"Panorama" with 8x10 camera

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blacksquare

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Hello,

I would like to take a panorama with my DIY 8x10 monorail camera. I use plastic fidelity holders for 18x24cm film ( I'm from Central Europe) and I like 3:1 ratio - 8x24cm
I like to use paper negatives, so one panorama on one paper is financially viable, but two shots on one paper is more interesting.

I wonder what "workflow" is good for this? Modified darkslide and grid lines on focussing screen? I can rotate the back of the camera.
Thanks for tips and help.

Jan
 

darkroommike

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Cropping an 8x10 negative does not produce a true panorama, you could shoot multiple shots butted edge to edge and joined with invisible tape. If you are shooting paper negatives and want to play with 4x10 you could just temporarily modify a film holder and then load it under safelights with a 4x10 piece of paper.
 
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Ohh my mistake, I wrongly named it.
I must try if smaller paper will not move in holder when carrying.

I don't think you've named it incorrectly... Anything long, skinny and horizontal qualifies as a panorama in my book. Yes, there are special cameras that take 180° and 360° shots that are "panorama" cameras (the rotate around the lens nodal point while exposing film through a slit), but I don't think the term panorama should be limited to photos made with such cameras.

At any rate, two approximately 4"x10" images (9x24cm) on one negative is certainly a possibility. Many use a modified dark slide and mark their ground glass. I often just crop a negative during printing to get a long, skinny print :smile:

Best,

Doremus
 

Vaughn

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I use a modified dark slide in my 8x10 to put two 4x10s on a single sheet. Quite easy...and easy to screw-up, also, but so is life.

I use rise/fall to center the lens on the exposed portion of the film (and front shift for vertical images).

An easier way would to build "splitters" for inside your DIY camera to mask the area you do not wish to expose on the film -- Deardorffs and some other cameras have them.
 

jim10219

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Is there an inherent fault in cutting the darkslides in half?

J
Yes. You have to figure out a way to allow the dark slide to seat properly into the holder. If you just cut it in half, it won't want to reinsert into the holder's channels tightly, and you'll get some overlapping areas of double exposure, and some areas of no exposure. So the best way to do it, is to cut a hole out of half of the dark slide, so that a small groove of plastic remains to help guide it through the channels in the film holder and support it. Some people just leave a portion of the rear of the dark slide (that doesn't reach the window) and cut the front half of the dark slide beyond that. That at least gives them a little tongue to work with and help support and guide the slide.

Also, remember you'll still need an unmodified dark slide to protect the film while not in the camera. So sometimes you're better off just making a half dark slide out of something else. Plus, if you cut it in half too far up the dark slide, it won't create a seal with the light trap and you'll get light leaks while exposing your film. Those are all things that can be worked around, but it helps to know them ahead of time before you go cutting up expensive pieces of equipment.
 

Vaughn

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Is there an inherent fault in cutting the darkslides in half? J
No -- just keeping track of what one is doing. I have attached the design I use. Works perfectly. I did the same for 11x14, but found that it is not as easy, especially with the many brands of 11x14 holders I have.

I usually expose the same 4x10 image on both halves rather than trying to remember which half was exposed if I want to use the other half later.
 

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mark

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I’ve modified a dark slide in the manner Vaughn does. Easy as long as you are careful. Use tape to signal which side is exposed. My only problem came from forgetting I had the cropped slide in when I removed the film holder. :D
 

Vaughn

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Somehow, when I developed the negative, both 4x10s were of the wrong half of the same scene. If you are going to be wrong -- be consistent, I guess!

But with a DIY camera, DIY splitters would be a great way to go.

A 4x10 carbon print using a modified darkslide. Because of the length of the exposure, I only took one image -- and decided to develop it ASAP rather than risk it.
Trinidad State Beach, CA
 

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blacksquare

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Thanks to all!

Vaughn: DIY solution "in camera" is interesting. Here are photos of the camera. Maybe some mask from hard black paper or thin plastic and squeeze it between rear standard and "rotary" back?
1.jpg 2.jpg
 

M Carter

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When I shot a lot of E6 catalog product, I had a trick to save $$ on some jewelry and other stuff that worked; I cut a black piece of black cardboard to about 6", and bent each side in at about 1", for a 4" piece with two 1-inch "legs" - I pushed that into the rear standard on the bellows side, it just held in place by friction. This would mask 1/2 of the film area; I'd setup and frame the shot, pull the dark slide and expose; then I'd stick the dark slide back in and rotate the back 180°, pull the slide and expose again with the next bracket. I'd get two shots on on one sheet of 4x5, each shot being about 4" x 2.5". Something like that may work for you; it's a solution that also masks the ground glass so no guessing on framing.
 
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blacksquare

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When I shot a lot of E6 catalog product, I had a trick to save $$ on some jewelry and other stuff that worked; I cut a black piece of black cardboard to about 6", and bent each side in at about 1", for a 4" piece with two 1-inch "legs" - I pushed that into the rear standard on the bellows side, it just held in place by friction. This would mask 1/2 of the film area; I'd setup and frame the shot, pull the dark slide and expose; then I'd stick the dark slide back in and rotate the back 180°, pull the slide and expose again with the next bracket. I'd get two shots on on one sheet of 4x5, each shot being about 4" x 2.5". Something like that may work for you; it's a solution that also masks the ground glass so no guessing on framing.

That sounds great. I prefer solutions like this rather than cutting darkslide :smile:
 

Vaughn

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... Something like that may work for you; it's a solution that also masks the ground glass so no guessing on framing.
That is a great advantage of that system compared to a modified darkslide (MDS) -- also I occasionally have the MDS in a little crooked -- even though it should be easy to avoid.
 

M Carter

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That is a great advantage of that system compared to a modified darkslide (MDS) -- also I occasionally have the MDS in a little crooked -- even though it should be easy to avoid.
I still have that piece of cardboard in my 4x5 case... forgot about it til recently. For 8x10, it might need some tape or something, but for 4x5 it stayed put just fine.
 

DREW WILEY

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I don't wish to carry modified holders, or frankly, more holders, so my option is just to shoot the full 8X10, and if I want a "panorama" once in awhile, simply crop the image. A commercial film stretcher works good too; but if you wish to use that option, make sure you order sheet film from Rubbermaid, not Kodak or Fuji.
 

mark

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Somehow, when I developed the negative, both 4x10s were of the wrong half of the same scene. If you are going to be wrong -- be consistent, I guess!

But with a DIY camera, DIY splitters would be a great way to go.

A 4x10 carbon print using a modified darkslide. Because of the length of the exposure, I only took one image -- and decided to develop it ASAP rather than risk it.
Trinidad State Beach, CA

That's sexy
 

grahamp

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I have a sheet of plywood that just fits between the back and the bellows on my Intrepid 8x10. That gives me 4x10, or with a bit of thought, 8x5, 2-up on a sheet. It does require that you keep a diagram with the holder to track what you did, or chaos ensues! I normally leave the panel at the bottom of the opening, and switch the back to left opening instead of right opening for the second exposure (or top and bottom for 8x5).

The downside of this approach is having to take the back off to make format changes. The upside is a 6mm plywood sheet is more robust than a cut-down masking slide. And I can do the 8x5.

How much the extra work is worth compared to just using a whole sheet and cropping for printing is up to the individual.
 

darkroommike

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so... what are you claiming a "true panorama" to be?
That's a little trickier and there is more than one kind of panorama. I'm not trying to discourage you, I've done this same thing with 35mm film in a MF back, with a Sprocket Rocket, and it could also be done with something like 4x10 sheets of film in a modified 8x10 holder (of if I had a bad 8x10 slide by shooting two images per sheet with a modified 8x10 darkslide). Lots of fun but maybe not "true" panorama. Some thoughts:
  1. A panorama should have a wider angle and a wider field of view than a photo taken with a normal lens. If you were to make a long thin print from a "normal" lens, the "crop factor" actually makes the effective focal length longer not shorter. (For the sake of my argument if an 8x10 camera has a nominal normal focal length of 12.8 inches, the nominal normal focal length of a 4x10 format is 10.77 inches. Taking the photo with a 12 inch lens does not qualify.)
  2. Some folks will argue that true panoramic aspect ratios start at about twice the normal aspect ratio for that format . By that criteria a 4x10 is panoramic on 4x5, so that one is good.
  3. Panoramic images should revolve around the "nodal point" of the camera. This can be accomplished by a curved film plane, a swing lens, or a spin camera. It can also be accomplished by cropping a fisheye image if the film plane is flat. In addition to my Sprocket Rocket I have a Lomo camera that spins the camera body and another, a Horizon, that swings the lens. None are "high fidelity" but all are fun to use.
 

ransel

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Since I am poor, when I shoot 8X10 I use X-ray film. I went the modified dark-slide route, but after fighting with trying to not screw up the exposures it dawned on me - just expose the entire $.40 sheet of film...or two...and crop when printing/scanning.
 

Vaughn

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I don't wish to carry modified holders, or frankly, more holders, so my option is just to shoot the full 8X10, and if I want a "panorama" once in awhile, simply crop the image. A commercial film stretcher works good too; but if you wish to use that option, make sure you order sheet film from Rubbermaid, not Kodak or Fuji.
You and your fancy equipment. A Boy Scout Bacon Stretcher would serve just as well...ask any camper.

I find the modified darkslide easy to slip in with the rest of my holders, and with almost no added weight, gives me two camera systems when I am going who knows where. I did go a little heavier and modified a metal darkslide after breaking my previous one. And if I am running out of film, I can double the number of images I can make. YMMD
 

DREW WILEY

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Handling greasy bacon film base is a chore; but at least it won't explode in the frying pan like nitrate film base. And then there's the issue of bacon attracting bears. I had plenty of them in camp as it was this month, including some awfully cute cubs. They didn't bother anything; but if bacon was around, I'm sure that kind of temptation would have changed the equation! What did drive me crazy was pine pitch. Alcohol swabs won't remove it from fingers or tent fabric. Maybe I'll put a little bottle of PEC in my pack; it should work well.
 

mshchem

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That's a little trickier and there is more than one kind of panorama. I'm not trying to discourage you, I've done this same thing with 35mm film in a MF back, with a Sprocket Rocket, and it could also be done with something like 4x10 sheets of film in a modified 8x10 holder (of if I had a bad 8x10 slide by shooting two images per sheet with a modified 8x10 darkslide). Lots of fun but maybe not "true" panorama. Some thoughts:
  1. A panorama should have a wider angle and a wider field of view than a photo taken with a normal lens. If you were to make a long thin print from a "normal" lens, the "crop factor" actually makes the effective focal length longer not shorter. (For the sake of my argument if an 8x10 camera has a nominal normal focal length of 12.8 inches, the nominal normal focal length of a 4x10 format is 10.77 inches. Taking the photo with a 12 inch lens does not qualify.)
  2. Some folks will argue that true panoramic aspect ratios start at about twice the normal aspect ratio for that format . By that criteria a 4x10 is panoramic on 4x5, so that one is good.
  3. Panoramic images should revolve around the "nodal point" of the camera. This can be accomplished by a curved film plane, a swing lens, or a spin camera. It can also be accomplished by cropping a fisheye image if the film plane is flat. In addition to my Sprocket Rocket I have a Lomo camera that spins the camera body and another, a Horizon, that swings the lens. None are "high fidelity" but all are fun to use.
Contact prints from old Kodak Circut cameras. Wouldn't that be great ! I should play the lottery, I could use the billion bucks to bring back Circut cameras and film.
 

darkroommike

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Handling greasy bacon film base is a chore; but at least it won't explode in the frying pan like nitrate film base. And then there's the issue of bacon attracting bears. I had plenty of them in camp as it was this month, including some awfully cute cubs. They didn't bother anything; but if bacon was around, I'm sure that kind of temptation would have changed the equation! What did drive me crazy was pine pitch. Alcohol swabs won't remove it from fingers or tent fabric. Maybe I'll put a little bottle of PEC in my pack; it should work well.
Turpentine for pine pitch removal, not the synthetic stuff, but the real deal. Never tried a PECPad but that sounds promising.
 
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