I believe the Ordnance Survey - the UK's (excellent) mapping agency - went digital a cuple of years ago. But then, they already have the whole country mapped and what they are doing now is tracking changes in coastline, new building, etc., so they already have a base map to make the changes to, and they still do quite a lot of ground based surveying. Maybe if they were starting from scratch and were trying to do it all from the air it would be a different story.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
The Fotoman 810PS would be very suitable, but the longest lens useable is 305mm. Attached is a pic of the 810PS with a Fujinon 250/6.3 mounted. More info here... http://www.fotomancamera.com/Specials.asp
Last edited by fotoman; 08-19-2007 at 08:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.
If you can live with the smaller format, Cambo made a fixed-lens, fixed-focus camera for a 240 mm lens on 4x5. They turn up cheaply on eBay.de from time to time. Much more hand-holdable than a 19" on 8x10, where as many have said, the bulk will make life difficult even in a roomy airframe.
I can understand the wish for 8x10, but smaller negs don't seem to have held people like Emmet Gowin back much.
Thank you to everyone who has responded, and given their advice. I am sorry this took so long to fallow up on.
So here is the deal: I want to make aerieal photographs over the Lower Owens River on the next couple of trips, which I would like show along side the 8x10 inch contact prints I have been making from there. I know enlargements from MF cameras can be nice, but when shown along side an 8x10 contact, they fall apart.
I thought about getting something like a Fairchild, until I lifted one up . . .
So, I wanted to build a camera on which I could slap my existing lens and film back. I could buy a ready-made camera, but that would be cost prohibitive. Making one is my only option. The shutter speed is still my main concern/problem, and from what I can tell, there is nothing faster than a 1/125 for a size lens that will 1) cover 8x10, 2) be a long enough lens to create the abstractions I am envisioning.
So, I do have a Hass that I will take up on this first trip, and I will see if I can make some digi negs from that-- Although, the cost of having those made is going to make me wish I had made the damn 8x10.
I do have my hand-held 4x5, which has a top shutter speed of 1/300, but a somewhat less than sharp lens (the other problem is the lens is slightly wide angle, which is not exactly the look I am going for). I could get a Speed Graphic, but that would involve money I don't really have. (Anyone want to trade a couple of prints for a functioning Speed Graphic with a longish  lens and a somewhat fast shutter speed?) If so let me know. I leave next monday . . .
". . . photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium and letting it do what it does best- describe. And respect for the subject in describing it as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both."-- Garry Winogrand
"Art is just a Series of Natural Gestures
."-- John Marin
My Platinum Printing Blog
What you want, basically is an 8x10 box camera. Simple enough, find an 8x10 back and build a box. For a fast shutter you'll need something that will fit in a Copal 1 shutter---thats where the expensive part comes in OTOH, you could always rent a camera. If you'll be in LA (Santa Monica really) on the way to Owens Valley you might see if Peter Gowland will rent you one of his aerial cameras. Like I said use plastic film holders and prepare for thin negatives if you'll be using a yellow filter. At any rate look up his website.
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I'd rent you mine but I'm using it for a series of nocturnals, inspired by Peter Gowland's website!