Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Using a Century as a field view camera
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Speed Graphic Help
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mhespenheide



Joined: 02 Aug 2001
Posts: 3
Location: southern california

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently purchased a Century Graphic with the intent of using it as a field view camera. I was primarily interested in its light wieght and (limited) movements; I intend to use it mostly by composing on the ground glass and with a seperate spot meter. Ultimately I'd like to get a range of lenses from about 55 to 200mm. So far, the only comments I've been able to find seem to imply that the only lenses which fit in the small lensboard are the Graflex XL series. That's not a huge drawback; they seem to have an excellent reputation. I wanted to ask two questions-- First, are other lenses adaptable (mamiya press, modern view, etc.)? Second, what have your experiences been with the Century in this style of use?

Many thanks,
Mark Hespenheide
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem using the Century lensboard with the 65, 101, and 203mm Optars; the Graphex #1 and #2 shutters fit as designed. I've no extensive experience with other lens/shutter combinations. For architectural photography, the chief drawback to the Century is its lack of revolving back; the limited shift becomes your rise for verticals, and is not capable of correcting perspective distortion in that position. The front rise is adequate for most applications in horizontal format. I strongly recommend the Bogen-Manfrotto Medium Gear Head/Bogen 3001 (or similar) tripod combination. Also it's handy to have an assortment of series VI filters for contrast and color compensation. I own four Graflex 6x7 roll film backs (3RH10s and 1-RH20) and a 6x9 back (which I never use). I shoot mostly chromogenic b/w (Kodak, Ilford), some color neg. and 'chrome. I removed the wire frame finder from the front standard to permit more rise with the 65mm lens, and also removed the knurled nut at the bottom of the front standard on the shift side to increase the limited rise in vertical format. Most of my kit, except current production items, was acquired at camera shows, including my GE DW-68 exposure meter (no batteries!) which I picked up for $15 in mint condition. My whole outfit, except the tripod, fits in a Tamrac #757 pack. My buddy needs a pack animal to lug all his 4x5 kit around!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As mentioned before---these cameras have a
built in tripod screw on the side for vertical format--and in the field, hand held, just rotate the camera Bert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The nice thing about the Manfrotto Medium Gear Head is that it allows you to flop the camera over 90 degrees for vertical format, so you don't have to remount the camera or have a quick release plate in each of the two camera tripod sockets. I wouldn't recommend hand-held shots on the Century for critical focus work, but---to each his own! In any event, it doesn't solve the perspective control problem.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2001 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marks profile indicates that his interest is landscape, my experience has been that most
distortions (like leaning trees)can be solved with the enlarger! Buildings would be another matter, and would require all the flexability possible! In this event, the Century would not be a very good choice! In the redwoods, a fellow would have to be a little more discrete about how he points the camera. (Them's tall suckers!) Bert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2001 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bert,
True enough what you say re: enlarger, but that's not an option for those of us who have abandoned our wet darkrooms in favor of Adobe Photoshop. I understand, however, that the most recent version of Photoshop has a perspective correction function built in. Guess I'll have to upgrade (sigh...).
There IS a way to get around the vertical perspective correction problem on the Century (or similar camera with its limitations), and that is the old trick of mounting the lens off-center in the lensboard. Since the Century lensboard is square, simply by turning it to any of four positions you have your rise, fall, and shift left or right (rise/fall for verticals). Just make sure the lens will cover the format! I've never tried the off-center trick, but I would guess that the hole would need to be 1/4" to 3/8" eccentric---this of course would vary depending on the focal length of the lens. The maximum rise on the Century in "normal" configuration is 3/4", and the 101 Optar handles this with no problem---but the 65 starts to darken at the corners. Anybody out there have any experience with this trick?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mhespenheide



Joined: 02 Aug 2001
Posts: 3
Location: southern california

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2001 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify: yes, my primary (overriding, almost) interest is landscape work. I'm hesitant about a full field camera (probably a Super Graphic, if I go for it) for the weight, especially considering what can be done with modern film, drum scanners, and LightJet prints. I expect that nearly all of my work will be from a tripod, and yes--I do expect to do some work in the Redwoods. Without much first-hand experience, I think I'd be entirely happy with the Century if only it had a switchable back. As it is, I guess I'm resigned to cropping out 645 vertical images from the 6x7 chrome if I want tilt.
I'm still interested in hearing from anyone if they've used unusual lenses with the century and what their experience has been.

Thanks,
Mark Hespenheide
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mhespenheide



Joined: 02 Aug 2001
Posts: 3
Location: southern california

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2001 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry,
If you're still following this--Here's how it works in Photoshop 5.0.2; I can't vouch for any other versions, but you might try it.
Open your file in photoshop. Select the entire photo with the rectangular marquee tool. Go to the drop-down menu and select . Out of the selections available to you, "skew", "distort", and "perspective" give you the ability to change the appearance of the photograph as if you had movements. Of course, if something's out of focus in the original, it's not going to magically come into focus...
Hope that helps.

Mark
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2001 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,
Thanks for the lesson! I have Photoshop LE ("lite edition"?)---it came with the Epson Expression 1600 scanner---and it doesn't appear as though this procedure is available. So the question becomes, how much is it worth for me to get the full Photoshop just for this one feature?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The full photoshop version would be a very expensive option! Have you considered a Graphic View camera as an alternative?? Not the lightest for packing in, but it has all the movements necessary, and is not to expensive considering the results you would get! Being an old fashioned feller, I still prefer the darkroom to the quick "almost photo's", although must admit, when I retired, I got lazy---havent been in the darkroom for quite a while---easier to let the grandkids take the photos, and do the artwork--I just pose a lot haha Bert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bert,
I know the feeling! And yes, I would like nothing better than to own a Graphic View, in fact, should have made a fellow an offer on a GV-II---think he wanted $250(!) for it, but then his photo store folded and he vanished. Also, 4x5 is a step I'm hesitant to take, as I already have invested in the lenses and roll film backs for the 2x3. I prefer the convenience of 120 roll film, in addition to the greater portability, as you noted, of 2x3. There are ways around the limitations of the Century, some of which I haven't tried yet, and besides I love the camera, it's a sweet little gem, so as the saying goes, "Despite her faults I love her still!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hearing good things about Photoshop Elements. It's supposed to be a sort of Photoshop LE, but with all the things a photographer wants, and at 99.00 it's a great deal if what they are saying is true.

It might be worth checking into whether the distort/skew/ tool is available.

_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2001 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just been to the Adobe website---again, as I wanted to confirm what I thought was the case. Photoshop Elements is aimed at the digital camera user, as opposed to the traditional camera/scanned image/inkjet printer user like myself. According to the spec sheet, you can "straighten and crop" images in Photoshop Elements, but there's no mention of correcting for perspective. See http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopel/overview1.html for details. When Elements was announced I was eagerly hoping that it enabled perspective correction, but such apparently is not the case.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Digimassa



Joined: 02 Oct 2001
Posts: 31
Location: austria/europe

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2001 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]
On 2001-08-02 15:40, Henry wrote:
The nice thing about the Manfrotto Medium Gear Head is that it allows you to flop the camera over 90 degrees for vertical format, so you don't have to remount the camera or have a quick release plate in each of the two camera tripod sockets. I wouldn't recommend hand-held shots on the Century for critical focus work, but---to each his own! In any event, it doesn't solve the perspective control problem.

Hi, how to understand last sentence?
Thanks
Martin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2001 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, ich versuche es auf Deutsch. Fuer Landschaft-Aufnahmen (6x7 cm, horizontal) gibt es "front-rise" genug, die perspektiv-Verzerrung zu verbessern, aber mit 7x6 cm (senkrecht) Aufnahmen ist der "Shift" viel zu klein, die Verzerrung voellig zu verbessern. (Leider ist mein Deutsch sehr gering, bitte verzeihen Sie die Fehlern. Zum Beispiel, keine Umlauten!). Diese Bemerkungen gelten fuer die Century Graphic 2x3 (inch) Kamera.

_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2001-10-07 17:46 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Speed Graphic Help All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group