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Author Topic: Wsta 4x5 RF with Fast lenses / regular lenses for portraiture.  (Read 1618 times)
Brian Hirschfeld
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« on: November 12, 2012, 11:08:43 AM »
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Eying the Wista 4x5RF to be used with "regular" Schneider lenses as well as an Aero Ektar 175mm f/2.5 for "handheld" (monopod) portraiture, does anyone have an experience with the camera and the precision of the rangefinder? How does it compare to the Littman Single ?
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TMARK
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 02:40:22 PM »
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I've never used the Wista, but had a Littman for a few years.  If the Wista is as accurate as the Littman RF it would be phenominal.  Does the Wista use cams like the Linhof Tech cameras?  Handheld 4x5 is dreamy.
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 10:41:58 PM »
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The rangefinder in the Litman or other polaroid 110b conversion is certainly one of the biggest and brightest when in good condition.  There are several people out there who know how to grind the cams to work with different lenses.  If you know of someone that can calibrate the wista rf through the focal length for a custom lens, I'd love to hear about it.   The issue with the 110b conversions is that fast (and larger) lenses have to be removed to close the camera up.   Hard to get longer than 150mm in the 110b conversions but the Wista obviously could.   Rangefinder isn't as good though and that makes it tough for using fast lenses wide open.  

I have two Alpenhause 110b conversions and they sure are great for hand held work.   I really enjoy shooting them and did so today in studio along with my AFi.



« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 10:43:38 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 10:45:57 PM »
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If I got the Littman I would have a Linhof Select 150mm Schneider f/2.8 thrown into it, that seems small and like it should work no?

The Aero Ektar is what I would put in the Wista RF? Eric were you saying that that was the poor rangefinder?
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 11:34:23 PM »
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I'm told the 150 f/2.8 won't work without taking the front and maybe rear element out each time you close up the camera.   Works fine on the Graflex Speed Graphic however.  Beautiful lens, though.

No sorry what I meant is the Wista RF is okay, just not as good as what's in the 110b's and not sure it can be as easily calibrated to be on focus throughout the focal range. 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 11:36:45 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 11:38:22 PM »
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btw - i just found a Komura 152 f/3.5 for my 110b or maybe graflex.  It's not as good or as fast as the 150mm f/2.8 Schneider but might be just enough smaller to work without removal.

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FredBGG
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 11:57:04 PM »
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The Aero Ektar has a very nice look to it.

However shooting such a shallow depth of field with a 4x5 range finder can be very difficult.

The main problem is that the rangefinder will only help you focus on a feature that is in the very center of the frame.
Recomposing for your shot will throw your focus off.

I have shot for years on large format 8x10 film and polaroid. Fashion editorial and advertising. I found that you really have to focus
with your composition already established and on the ground glass.

However I did do some hand held 4x5 using what I call the string technique.

I would run a string from the lens to the subjects eye. I had it on a retracting thingy like a small dogs retractable leash.
Either I would man the camera or my assistant.

IF I was at the lens I would set up the shot indicating to the assistant where I wanted the framing. I would then pose the model and pull the string upto
up to just beside the eye of the model. The line had markings that corresponded to marking on the focus rail.

With this method I could shoot wide open and with a very high focus hit rate. The method also let me keep close to the subject and concentrate on mood and expression.

However it is a two man job.

I have had the model be the second "man" a few times. I ask them to hold up the line and then drop bring it down just before the shot.

If you are interested in 4x5 portraiture with rangefinders you should check out these two friends of mine..

http://www.twinlenslife.com/search/label/The%20Life

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EricWHiss
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 12:14:17 AM »
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The issue is certainly accurate focusing. Not all RF are equal.   Lot's of people shoot with the graflex and aero ektar's though so it must work well enough.

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FredBGG
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 03:38:28 AM »
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I don't think you understood what I was getting at in my post. The issue is not how accurate the RF focusing is.
The problem is that the RF focusing spot is in the center of the frame. If the feature you are focusing on is not in the center of the frame
you can't use the RF to focus on it.
With a focal length of 150mm on a 4x5 focus and recomposing at wide apertures will result in focus shift.
However accurate the RF mechanism is you can't get away from this.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 03:45:23 AM by FredBGG » Logged
Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 10:15:52 AM »
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Fred, I think that Eric was responding to my previous comment.

Eric ~ that is a good point, not sure how I can go about testing rangefinder accuracy without buying all of them lol. Maybe I have to...
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FredBGG
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 11:09:08 AM »
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Good thing is that if you really need fine focusing away from the center of the frame you can still
use the ground glass and a tripod......
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 11:53:46 AM »
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Brian,
You'll find a lot of people with the top or side mounted rangefinders have found a way to mod them using an LED light or LED laser.  The light works the RF in reverse and projects two dots out. You just adjust the focus until the two light dots converge.   That helps with the first part of the issue - size and brightness of the RF.  The 2nd issue is a calibration issue.  This calibration issue involves grinding the cam to the right curve to match a specialized the lens.  Only a few people out there seem do have the skills to do it.   There is this guy in Japan who seems to have the know how.  I've seen in his blog how he charts the focus distance and makes a profile curve for the cams and then grinds them.     http://salihonbashome.blogspot.com/     Maybe he can mod the wista RF to fit the 150/2.8?  No question he can fit the 150/2.8 to a 110b for you.  He's got one pictured on his blog. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-L7SaY4cqbsQ/T5YCNHfPzAI/AAAAAAAAO7E/UDplc38oedA/s1600/P1010127.JPG
Eric
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