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Photographic doldrums
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, now Fred gets the award for the 'longest' post in this thread

And to make Sid happy, how about I take a photo of the lamps?

Nick: I'm not sure there were any numbers on the tubes. I'd have to check, and they're packed up and behind a lot of 'stuff' in the hopes they don't get broken. I also have to find out if I could get more. As I remember, the seller asked if I wanted more because they apparently don't sell well in odd sizes and used...

My worry about using odd cold-light tubes is that they may not match in color or intensity, and may not be easily replacable later on. I don't know what I was thinking when I only bought two of them, maybe save some money? But for a new light box, I think the flourescent suggestion may be the best. At least they're cheap, easily replaced and should be fine for B&W. They would just have to be used with a shutter. But that's easy even if an enlarger lens is used by any old cheap shutter including a Packard. And I still want to get a Packard just to play with anyway

And speaking of using flourescents. If the box was built with standard straight flourescent tubes, the tubes could later be replaced with ultraviolet ones for an alternative print light source! Hmmm....


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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much of an issue is future replacements not being exactly the same? If you're running a commerical lab sending out hundreds of copies of the same negative I could see wanting to make sure they all look alike. But if you're doing it for yourself I'm not sure I see the problem. If 18 months from now you're looking to do a reprint then it costs you some new testing. But other then that what do you lose?

Think of it this way. If in the middle of printing with a normal bulb it blows and you need to replace it. What are the chances the new bulb will match exactly the old one that just blew?
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
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Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea how much of an issue it would be? At least with B&W, the only problem may be even illumination. But that would be a potential problem with any multi-bulb light source. And a diffuser would help a lot with that, unless you're using two bulbs and one of them was considerably off...

The way my mind is leaning right now, I like the idea of several straight flourescent tubes in a box. I wanted to build a UV light source for POP printing anyway and this has the potential to accomplish both. Hmmm, may be able to contact print the POP paper right in the negative carrier? Of course switching bulbs would be a minor hassle, but far less than buying or building two separate light sources. I'll just have to figure out how many bulbs it would take. I doubt they would have to be right next to each other if using a diffuser. If they could be seperated by an inch, it would only take 4 bulbe to spread 8 inches and that's not too bad!



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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, looks like my mind leaned a bit too far...

I noticed a Polaroid MP-4 copy camera up for auction with both the 4x5 and 8x10 heads. Something I just couldn't pass up after this discussion. It may not make the worlds best enlarger, but it _will_ make both a 4x5 and 8x10 enlarger at some point!

So, after all this it looks like a light box is now in order... And I've read some messages referring to "instant on" flourescent tubes which might make a great light source...

Now I have to start thinking about a lens or two. Seems like an MP-4 lens should make a good enlarger lens, or is there something wrong with pushing the light in the opposite direction?

Hmmm, maybe I should pay for this item and actually get it to see what I'm working with first?


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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long are the lenses? I wouldn't worry about a lens. You can pickup a process lens that will cover 8x10 for very little. If I remember the high dollar lens Beseler sold with thier 8x10 kit was actually a process lens. Or you could keep an eye out for a real enlarger lens. In the focal length you need they aren't that common and are likely more expensive then a process lens but they'll be a good 2-3 stops faster.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-26 13:45, RichS wrote:
Well, looks like my mind leaned a bit too far...

I noticed a Polaroid MP-4 copy camera up for auction with both the 4x5 and 8x10 heads. Something I just couldn't pass up after this discussion. It may not make the worlds best enlarger, but it _will_ make both a 4x5 and 8x10 enlarger at some point!

So, after all this it looks like a light box is now in order... And I've read some messages referring to "instant on" flourescent tubes which might make a great light source...

Now I have to start thinking about a lens or two. Seems like an MP-4 lens should make a good enlarger lens, or is there something wrong with pushing the light in the opposite direction?

Hmmm, maybe I should pay for this item and actually get it to see what I'm working with first?


Um, Rich, the MP-4 lenses are macro lenses. They are designed to have the small image in front of the lens and the large behind. Reversed enlarging lenses. If you want to make reductions, the MP-4 lenses might do, but if you want to enlarge you should get a real enlarging lens.

I hate to admit mistakes, but I have one growing dust out in the garage. An MP-4 baseboard and column. The column is vertical, maybe (guess, not measurement) 40" high. I fear that you'll run out of column before you can get the head high enough to make a large print and that you'll be limited by the distance from the center of the lens to the column.

Cheers, regrets,

Dan
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what the MP-4 lenses are supposed to be, but I also wonder how bad they could be. Polaroid sold (sells?) an enlarger head for the MP-4 but as far as I know, no different lenses? The least of my worries at the moment. Camera lenses will work while the thing is being created... And a lens with a shutter will be a huge convenience.

I'm sorry to hear you have an MP-4 collecting dust. I would think you could find some use for it? I bought this one for more than one reason. I originally wanted one out of curiosity, a macro/copy camera, and the thought of making it into an enlarger. I know the column is straight, now... I do like to play with such things... I can't make any deffinite plans until I get the thing here and see it's construction. But it might offer me some fun and be mildly useful otherwise. If I can get a 16x20 print out of it, it will serve all purposes for me and I'll be happy.

The problem on the other side is that I just can't afford an 8x10 enlarger. They either just plain cost too much or people won't ship them. I still have plans to modify an 8x10 camera to make a horizontal enlarger, but the MP-4 may do the job until then. And the light box that will be built for the MP-4 would be the same box for the horizontal setup. Not much lost except a few dollars and I get something I wanted anyway to play with. No bad news and no regrets (so far). I knew what I was buying...


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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-26 19:29, RichS wrote:
I know what the MP-4 lenses are supposed to be, but I also wonder how bad they could be.

I'm sorry to hear you have an MP-4 collecting dust. I would think you could find some use for it?

I've shot the 135/4.5 and 75/4.5 at distance. Pretty bad. Could have been operator error, but ...

I got the column and baseboard to use as the basis for a copy stand. I didn't get a complete MP-4.

It sits unused because of three problems, of which two are inherent and one due to my lack of care in buying. Can't find a "universal camera mount," which is needed to attach anything but the MP-4 camera itself, which plugs into the slider, at a reasonable price. The "counterweight" springs are too strong for the cameras I want to use with the thing. And, I bought one with a whacked scale on the post.

Cheers,

Dan

p.s., I'm out only $25 and a trip to near DC to collect it. Could have been much worse.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
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Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gees, that was a deal. Not bad. Instead of letting it collect dust, you could always get rid f it at some profit. I wanted to buy exactly what you have for the same reason and never found one cheap enough. That was before 8x10. I also never saw one with the 8x10 head, until the one I grabbed. Quite a bit more than you paid, but fairly reasonable considering the market prices now. Although I haven't seen it yet I have seen at least one copy camera adapter but I don't remember what it went for. And you could always add weight to the camera side to balance the counterweight?

I wouldn't imaging those lenses working well at infinity. But I can't imagine them being bad from the magnification ratios Polaroid advertises them for. And that's 1:10 to 10:1. If I could get 10:1 on 8x10 I would be very happy! Seems like pushing things a bit to me though... I did put a 90mm on the 8x10 once to see how much magnification I could get. What a pain to focus! And dark! I would love to see their 17mm with the 8x10 head but I can't imagine it working. I haven't done the math, but there just doesn't seem like enough column height or bellows extension for that combo? And they only list 1:1 for the 135mm, so where does that 10:1 come from? Then they list 32:1 for the 17mm. That's a bit past the 10:1, but with a double extension...

Now, as to the 1:10. That would equate to an original size of 80x100 for an 8x10 head. Obviously the unit could not possibly copy anything that large, but it does indicate it could handle a 16x20 easily (ratio of only 1:2). So I still wonder why their lens wouldn't work well as an enlarger lens. It's flat field and designed for that ratio with the 105mm (probably in 4x5 though). Just because the light is going the other direction could not affect it's performance. And from what I've seen of the coverage of a 120mm on the 8x10, even their 135mm should do a 16x20 easily with the column height. As I remember, they say the maximum size is something like 20x24 or thereabouts. Technically, this thing should do exactly what I'm looking for...

For the cost, I'm going to try an original lens just to see how it works, and to complete the unit as original. Then I'll try some camera lenses since I've never tried those on enlargers before. Gotta have some fun with this thing! If it all works out, I may invest in a real lens at some point. But not until I know it works and find out exactly what length lens it would need. The quality of the light source will count for a lot too...


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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Polaroid sold (sells?) an enlarger head for the MP-4 ..."

I've never seen an enlarger head for an MP-4 (not that i've looked hard) From the Polaroid site, they make an 8x10 copy head, so you can use their 8x10 Polaroid film and processor.

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Dan Fromm



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-27 05:59, RichS wrote:


I wouldn't imaging those lenses working well at infinity. But I can't imagine them being bad from the magnification ratios Polaroid advertises them for. And that's 1:10 to 10:1. If I could get 10:1 on 8x10 I would be very happy! Seems like pushing things a bit to me though... I did put a 90mm on the 8x10 once to see how much magnification I could get. What a pain to focus! And dark! I would love to see their 17mm with the 8x10 head but I can't imagine it working. I haven't done the math, but there just doesn't seem like enough column height or bellows extension for that combo? And they only list 1:1 for the 135mm, so where does that 10:1 come from? Then they list 32:1 for the 17mm. That's a bit past the 10:1, but with a double extension...




Interesting. I have the MP-4 lens spec sheets, and they don't mention 1:10, in fact they show only magnfications of 1:1 and higher.

The shorter the lens, the higher the magnification possible given extension. I have the 17 mm, for which they claim a max of 34:1. 34:1 requires a little less than 595 mm extension (extension = f*(m+1)) because the lens comes on a short extension tube. Remember that there were extension backs for the MP-4. Anyway, I've never shot it above 30:1, and that on a Nikon. Very sharp lens, very short working distance. You should be able to get 10:1 easily with a 35 Tominon; the one I've had for a while is also very sharp, but with more working distance.

Thinking of which, I just bought three Tominons, including a 35, on eBay as a speculation and will sooner or later sell 'em there. The seller bundled 'em, not a good idea. Moderator, this mention of lenses is not a solicitation to buy, I don't even have the lenses in hand.

Cheers,

Dan
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
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Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-27 06:11, Les wrote:
"Polaroid sold (sells?) an enlarger head for the MP-4 ..."

I've never seen an enlarger head for an MP-4 (not that i've looked hard) From the Polaroid site, they make an 8x10 copy head, so you can use their 8x10 Polaroid film and processor.

Check your private messages

Okay, I haven't been able to find it either... But I've seen so many references to it that it must exist! Maybe a photographic 'urban myth'? But I have read dozens of messages referring to it. I checked Polaroids site too and just figured it was one of things they stopped producing?
Glenview does make a head for it and also sells a complete system. One of the incentives for this acquisition

And I checked my private messages. Type faster!


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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-27 06:29, Dan Fromm wrote:

Interesting. I have the MP-4 lens spec sheets, and they don't mention 1:10, in fact they show only magnfications of 1:1 and higher.

The shorter the lens, the higher the magnification possible given extension. I have the 17 mm, for which they claim a max of 34:1. 34:1 requires a little less than 595 mm extension (extension = f*(m+1)) because the lens comes on a short extension tube. Remember that there were extension backs for the MP-4. Anyway, I've never shot it above 30:1, and that on a Nikon. Very sharp lens, very short working distance. You should be able to get 10:1 easily with a 35 Tominon; the one I've had for a while is also very sharp, but with more working distance.

Thinking of which, I just bought three Tominons, including a 35, on eBay as a speculation and will sooner or later sell 'em there. The seller bundled 'em, not a good idea. Moderator, this mention of lenses is not a solicitation to buy, I don't even have the lenses in hand.

Cheers,

Dan


I have the only documention I could find for the MP-4, "Photomacrography with the MP-4" available on their site. It says the MP-4 can do the 10:1 to 1:10. Then it shows the lenses, starting at 1:1 up to 32:1... It leaves a bit to be desired...

At this point I have no idea how much extension the MP-4 has with or without the extensions. I'll order the instruction manual soon if Craig has one, or someone else... There's no rush, and less now. The seller notified me that they made a mistake in the shipping charges and will recalculate... Just gotta love those auctions

Selling a lens... I don't see anyone selling a lens!


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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, so I just couldn't let this thread die

But I have found a way to beat the 'doldrums'!

Not only do I have a great deal cooking for an 8x10 enlarger, but I just bought a Century Universal 8x10 camera!

Fine, so noone else really cares... That's okay... This is pretty much the culmination of 40+ years of photographic dreaming! I thought I would never get either one and now I will have both, said with multiple fingers crossed!

Yeah, so the Century needs a bellows, some hardware and a major cleanup. That's part of the fun! And now I'll be able to do my 8x10 with Graflex equipment! For some odd reason that makes me feel better... And as soon as I break down and buy a flange for a #4 Ilex, I'll have the perfect lens for it too...

Okay, so I'm just excited and had to share... That will wear off as soon as I have to explain all this to the wife.....


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davebias



Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Posts: 43
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rich,

I've just started reading this thread, and it looks like it got off-topic a bit from your original "doldrums" post, so forgive me if this is old news now...

As far as books go, I recommend "The Photo Book" by Phaidon. Two hundred or so pages - one photographer per page and one photo per photographer. There's a small paperback version that's $10 in any Barnes & Noble. The sheer diversity of subjects is why I recommend this. After seeing the untitled David Levinthal piece they selected, I was suddenly taking macro shots of my knicknacks in my apartment.

Also, as a designer, I often have to visualize stuff out of thin air without even a camera viewfinder to help me. It's hard. I often turn to the Internet for inspiration. I Google random words and phrases just to see what I get. I often visit a list of sites I've accumulated that are focused on design, just to absorb what others are doing. Photo.net could be a good way for you to do this same thing.

And I know you don't want the "go out and go it" approach, and I believe you when you say that you know it's the best bet, but here's what happened to me last night.

I went to a show at CBGBs ("The" CBGBs, if you prefer) - which is only a few blocks from me, but I never go there. I've sort of outgrown loud bands in scummy clubs, but friends/clients of mine were playing and I wanted to show my support.

I had my Century with me because I had just come from Lens and Repro to get their opinion on my bellows problem (see other post).

So I get there, and I'm showing my Century off to a couple of friends of mine and none other than Elijah Wood steps over. Yes, the Elijah Wood currently known to the world as Frodo (although I thought he was best in Ice Storm). He starts asking me questions about the camera and we go outside to smoke and I rattle on and on about my new fascination with these particular cameras and how it's re-ignited my love of taking pictures, and so on...

He's a fan of the band who I was there to see, and as it turned out, a fan of my work as well - I designed the band's CD. We had a nice chat until some a couple of girls recognized him and came over.

So we finish our smokes and walk back inside and I'm all proud that I just had a great, geeky but not in an autograph-seeker kind of way, conversation with a really huge movie star. And I notice for the first time that CBGBs has this long row of neon signs for various cheap beer brands hanging from the ceiling down the center of the club. It is a picture waiting to happen. I popped open the Century, set it up, and spent about 5 minutes framing and re-framing on the ground glass. I didn't have any film with me, which I cursed, but I still got a kick out of visualizing the shot.

And I plan to go back in a week and get the shot. Not plan to, actually... HAVE to. And I don't know if I would have seen the shot had I not been just talking about it, animatedly I might add, to a movie star.

So besides bragging about talking Graflex to Frodo, I guess the moral of my story is that inspiration happens in the unlikeliest of ways and all you can really do is stay open to it. And, in my case at least, remember to bring some f***ing' film.




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[ This Message was edited by: davebias on 2003-11-05 22:33 ]
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