalia around in!
     
  7. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Billingham bags (Robert White UK) are not super-cheap, but are very fine things for lugging around your film-powered companions...
     
  8. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    Mal,
    I will have a look I may have a couple of extra boxes laying around. I will check over the next couple of days and let you know. I will also check my DD stocks I may have a couple to sell, not sure yet. If you are looking for a bag to change in, I would recommend the Harrison tent. I have a jumbo which is the best thing since canned beer. It is great in the field and the room means no dust on surfaces laying on your material. They have various sizes and are really worth the investment. The stow into their own bag and weigh very little. The extra room means that it is cooler. That helps here..
     
  9. Mal

    Mal Member

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    I have a Billingham bag for my 35mm rangefinder gear and had already thought to empty it and see if everything fit. As for boxes, I'm sure that once I have played with this for more than 5 minutes the pile of boxes will grow... I currently have a dark bag but the idea of the tent sounds good Pat. I will need to experiment to see how much dust happens (and I have no doubt that it will).

    I was seriously considering trying some Fuji FP-100C instant film so that I can experiment with exposures and see results without the expense of developing & scanning negatives. Has anyone done this? Is it worth the time?

    I have the polaroid back already and wanted to use it at least once before it became obsolete... Having said that the Zero 5x4 pinhole with the Linhoff 5x4 polaroid back looks weird enough that I should expect lots of curious questions...
     
  10. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Mal, little camera shop in Hardware Lane (City) has a heap of darkslides in the window, not sure how much $ the were though.
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That's Camera Lane (with Alan Lane at the helm of his Ferrari PC...)! Worth your while wandering in for a natter on all things photographic!
     
  12. Mal

    Mal Member

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    Thanks Shane... Will go and have a look.

    Decided yesterday that I would try some Fuji FP-100C instant film. Unfortunately I didn't check and the film comes in a pack of 10 rather than single sheets. My holder takes single sheets... So now I need to find an instant film holder that holds packs...

    Will it never end? :smile:
     
  13. PhotoBob

    PhotoBob Subscriber

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    If you do a lot of hiking, you might consider a Tamrac photo-backpack or just a regular camera bag. I started carrying my pinhole gear in a very modest bag, but as things grew, I changed to a LowePro bag, much bigger with dividers is good.
    Just some ideas :smile:
     
  14. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Just one quick tip for using the Zero Image 4x5: If you are using it in it's 25 mm set-up, so without additional extension modules, the documentation mentions an F138. However, just like with any pinhole, there is light fall off, and for the 25 mm configuration, it is huge, several stops. So, although technically the F138 is probably an accurate guideline for the centre of the negative, you therefore may wish to overexpose at for example 1 to 1.5 stop to have some density at the edges of the frame.

    When I started to use my Zero Image 4x5 in 25 mm set-up, I at first followed the F138 guideline, but I subsequently noticed I underexposed most negatives...

    Problem is, with such light fall off, you can not actually talk about a single "F-value" of the pinhole (if theoretically it is even accurate to talk about an F-stop for a non-lens system)

    Marco
     
  15. Mal

    Mal Member

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    Hi Marco,

    I've heard that from someone else and it makes a lot of sense. The distance to the film at the centre of the image is about one inch and to the corners I'm guessing somewhere around 2 or more inches. Given the inverse square law the corners would get less than a quarter of the light than the centre of the image. It will be fun to experiment - hopefully I'll get it right most of the time...

    I'm happy to believe that discussing aperture on a lensless camera is technically correct. An aperture is simply a hole and it's the same with or without a lens. Originally the stops were just interchangeable brass plates with a hole in them and that doesn't sound very much different to what I'm using with a pinhole camera.

    I've had a look at your website and love the architechtural shots around Amsterdam. Keep up the inspiring work - makes me want to get out there...

    Mal...
     
  16. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    One other tip for printing these negatives: even with proper exposure, you will still have to deal with a huge light fall off during printing. If you want to (partly) compensate for this, I have found the following method of printing very effective. At some point, I became maybe even to good at it, almost eliminating the darkening:

    Use a very short hard graded exposure (Grade 3-4.5 for maybe 3-5 seconds) to expose the entire sheet of photographic paper. This hard graded exposure is compulsory, as it helps bring out contrast in the corners of the print. Without it, you will have either black corners, or very flat contrast in the corners, as the negative will be thin anyway in the corners, even with proper exposure during capture of the image.

    Next, use a black piece of paper with a hole of maybe 5 cm in it, to illuminate the centre of the image with a normal contrast grade (2-2.5) for maybe 10-15 seconds. Move the paper up and down continuously during this exposure, so as to give the centre of the paper the maximum exposure, and to the sites of the paper less (and preferably none, or almost no additional exposure besides the hard graded at the very edges of the paper).

    It will require some practice, but it works nicely to combat some of the light fall off in the prints, while maintaining good overall contrast over the entire print even in the light of the dramatic light fall off and the consequences of that on the negatives contrast across its surface.

    By balancing the initial hard graded overall exposure with the exposure with the black paper centre exposure, you can control how much light fall off still appears in the print.

    All of the prints in the galleries you have seen used so form of this method.

    In this print, the light fall off was almost eliminated:

    [​IMG]

    Much less compensation:

    [​IMG]

    Marco
     
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  17. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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