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closeup studio work
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a COMPLETE novice and own a Graflex Speed camera with a 127mm 4.7 Ektar lens. I also have a springy back thing for film and also a Polaroid back. I want take studio photos of vitamin bottles and containers of that size so that they mostly fill a frame. I will use studio lighting. There may be two objects of varying distance away in a scene but seperated by no more than an inch, or less. These photos will be used in advertising layouts. 1)I need recommendations on a lens and if the 127 is insufficient. Hunt's Boston is offering me a Simar 180mm5.6 for graflex for $399, and a Topcore 210 for $499 2)I need to read something to familiarize me with the general principles. 3)I need to read something specific to operation of this camera.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll let others deal with the proper lenses, but I highly recommend this source for Graflex info, incl. manuals.

http://www.craigcamera.com/ib_graflex.htm
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-02-02 09:43, shokan wrote:
I am a COMPLETE novice and own a Graflex Speed camera with a 127mm 4.7 Ektar lens. I also have a springy back thing for film and also a Polaroid back. I want take studio photos of vitamin bottles and containers of that size so that they mostly fill a frame. I will use studio lighting. There may be two objects of varying distance away in a scene but seperated by no more than an inch, or less. These photos will be used in advertising layouts. 1)I need recommendations on a lens and if the 127 is insufficient. Hunt's Boston is offering me a Simar 180mm5.6 for graflex for $399, and a Topcore 210 for $499 2)I need to read something to familiarize me with the general principles. 3)I need to read something specific to operation of this camera.


Um, er, ah, you probably won't need a lens longer than your 127.

Its kind of Hunt's to offer you equipment, but odds are the lenses they suggest are too long to give the magnification you'll need with your camera.

The limiting factor is bellows extension. IIRC, the magic formula is extension = f*(1 + 1/M), where f is lens' focal length and M is magnification. Sounds like you want at least life size; you can do that with a 4x5 Graphic and a 127, not with anything longer than around 150 mm.

Also, depth of field is going to be a horrible problem and your camera doesn't have the movements needed to solve the problem. Its good that you asked the question, now go get a book on closeup photography, play with your equipment to see what it can do BEFORE spending more $$$, and think hard too. Also, and not least, have fun.

Cheers,

Dan
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

99.9% of all table top photography is done with a lens longer or much longer than "normal" the reason is longer lenses give a better perspective. Assume for a moment you were using 35mm equipment and had two vitamin bottles, one an inch or two behind and slightly to the right of the first. Now the only lens you have is a 20mm wide angle and you want to "fill the frame" with the bottles. The closer bottle will fill the frame, but the second bottle will look like an ampule bottle in comparason, because with this exptreme wide angle lens, the distance from the lens to the rear bottle may be twice as much as the distance from the lens to the first bottle.

Now chuck up a 135 on your Nikon f5
The distance from camera to back bottle is nearly the same as the distance from camera to front bottle. Therefore that will look much more normal or realistic.

If I had to choose between JUST these two lenses I'd go with the 210 just because its longer (actually since I have the 180 id just use it) You can't go too much longer because you'll need more bellows than a graphic can give. rmember the closer you are the more bellows you need, and the longer the lens the more bellows you need.

If you need to do this on a budget you CANNOT GO WRONG with a 203mm f7.7 Ektar or 203 7.5 Optar. These are an Artar design and one of the best values around. at less than $200
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan has a good point about magnification and filling the frame.

It looks like you'll have to do some playing around and come to a compromise with perspective vs magnification.

There's no sin in shooting a bit loose and cropping the neg.

This is why most table top/studio photography is done with a view camera. It has a longer bellows and more movements to control perspective.

_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, by shoot 'loose', you mean space around objects and shooting a little farther away? What about the lens recommendations (by Les) for 203 Ektar etc?
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant, as in: where would I get that longer Ektar lens for around $200? I'd gladly crop the longer shot or mask out background in Photoshop by the way... I still end up with more visual data even if there's an inch around objects to edge of frame, compared to 35mm, correct?
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any other thoughts on 127mm vs 203/210 for closeup work, perspective and depth of field? I have spent the day looking around and think that it would be best to go buy the 203 (which I have found ******* in NYC for $200) to use and compare with the 127mm I already have.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-02-02 15:55, shokan wrote:
Any other thoughts on 127mm vs 203/210 for closeup work, perspective and depth of field? I have spent the day looking around and think that it would be best to go buy the 203 (which I have found ******* in NYC for $200) to use and compare with the 127mm I already have.

As I've been saying, if you want to get much magnification (>1:1) with a Graphic, a lens longer than normal won't do it. If you're interested in shooting close up but not too close up, a longer than normal lens will work fine.

BTW, I had a mental lapse when I gave a formula for extension earlier in this thread. Its f*(1+M), not f(1 + 1/M). The advice was good, though.

Cheers,

Dan
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.
1)How close can I focus on a vitamin bottle size object with a 127 mm 4.7? with a 203mm 7.7 Ektar?
2)Am I correct that if I shoot a little further away and crop later I will have better depth of field and also better perspective with the longer lens?

Sorry to be repetitive with the above, I am understanding you now. You explained it well but I am just re-hashing.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-02-03 13:30, shokan wrote:
Thanks.
1)How close can I focus on a vitamin bottle size object with a 127 mm 4.7? with a 203mm 7.7 Ektar?
2)Am I correct that if I shoot a little further away and crop later I will have better depth of field and also better perspective with the longer lens?

Sorry to be repetitive with the above, I am understanding you now. You explained it well but I am just re-hashing.


1) With a 127, close focusing distance will be a little under 10" from the lens diaphragm, and magnification will be a bit over 1:1, life size on film. With a 203, distance will be roughly 24" (if I calculated it correctly) and magnification will be around 0.5:1, half life size on film.

2) yes, but as I've said to do what you want you need a view camera, not a press camera.

Seriously and all kidding aside, why don't you just set up with the 127 you already have and see how things look on the ground glass?

Cheers,

Dan
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I will try the 127mmm as you suggest. I am moving from Massachusetts USA to Toronto CAN area in two weeks and money will be tight once there. I want to get the 203 lens from NY (maybe) before I leave if they can ship quickly here. Then I can compare both lenses and find uses for both. I have been spending like a madman to have many of the fundamental things I will need for a small illustration and design business I will start up there (workstation, design and various DCC softwares). I would love to have a view camera too but they are simply out of my price range at present, which is why I got the Graflex years ago before I knew I would be doing table-top photography. I will fool around with it and see what I can achieve. Hunt's won't take a camera like that in trade for a view camera because there isn't much demand for a Graflex. I also have an old Kodak Stereo camera... same thing, not good for a trade up in combo with the Graflex for a student view camera. How much could I reasonably expect to find such a camera with lens for? $3000?
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing: how about using the 127mm Ektar with a view camera? I would save some bucks there probably.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your accountant is going to want to kill me for this post. You've spent a ton on computers and software and you just know a view camera is out of reach so don't bother asking. Well I'm here to tell you it's well within your reach. Go spend more money!!!

A Graphic View or a Calumet 400 also known as a Kodak Master View can be had on ebay for $200 sometimes with a lens. I sold a master view with a Commercial Ektar for $250 a couple of years back. For a bit more you can get the new Calumet/Cambo 45N. This is a student model view camera that you should get for $300-500. I actually think this is a better value as it has interchangeable bellows and better movements over the 50s style GV or Master View.

doing a search on ebay for "view (kodak,calumet,korona,ansco) I found two that may interest you

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1329505563

this one doesn't have a case or lens but looks like it might be going cheap. He is selling a very nice lens seperately that also looks like it's going cheap.

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1329397924

This one has a very nice case and a very nice lens, although slightly short for your purpose. This one is probably newer than the grey one, but lensboard are readily available.

the 127mm lens covers 4x5 JUST BARELY if you want to shift the lens up or down you'll run lose the image. Either of the lenses these two have ******* will probably cover 5x7 just barely, so you'll have room to shift the lens. I'm not saying you can't use the 127 on the view, it's just that the 127 won't allow you to use all of the benefits of the view camera. The 203 will.

Midwest photo exchange currently has a couple of 45Ns ******* and one calumet 400. Here's a link to their inventory, on the left side scroll down to "monorail" and double click.
http://mpex.com/current_index.htm

[ This Message was edited by: Les on 2002-02-04 07:47 ]
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shokan



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I get a Calumet 45N, for my purposes of taking shots with good depth of field and perspective for, say, two vitamin bottles approx 3-5" high each, one staggered slightly behind foremost, what would be an ideal lens? I am going for a view camera now.

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