Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank you for your support!

Thank you guys, fund for ordering parts is reaching my need, and for the cameras you send to me, I can begin to convert on Oct, so we should manage to ship the converted camera back to you in Nov.

Thanks again! I won't let you down!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bring Byron to Tibet?

I don't know how this camera handling the cold weather, but I am happy to know someone will travel with it there.
It brought me some thought in mind, how this camera be identified? Yes it is made for snap shooting, but since the format, you can't really treat it as a bigger M6 or Mamiya M7. I personally found it is a good start to bring big format back to people, to city, and to daily lives. There is one Technika IV lying in my cabinet, which I used it for landscapes and studio portraits, but never a chance to people on street, that initialed my Byron conversion project.
I think it is not quiet the same concept as Press camera, those pressmen used for news 60 years ago, they used strong flash, they cropped a lot, and their final print in low quality newspapers...., that's why I thought Byron is hard to be identified now.
But now it show some advantages, fitted for traveling, pack light, camera weighted below 1kg, and with 3 lens, managed within 2.2kg range, the one who will carry it to Tibet planning shoot some 4x5 and 6x12, I wish him all the best!

Friday, September 18, 2009

at seashore

Byron+Schneider SA 8/90 + red filter+ Tri-X 4x5

Byron+Schneider SA 8/90 + red filter+ Tri-X 4x5


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

new design for film back system

Follow want Jack advised before, I change the blocking plate of double-sided holder from a pull-out-push-in into a simply rotating design.
When the plate is rotated to show up, the camera is ready for double-sided holder.
And when the plate is rotated to hide in the chamber, it is ready for bayonet style holder, like Fuji PA-45, Grafmatic or 120 film holders.
This way, the camera is need no any parts to be taken off or installed back while changing the film system, no springs, no screws, no gg plates...., just a rotating plate to make all things done! and you wouldn't lost any thing in field.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Agfa MultiContrast FB paper ISO and ZoneMaster meter calibration

What I used to calibrate ZoneMaster enlarging exposure meter (made by RHdesigns UK), is different with the way written in ZoneMaster manual. Manual said you have to set the exposure compensation, which gained from test stripe, then find out the paper contrast range to set paper ISO.
Well to me these sounds complicated and troublesome, I always trying to solve the problem in one shot, so I did it, with help of Stouffer TP-41 4x5 step wedge(looks like they do not produce it anymore, but TP-31 is OK), and ZR9 Zone system chart, on Agfa FB paper.
First, I put TP-41 over the meter, with #5* wedge on top of the meter circle. under the enlarger, I measure it and get the reading, it is for mid-grey, so I press the darker button, to push the readout to darkest end of greyscale, it is for ZONE II.  According to the readout, I made contact print for each grade, so I got 7 contacts, from #00, #0, #1...#5. for 8x10 paper, it only need two pages of paper to finish all the test.
I developed and processed the paper as usual, then inspected the print under the light. use RZ9 as reference, find out the best match grey scale as Zone II and Zone VIII as on RZ9.
Here is the data I got from prints.
Grade       II~VIII Range    ISO      Offset
#00           #2~16             225      0   **
#0             #5~36               160      0
#1             #6~35               150      -1
#2             #4~29               130      +1
#3             #4~24               105      +1
#4             #4~22               95        +2   
#5             #5~18               70        0

take #1 as example, the grey range from #6~#35, totally 30 steps in count, and each step represents Dlog0.05 on TP41, so it means grade #1 paper can handle 0.05x30=1.5 density range on negative, place it between Zone II and Zone VIII, we define it as ISO 150 for this grade.
And since we use step#5 as reference to make the meter, but now it moves to step#6 on contact print, so we need to make exposure compensation -1, to adjust the ZoneMaster meter.

* TP41 got 41 wedges and each one in 0.05 density increments, total 2.0 density range, fully cover the d.range a normal negative will have. using #5 instead of #1 as start point, for leaving spaces for calibration if needed.  
** Due the long slope of the grade #00, it is tested by TP-21, which has a logD=3.0 density range. and used #3 as start point. each step on TP21 represent 0.15 density range.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Contact print with LCD monitor, a tailor made light source for film

Just initial a thread in Large format photography site, about  contact print
LCD monitor as VC light source for contact print
The biggest format film I made now is 4x5, not a good candidate for this, but who knows, maybe someday I will try 20x24.

What I am thinking of the contact process need a LCD monitor and a thin piece of semi-matt glass like ground glass.

you scan your developed film in very rough resolution, say 72ppi, just for viewing on monitor, then decide paper grade and pick correspondent RGB values, and make some dodge and burn and grade change in part area, all in soft paintbrush, now this is the light source specifically for this film, it can be saved as a data file.

Now is time for contact print, stack in order 1. monitor 2.light source data file open. 3 matt glass to diffuse pixel. 4.developed film. 5. Multigrade paper.

that's the idea.

complicated? yes for first time, but think of the large format contact print, I mean really big, a tailor made light source for it is worthy doing, especially for those difficult negatives.......

Yes my goal is to build a system that for large format film that do contact print as final output, no enlargement, like those huge size film 20x24. So I am looking a way that can do all the techs that on enlarger.

And not only it copy all the tricks you can have on enlarger, most important part is, it records and plays your tricks again, and again.....

For enlarger, you got light path as space for dodging and burning, you got VC light source to change grade, or area splitting prints......

So in traditional way, you utilize all these tools and tricks in darkroom, struggling to make a perfect print, finally it came out, fit your standard, and now you want to make a second print, you have to do those process again!

explore a way to make a perfect print is an creative challenge, but do the same thing again and again, is a hard labor work.

But if we use LCD monitor as a light panel, and through color control, area intensity control, we can do all enlarger does, all these can be precisely set in digit, and the greatest part is, these setting (color, intensity) can be saved as a file (through image software).

I treat this as
a tailored light source specifically for this film.

For the first perfect contact print, you need to play all the tricks, just like on enlarge, struggling to make a satisfying print, but after that, to make a second, third, of even years later you want to make the same print again, just use that light source file, it saves those tedious job for you.

Now is a digital era, but we insist on analog output because it is not replaceable, at least at this time, but we can take the advantage of digital tech, to make the creation process easier and consistent. traceable and has a record to discuss later.

Friday, September 4, 2009

B & W snaps in Taipei

Taipei MRT, Byron+Ysarex 127mm+ Tmax400 4x5 + Agfa MCC 111 FB 8x10
On bus, Taipei MRT,  Byron+Ysarex 127mm+ Tmax400 4x5 + Agfa MCC 111 FB 8x10
statue of Dr. George Leslie Mackay, Byron+Symmar-S 100+ Tmax400 4x5 + Agfa MCC 111 FB 8x10

Some B&W Byron snaps in H.K.

Byron with double-side slide holder or Grafmatic holder, trying to explore all the possibilities that a 4x5 snap shooter can do, so I deliberately picked some event or place that rarely people will take pictures in 4x5 format.
HK CITI bank, Ysarex 127mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10
HK antique street, Symmar-S 100mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10
HK antique street, Symmar-S 100mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10
HK tram, upper deck, Symmar-S 100mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10
 HK tram, lower deck, Angulon 90mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10
 HK tram,  Angulon 90mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10 
  HK workers,  Angulon 90mm, HP5 4x5, Agfa MCC111 FB 8x10

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Learn to use a 4x5 for snap shooting

Here is a good thread about snap shooting on 4x5:
Technika as portrait camera

#9 and #10 gives me a lot of inspiration.

I myself found many things to learn when snapping with Byron, those places you never ever think of using 4x5, on tram, bus, in elevator, in ferry, in crowded party.....targets are keeping moving, lights dimmed, and you are alway trying to focus and compose....

But 4x5 snapping is not a totally new concept, press man did that 70 years ago, with Graflex Press camera, but they also used strong flash, and cropped a lot, and print on newspaper is not so important on image quality......

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Focus Range for 150mm lens

Infinity stop of 150mm lens on Byron, is at the end of the rail, and 2.5mm beyond. If a 150mm lens is mounted, better with a lens board who is 2.5mm thicker than normal one, then all you have to do is pull the front stand to the end of rail, that is its infinity stop.

Now, let's talk about its focus range.

For Polaroid 110B camera, moving range for flat bed rail is about 20mm, good for its default lens-127mm Ysarex, focus range from infinity to 3 feet. Even better for Symmar-S 5.6/100mm and Angulon 6.8/90mm, which can focus as close as 2.5/2 feet.

But for a 150mm lens, 5 feet. for most condition, it is too far to focus, we need it closer.

We need it go beyond that, say, how about 4 feet?

Carefully measured, rail moving range should be expanded from 20mm to 26.5mm, to reach 4 feet focus. First thought coming to my mind is modifying the flat bed, extend rail's moving range to 26.5mm. After weeks of drawing and planning, talked to my mechanist, finally we gave up this way, it costs to much, no worth it!

Then we found another way.A way to compromise with existing conditions and real needs. 

What we have is only 20mm of moving range for lens, then we should put this range into the focus range we want the most. If the moving range starts from infinity, then it will end at 5 feet focus point.

Now, let's make the range starts from 10 feet, instead of infinity, then focus range will ends at about 3.5 feet. not bad, eh?! 

How to do it? make a protruding lens board! about 10mm.

So the infinity stop will backward a little bit, not at the end of the rail. When you want to focus other than infinity, pull the front stand all the way till reach end of rail, now the lens is focus at about 10 feet, and 20mm rail moving range gives you 10~3.5 feet focus range.

What we lost?
Now we have focus range from 3.5~10 feet and infinity, but we miss the range beyond 10 feet. But that's OK, since very rare we need to use that range. 

Got it? a better way than modifying flat bed.