Digital Viewcamera Backs

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Shutterbug, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug TPF Noob!

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    This is kind of a dumb topic.

    I have a rather old Linhof 4x5 viewcamera. It works fine, but getting 4x5 format film processed is a pain. All the local labs can't do it and I don't have access to any darkrooms.

    So, the obvious solution is to go digital.

    I know Linhof has a 4x5 digital back for their cameras (As shown on their website) but unfortunatly, I can't find A) Pricing info, and B) where to buy them.

    I'm hoping that someone on these forums can help. I've tried Ebay, but there are none for sale.
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    They are several 10's of thousands of dollars. I'd guess in the $30k range. They are not suited for field work due to the size of the files. They require a computer to operate.
     
  3. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug TPF Noob!

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    Damn. Tell me you are kidding.

    If a could afford it having a computer wouldn't be a problem since I have a laptop :(
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Well medium format backs range from $8-25k depending on the megapixels. They also require a laptop to save the images since the files are so huge.

    ksmattfish was talking about a friend that had a large format back that required the power from two car batteries to take a shot :shock: though he will probably be able to give you more information.
     
  5. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    So.... If your not wanting to invest the +30k into that digital back you could always donate that old Linhof to an aspiring young photographer that can't afford the 4x5 of his dreams! I know i would be glad to take that old camera off your hands and put it to some good use in the field. :)
     
  6. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    I've heard they have improved the size and power consumption quite a bit, even to the point where a computer is no longer required. But they'll still cost you a small fortune.

    I've heard of some in the 22 megapixel range, and some new ones in the 78 megapixel range. Doing a google search by megapixel size found some results, albiet all in the 30k range.
     
  7. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    The file size for a 4x5" digital image is going to be huuuuge. I don't think memory cards would be adequate. You would at least need a portable hard disk with 40 gigs or so to be of any use.
     
  8. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    Well think of how big digital video is, maybe they use double density dvd recording. That's what 8 gigs per disc?
     
  9. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    True. What's the size of a digital video sensor? APS sized?
    Granted you've got a gigantic set with cables batteries and stuff easily accessible.
    I guess my main point is digital medium and large format is not yet suited for field work. It is still limited to studio applications for the most part.
     
  10. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    ive heard of these files reaching into the gig range.....horrible. but the pics are worth it...


    md
     
  11. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    OK. I'm going to ask the dumb newbie question here because this is bugging me :?

    Why the heck are these things so expensive and why do they produce such HUUUUUGE file sizes?

    I'm guessing (maybe incorrectly) that 4X5 means 4 inches by 5 inches and refers to the sensor size rather than the produced print size, so if this is the case what size prints does it produce?

    And why the heck does anybody need a digital image file that measures in gigabytes? :shock:
     
  12. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Quality. It's just like with film. If you have a 35mm negative and enlarge it to 20x30 you're going to see the grain and soft edges. Do the same thing with a 4x5" negative and a 20x30 will be as sharp as a 4x6" print made from 35mm. It's all about the end product. Some things, like magazine print and good sized enlargments require medium and large format originals. Arizona Highways accepts only 4x5" slide film for publishing photos in their monthly magazine.
     

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