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turning 2x3 roll film back into a digital back
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ktm2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject: turning 2x3 roll film back into a digital back Reply with quote

newbie question number 2, I posted another question about mixing and matching roll film backs in another post.

The reason behind it is I like the experience of using my century graphic 2x3 but am not sure I want to deal with film all the time. I am new to film and thought that I could develop B&W on my own and have managed to screw up 3 rolls so far. I still want to learn it and will continue to do so but want to get some results out of the camera.

I have a sony A7II and a lot of legacy lenses and adapters and am thinking about using the Graflex as another lens. I've googled and it appears there are adapters from fodiox which allow a canon or nikon dslr to go on a 4x5

I have not found anything for a 2x3 Graflok so I was thinking about taking a roll film back and making my own copy of the fodiox by taking the cover off a roll film back, make rails which hold a panel which can slide back and forth and my sony can connect to it in a light tight manner.

I asked my other question about the backs because I have a non-working film back but don't want to waste it if it is still good.

I'll post some pics as I go about making the adapter, in the mean time I'm going to keep shooting film and try a local developer and pay $20 a roll for developing.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3757
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A film pack adapter will be a better choice for experimenting or converting.

As far as processing tell us what you're doing and we'll help you get it right.
Try https://www.photrio.com/forum/ for the film processing help also.
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ktm2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pic with 120 roll film holder open
https://photos.app.goo.gl/WxpsvvAAh9t1rdMJ7
Pic showing where I was thinking about putting rails, the thought would be to set the mount so the digital camera would be in the vertical orientation and take a series of shots. Obviously I would loose some of the top and bottom. It seems that the fodiox version offsets the hole for the camera adapter so you could flip it over and do 2 rows, I'm guessing that wouldn't be needed as much for a 2x3 camera as it would for a 4x5, so I think I would just center the hole and loose a little bit of image from the top and bottom. Worst come to worse if I wanted to do 2 rows, I could then make another board which had the hole offset at not a lot of expense.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/6DE1Wy35UxYe41cDA
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1571
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like a lot of trouble (and expense) would be involved; not my cup of tea, anyway. Digital backs are expen$ive!

I have a Century Graphic and have never developed a roll of 120 film. The "trick" is to use chromogenic b/w film (such as Ilford XP-2 Super) in a 120 roll film holder; this type of film develops in color negative chemistry at any lab that offers C-41 processing; the negative looks and behaves like a b/w film negative. Then, you scan the negs on a flatbed with a transparency lid (like the Epson V700 or equivalent), Photoshop the positive, and print out on a high quality pigment-ink printer (such as the Epson Stylus Photo R2880). That's my set-up.

You could, of course, print out from the negative in the traditional way via enlarger, and process the print in the usual darkroom chemistry. I, for one, don't miss the wet darkroom one bit!
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's the web article which inspired the thought
https://www.instructables.com/id/Large-Format-Adapter-For-Your-Mirrorless-Camera/


I'm trying to not spend a lot to make a "digital back" I have a Sony A7II so no expense there, I'm looking at re-using a currently broken 120 film back which looks like I could get a replacement off ebay for @$50 plus shipping, then a set of extension tubes with no digital contacts for $15.

So parts relatively cheap.

The cost will come in labor hours grinding with a dremel tool in order to make a sliding mounting point and drilling an accurate hole for the extension tube.

When I bought the camera I promised myself that I'd shoot and process 20 rolls of film before I decide on giving it up, I still plan on doing that. In going through 4 rolls so far, I do like shooting the camera and the process of focusing through the ground glass then switching to the film back. It has slowed me way down. [url][/url]
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

film errors so far -- all kodak tmax 400 B&W film, fresh stock from B&H

1st roll, must have let it unroll a bit and let light in around edges
2nd roll, underexposed significantly, used my sony camera as light meter and set ISO at 400 and used a 50's era contax zeiss 50mm lens took shots of the same thing I was taking with Graflex, bracketed shots changing the aperture in order to come up with a solution which would match shutter speeds which were available to me with the compur shutter. Developed in a patterson tank with Illford developer which the folks at Hunt's camera in Providence recommended to me.
3rd roll, still underexposed, repeated roll 2 but set digital camera at IS0320 Let it sit in developer for a longer than expected time.

4th roll, 1/2 shot now, using digital camera set at ISO 250

I'm probably creeping up on the right combo, not sure I diluted the developer right either, so I might mess up some more rolls.

I haven't scanned any yet, will need to get a decent scanner, thinking of epson 600.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2039
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its your time and other resources. If you want to play, play.

But I don't see the point of using a Graphic as an extension tube. Too big, too heavy, too clumsy and too imprecise. If you want to us longer lenses on y'r Sony, get longer lenses to suit it. Or use extension tubes that fit it.

Re underexposure. Old shutters usually run slow, not fast. Slow shutters overexpose. Check y'r diagnosis (underexposure ==> thin negative, overexposure ==> dense negative) and development procedure.

And compare y'r Sony's recommendations with the sunny 16 rule's. On a sunny day with ISO 400 film, f/16 at 1/400 should be about right. Don't foget that negative film has wide exposure latitude.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not intending to use the graflex as a macro, I would like to use it as a regular camera. My thought process is to get the sony sensor as close as possible to where the film plane would be. As the sensor is recessed in the body several MM and I will need to have the camera body stand-off the adapter a 10mm in order to have the sony camera body clear the Graflex by a little bit, I'm hoping to accomplish this in about 20mm from where the film should have set then when I open the graflex, not put the front standard as far out to its proper position to retain infinity focus. From there I was thinking 3-4 shots overlapping 25% or so and using Microsoft image composite editor to stitch them together. (24mp x4 )*.75 = 72mp should be a fairly large image and high quality.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/product/computational-photography-applications/image-composite-editor/

I've got a boat renovation project going on which need good weather, supposed to rain tonight so I've got time to mess around with this a bit and cobble something together with a heavy plastic sheet stock and one of my existing lens adapters and duct tape that I can test the concept with. To start with I might just cut out a square the same size as the film back and drill a hole in the center and use tape to keep it put and take a couple test shots.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh and from my recollection most images on rolls 2-3 were taken in cloudy conditions f8-11 and 1/160th- 1/200th.

my closer ones were in sunny as you say at f16 but I think I was at 1/500th

I'm a newbie to film and fully expect to take a while to get this right.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3757
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just love camera store recommendations as they're looking for repeat sales and not in making you a good photographer. I got enough curve balls that went to the dugout or passes that went to the fans in the stadium type of tips from the store I used.

I would suggest HC110 or Xtol for T Max films and a rapid fixer.
Developer dilution, time and temperature are very important. 2F off results in incorrect development or less than optimal development.
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ktm2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, this is going to be a little pic heavy

I got home from work and put together a quick and dirty prototype. My camera had a 2nd groundglass screen when I bought it so I took the ground glass out and cut a chunk of 3mm thick vinyl tile to fit the opening. I then drilled a hole in the center and took apart one of my lens adapters by removing the front face. I then hot glued the adapter to the vinyl tile and hot glued the vinyl tile into the opening. I colored the white core edge of the tile with a black sharpie. The adapter was too wide to fit between the ground-glass opening so I couldn't fully seat it and lost 1-about 2mm there. There was some light gaps so I used electrical tape to cover them up.

from adapter side
https://photos.app.goo.gl/7jjVSqtj2bxfSgxi8

ground-glass side
https://photos.app.goo.gl/necHShdHrpaeYoAMA

conversion plate mounted on the camera
https://photos.app.goo.gl/wbenCQPEiFqT7R8w8

everything mounted on the graflex
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Pi814tEAcq4ztYLJ6

Not too much room to improve here, the grip portion of the sony really sticks out
https://photos.app.goo.gl/H8e7HcJMbVtmpfoz7


The results:

In order to get infinity the front standard has to be almost completely retracted, It doesn't allow camera movements because the standard is in the camera body. I could probably improve this making the conversion plate better and reduce this by 6-8mm but I'm not sure what that would really get me.

Here are some single frame pics (24mp) all shot from tripod with sony body stabilization turned off. The mounting plate I was using was starting to fall apart so I had to hold the sony to the graflex and was probably shaking it a bit. I think the images could have been sharper.

no PP on this one, focused on the bug, F5.6, This was close enough that I was able to use the front rise.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/xwxYqYNC4u3CQqFu7

Same image - converted to B&W shifted magenta color and sharpened in PP
https://photos.app.goo.gl/oM8EfCDeRurpcqYt8

Infinity shot, focused on the car's license plate, switched to B&W, no other post processing.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/NvQy9NF4MtquiuDu5


Not bad for 30 min of construction time, I think that I could do better and make the adapter thinner and allow the front standard to come out of the camera a little more but not too much more. If it were made sliding, probably could only get 3 images across, I'm not loosing too much from the top and bottom of the frame.

I'll probably mess with this some more,
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FarmPhoto



Joined: 30 Apr 2019
Posts: 4
Location: 54017

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you just validated the old saying: One good experiment is worth a thousand theories. Keep trying stuff! NO it is not a 4x5 negative but I loved the color flower pix!
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ktm2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that I've got the monkey off my back......

the hot glue separated from the ground glass frame from the flooring tile so I played with just the piece of flooring tile and adapter, I cut the piece down a bit so it would fit in the rails of the back and took a 4 picture panorama and didn't light seal the gaps when taking the pics and then stitched it with microsoft's image composite editor.

I'm thrilled with the results, the bokeh is amazing!!!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/feo6PUyrEZPmVLZq6

I'm going to find some other type of material which has the same thickness as the film back and make another panel to attach the adapter to. When I make it I will make sure it is much wider than than tall so when shifted all the way in one direction, it still prevents light coming in the back from the other side. [/url]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2039
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll say it again. You've converted a Century Graphic into an extension tube, sorry, bellows. If there are bellows attachments for your Sony, you've saved the cost.

The other real gain is the ability to use longish lenses without adapters. The longest lens that's comfortable on a Century is the 250/5.6 Wollensak telephoto. The longest non-tele focal length that can be used on a Century with heroic measures is around 200 mm.

Ain't no w/a lenses for your application. The shortest lens that will focus on a Century is the 35/4.5 Apo-Grandagon, and it is effectively a short normal on an A7 II. Very expensive, too, but at least with a 24x36 chip you can get by without the expensive center filter. If you make a shift/rise/fall adapter and want to stitch then you'll need the CF.

About Century Graphics' front movements. Practically speaking there's nothing but 19 mm of front rise. Minimal swing. Forwards tilt, which is basically useless. Backwards tilt, by dropping the bed and adjusting forwards tilt, but actually useful with a very limited range of focal lengths and focused distances. Shift, but actually useful with a very limited range of focal lengths and focused distances.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Touche.... I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I'm having fun with it and will continue to do so.

I'm happy with both the single shots as well as the effect of doing a panorama and will continue to mess around with it. It is similar to bokeh panorama or brenzier effect.

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/the-best-lenses-for-brenizer-bokehpanoramas/

and I can get a better effect out of the graflex with 4 photos than what I've done with a 200mm f2.8 lens taking 9 photos and I don't need a fancy nodal rail to get around the parallax problems.


btw, went to Maine over the weekend, used the graflex as a graflex film only.
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