That is very true. I printed a double portrait a while ago, and I was sure I had the negative upside down in the contact frame, because I distinctly remembered the man being on the right and the woman being on the left, though they would be reversed in the print. I had the notches in the right place, though, and the emulsion was toward the paper as it should have been. I was clearly remembering the groundglass image, and not the real orientation of the scene.
A simple trapeeze arrangement that allows the photographer to hang upside down by his knees behind the camera would do the trick.
I hope you guys don't try to steal this idea before my patent comes through.
Sinar has/had a reflex finder for their 4x5 F. I thought it was kind of useless. You don't need it for shade in the studio and you have to remove it to critically focus with a loupe. As far as inverting the image, it makes absolutely no difference to me at all. My brain does that for free. The only time I notice it is when someone looks over my shoulder and says "Hey, it's upside down!"
Why not just turn the lensboard or ground glass upside down? That would be far easier than the aforementioned trapeze arrangement.
Viewing the image upside down and backwards enhances your compositional eye considerably. It triggers right side brain response. I've read that Henri Cartier-Bresson at one time had Leitz fabricate a prism for his Leica which turned the viewfinder image upside down.
PRIME, I believe I have the answer for your dilemma. What you have gotten yourself into is a matter of Hemispherical Proportions. The camera you are using is obviously designed to be used in the Southern Hemisphere
What you need to spend your hard-earned money on is a "Gray-Market"
Northern Hemisphere Large Format Camera. This will solve all those problems with the incorrect image. Trust me on this one, throw your present camera away. Rush out Monday and make a huge LF purchase of the correct model for your Hemisphere. This will do two things,#1 a lucky retailer like myself will get to sell a LF outfit and #2 you will be filling the local land-fill with heavy metal. Thanks Jim
Thanks for the advice, all. Apparently, I need to make some modifications in order to right the image. I may look into creating a roll-up mirror out of aluminum foil.
I have a question for Jim (coolpix9): What if I wanted to use the Northern Hemisphere Large Format Camera on the equator? Would I need to purchase a prismatic ground-glass? Also, do you accept CODs?
Equatorially speaking, I believe you would only be able to shoot panoramics. If you mount the camera upside down on the bottom of your tripod, it would be easier to use then standing on your head.
COD's are fine with one easy payment up front. Thanks for letting all of us poke fun at your question. The boys here at the store are rolling with laughter at some of the suggestions. Jim