Can a rectanguler shoot square?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by tom_norman, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. I know this is a stupid question but...
    I have a Pentax 67 which I just recently purchased in the past few
    months and love. However, I really have fallen for the 6x6 (square)
    particularly for abstracts and still lifes.
    The crux is that I compose images in the frame of my camera and I
    have a hard time trying to visualize a square image out of a
    rectangular frame. I wish there was a type of mask I could use. I
    have a TLR (autocord) which is excellent, but I would like to be able
    to just use one camera instead of carrying around two. Carrying the
    pentax is like carrying two cameras anyway :)

    Does any veterns have any tips on how to visualize a square image in
    a rectangle frame when one is out in the field or is this something
    that is left for the darkroom, after the fact?
  2. You can draw on your ground glass with a grease pencil and it will show up as black, because it blocks the light. But this can be wiped off at any time. I also love square images!
  3. Tom,

    I understand your yearning; the balance of Euclidean geometry has turned the tide against the rectangle for me and I too squared up to a 6x6cm.

    I'm not a veteran, however the square of an SqAi fails to deliver a 100% viewfinder screen. Even on critical composition, I have found a stone, a twig, half a bale of hay, or a a thread of unobserved nature creep into the corners of an image, and at times can wreck an otherwise anticipated rendition of a subject. If you do mask the groundglass to a square, you would lose the lateral advantage of the wider focusing screen.

    Have you perhaps tried carrying a 6x6cm slide mount without glass to view and frame your compositions before turning to the Pentax viewfinder?

    I am not a cropper; with respect, an afterthought may be welcome however is unlikely to alter or deepen the joy of practicing a square composition.

    Kind regards,
  4. I usually take photos with a 6x9 and also with a 6x6 in the same session. The 6x9 gives me a better view to work with.
  5. Hi Tom,
    With some fine lines you should be able to make marks for a square composition.
    An extra your 67 has, is to get some shift. If you turn the camera on its side and you use the upper part, you have 7mm of shift.
    Wim, square addict
  6. I agree that you can mark out a 6x6 area onto your ground glass & use that as your working area when composing. Another solution would be masking the film back. I know some other 6x7 systems allow for masks to be placed over the film back to shield the neg & effectively crop the exposure area (persoanlly I'd just shoot 6x7 & crop).

    Otherwise buy a cheap old Hasselblad next time you have the cash

  7. Thanks for the ideas! I'm going to try and mask the ground glass as suggested and see how it goes. I' m thinking I can use a 6x7 negative with a cut out for 6x6 on the ground glass. Since the ground glass is 6x7 it shouldn't be too big a problem.

    Gavin your mention of getting the 'blad is very tempting given the prices recently. Only thing I worry about is that I usually print up to 16x20 and if I need to crop a 6x6 to 645 I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to attain this. I guess there are differing opinions on high large you can print a 645, I haven't seen any 645's blown up to 16x20 to judge myself.
  8. isn't it strange that AA preferred to shoot with the 'blad yet seemed to always crop to rectangular? although he did get the damn thing for free, I suppose that would be an influence!
  9. Yeah, I can't figure it out either. Guess Ansel didn't have "square" vision :)

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