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  1. #1
    n2mf's Avatar
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    5x7 Ground Glass

    Just acquired a nice Eastman View 2D 5x7 camera, but it needs a ground glass. Never having bought a ground glass for a view camera, I thought I should ask if there is any particular type to get. I presume there are different degrees of brightness depending on the quality. Any opinions would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Plenty to be had. I just searched on the Bay and found several, $22.00 to wayoverpriced. Googling also brought up several possibilities. The standard GG such as the Kodak are rather course grained and your focus won't appear as sharp even though it is sharp. I purchased a SatinSnow 4x5 glass a few years ago and it is excellant, unfortunately I believe he is no longer making GG's but I have seen other brands for sale that look very close. You might check with Jim at Midwest Photo, he may have one. You will need to know exact dimensions minus about 2 mm on 2 sides of the size you need , best to use a millimeter ruler. You want a little wiggle room to allow for expansion/contraction of the wood frame. There are substitutes for GG and I'm sure others will chime in with their suggestions.

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Check out Steve Hopf Groundglass.

    Steve did a custom 8x10 replacement with grid for my Calumet C1. It's a beautifully made piece of work all on its own. And bright enough that I don't need to bother with a Fresnel lens. Consider the borosilicate glass type, if you can afford it. Much more robust than the soda-lime option.

    Very reasonable prices, and Steve is a great person to work with. You won't find anyone nicer...

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  4. #4
    stormpetrel's Avatar
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    Glass: soda lime or borosilicate. The soda lime (common glass) is not as transparent and strong as the borosilicate (more expensive)
    With our without a Fresnel lens: well people hate or love them. You have to try.

    Depending how deep are your wallet:

    * DIY: buy some silicon carbide powder (grit 600) and 2x pieces of glass (your cheapest option are low cost picture frames). I made few of them, it works like a charm. It takes 1hour to make 2x ground glass. PRO: easy to do, cheap, nice finish CON:soda lime glass

    * buy low cost from ebay: There are some guys from Shanghai who make and sell them on ebay with or without Fresnel lens. Look for YANKE.

    * Good quality custom made ground glass: http://www.hopfglass.com/order

    * Maxwell Precision Optics. I can not find any website but they make high end ground glass with our without Fresnel lens.

    You will love this format!

  5. #5
    n2mf's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm learning a lot. Been using a Crown Graphic 4x5 with glass & fresnel currently. Didn't know that would be an option on the old view camera. Wondering if the two together will change the sharpness on the film plane though.

  6. #6

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    No change in the plane of the ground glass relative to where the film sits in its carrier, just like your Graflex.

  7. #7
    shutterfinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kawaiithulhu View Post
    No change in the plane of the ground glass relative to where the film sits in its carrier, just like your Graflex.
    Graphic cameras with a fresnel/ground glass sandwich have the ground glass the optical thickness of the fresnel forward from where it would be without the fresnel.
    If you add a fresnel between the lens and ground glass then the ribbed side of the fresnel faces the ground glass with the sandwich shimmed forward the optical thickness of the fresnel.
    A fresnel placed behind the ground glass requires no adjustment to the ground glass.
    The ground side of the ground glass always faces the front standard/lens.
    The ribbed side of the fresnel always faces the ground glass.
    A fresnel reduces hot spots and makes deep shadow detail more visible.

  8. #8
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    If you add a fresnel on the back side of the ground glass (away from the lens) it won't change the focus. But the fresnel will likely get scratched up in use. You can add a thin cover glass or Mylar sheet to protect it if want.

    The Maxwell screens have a frosted surface with fresnel behind them. This allows you a drop in replacement for a ground glass. The fresnel is covered with clear glass for protection. I've heard however that new 5x7 Maxwell screens are now out of production because of a scratch in the mold.

  9. #9
    n2mf's Avatar
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    Thanks. At first I think I will just get a plain old ground glass. This camera has an old Gundlach Radar Anast. 4.5 lens and Betax shutter that works. I've decided I'm kind of feeling nostalgic about using the camera with the old set-up to see what it produces.



 

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