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Wide angle lenses and the Graphic View II

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Joined: 27 Apr 2016
Posts: 28
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:27 am    Post subject: Wide angle lenses and the Graphic View II Reply with quote

Here's a little log of my trials and tribulations of doing wide angle work with a Graphic View II. I hope this will be helpful to some others. I found the existing body of advice on the internet conflicting.

I acquired a Graphic View II a few months ago. For wide angle work the significant difference from the Graphic View in that the rail is longer and hence I believe the bellows are also longer. This means you canít position the standards too close before the bellows become fully compressed. I already had an Optar WA 90mm f6.8 lens on a Pacemaker board that I had used to do a few architectural photos with my Crown Graphic. The Graphic View came with a very handy adaptor that takes Pacemaker boards and allows them to mount on the Graphic View (which takes 4x4 square Anniversary boards).

The first thing I learned is that the adaptor adds about 1cm of extension; i.e. it acts a bit like a top hat board. This means that the Optar 90mm on the adaptor won't focus at infinity on a GVII even with the bellows completely compressed together.

I fashioned a very slightly recessed board out of fibreboard for the Optar, and then it would make infinity focus, but with hardly any room for movements, certainly no more front rise than a Crown Graphic permits with the front standard on the back rails. At any rate, the Optar has no coverage for movements. I have used it with front rise on my Crown, but any front rise causes vignetting of the top corners, so I used it only for night shots that way, stopped down to f32, or with clear sky in the corners that I could clone in.

I recently bought a more modern wide angle lens, a Fujinon SW S 90mm f8 in a Seiko 0 shutter. This lens has more coverage for movements, so I thought I would go all in and also purchased a recessed lens board. I believe the lens board was originally intended for an Angulon lens, as the hole was sized for a Copal 00 shutter. I had it enlarged to 34.7mm for a Copal 0 / Seiko 0. The problem is that the press focus lever on the Seiko has an in and out operation. When pulled out, the shutter doesn't fit in the recessed board. If it's rotated so the press focus moves towards the corner of the lens board, then the shutter release and cable release socket are right against an edge. Even if I was to invest in a right angle cable release elbow, I think it might not fit, and for sure, one needs a pencil to operate the aperture control, as it's way at the back of the shutter.

I've decided to stick with the flat lens board for the Fujinon. The lens has 97mm flange to focal plane distance, which exceeds the 90mm of the Optar. This permits the bellows to relax enough to permit some movement. The amount of movement seems enough for the capabilities of the lens. I think that at f22 I can begin to see just a little softness in the direction of the rise at about 2/3 of the way to the edge of the frame, indicating that even this fine lens may not perform superlatively toward the limits of it's image circle, at least at f22.

Here's a photo of the arrangement I'm using. Note that both standards are positioned in front of the tripod mount.
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