sheet or roll ?

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by wilson2, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. wilson2

    wilson2 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    A question for the experianced hands out there.
    I want to get started in panoramic format and currently have an Omega View.
    What are the drawbacks (if any) to just cropping the 4X5 sheet rather than
    getting a 6X12 roll film back. I want to photograph a variety of subjects,
    arch,lands,travel. I realize I will probably be purchasing additional equip. in the future (linhoff,fuji617,too dear for my budget). Any ideas,comments ?
     
  2. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

    Messages:
    2,718
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Just shoot the full 4 x 5. You can crop to 6 x 12 etc. Mask when you print via enlarger, or mask with the mat board. Make your 6 x 12 marks on your ground glass for composing.

    Drawbacks....4 x 5 film per shot is maybe more expensive, but you have the option of printing the full 4 x 5 image, or any cropped variation.

    A 75 mm or 90 mm that covers 4 x 5 gives a nice wide perspective on 6 x 12.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    An advantage of shooting 4x5" and cropping to panoramic of whatever aspect ratio you like is that you get a certain amount of extra rise/fall, because you could crop your image from the top, middle, or bottom of the frame. Also, if you only occasionally shoot panoramic, then you can batch all your film together by cropping from 4x5" and you don't have to carry a bulky rollfilm back.

    It would make sense to use a rollfilm back, if you were mainly shooting panos and wanted the more convenient/less costly processing of rollfilm and rollfilm takes up less space, doesn't require loading in the dark, etc.

    Take a look at the panoramas of Art Sinsabaugh--

    http://www.indiana.edu/~iuam/online_modules/sinsabaugh/p_main.html

    He generally used a 12x20" camera, but sometimes cropped to 3x20" and everything in between.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2009
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,123
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i am a fan of cropping too .. saves you from "moths in the wallet syndrome"
     
  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

    Messages:
    714
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a while I toyed with the thought of getting a 6x17cm or maybe 6x24cm but had to realise that owning a 8x10" with a Nikkor 120SW I wouldn't need one.
    Cropping is the way to go as others have said before me.
    If you want, you can make some cardboard cutouts in the sizes you want and use them to check the image as cropped. I find this helpful to see if the height inside the cropped image makes sense or not.
     
  6. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Assuming you're willing to pay for a decent 6x12cm back it's worth it for the convenience... provided you'll never want to crop to a shorter format, as others have mentioned.
     
  7. Seabird

    Seabird Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I would favour cropping from 4x5 but remember that there are films that are available in 120 that are not available in sheet sizes eg Delta 400, SFX 200 etc.

    Cheers

    Carey Bird
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~cbird/index.html
     
  8. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Central NC
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I crop 5x4 all the time. I tend to see scenes in three different aspect ratios. Normal 5x4, 1:1.618 (the "golden ratio", about 5x3), and 1:2.5 (classic pano, about 5x2). Because of this, it's much easier and cost effective to just use the one film size and crop as needed.

    Not to mention the money you save by not buying a roll film back, and the weight you save by not having to carry a roll film back around with you (especially if you backpack).
     
  9. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

    Messages:
    876
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    If you are shooting nothing but panoramic, this cuts the other way. A roll film back and multiple rolls of 120 film will weigh much less than the equivalent number of 4x5 holders.
     
  10. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I agree with Allen on the weight issue. As I stated earlier, if one never intends to crop shorter than 2:3 ratio and can afford a "good" roll film back it's worth it. A good used Horseman 6x12 can be had for approximately $400.
     
  11. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Central NC
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    IF I were only going to shoot panos, I'd buy a Fuji 617 and be done with it. But I'm not ever going to shoot only panos. I see in more aspect ratios than that. A failing, what can I say? :wink:

    An alternative to traditional cut film holders is Fuji quickloads. Quickloads save a good bit of weight over traditional film holders. And presumably over roll film backs (I haven't done any weight comparisons myself as I decided against a roll film back and don't have one to weigh).
     
  12. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    There are, as there always are, many "what if's" to consider that only the OP can answer. For me, the "what if's" clearly indicate purchase and use of a 6x12cm roll film back. But then, I'll only carry the light/small 6x12cm kit when I don't feel like carrying the 4x10in system... size/weight is the "major issue" "for me" for even having the smaller kit... and carrying several loaded sheet film holders is not part of the purpose of the small/light system. The 4x10in system I'll crop anywhere from 4x6 to 4x8 to 4x10.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I definitely prefer the compactness of roll gear when travelling, and I also like the rapid-fire possibility when the scene is rapidly changing or if I simply think I will need to take several exposures. But... yeah, I'd rather have a croppable sheet of film in my hands when I go to the enlarger. I had a 612 back until recently (sold it) and it wasn't seeing much use. It was very nice but it was just collecting dust. However, there is a *big* difference in overall equipment volume when you go to 617. For 617 and 624, the case for a roll back is a bit better than for 612, I think. I am doing 4x10 now and like it a lot, though I am occasionally tempted to buy a 617 or 624 back to put on there. I do hope that some logic will persuade me otherwise!

    Long live sheet film...
     
  14. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Ahh... if they just made 4" roll film and 4x10" roll film backs. :smile:
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well... if you asked Shen Hao they'd probably make pretty much anything you ask for. I did at some point discuss the possibility of a 624 rollfilm back. They made me an excellent 5x8" back for next to nothing. I use 5x8 on the 4x10 camera, and like it a lot. Maybe I should try 5x10 :wink:
     
  16. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    ^^^ or 5x12. :wink:
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sheet film has all the advantages that sheet film normally has. However, if it were me, I would probably choose roll film. I would also probably get three backs if I was "seriously" shooting this format for a lot of my pictures. I would definitely get at least two.

    First of all, there are some emulsions you can get in 120 that you cannot get in sheet sizes. Fuji Reala, Portra 400VC, Fuji Pro 400H, Pan F, Delta 400, Delta 3200, etc. I wouldn't use the Delta 400, but all the others are some of my favorite films. There are also the two 800 color films by Kodak and Fuji. Yes, I would use fast films in a view camera on a tripod, because I like the way they look. It always bugs me that I can't get many of these emulsions in sheet sizes. Second of all, roll film is cheaper per shot, because you are not cropping as much when you print. Third, the bulk and weight issue is a great advantage of roll film. Film holders are the #1 hassle for me when lugging a 4x5 kit around. Then, you have no need for a changing bag if you want to reload. Finally, I think it is wasteful to shoot so much that is just going to get cropped out, unless you want to utilize the advantages of sheet film that I mentioned, such as individual development.
     
  18. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Speaking of cropping 4x5 to have either that ratio or anything in between... one can always take two exposure on 6x12cm shifted up/down. With a 1cm overlap that nets a roughly 10x12cm image (actual size closer to 92x112cm) but it's even squarer than 4x5. Of course, you'll have to stitch them in PS and crop as you desire. It's just another option.
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, that's on the slippery slope to 7x17. I know better than starting down that route....!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2009
  20. wilson2

    wilson2 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    Thanks to all for the variety of interesting viewpoints.
    I want to throw a "what if " into the mix.
    I want to use camera handheld at least half the time.
    However, there will be times I will want/need swing&tilt. I have only once seen a 6X12 back for less than $600. I am going to look at a 6x12 Fotoman with a 58mmXl for $1K (makes the back look rather expensive).
    I am trying not to paint myself into the corner of "needing" two cameras to shoot 6x12 !
    Any ideas ?
     
  21. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Trying to not to paint yourself into a corner... HAH, HAH, HAH, HAH, HAH......