do this all the time--getting close means it's best (for me) to focus by moving the camera (we're at 1:1 or thereabouts here for close head and shoulders)...so I got a saltzman tripod with a dolly on the bottom....I also use a deardorff commercial studio camera--also has wheels on the camera stand to move the camera to focus--in my opinion...camera MOVING is the way to go.
I shoot black and white transparencies--so there like one better than contact prints in my book--back lit they look so kool...
I always use strobe since I'm inside with the deardorff and longer lenses (deardorff studio with stand is large and weighs like 400 pounds with camera and all)...BUT...Ialso now am experimenting with verito 18" f4....this allows use of regular light BUT...that's a problem because packard shutter is on ly one speed or "you squeeze it" speed--very hard to control with accuracy, so Iend up going back to strobe (very weak ) with verito and synched packard for better exposure control to get it right.
also now I'm starting to experiment with W I D E portraits in the environment--using 11x14 with super wide lenses like grandagon 200mm.....for them you don't need the wheels on the tripod at all--but it's still a 200mm lens so even there your DOF is still small even at a decent distance (like 6' gives you the view of an entire couch with people on it)..so it's a 200mm lens at 6'...even f45 JUST gives you barely enough DOF to get the couch in focus front to back.
Best to do 1:1 zone--in that region, the depth of field is pretty much independent of focal length--no matter what size the lens-
yes...11x14 is THE size for me...I was doing 8x10 but it looks positively puny in comparison.
whatever lens you're using, even a full body portrait is still in the 1:5 macro zone so there's always bellows compensation and easier to focus by moving the camera--or it is for me--actually in the full body zone, then it's just becoming easier to use camera focusing...but any closer like standard portraits and you're in the macro region.
a bonus with macro region is the amount of bellows extension de-facto increases effective focal length--so a "normal" lens when shot close up becomes a "portrait" focal length--say 600mm lens at 1:1 is 4' bellows and 4' distance to subject--portrait distance--effective focal length of 1200mm without changing your lenses. In ulf you can do more with one lens--with smaller formats, you need more of a selection of lenses.
that's like a 40mm lens becoming an 80mm lens for headshots--when you enter the macro zone you get like an automatic zoom lens action where the bellows draw increases and adds to the effective focal length.
biggest challenges: rigidity, space and weight....even the film holders are heavy....AND you run out of ceiling space to pull a dark slide pretty quick with the big cameras up high. You will find that you'll be climbing on chairs or a small stepstool/ladder for focusing and film holder insertion/darkslide pulling
Last edited by johnielvis; 07-03-2012 at 01:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.