Plungercam How-to

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jeremy, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I've become quite enamored of Keith Carter and Mark Tucker's selective focus images lately and have in mind a photo that this technique would work wonders on. After doing some searching on photo.net our very own Lex talks about using a throw-away lens gutted with a close-up adaptor on it. The final image is going to be a full-frame 6x6 and I will have a bronica body on loan from a friend when I'm ready to do this. I'm thinking of purchasing a close-up filter (any suggestions on power?), "ugly" condition lens from KEH for around $10 (there's both a 50mm f1.9 and a 75-150mm f/4.5), and a bronica body cap to carve out and duct tape the sucker to. Does anyone have any suggestions or hints about going about this?

    This project is on the back-burner at the moment, but I could use any suggestions you have about this. If I gut the lens out, will that give me the max aperture of the lens (about)? If so, I could purchase both the 50 and the 75-150 and have 2 different apertures (of course requiring 2 body caps)? Finally, how much of the 6x6 frame will this thing fill? I've never done anything like this before and I'm just kind of throwing out ideas off-the-cuff. Any other ideas for an old 80mm beseler enlarging lens that isn't being used for anything at all? These are just some projects to get the creative juices flowing when I become too equipment and 'perfection' oriented. Instead of heading off to ebay after receiving an unexpected bonus at work I stocked up on a brick of film.
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    That's along the lines of what I'm thinking of doing, but with the ability to tilt/shift. Any shots made with the camera yet?
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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    Not yet, plan to this week. The loupe that fits in the top lens chassy can rotate a little and still stay firmly in place, so I think I could actually get some tilt out of it too. Will let you know when I get some pics :smile:
     
  5. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Get yourself:

    1. A simple, close up diopter as the lens;

    2. Some way to focus it while minimizing flare;

    3. And you're in bizniz.

    The simplist method would be to tape a black bag (trash bag, leftover bag from printing paper, whatever) to both the camera body and to the outer rim of the close up diopter. There's your "focusing bellows" that also helps minimize flare (see, this trick'll work even without a bellows, barrel, etc. but flare will be atrocious).

    Wiggle diopter around 'til you have a sorta recognizable image. Presto.

    The sorta sharp center, very soft edges is due to heavy spherical aberration.

    Attaching the diopter to a bellows or barrel, something with a controllable sliding or helical device, will allow for better control of the entire rig.

    However the black bag, or a bellows without a rail, a detachable rail, etc., will allow for "movements" and funkier effects using the selective focus technique.

    Besides my ready-made Spiratone Portragon, I've experimented with a Vivitar 10x close up diopter, an old Wollensack enlarging lens and a cheap loupe. I tend to come back to the Portragon for convenience.
     
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Lex, do you have any suggestions on what strength diopter to use? Will different strength diopters give a different mm equivalent (such as +2 ~=80mm). I was thinking of using a gutted lens as then my aperture would already be measured.
     
  7. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Using a stronger diopter seems to make it easier to focus to infinity. Hence the use of a cheap loupe for the Official Plungercam, and my 10x diopter for a similar doodad.
     
  8. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    well the question is just academic now. I didn't realize that Tucker mounted the plungercam onto a Hasselblad 202FA. It has a focal plane shutter--the Bronica doesn't. When you take an exposure with no lens on the mirror just flips up and doesn't come back down until you advance the frame. So it's not easily possible to do this w/o a focal plane shutter, so I might try to do this with my old 35mm minolta. But as I wanted the larger neg in square format I ordered a holga (hey only $16 and probably cheaper than my plungercam and I already have the gaff tape) to try out first.
     
  9. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I was wondering hopw you were going to get a shutter to work with that thing. :smile:

    You could also look at maybe doing some sort of Packard shutter so it can work with a Bronica body.