Chopping/Cutting monorail on my Omega 45D for wideangle use?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by harlequin, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. harlequin

    harlequin Member

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    Dear APUG,

    I have acquired an OMEGA 45d, and 75mm lens with recessed board, in an effort to make this
    camera more compact and user friendly in the field, I am thinking of cutting off 35-40% of the monorail tube
    essentially making this a dedicated wide angle camera for mostly architecture and landscape shooting.

    a) has anyone done this successfully, and if so, how much smaller did It make the camera.?
    b) would the 75mm on the recessed board act like a 28mm wide angle lens on my Nikon FM?
    c) I don't have the budget for a nice field camera, however if I cut the rail and put the cap back on, I think
    I would be able to fit into my backpack....
    d) If I am missing something, please let me know your experiences, as I have seen the Toyo G camera and
    it happens to come stock with a very short rail as standard.

    Many thanks for your feedback/input on this.

    Harlequin
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'd consider wandering over to a machine shop to have it cut. They'll give a nicer, finished look to it.

    This from someone who's been known to approach things with a hacksaw or tubing cutter.:tongue:
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe get a second rail to cut. Seems every time I do something permanent like that, I later realize something like "hey 300mm is a great focal length for 4x5..."

    You can do the math at least three different ways, but in one version a 100 to 105 will be like a 28mm lens on your Nikon.
     
  4. jacaquarie

    jacaquarie Member

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    Don't do it!
    My experiences are when I do something like this I regret it. If you do this do the best possible job, have a machinist do this. My suggestion is buy the Toyo with short rail. Most likely less expensive than machine shop. Have you searched to learn if a short rail is available? Another suggestion a short section of tubing that matches rail size to use for transport and then assemble on long rail when you are ready to use.
    If you go the way you are thinking save cut off section and have a replacement rail before you start.
     
  5. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    I may be wrong about this (been know to happen) but all the Toyo/Omega View monorail rails are the same outside diameter. The D has a thinner wall section than the the E and F and the G has a two piece rail, but what I am suggesting is to just find a short rail and use it. Or find a broken up parts donor, either should work. [edit] I meant the rails on the low end cameras, the high end rails have geared tracks (but might still work).
     
  6. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    I also suggest not to do that, you will regret it and the camera would be nearly impossible to resell. I understand that you are photographing on budget (I also had to do it for many many years...) but if what you need is a field/technical camera, in my opinion you should resell your Omega as is, and replace it with a cheap 4x5 field/techincal. Graflex Crown cameras sell below 200$, just to name a camera that I know about, and they're good cameras. You can keep the lens. Very roughly, the 75mm will be slightly wider than "a 28mm on a Nikon FM", more close to Nikon's 24mm.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    A really bad idea in progress and about to happen. Stay tuned folks for tearful post about accidents in the machine shop then followed by why-did-I-ever-do-this remorse. Film at 11.
     
  8. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Using the frame's small dimension as the 'common' measurement, 75mm FL = 0.806 * 93mm frame, and 19mm FL = 0.806 * 24mm frame. At the same camera position, both 135 format and 4x5 format will frame the SAME height subject area in the short direction of their respective frames! And if you take both images and print an 8x10" print, both prints will contain the same area of view.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    What he^^ said.
    Why don't you buy a short piece of 1.5" tubing, two plastic caps, and make a short rail? Save you from ruining a camera, and probably less than $15.
     
  10. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    One more thing to consider, 75mm lenses are about where people start to consider buying center filters to combat the vignetting in the corners. This is usually less of an issue for 90mm lenses, which are probably closer to 28mm focal length lenses in 35mm cameras. So if you cut the rail too short for 90mm lenses and find out you don't like the look of 75mm lenses or need but can't afford a center filter, you might have just made the camera useless for you.

    I'd definitely try this out with a backup rail, and not waste your primary one. Besides, you wouldn't be saving that much space or weight anyway. You. Could probably make up for the savings by packing better anyway.
     
  11. B.S.Kumar

    B.S.Kumar Subscriber

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    Harlequin,

    Let me know if you would like to buy a 250mm chrome rail.

    Kumar
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey harlequin

    you might just get a 2nd rail if the cost isn't too much
    unless you will never use that camera for anything but that short lens ..
    and you don't really want to sell it a year or 5, after you decide you want a new/different &c camera ..
    its a fun thing to do a drastic modification, but sometimes after the buzz goes away
    and youwake up the next morning and see a 4" rail and the leftovers
    you either are still completely stoked or you realize you might have wanted to do macro work, or
    ... something comes up and you need to hock the camera for some quick cash ...

    have fun !
    john
     
  13. OP
    OP
    harlequin

    harlequin Member

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    Thanks for all your input, I put down the scotch and my metal cutting tools and decided to keep this stock.

    Shortly after I posted, I traded for a 240 Symmar, older but clean optics, and would have been useless with a 6"rail length.

    If I have to get a field camera I shall just have to save up for one, or ditch the mistress.....(just kidding)

    Thanks to all members who talked me off the ledge...

    Harlequin
     
  14. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Can't tell if this was mentioned, but it looks like they make a short rail for the D model too (I'm picking up an E so I did some research already)

    upload_2018-1-11_10-16-6.png
     
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