The continuing 4×5 story

This morning I took the 4×5 field camera out to a local park to further my skills in its use and that of film developing.  It was in essence a simple scene, however I choose to focus on a particular tree trunk more for its character than anything else.

The sun is from the left and there is a bit of flare from that in the photo,  no lens hood with this beast.  Setting up was not to bad, focus a bit harder with cold hands.  Tilt on the camera bed was used to bring the top of the tree or close to the top into view.

A few things still need practise,  clearly camera set up needs more work in particular the use of the tilt, swing and rise functions along with a tilt on the back.  Needed a warmer time of the day to take more time in learning what works and what does not.  The greatest problem was fogging of the loupe I use to assist focus,  wouldn’t stay clear so that made it very difficult to work out if things needed to be shifted a bit.  Add in the fact that the  knobs etc on the camera needed a bit of fine tuning,  which I have now completed.

The processing was a success especially after reading Bruce Barnbaum’s “The Art of Photography”.  Development went for 14 minutes and the negative ended up with a good tonal range.

I am very impressed with the detail in the tree bark under magnification, (looking at the negative).  Sharp even with 10 time magnification.   That would mean a 40inch by 50inch print would be ok.

Scanning the image is tricky as I don’t have a high quality scanner,  I use my 5D Mark 2 with a 100mm macro and take about four images of the negative,  different views of course.  THen I blend in Photoshop.  Tried it with 15 images at 1:1 as the 4×5 is 15 times bigger than a 35mm.  Ended up with a file that was 2Gbytes and not very useable at all.  The blending was hopeless due to the inaccuracies in aligning the images.  The file you are about to see is 27Mbytes much larger than normal images  from the 5D.  Of course it has been adjusted to suit the web so it will not have the detailed resolution of the large file but here it is.


Hope you like it.




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