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Finally getting decent results out of my Graflex
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:26 pm    Post subject: Finally getting decent results out of my Graflex Reply with quote

Hi All,

I think I've figured out the developing / exposure issues I was having and am now starting to get better results. I also added another camera to the collection so I'm now carrying 3, 2x3 Century with 100mm f3.5 tessar, 4x5 Crown graflex with Schnieder 65mm f8 and my Sony A7II. Both the graflexes are shooting tmax 400 roll film.

I haven't gone down the path of a scanner yet but here's some images where I took a cell phone pic of film hanging up drying with a ipad as a light box. I've used an online software to convert the negative to positive. The film is not flat and with everything moving the so the pics of the negatives aren't great but I'm thrilled with the results. Also in some photos there are blue streaks which are reflections of my ceiling lights in the photo of the negative.

2x3
https://photos.app.goo.gl/qJzZWZqRuaBHq25D9

I'm still struggling with loading film into the developing reel and ripped this one
https://photos.app.goo.gl/DqQ5rh4Uq1UWBmaFA


4x5
https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6jU9b9sYvBfDYiY8
https://photos.app.goo.gl/aNejajNVRxs2pX3m7

I'm going to order a lightbox and more film from B&H today and try to setup the lightbox and my digital camera with a macro to do higher quality scans and see how that turns out. In looking at the negatives, there's way more detail left in them than what I've been able to get out so far.


Last edited by ktm_2000 on Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FarmPhoto



Joined: 30 Apr 2019
Posts: 6
Location: 54017

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you check your photograph links out? They don't work for me. Thanks!
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've updated the links, not sure why you couldn't see them........

Here's a couple more from this weekend, shot hand-held on the 2x3. I really should have went back to the car to get the tripod for the barn pic.

Vermont Barn
https://photos.app.goo.gl/i65fw2we11R7Q7gu5

A Stream in western MA
https://photos.app.goo.gl/9kwCiS9DYJemQnRJA

I ordered a light table from B&H on Friday, should be here Wednesday and I will try to get better pics of the negatives. I've tried a couple of items which are opaque to cover the ipad screen and none have done a good job at getting rid of the pixels lighting up the image.

One thing I am running into is on the 2x3 the film spacing is off, it seems to want to start the roll too late and I loose the 8th exposure and part of the 7th where the tape is. I'm going to try to turn the knob after the S position a couple turns then hook up the film to see if that helps.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3811
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One thing I am running into is on the 2x3 the film spacing is off, it seems to want to start the roll too late and I loose the 8th exposure and part of the 7th where the tape is. I'm going to try to turn the knob after the S position a couple turns then hook up the film to see if that helps.


Way down yonder in the Film Help and Accessories Help section are how to's on correcting film spacing issues and similar problems.
The wind key is made of soft metal and strips easily if the gearing is hard to turn. Hold the take up spool and turn the wind knob in the wind direction with the counter at the end of roll. If the wind knob moves without turning the take up spool the key is striped and is what is causing the problem. Do not use excessive force on the wind knob testing, normal film advance is adequate. Is the load alignment arrow present on the under side of the insert top? If so align the start arrow on the backing paper with it.
Newer film is thinner than film was when the knob wind RFHs were made. Increase the take up roller diameter by .008 to .012 inch to eliminate frame overlappig if a CLA of the wind gear train does not correct it. Backing paper is .004 inch thick.

The stream shot is nice but you have a light leak at each end of the frame about the same distance inward from the edge of the frame so I suspect the hinge, latch or both not to be 100% light tight.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the info, I will read up on the adjustment.

I may not be describing the issue clearly, there is a fairly consistent 3/8" gap between photos, it is just that there is 1-2 frames empty at the start of the roll and that ends up putting the 8th exposure on nothing.

Here's the cell phone pics of the negative, I'm thinking that the way I'm using a cellphone and ipad to make the image and nothing is straight and everthing is moving is causing that.

stream negative
https://photos.app.goo.gl/sKt2Xfxu1Y633hxE8

Vermont Barn negative
https://photos.app.goo.gl/BsX2Lp6MfS7pWQ5r8

as for identifying a light leak, what should I look for in the film holder?
https://photos.app.goo.gl/HZcTYFMiJGSFvvYp7

In looking at it, in the lower left corner of the image with the door open, it seems like there may have been a 1/16" of an inch deep cut right near the opening. The hinge side seems tight.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just counted, 10 full turns from being on S to the 1st exposure.

also there is no play between the knob and take up spool.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3811
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I may not be describing the issue clearly, there is a fairly consistent 3/8" gap between photos

Normal frame spacing is 1mm to 3mm (.039 to .118 inch) between frames. 3/8 = .375 inch*25.4=9.525mm between frames which is way too much. The gear train likely needs to be cleaned and lubed or it is not assembled correctly.

The wind key is the silver colored piece that fits into the slot in the take up spool. Hold the wind key and turn the wind knob opposite the wind arrow to remove the wind knob. The two screws with large heads at the outside edge of the top plate, two screws at the inside edge of the top plate closest to the outside edges and the screw directly under the counter have to be removed to remove the top cover from the holder. There is a screw at the take up roller along its outside, do not remove it.

The holder uses black yarn for light seals. The seal at the latch side is damaged/dried out/over compressed toward the bottom edge which corresponds to the top of the image. The hinge side looks OK but it won't hurt to replace it also.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your wealth of knowledge and ability to diagnose picture quality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would have gone on for quite some time fat dumb and happy with what I was getting for pics. I just ran my fingernail through where the light seal should be and on either end and I don't feel any so it makes sense.

I double checked by checking out my other 6x7 holder, which has light seal material which I can clearly feel, unfortunately it is only on one side so it needs repairing as well. Even with one of the seals missing it has a different feel when opening it, I have to push down more and release the hatch. Also there is no play in the cover when it is closed and locked.

both do not have any thread in the horizontal sections I do not see any residue in those areas so I am assuming that the horizontal ones don't have any light seal in those areas.

can I use a standard yarn and a couple dabs of superglue?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3811
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard yarn should work by just pressing it into the slot. Holder made at different points in time may be different but basically the same. The Graflex Graphic 22 and 23 started production in the 1930's or early 1940's so they have been around a while.

The top and bottom both have a lip and grove the edge insert sits into to make the light seal. I've seen loose/worn hinge and latches cause light leaks also.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the info!!!

my order from B&H came in and I now have 10 more rolls of film to work with as well as a light box. I looked through my wife's knitting stuff and picked out some dark grey yarn which wasn't shedding too bad and test fit some without any glue. It jams in good but would probably fall out so I still think I'm going to put it in for good with a couple dabs of superglue. I'll shoot another roll of film this weekend and post my results next week.

As for scanning negatives, I setup a tripod with my sony and a vivitar series 1 90mm macro and took some pics of the negatives sitting on the light box. There is definitely some more resolution to be gained from the negatives. I the macro has a 1:1 doubler that I didn't have on yet so I am going to play with that tonight. I also may make a box out of cardboard to keep stray light out.

My first impressions is that the lightbox and macro will fit my needs for now but I need to be much more gentle with my negatives processing them, I was looking at a roll where I struggled to get it to load into the developing reel and it has scratches all over it which didn't show up in the cell phone pics of the negatives.

I will have to figure out how to digitally process the negatives as inverting the curve in Capture one doesn't provide the same results as making a tif and going into photoshop. I would love to stay in capture one though as I like the interface better.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1585
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple of comments here:

I suggest using white glue, which is water soluble and easily removable, instead of superglue, which is neither.

Save your pennies and get a scanner that will do transparencies. You'll be a lot happier with the results, I predict. I suggest Epson for the scanner, and VueScan scanning software instead of anything that comes with whatever scanner you buy. (I have the Epson V700, which is no longer available, but there are others in the Epson line that will so, I'm sure.)

Scanning directly into Photoshop and printing with pigment inks on matte surface paper ((you guessed it: Epson again, for both) will yield very pleasing results! [Disclaimer: I have no connection with Epson or VueScan other than as a satisfied user.)
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duly noted on both points Henry.

Here's how I am thinking about the scanner. $50 got me a light table which I would want anyways and from what I am reading online using my digital camera and light table will get about the same results as the Epson V600. The V700 you have is more in line with the V800 today which is $799.

I'm a film newbie, and have only shot 8 rolls of 120 so far and could probably go a long ways cobbling together scans with my camera before I need the higher end scanner. Would the high end scanner be better, sure it would but right now I'd rather spend the extra $749 on film and get out shooting it and build my skill set.

I'm really hoping that the light leak diagnosis which 45PSS provided will help me get better results.

Here's a shot I took with the digital of the same barn, much higher contrast and detail
https://photos.app.goo.gl/cLt8tGUrbLue4BtKA

If I started to see close to the same results out of the film, I'd be more inclined to spend to get the high end scanner.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1585
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice barn shot---excellent contrast and tonal range. Almost looks like you used a yellow (G) filter or even a red (A).

I got tired of doing wet darkroom work and started shooting Ilford XP2 Super with my Century Graphic 2x3. It's processed at the photo store in color negative chemistry (C-41), but emerges looking like a b/w negative. I find that overexposing by two stops in the camera gives me a usable neg for scanning. (XP2 Super is nominally rated at 400, so I set the light meter for ASA 100.)

I sold my enlarger and most of my wet darkroom gear and couldn't be happier with the "new" arrangement. No more outdated chemicals and photo paper!
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3811
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A V700/V750/V800/V850 have the same optical resolution as a V500/V550/V600 but a higher Dmax which is the difference between the darkest and lightest tones in the scene. The V500/V550/V600/V800/V850 use a LED light source where the V700/V750 use a cold cathode fluorescent light source. The LED light source gives crisper edges. A 6cm X 6cm negative scanned at 6400 dpi, these scanners optical limit, produces a RGB Tiff of about 250mb.
The V500-V600 only scan 35mm and 6cm film, the V700-V850 scan up to 8x10 and optical limit is reduced to 4800dpi for larger films.
Watch for refrubished units at the Epson store.
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ktm_2000



Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want praise I don't deserve, the later image of the barn was shot on the sony with a sigma 14-24mm lens at 18mm and given some love in post processing. The raw file was modified in capture one by converting to B&W then adjusted colors by +10 on yellow and + 20 on red then -50 on blue and cyan.

For filters, I only have a NISI kit with polarizer and 6 &10 stop ND. Filters for film is going to be a learning curve for me.

I'd love to learn how to get that image out of a film camera and I fully expect that it will take me quite a bit of time to learn how to do it. I really don't yet know how to get the colors out of film and am assuming by your comment that I would have needed a yellow filter to deal with the blues and a green filter to deal with the yellows and reds, then figure out how to correct the exposure.

45PSS - thank you for that info on the scanners, that is a more simplified way to look at it. I would think that I would want 800 or 850 but need to learn a lot more and potentially shoot some 4x5 before I go there.
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