DSLR on back of a view camera?

Gavjenks

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Has anybody here ever tried just slapping a DSLR body onto a piece of plywood with an extension tube or something and putting it on the back of a large format view camera?
I've found like 2 people who have done it online, but they offer very scanty discussion of how well it works and almost no sample photos or anything.



My main concern is you need an extension tube since the hand grip sticks out in the front, and that puts the sensor in danger of a lot of shadowing/vignetting when you do movements.
(Note: if you own something like a sony A7, this is a complete non issue. Sensor would be almost as far forward as film would be!)
 

71M

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That would be for macros only? The registration distance wouldn't be compatible for other photography.
 

timor

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I've found like 2 people who have done it online, but they offer very scanty discussion of how well it works and almost no sample photos or anything.
This looks like not so scant tutorial:
Canon View Camera
And here Cambo adapters:
Cambo - X2-PRO for DSLR
Here discussion on Luminous-Landscape.com
DSLR to 4x5 adapters
Here Sinar entry:
Sinar p-slr Incorporates 35mm DSLR and View Camera in One | Picture Soup
AJ's Studio & Camera Supplies, Sinar P3 P-SLR Conversion Set Nikon System (497.13.010)
Here:
[video=vimeo;49068416]http://vimeo.com/49068416[/video]
All is there, you can make adapter, you can buy professional one. :D
 

timor

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That would be for macros only? The registration distance wouldn't be compatible for other photography.
Registration distance is only with box cameras. View camera is much, much more flexible tool.
 

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Has anybody here ever tried just slapping a DSLR body onto a piece of plywood with an extension tube or something and putting it on the back of a large format view camera?
I've found like 2 people who have done it online, but they offer very scanty discussion of how well it works and almost no sample photos or anything.



My main concern is you need an extension tube since the hand grip sticks out in the front, and that puts the sensor in danger of a lot of shadowing/vignetting when you do movements.
(Note: if you own something like a sony A7, this is a complete non issue. Sensor would be almost as far forward as film would be!)

Horseman used to make their so-called VCC, or View Camera Converter. Probably still does make it.

A few years back, Joseph S. Wisniewski (sp?) a pretty smart engineer who posted a lot on dPreviews various fora, did a few lengthy posts on the limitations/issues inherent in trying to use a d-slr as basically, a technical camera. You can probably use your GOogle-fu and come up with some hits on that with the right search string.

I have read of more than just one or two people who have done DIY of this; we even had a guy HERE, on TPF, who did this, DIY, back in '09 or '10.
 
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Gavjenks

Gavjenks

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Yes I also found the commercial products, which are insultingly expensive for what is a piece of 50 cent cut sheet metal with a generic camera adapter you can buy for $8 retail on amazon as a "macro reverse ring" + angle grinding the threads. They want $300 or whatever stupidity.

That would be for macros only? The registration distance wouldn't be compatible for other photography.
You don't use a DSLR lens. You use a large format lens (that you probably already own if you have a view camera), which is already made to have a huge amount of air between the back of it and the image plane. If a 300mm LF lens is 300mm in front of your sensor, it is in focus. Normally you have to worry a lot about your ground glass lining up with your film plane, because (unless it's a large formal SLR) you're blind at the moment of capture with sheet film. But with the DSLR you simply look through the viewfinder and move the thing till it's in focus.



Thanks for the additional links and search terms, folks.
 

Light Guru

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Yes I also found the commercial products, which are insultingly expensive for what is a piece of 50 cent cut sheet metal with a generic camera adapter you can buy for $8 retail on amazon as a "macro reverse ring" + angle grinding the threads. They want $300 or whatever stupidity.

They are not that expensive. B&H has them for $200 and they ware even cheeper on eBay.

You don't use a DSLR lens. You use a large format lens (that you probably already own if you have a view camera), which is already made to have a huge amount of air between the back of it and the image plane. If a 300mm LF lens is 300mm in front of your sensor, it is in focus. Normally you have to worry a lot about your ground glass lining up with your film plane, because (unless it's a large formal SLR) you're blind at the moment of capture with sheet film. But with the DSLR you simply look through the viewfinder and move the thing till it's in focus.

You need to keep in mind that a 300mm large format lens with a DSLR on the back of 4x5 camera is NOT going to be a 300mm lens, just like when you put a full frame lens on a crop sensor body. You are going to have a HUGE crop factor from a 4x5 camera to a DSLR.
 

timor

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Eh... 300 mm lens is a 300 mm lens. The only difference between LF lens and 135 format lens of the same focal length is the covering power. If the area of 4x5 negative is something like 12900 sq. mm. full size sensor will catch only about 1/15 of that, about 900 sq. mm.
How you can see here a short lenses and baggy bellows are used:
$Nikon-D800-Cambo-X2-Pro-Schneider-Kreuznach-APO-90mm-f4.5-13.jpg
The advantage is the full movement with DoF and perspective control, however I don't think there is anything shorter than 65 mm (equivalent of 18 mm for 135) for 4x5, which for FF sensor will be around the border of normal and short telephoto.
 

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I think maybe some so-called "short mount" lenses, like the Leica lenses designed for the Visoflex, could also be used. What about some of the "bellows" lenses designed for 35mm systems and bellows use? What about enlarging lenses?
 

timor

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The picture above shows use of enlarging lens. :)
 

Helen B

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It's usually better to attach the bellows directly to the lens mount, and mount the camera body on the rear carrier.

There are lenses quite a bit shorter than 65 mm that cover 4x5, but you don't need to cover 4x5 of course. The bigger problem is the lack of retrofocus wide angle lenses. You might be limited to about 72 mm minimum because of the clearance between the back of the lens and the lens mount. The presence of the DSLR's lens throat and mirror box does limit the usefulness of these systems, if you want either movements or normal and wide angle lenses.

Focus precision is also an issue. Normal 4x5 cameras, even those like the P2 (which I have, so this comes from experience), don't have particularly fine focus control when used with short-ish lenses. That's why the carriers intended for smaller formats have finer control.

All that aside, I do use DSLRs with view cameras, mostly with lenses between 72 mm and 120 mm.
 
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Gavjenks

Gavjenks

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You need to keep in mind that a 300mm large format lens with a DSLR on the back of 4x5 camera is NOT going to be a 300mm lens, just like when you put a full frame lens on a crop sensor body. You are going to have a HUGE crop factor from a 4x5 camera to a DSLR.
Yes, it will be 300mm. Depending on the lens, especially the cheap ones from like the 1920's that I can actually afford, it may or may not be as sharp as you're used to (although only using a tiny bit of 35mm coverage glass in the middle helps). But it will be 300mm. I would probably try to use something more like a 90mm lens though, which is about as wide as it gets affordably in LF (as far as I've seen on ebay at least), but also reasonably useful in 35mm.

Enlarging lenses I hadn't thought of. How do you calculate what their coverage would be if used as a photo lens? Is a 4x5 negative enlarging lens going to cover 4x5 film in reverse (without movements)?
Medium format lenses are also an option. Still probably enough coverage on 35mm for movements, even if not designed for movements.




Helen, if you use a bag like someone suggestes + direct mount like you said, could you get away with not having any extension tube at all? Maybe that's what you're already saying, I'm not 100% clear. The hand grip can just stick into the side of the bag off to the side and not get in the way, yes? Which means it is only the flange to focal distance causing extra vignetting, which isn't as bad (you might have to favor tilting to one side over the other, lol). I really like that idea.

AND I happen to have some really light tight pigskin leather sitting around that's perfect for DIY bellows...
 
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minicoop1985

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Some of the 10 or so (some 20 even) megapixel digital backs for things like Hasselblads and Mamiyas aren't that expensive and can be found for less than $500. Of course, this requires a sliding adapter and spending more money than the idea at hand, but it's a fairly reasonable alternative. Plus, there's a physically larger sensor in some of those backs than even a full frame DSLR, definitely more than an APS-C.
 

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You need to keep in mind that a 300mm large format lens with a DSLR on the back of 4x5 camera is NOT going to be a 300mm lens, just like when you put a full frame lens on a crop sensor body. You are going to have a HUGE crop factor from a 4x5 camera to a DSLR.
Yes, it will be 300mm.

Yea the lens will still technically be a 300mm lens but you will NOT have the field of view of a 300mm lens on a 4x5 camera. For example if you put 50mm lens on a 1.6 crop factor body the field of view will be that of a 80mm lens. With your 300mm lens set up you are going to have a field of view equivalent of maybe a 1200mm lens on a DSLR (don't nitpick my math I didn't run any exact numbers)
 

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