sheet or roll ?
A question for the experianced hands out there.
I want to get started in panoramic format and currently have an Omega View.
What are the drawbacks (if any) to just cropping the 4X5 sheet rather than
getting a 6X12 roll film back. I want to photograph a variety of subjects,
arch,lands,travel. I realize I will probably be purchasing additional equip. in the future (linhoff,fuji617,too dear for my budget). Any ideas,comments ?
Just shoot the full 4 x 5. You can crop to 6 x 12 etc. Mask when you print via enlarger, or mask with the mat board. Make your 6 x 12 marks on your ground glass for composing.
Drawbacks....4 x 5 film per shot is maybe more expensive, but you have the option of printing the full 4 x 5 image, or any cropped variation.
A 75 mm or 90 mm that covers 4 x 5 gives a nice wide perspective on 6 x 12.
An advantage of shooting 4x5" and cropping to panoramic of whatever aspect ratio you like is that you get a certain amount of extra rise/fall, because you could crop your image from the top, middle, or bottom of the frame. Also, if you only occasionally shoot panoramic, then you can batch all your film together by cropping from 4x5" and you don't have to carry a bulky rollfilm back.
It would make sense to use a rollfilm back, if you were mainly shooting panos and wanted the more convenient/less costly processing of rollfilm and rollfilm takes up less space, doesn't require loading in the dark, etc.
Take a look at the panoramas of Art Sinsabaugh--
He generally used a 12x20" camera, but sometimes cropped to 3x20" and everything in between.
i am a fan of cropping too .. saves you from "moths in the wallet syndrome"
For a while I toyed with the thought of getting a 6x17cm or maybe 6x24cm but had to realise that owning a 8x10" with a Nikkor 120SW I wouldn't need one.
Cropping is the way to go as others have said before me.
If you want, you can make some cardboard cutouts in the sizes you want and use them to check the image as cropped. I find this helpful to see if the height inside the cropped image makes sense or not.
Assuming you're willing to pay for a decent 6x12cm back it's worth it for the convenience... provided you'll never want to crop to a shorter format, as others have mentioned.
I would favour cropping from 4x5 but remember that there are films that are available in 120 that are not available in sheet sizes eg Delta 400, SFX 200 etc.
I crop 5x4 all the time. I tend to see scenes in three different aspect ratios. Normal 5x4, 1:1.618 (the "golden ratio", about 5x3), and 1:2.5 (classic pano, about 5x2). Because of this, it's much easier and cost effective to just use the one film size and crop as needed.
Originally Posted by wilson2
Not to mention the money you save by not buying a roll film back, and the weight you save by not having to carry a roll film back around with you (especially if you backpack).
If you are shooting nothing but panoramic, this cuts the other way. A roll film back and multiple rolls of 120 film will weigh much less than the equivalent number of 4x5 holders.
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson
I agree with Allen on the weight issue. As I stated earlier, if one never intends to crop shorter than 2:3 ratio and can afford a "good" roll film back it's worth it. A good used Horseman 6x12 can be had for approximately $400.