I found a WWII British Air Ministry Pentac 8 inch f2.9 lens in a second hand store about a year and a half ago. It was made under a military contract during the war and a number of British manufacturers filled this contract. The best of the lot were made by Dallmeyer, the original designer of this lens. This lens sample isn’t marked to indicate the manufacturer, and it doesn’t have a traceable serial number, so the maker remains a mystery. Like many lenses that were made for aerial reconnaissance work, they were intended to be mounted on a camera with a built in shutter. To make this lens usable in a modern sense would involve controlling the timing of an exposure. Mounting this lens in a large format leaf shutter can be an expensive undertaking, and due to it’s size, the shutter options are somewhat limited. Because I’m of dutch descent (thrifty, cheap, frugal…), I took it upon myself to find an inexpensive solution to this particular problem… Bonjour Marie Antoinette.
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The idea of this camera started with vintage Profile Spotlight, that I wanted to restore, but found out, that some of internal lens elements were shattered. The only lens element, that was undamaged was the front element of it. Upon some closer inspection I discovered, that this element can project image circle big enough, to cover 8X10 area.
The obvious use of it was to create large format camera. but I didn’t want to bother with large format film and other hassles of creating proper large format camera, just for this weekend experiment. So, I decided to create something like Camera Obscura and photograph projected image with DSLR.
The Chroma 4×5 large format technical camera has intrigued me since it was announced last February. When I found out its creator, Steve Lloyd, was UK based, I got in touch to find out if he’d planned to visit The Photography Show this year. It turned out that he had, so I asked if he could bring along one of his Chroma cameras so I could see it for myself.
Animation filmmaker and self-taught photographer Ursula Ferrara has made her own 16″ x 20″ camera entirely from scratch. She shares some images of the creating process, as well as the resulting photos. Her daughter, Annick Emdin, describes the magical process of being photographed by this camera, made with a lot of passion and devotion.
We’ve seen a few remarkable experiments with large format cameras. But young photographer Zev Hoover added something new to it: motion. He made a working 8×10 large format digital video camera, most likely the first of its kind. He shares a video he shot on this unusual camera but also talks a bit about how he made it.
Photographer Steve Kazemir makes amazing droplet photos and has some unique ideas for taking them. He has come up with an automated double drop system to create some colorful and playful droplet photos. Steve built it from scratch, from cheap components that you can easily find on Amazon, eBay, Home Depot or in your own garage. In this video, he shares with you how he did it, so you can try and make your own, too.
Large format film is something that many photographers would like to experiment with if it wasn’t such an expensive way of shooting. There are a number of great inexpensive options out there for cameras, like those from companies like Chroma, but the film is still relatively expensive. Even black and white film can work out to almost $2 per photo – and you don’t even know if you’ve got the shot until you’ve developed it.
But what about photographing what that large format camera sees with your DSLR? Will it still give you the same look that you’d get if you’d shot with the large format camera? That’s a question that photographer Bill Lawson explored over this three video series to see if he could find a definitive answer.
At some point in their photographic journey, many people who take up arms with a camera, especially if they start shooting film, toy with the idea of building their own camera. There are a lot of options out there for scratch building, and not all of them easy, requiring a wide array of tools.
Designed as a technical high-resolution copy film, Ilford Ortho film has thus far only been available in sheet film formats. Now, Ilford has expanded the formats to add 35mm and 120 medium format roll film. The black and white film is rated at ISO80 in natural light and ISO40 in tungsten.
Harman Technology, who owns the Ilford brand, has also announced the 5th generation of Ilford Multigrade paper. Multigrade V RC Deluxe replaces the Ilford Multigrade IV RC papers released 25 years ago.