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  1. #21
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Bob, I find changing the configuration much more practical. I guess it is like field dressing a weapon, after you do it a few times you can do it with your eyes closed. It takes me about 3 min to change rear standards. With cameras this large seldom are we more than a couple of hundred yards away from the truck. 9 times out of 10 you will know what configuration you'll be shooting in before you set out. My camera back weighs about 7 lb and it will fit into a large backpack in case both backs need to be taken into the field. It can go on my back or on the dolly ( I prefer the dolly). Personally I like working with my camera bed flat and all my movements the same. There's no need for extra tripods or counter weights. Again I'll emphasize that these cameras were not designed to put the kind of stress you put on them when you turn them on their side. By resting the camera back on one of the tripod legs not only eliminates pan movement but what normally would be bed tilt movement as well and rear focusing can be a problem not allowing the rear standard to move in and out. If dust is an issue, what I do is pull the bellows with the darkcloth drapped over the back, wrapping the bellows in the darkcloth as I remove it. Bellows sag can be solved by adding bellows tabs in the opposite configuration. I've tried it both ways in the field and in the studio. I find it much faster to set up and even faster to compose with all my movements the same and a lot less stress on the camera. I'm just offering what I feel, in my opionion, is the best way to work with these large cameras. Others may feel differently. I just want Jeff to be aware that there is another option other than flipping a 12x20 on its side. I think he should shoot the 12x20 on its side and then determine if a vertical back is practical. He can always have one made later on. Again a lot has to do with how much he is going to shoot vertical. If he is only going to shoot a couple of sheets of film out of a hundred then the investment into a vertical back probably isn't feasible. Either way Jeff have fun, 12x20 is a great and grand format. Robert
    Last edited by RobertP; 02-06-2007 at 08:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #22

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    That sounds like a great option, Robert. Even with a 5x12 (approx. 4 times smaller) I feel abit pale while it is on it's side, even centered on the tripod...Hey, I bet you could also fashion or have made an alternate front standard with extra rise too? That would be only a few extra ounces of aluminum. Or does tilting the bed work well enough?

  3. #23
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    That sounds like a great option, Robert. Even with a 5x12 (approx. 4 times smaller) I feel abit pale while it is on it's side, even centered on the tripod...Hey, I bet you could also fashion or have made an alternate front standard with extra rise too? That would be only a few extra ounces of aluminum. Or does tilting the bed work well enough?
    Colin, Excellent question. A 12x20 is built on an 11x14 bed. This has the same front standard as an 11x14 which allows you to tilt the front of the bed up to get the lens into the sweet spot of the ground glass. Unfortunately an 8x20 is built on an 8x10 bed with an 8x10 front standard. With lenses with tight coverage you can't get the 8x10 standard up into the sweet spot (center of the ground glass) even with a radical bed tilt. 8x20 has the largest differences in format when going from horizontal to vertical.(12" difference for 8x20...8" difference for 12x20....10" difference for 7x17...ect...ect.) I spoke with Ron Wisner about making a front standard with telescoping vertical rails but I wasn't willing to wait on Wisner lead times. I just had Ron make me another front standard with the vertical rails from a 16x20 camera. This means when I change backs I also roll off the front standard and roll the taller one on. Now you may wonder why not just leave the taller standard on all the time. When you go back to the horizontal back the camera will not close into the transport position with the longer vertical rails from the taller vertical standard. When you go to change configurations you already have the back and bellows off the bed so it only takes an extra 30 seconds or so to change the front standard too. I just carry the front standard with the appropriate back. Not much added weight at all. This way I can always work with a flat camera bed. This is not needed for a 12x20 with the taller 11x14 front standard. You can tilt the bed to get enough rise. Is the 5x12 built on a 5x7 bed with a 5x7 front standard? If so you may need to check how much rise you can get with a bed tilt to see if you can get the lens up into the center of the ground glass. A vertical telescoping front standard would be the ticket for sure. That way one front standard can serve both back configurations. Robert
    Last edited by RobertP; 02-06-2007 at 10:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #24

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    Very cool. Yes, mine is built on a 5x7 bed, because initially I was going to make a separate 5x7 rear standard for it and just have the one camera bed to carry around. But now I think I might make a vertical back instead, I'm really starting to like vertical panos. Thanks.

  5. #25
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    Colin, Keep in mind that the problem with the 8x20 stemmed from me trying to use shorter focal length wide angle lenses (14" Trigor and 16 1/2" Dagor) With longer lenses and the bellows extended out you will not need as much of a radical bed tilt. With my 30" red dot I probably wouldn't even need the taller front standard. But it sure is nice having all that extra movement and working from a flat bed. Robert

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