Friday, August 13, 2010

First Shoot With 5X7

Went to Jura Canyon today. Have been there a few times shooting digital but was back with my 5X7. Pack weighed about 35 lb. and was ok with the waist belt carrying the weight instead of the shoulders. Working is slow, but where I'd take five shots of the same scene, with minor variations in position, each shot stitched or focus blended, not sure that in the end it was any slower.

Did find one shot that I wished I had colour film for, but I quite liked being forced to make black and white images and the real test will be in the quality of the prints made from the shoot. Made 12 images, most of them unique. Only once did I shoot the same setup, same lens, but different exposure.

Composing on the ground glass was frankly much harder than using the lcd - but to be fair this was because of a poor quality fresnel. A decent one is on order and we'll see how much difference that makes.

In the canyon, I used my 90 and 135 the most, and a few shots with the 210 and didn't touch the 450 but that's the nature of the place, narrow and confining and needing LOTS of depth of field.

Tried f32 and a couple at f45 and one at f64 - will be interesting to see if that is practical.

After the first couple of shots, I was thinking I liked that I had earned any images that work out. By the end I was fed up with putting the camera back in the backpack after every shot - carrying a wooden camera weighing sig. more than the tripod in a narrow canyon, water everywhere and some pools fairly deep, and having to traverse wet debarked trees to get past the deepest water - no I don't think I'd want the camera on the tripod for moving positions.

Still, it will come down to the percent of keepers. It will need to be dramatically higher than my digital ratio which is about 1 in 100 (I'm fussy). If it is one in 10, then that means I got one photograph I'll be proud of. In a way, it seems a waste to blow the other eleven negs, but one great image in four hours of photographing isn't that unreasonable.

Well, off to process the film in BTZS 8X10 film tubes - incredibly simple, just a bit slow is all. I wonder if there is a way to process two sheets at a time in each tube (since they are made for twice as large film. The film does move around so two loose sheets isn't on. Wonder what would happen if I used masking tape for the 7 minutes processing time, removing it in the fix. It's a thought. Might just try it on a couple of test pictures.


Joe Lipka said...

Oooohhhh. 90 mm on a 5 x 7. I used to do that with my Wista. Really wide angle and really sharp. Yes, it is much slower, but it is supposed to be slower.

Now as for sheet film developing, yest there is a way to develop more than two at a time. It's called tray developing. Back in the dark ages, before BTZS tubes there was tray or hanger developing. You used one or the other. I started with hangers and went to trays. Ten sheets at a time.

Eric Rose said...

I use hangers in tanks. I can process 6 sheets at a time.

Tim said...

Personally, Paterson Orbital tank for development, all the way.

You could always have taken a b&w photo with each of G+B,R+B,R+G filters and then drop them into their respective channels (R,G,B) digitally afterwards for colour. That could be amusing :)

Here's hoping you got something you like, anyway.

George Barr said...

I never could get the hang of tray processing - too many negs and some would be overdeveloped around the edges and I often got fatal scratches - so I admire your skill.

One thing about the btzs tubes, they don't need to dry before loading more film. In a couple of hours I processed 8 negatives - ok 7, seems I didn't load film into one side of one holder = wondered how I managed to come out even at the end of a 25 sheet envelop - sigh. I figure it takes 7 minutes for development, and about 3 minutes for setup and clean up and the fixing and washing go on while I'm still processing more sheets, so that in theory is a new batch of two negs. every 10 minutes. It was probably more like 15 - but that's still not bad.