Kind of A client asking me to shoot with polaroid film with selective focus. I have not accepted yet since I have no experience with LF but still I got one month to study this offer.
Originally Posted by eddym
The problem is there aren't many LF photographers in my country...everyone has gone digital and I am left with my MF gears so I thought this is a great chance to move up to LF.
Focus with the part of the subject you want sharp in the center of the image.
Use back swing to de-focus the left and right sides but keep the middle sharp.
Use front tilt to de-focus the top and bottom.
Refocus until the center is sharp.
I have done this to blow out cluttered backgrounds when I had no ability to control DOF with a wide f stop.
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
A $200 - $300 Pacemaker Crown graphic kit would be a good place to start, IMO. At this price, it should have an Ektar 5" lens, a case, some film holders, a Graflok back (make sure of this), and a flashgun with reflector, synch cable, and solenoid. If it is in clean condition you might want to pay $400 or even $500 if it is super dooper clean. They are built like brick $hithouses, very easy to find, and very cheap. Very plentiful and very well known = easy and cheap to find parts and service. They fold up into a nice and easy-to-pack size, especially if you pull off all the extraneous stuff like RFs and VFs. (These can both help a lot for shooting portraits though.) They have front shift, plus some other movements, which is all the movement you need for most applications. If you don't care about originality, and are mechanically inclined, they can be hacked to provide a great deal more front shift. I highly recommend these things. They are great. One of the most versatile cameras ever made. I would get a *true* tele (not just "long") lens so you can fit it on the Crown and still get your classic tight headshot or head and shoulders shot. Schneider Tele-Xenar 240 or 360. Keep the Ektar for environmental portraits as well. It's a great length for that. Don't forget a good incident meter like the sub-$200 classic Sekonic Studio meter. Don't forget to calibrate your RF to your favorite portrait lens as well.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-06-2008 at 09:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Though if you have base tilts, Sinar F for example - where it drives me nuts, you have to raise/lower the standards after tilting the front. If you can do all the swing and tilt at the back you only have to refocus.
Originally Posted by raucousimages
You can run into some rather funky distortion with lots of adjustment - use a large aperture and the minimum amount of bellows pretzel.
BTW, if you want to stick with MF, some models of the Mamiya Press cameras come with back movements and an accessory ground-glass back. Linhof Technikas will do the same thing, though at a much higher price.
have you seen mark tucker's plunger-cam series ?
he used a mf camera and a focusing loupe from what i remember -
and made his own mf lensbaby.
you can use a crown ( or speed ) graphic body and do something similar i am sure.
a speed might work better seeing that it has a focal plane shutter ...
you can use magnifying lenses, diopters, you name it, for lenses,
and make your own lf lensbaby, it isn't hard, and would be fun.
you'd have to figure out your focal length ( easy - see where it focuses at infinity )
and then divide your lens opening into the focal length to get your fstop.
i've used lenses harvested off of olde beat-on folding cameras on my speed
(and graflex slr ) and gotten effects that might be similar to what you want.
if you don't want to deal with a focal plane shutter, you can get a single speed
packard shutter with a flash sync. they are still being made
at the packard shutter company
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Rather a simple answer to this one.
Originally Posted by Dave Miller
With the Hasselblad or RB67 I can adjust the focus up to the point of tripping the shutter.
With any LF-type camera, one must close the lens (that was opened for focusing), load the film holder, pull the slide, and hope my subject hasn't swayed toward or away from the camera while I wasn't paying attention, thereby knocking said subject out of sharp focus.
The cure for this is to select an aperture tight enough to allow for any slight motion, but then the photographer is compromising on the zone of sharp focus (many of the 'elite' use the term 'bokeh') selected. This order of 'problems' will occur with either a field camera or a full-motion view camera as the "ready, aim, shoot" process is identical.
The 'length of string' you mentioned is (my opinion only) good for light placement but I feel not accurate enough for any attempt at focusing a camera; however, it will give a person a starting point.
That's not to say one can't do portraiture with LF - it's just a little more of a pain in the posterior, but unless the subject is somewhat familiar with LF photo procedures, they can get rather testy in a hurry.
That's been my experience, anyway.
Last edited by Frank Szabo; 07-08-2008 at 12:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy."
The Shen-Hao will do you just fine for your purposes. If you want to use a longer lens like a 300mm or 360mm for front/rear compression and background separation, I'd suggest the Walker Titan, or if a Walker is in your budget, also look at a Canham Woodfield. Both will give you tons of movement and more bellows extension than the Shen Hao. I have a Shen Hao, and a Canham, and I love them both.
I've used a Crown for environemental portraits, travelling overseas. A great idea, light and fast, tough and very portable.
I recently bought a Shen Hao and it's great too. But I found the Crown was faster set-up if you're doing that kind of shooting only.
There was a Linhof Super Tecnika (sp?) for sale here in the past day or two...same basic set-up as the Crown and it seemed to be at a very good price.
I think that if you want movements at all, for any reason, you'll find the Crown/Speed Graphic extremely limiting immediately. They have front rise, a little bit of front shift, and a little bit of front tilt, mostly so you can use wide-angle lenses on them (drop the bed and tilt the front standard back so you can get it back to vertical, keeping the bed out of the field of view). By comparison, a Shen, Canham or Walker can be turned into a pretzel.