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Author Topic: DSLR to 4x5 adapters  (Read 13809 times)
colwyn
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« on: November 04, 2012, 08:59:06 PM »
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Hello,
I recently bought the Nikon D800 and would like to find a way to attach it to my Sinar F1 field camera, so I can get the 4x5 movements and stitch massive files.  I'm wondering if anyone out there has direct experience with trying to do this?  If so what types of adapters are the best and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid when setting up such a system? 
I see that there are a few companies who design adapters.  I know Fotodiox http://fotodioxpro.com/ sells an adapter for grafloc backs for $300. Are there better set ups or is this as good as it gets? 

I assume that I'll have to get recessed lens boards and pick up used digital lenses for this rig.....the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital lenses come to mind.       Huh?

Thoughts?

Colwyn


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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 11:26:23 PM »
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Hello,

This adaptor which could be useful for stitching.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4x5-Large-Format-Camera-to-Nikon-D60-D700-D200-Adapter-/160437617201?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item255ad3c231

Before you invest in the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital lenses I would suggest you consider this set up

http://www.komamura.co.jp/e/VCCpro/index.html

I use a older version of this Horseman VCC with my Nikon D800E and combined with the Rodenstock Apo Rodeogon and Rodenstock Rodeogon enlarging lenses which are optically superb and I have been told by a person it London who has had first hand communication with a tech at Rodenstock that they are optically better than the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital lenses. Also you can get them cheap as on EBay.

Cheers

Simon   
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Simon Harper
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Ray R
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 03:40:48 AM »
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I have a Canon 5Dmk2 and I made my own adapter for a Horseman 5x4.
I bought a cheap set of extension tubes (no need for any electronic connections) and made the mount fit a lens board that I already had.

The problem is that the sensor is some way back from the original film plane, depending on what lens you want to use, you may find
that if you want to use a wise angle lens you may not be able to focus at infinity.

I cannot focus a 68mm to infinity with a top hat lens board.
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colwyn
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 07:59:05 PM »
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Thanks for the quick responses!
I want to attach the D800 to my Sinar F1 because I already own a Sinar that would save me spending $1600+extras+small lenses with fewer movements than the F1.  I've researched both the Cambo X2 & Horseman VCC offerings.  
My reasons for buying the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital lenses or Schneider equivalents are twofold: 1.  I can get a larger image circle and also own lenses that can be used on a medium format rig.
I've used the Rodenstocks on a medium format rig before with great results.  

Do you think those lenses will work as well on a smaller 35mm full frame format too?
 
Although the Fotodiox has quite a few limitations, I like that it can slide around for stitching. Seeing I have an F1 that is not geared, an independent apparatus like the F-diox is crucial.  The bigest issues I see with it is its limited use of lenses....they say only 120mm+ for infinity focus. I have seen the Chinese knock-offs on ebay and have not read any reviews as to the quality of those.  Not sure if I want to take a chance on something that could be poorly machined and subpar on the quality side.

You got any other angles?
 

Thoughts?


« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 08:06:52 PM by colwyn » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 08:22:59 PM »
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Hello,
I recently bought the Nikon D800 and would like to find a way to attach it to my Sinar F1 field camera, so I can get the 4x5 movements and stitch massive files.  I'm wondering if anyone out there has direct experience with trying to do this?  If so what types of adapters are the best and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid when setting up such a system? 
I see that there are a few companies who design adapters.  I know Fotodiox http://fotodioxpro.com/ sells an adapter for grafloc backs for $300. Are there better set ups or is this as good as it gets? 

I assume that I'll have to get recessed lens boards and pick up used digital lenses for this rig.....the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital lenses come to mind.       Huh?

Thoughts?

Colwyn

Hi Colwyn,

That is a nice dream isn't it? Unfortunately reality mitigates in many ways. I know because I tried  different hardware systems to do just that

Here are the problems:
1) physical limitations:
-a) the distance the sensor is located from the front of the camera body's lens mount - the depth of the mirror box plus the lens mount + the the depth of the adapter plate that fits the 4x5 plus the depth of the 4x5 frames and bellows  places limits on the range of focal lengths you can use. This is true even if you mount your lenses in a recessed board you can only get the rear element of the lens so close to the sensor.

-b) the closer you have the front and rear standards to each other the less movements you have becasue the bellows (and I recommned  wide angle "bag" bellows) will bind.

-c) the throat  - the mirror box + lens mount of the DSLR restricts how much you can shift either the lens or the camera before vignetting happens. This is less of an issue with shorter lens (75 to 120mm) than it is with longer focal length lenses because the shorter the focal length the smaller the movement needed to capture ares of the lenses image circle that are off axis. With the longer lenses it becomes a real issue quite quickly.  My experience was that this kind of hybrid works best with lenses in the 90-180mm range.

Lenses:

This may sound weird at first because we think of 4x5 asa high resolution format but as general rule lenses designed fora 4x5 camera do not have the resolution of lenses designed for medium and small capture formats. There are other optical issues as well but this is the big one. However there are some extraordinary 4x5 lenses. out there. The Schneider 110mm f/5.6 Super Symmar XL comes to mind.

So of the  systems that I tried what worked best?

First of all rulle out any system where you mount your DSLR to a plate that fits where your groundglass frame usually goes.  Of course if all you are shooting is small life where you have to deal with bellows extension in the first place by all means try it out.

The next best is a system which uses a custom made bellows that attaches directly to the lens mount of the DSLR and the DSLR mounts to the rear function carrier (Think Sinar P, P2 or p3 but not any of the Sinar F models ) in place of the rear frame.

The best system I tried was the old Cambo Ultima35. It was designed from the monorail up to incorporate a DSLR into a view camera chassis : http://www.cambo.com/Html/downloads/Linkedfiles/english/download/Item9/Ultima35-system.pdf

and the lenses that worked best for me were the Schneider Digitars.


In all cases however as soon as you start using shifts, tilts or swings your viewfinder becomes totally unusable - the optical path just isn't designed for the axis of the optical path to be at severe angles to the sensor -- and you have to rely on live view or shooting  tethered to see what you are doing.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I experimented with multiple variations on the idea of fitting a DSLR to a 4x5 chassis over about a three to four  year period before giving up on the idea as being practical.

However don't just take my word for it. If it doesn't cost you a lot of money for a simple adapter it is worth trying as your needs are likely different from mine.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 08:30:49 PM »
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When I tried my experiments the Fotodiox adapter ( http://tinyurl.com/csndgrm) was not available. It looks compelling especially as a way to shoot product in a studio where the light is constant between frames and there is no subject movement between frames.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
colwyn
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 09:27:00 PM »
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Thanks a lot for your insights!
I had a hunch that that road is filled with several disapointments.
I will call Fotodiox and see what they claim their plate is capable of.  In the big $300 isn't a tone of money if I can use it for a few things. I shoot mostly in doors under studio light anyway with a 150mm+210 lens.  I'll borrow a few digital Rodenstocks from a buddy who uses a CF39 dack on his P2 to see what it can do.  I'll also check how poorly it performs with my film 4 x 5 lenses.  If I can do %20 of my shooting with this set up I'll be very very happy.     

Thanks a million,   

Colwyn
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uaiomex
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 12:21:11 PM »
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Thanks Ellis, superb find. As you said, this adapter seems to be trustworthy and the price is super right. If I only could figure it out how to attach it to my wooden Tachihara field camera.
Eduardo

When I tried my experiments the Fotodiox adapter ( http://tinyurl.com/csndgrm) was not available. It looks compelling especially as a way to shoot product in a studio where the light is constant between frames and there is no subject movement between frames.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 06:21:13 PM »
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Having tried that route as well years ago, my personal advise is to give up and try a good spherical stitching head or motorized head instead.

The only drawback is that you loose movements but depth of field stacking works well on static subjects (and can be automated it seems although I have not tried yet). It will end up being faster many times and scales much better.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 02:39:33 PM »
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uaiomex,
While i'd love to take credit for that find it was Colwyn who pointed me to it. I just had to dig around on their site to find it.
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Ellis Vener
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SlowPhotography
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 08:56:41 AM »
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I have ordered an adapter to connect my D800E to my Sinar P.
Everywhere I look the limitations are mentioned, but not specified.
Surely the "tunnel" at the DSLR-end means the wider the lens the smaller the image area? (If you shift the rear standard to stitch)
Can anyone share their experiences with different lenses? F.ex. how big an area can I expect with my 300mm? 180mm? 90mm?

Kind regards,

Johan B. Skre
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NancyP
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 10:59:28 AM »
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On a slightly different topic, I am trying out a used Nikon swing-shift (no tilt) macro bellows with a few 6 element enlarger lenses (Rodenstock Rodagons and Beseler HD rebranded Rodenstock Rodagon - 50, 80, 105mm) - will post images as soon as all the parts arrive (lots of adapters....Nikon to Canon because my camera is Canon...Nikon reverse-mount adapter.... enlarger lens to reverse-mount 40.5mm to 52mm step-up adapter). Maybe this will be a gateway drug to 4x5, maybe it will be a turn-off.  Smiley I have also seen some hilarious DIY Lensbaby-like contraptions on the internet, crafted from a lens mount from a dead lens plus some flexible black plumbing rubber tubing plus a worn plastic "nifty fifty".
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 01:04:47 PM »
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Having tried that route as well years ago, my personal advise is to give up and try a good spherical stitching head or motorized head instead.

The only drawback is that you loose movements but depth of field stacking works well on static subjects (and can be automated it seems although I have not tried yet). It will end up being faster many times and scales much better.

Cheers,
Bernard

Ditto. I found this a much better solution than trying to adapt my 4x5. ASMOF Just using film and scanning it was VASTLY superior to trying to use my DSLR on the back.
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Thanks,
Kirk

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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 09:57:50 AM »
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I'm wondering about that fotodiox adapter with a speed booster and m43 camera. I'm thinking of setting up a 4x5 (cheap used Sinar or Calumet probably, maybe a field camera) to get back to  having full movements (mostly shift). It would be interesting to be able to shoot both film and then slap that combo on there to do some digital panos (I hate spherical unless you use long lenses).
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SlowPhotography
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2013, 04:26:09 AM »
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I'm wondering about that fotodiox adapter with a speed booster and m43 camera. I'm thinking of setting up a 4x5 (cheap used Sinar or Calumet probably, maybe a field camera) to get back to  having full movements (mostly shift). It would be interesting to be able to shoot both film and then slap that combo on there to do some digital panos (I hate spherical unless you use long lenses).

I have tried speed booster and you do lose a lot of sharpness towards the edges, making stitching a bit cumbersome.

With my Fotodiox Nikon-adapter on a Sinar P with Rodenstock 90mm 4.5 I got a "sensor" of about 7,5x5,5cm when focused up close.
Using a D800E that gave me about 160Mpix which to be honest looked crap since I left my LF tripod at home. Camera shake is absolutely critical!
The "sensor size" goes down when focusing further away. Will try with my 300mm soon to see if that gives a larger "sensor".
Anyhow, I don't really see any practical use for this unless one has unlimited time on their hands.
Use film while we still have it and invest in a good scanner instead.
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