What is a digital camera back? (Large Format Photography)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by vonnagy, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    I've been looking around at forlarge format digital cameras, i can't find much on large format digital camera, but they always seem to point at these thingies called 'digital camera backs'. But the information on these things has always been a bit sketchy.

    What is this? :scratch: Is this a camera itself, is this something you mount on a Large Format camera? How does this work? Any input would be greatly appreciated!!

    No, i can't even dream to afford to buy these at $20,000 - but I am curious of what they are and how they work.
     
  2. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    its a back, like a poloroid back or something. you put it on the back of a large format camera instead of the film back (iv only actualy seen them for medium format, but thats what i use i dont know anything about large format) and it captures an image. i dont know any details about them, but baisicly it lets u use a large format camera as a digital camera, and since the image sensor can be so big you can get very high resolution images.
     
  3. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    i sounds like the sensor-technology utilises an existing standard
    desgin of fim magazine (back) for the camera.

    like some MF cameras have interchangeable backs.

    'i dunno'
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    To focus a LF camera you usually use a ground glass; this is frosted glass or a fresnel lens that sits right where the film would be when loaded in the camera. You set the camera up, open up the lens, dive under the dark cloth, and hopefully you can see the image well enough to focus. Once it's in focus you lock everything down and try not to jiggle anything. Then you insert the film, Polaroid, or digital back between the ground glass and the camera. Inserting the film/pol/digi back pushes the ground glass back out of the way.

    Almost all 4x5 LF cameras made since the 1950s or so have a variation of the Graflok back, so most accessories are designed to fit this style of back.

    Polaroid backs hold one sheet of Pola film at a time, but it can easily be reloaded in the field.

    Common film backs hold 2 sheets of film, but there are backs that hold up to 6 sheets of film. Sheet film backs have to be reloaded in the dark. There are also some films available in quick-loads; I'm not very familiar wth these, but they are popular for their convenience. There are also roll film backs. Depending on the model you can shoot 6x4.5cm, 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x8cm, 6x9cm, and 6x12cm on 120 or 220 roll film. Roll film backs can be loaded in the light.

    Digital backs are built to fit the LF camera and run to a laptop and power supply. The very best quality are the scanning backs, but these can require up to 20 minute exposures, and may require 2 exposures to get the dynamic range of film, so the subject matter they are good for is limited (it needs to be very still for long periods of time). Since you looked it up, you actually probably know more about them than I.

    Next time I go out on a nice day I'll take my wife's digi cam and do a series on how I shoot LF in the field. It would pretty much look the same for digital, except the cables coming off the back going to a laptop and power supply.
     
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    That would be cool!
     

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