The Project

Digital Large Format Photography

Digital Large Format Photography, sample
Digital Large Format Camera, side view
Digital Large Format Camera, rear view
Digital Large Format Camera, front view
Digital Large Format Photography, sample
Digital Large Format Photography, sample

I want to report about my latest project, modifying a Sinar F 4x5 inch monorail camera in order to use it with a DSLR for architecture and panorama photography.

The idea to "go really large" came after several tries getting distortion free panorama photographs or architecture projects done. A medium format lens with a shift-adapter was already some improvement, but still not what I considered the optimum solution. After some research, I decided to try and find a monorail view camera and modify the rear standard in a way that would allow to attach a DSLR instead of the classic film holder.

A custom made adapter replacing the ground glass in the rear standard was the first step. As the sensor of the DSLR is displaced remarkably compared to the plan film the camera is constructed for, there are a few implications concerning the choice of lenses to be used. In order to be able to focus to infinity a focal lens of around 120mm (or more of course) works fine. Taking my setup as an example: A Canon EOS 5D mounted via an "EOS EF to 4x5" adapter comes with a distance between CMOS sensor and EF-mount plane of 65mm. As large format lenses are usually symmetrically built, another 30 to 40mm for the rear lens element have to be taken into account. In the end it's simple math. One should be careful not to risk touching the rear lens with the tube extension of the adapter. A so called bag bellow might be also needed in order to keep the flexibility to profit from all the possible movements of the rear standard.

Fell free to check out my Architectural Photography Gallery to see some works done with this camera.

Another fascinating field is macro photography. The sample images were taken with the Digital Sinar Setup, described above and the Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 90mm lens.

Taking the macro shot of the hard drive e.g., the final image size is 11.300 x 6.600 pixel, or 75 MegaPixel. This results in a print size of 96 x 55 cm at 300 dpi, or 192 x 111 cm at 150 dpi which would be more than sufficient for a print size like that.

This image was photomerged out of 25 RAW files using Photoshop CS3 (1,17 GB file size).

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