22 votes
Accepted

Why is my large format lens so much smaller (in length) than my 35mm-format lens?

The focal length is the distance from the (theoretical) center of the lens to the image plane. On the large format camera, there's a lot more camera between the lens and the film. The lenses are also ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
19 votes

Why doesn't digital Large-Format exist?

It depends on how you define camera. In a sense, digital large format does exist, just not exactly in the way we might expect. There are commercial products called 'Digital Scanning Backs' that fit ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
12 votes

What is produced by twisting the bellows?

The general/umbrella term is using camera movements. A tilt/shift (or perspective control) lens for an SLR is a very limited way of bringing such movements to a type of camera that doesn't natively ...
user81592's user avatar
  • 121
9 votes
Accepted

Can I shoot color film on any large format lens and camera?

The camera doesn't matter. The lens might. Many older lenses used glass that contained chemical elements that can shift color over time. Most notable are the lenses that used glass containing ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
9 votes

Will a small format lens focus correctly in a large format camera?

Focus is not the issue here. The issue is coverage. Any lens gathers light from a cone in front of it (angle depending on the focal length), and projects it to a cone behind it (angle depending on ...
psion5mx's user avatar
  • 161
9 votes
Accepted

Is aperture the same on different format of lenses?

One of the challenges early photographers faced was, how can we set the lens so it delivers a predicable amount of exposing light and how we interchange this exposing intensity between different ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Cannot get true blacks with my enlarger

Three things to check in this situation. Are your prints fully developed (that is, are you developing by time rather than snatching the print when it looks right under the safelight)? Adox seems to ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 7,141
7 votes
Accepted

How do I shoot expired film?

You can do an approximate conversion by rounding 320 to 300. But also it's two and a half decades old. You mentioned adding a stop for every decade after the purchase date. Do you know the purchase ...
laurencemadill's user avatar
7 votes

Why doesn't digital Large-Format exist?

Large Sense LLC is advertising their LS911 8×10 digital camera, as well as their LS55 5×5 digital camera. Both of them are in the prototype or development stages at the moment, so they're not exactly ...
Kittipat Tatsanakit's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Graphlex 4x5 Lens Hood and Filters - How Do They Mount?

Filters are mounted using a “filter adapter”. These were aluminum rings with a diameter slightly larger than the lens barrel. Various sizes were commonly available and we selected one that just ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
6 votes

How do I shoot expired film?

I am not sure where you live, but in my part of the world (central Europe) an attic would be a terrible place to store film. They do get rather hot in the summer. For a film stored in cellar (another ...
Jindra Lacko's user avatar
  • 5,990
6 votes
Accepted

Storing pinhole photos in the field

While some care is needed to avoid accidental light leaks, light-proofing a container enough to safely store film or paper is not a colossal effort. Something as simple as duct tape over a few ...
TheLuckless's user avatar
  • 2,330
6 votes

Should I expect a new-to-me large-format shutter to require maintenance?

Short answer, yes, this issue is expected. That Copal No. 1 is probably between thirty and sixty years old, and in professional service would have been expected to receive a CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 7,141
5 votes

B&W Negative Tray Developing: Uneven Development

A lack of uniformity in a mundane expanse such as the sky likely traces back to the developing technique. The first thing I would do is re-fix these negatives in the hope that they were under-fixed. ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
5 votes

Is there any demand for medium or large format film photography?

Once one understands the advantages of a medium format camera it becomes obvious that there are situations that such a camera would make sense. It is unlikely that a client will specifically request ...
dpollitt's user avatar
  • 46.5k
5 votes

Is aperture the same on different format of lenses?

You need to remember that the f-stop number is the ratio of the diameter of the entrance pupil (virtual image of the aperture opening seen from the front of the lens) to the focal length. So if the ...
twalberg's user avatar
  • 5,138
4 votes

Is there a reason to use folding bellows instead of my bag bellows for a range of lenses?

Only if you prefer the ease of use with folding bellows as compared to bag bellows. Bag bellows can be prone to sag in a way that partially blocks some of the light from the lens. Depending on the ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
4 votes

Why is my large format lens so much smaller (in length) than my 35mm-format lens?

Take a look at these two Schneider lenses that both have 90mm focal length: The first has coverage for "35mm" format, the second coverage for large format. I am not sure, but I think the main reason ...
osullic's user avatar
  • 12.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Can alignment of the bed rails of a Speed Graphic be repaired?

The white plastic pieces don't look like they belong. When comparing your photos to my Crown Graphic, the bed and rails appear the same but I definitely don't have anything that looks like the white ...
user7264855's user avatar
4 votes

How to store exposed sheet film

Wrap the sheets in aluminum foil, make two such envelopes. This will do the trick.
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
4 votes

What resolution can I reach with a B/W paper negative?

Here are some differences between paper and film that will affect the image resolution acutance, resolution, and resolving power. Paper: The emulsion normally used for paper is relatively ...
Stan's user avatar
  • 5,521
4 votes
Accepted

Very long exposure with large format camera

It's certainly possible - Danny Spence (http://nightflyphotography.blogspot.com/2010/07/large-format-astrophotography.html) has done some astrophotography with 15 minute exposures on 4x5 film, and a ...
JerryTheC's user avatar
  • 3,023
4 votes

What kind of lenses with a "slightly different diffraction behaviour" were used in "large format photography in the 1980s"?

Apodizations filters in large format lenses were very popular in the 1980s. The baffles in such lenses can significantly affect the diffraction characteristics of such lenses. Although lenses such as ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
3 votes

How does the position of my camera affect how the shutter performs?

The focal plane shutter consists of a spring loaded curtain. To operate, you wind a spring that is similar to the type of spring associated with wind-up clocks. When setting the shutter speed, you are ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
3 votes

Can I shoot color film on any large format lens and camera?

Cameras are boxes that focus light onto a plane. That process works regardless of what you put at that plane. Whether it's black and white film, color film, or a digital sensor doesn't matter to the ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 17.4k
3 votes
Accepted

Can I use a 300mm lens on a Graflex Speed Graphic?

To focus at infinity you will need to place the lens board 300mm in front of the film plane. To focus any closer you will have to place the lens even further away from the lens plane. So unless you ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
3 votes

B&W Negative Tray Developing: Uneven Development

I feel your processing times are off. I agree with Marcus that the development time for your sheet film is too short. It also looks as though you may not have covered the sheet of film completely at ...
Stan's user avatar
  • 5,521
3 votes
Accepted

What mm equivalent is my Kodak No. 31 Anastigmat F 4.5 5 1/2 inch lens?

The film back you are using absolutely matters, because this whole concept of "equivalence" is in reference to a given film or sensor size. You have a 3¼×2¼" mask, so that's the size of your ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
3 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to keep my camera in the hot car?

The cabin of most cars can get very hot during the summertime. Where I live when the ambient temperature approaches 100ºF/38ºC on a sunny day the inside of my vehicle can go as high as 160ºF/71ºC. ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
3 votes

How do I shoot expired film?

With expired film, all bets are off. If it’s recently expired and was stored refrigerated it can be shot at box speed. If it’s long expired and was stored in a garage, it may be useless. There’s a “...
bvy's user avatar
  • 1,076

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