focusing issue

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by alfonse_deluer, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. I am an expert 35mm photographer who has just gotten into large format. I
    have a new Toyo CX with a Rodenstock 150mm lens. I got it set up and tried
    using it yesterday. I was able to get the image on the ground glass in focus
    but it was upside down and reversed. I turned the camera upside down and
    mounted it upside down on my tripod, but it didn't change anything. I am going
    nuts - I paid almost $1000 for this set up - I called the dealer and they refuse
    to take it back. This is unacceptable - any advice?
  2. I sure hope you are joking.... (it's not April 1st is it?)
  3. hello "expert 35mm photographer",

    take your 35mm camera, set the speed on B, open the back, push on the shutter relase button and look thru the lens... and tell us what do you see... :)
  4. Dear Alphonse I've experienced the same problem myself so maybe I can help you. Actually this "upside down and backwards" thing is a common problem with large format cameras but unfortunately for you it seems to be more common with the Toyo CX than with most other brands. It's been discussed here many times. If you search the archives using the phrase "upside down and backwards" or "upside down and reversed" you should be able to find a solution. But if you can't then since you're an expert 35mm photographer I'd suggest that you try viewing the ground glass with your 35mm camera, i.e.point the the 35mm camera at the ground glass, focus, and look through the finder. That way everything will be right side up and not reversed and you should be all set.
  5. Place the camera close to the ground. Then stand over the camera with your back to the subject. Next, bend way over till your head is between your legs. You can then see the image right side up. All the best large format photographers do it this way. They just make sure nobody is watching. I sure hope nobody gets mad at me for giving up the secret.

  6. rM esnoflA reuleD,<br>
    Quite simple : just go and take photos in the southern hemisphere.<br>
    As far as I know, it appears that over there, the image is downside up.<br>
    I've been using a 4x5" camera for several years, and I thought it was normal.. I'm sincerely upset !<br>
  7. I think you guys aren't being serious. Really this is very frustrating and I don't
    think Toyo should be selling cameras that as so mis-aligned as this. I have
    convinced my dealer to accept my CX for a return, and I realize that I have to
    spend some really money to get this large format stuff right. Should I get the
    Ebony SV-Ti or a Linhof Technikardan S? I already ordered the Schneider
    110XL as everyone has spoken so highly of it.
  8. Ahh, yes...the upside down and backwords problem. I once experienced this with my Crown Graphic 4x5 camera. It's one of those early models. Anyway I don't think they knew much about optics in the 1940's.

    My solution is very easy and one that I employ regularly, and is a slight modification of the solution proposed by Peter White.

    After you have set up your camera on a tripod, set up a small mirror on a separate tripod so that it reflects the ground glass image, next stand on a picnic table (I carry a picnic table in my LF camera box) and look between your legs while your back faces the mirror. works every time.

    Good luck,

  9. By the way, you shouldn't experience any focussing problems with the Technikardan. I would highly recommend purchasing it.

  10. I'm glad to read that you got the Schneider 110XL. I hear all the "experts" are using them these days. ;-)

    Actually, the reason we're not taking this seriously is precisely because you called yourself an expert. Any expert photographer would know that a lens projects a reversed image. Your 35mm camera has a pentaprism that then reverses that reversed image, making it easier to use the camera quickly.

    So just as your Toyo and Rodenstock give you a reversed image, so will any other view camera (large format or otherwise) and lens.

    So my advice would be to keep your Toyo and use it. After a while, the reversed image won't bother you at all.

  11. Some of the other respondents thought you were joking, hence their humerous answers.

    The image orientation that you dislike results from basic optical principles and has nothing to do with a particular lens or brand of camera. The penta prism in your 35 mm camera converts the image created by the lens to the correctly oriented image that you see in the view finder. If you continue to dislike the image on the ground glass, a reflex (mirror) viewer will correct the up/down orientation. Reflex viewers are made for many brands of view camera, I think Toyo makes some -- I am not sure whether one is available for the Toyo CX.

    Most LF photographers come to at least accept the image orientation, and many prefer it because it allows them to compose more abstractly, viewing the image less influenced by their knowledge of what the subject is. I recommend trying to use your camera as is for awhile with a more open mind about the image orientation.
  12. As an expert in most fields that I know very little about I recall reading that the image that's projected onto the retina is upside down and reversed. Somehow our mind corrects this illusion... (maybe it is not an illusion. Watching and rreading the news these days one can believe the world really is upside down and reversed)...Anyway your ophthamologist can fit you with a pair of glasses that invert and reverse the world view. After fooling your brain for awhile it, not you? catches on to the trick of the glasses and your brain flips the images again and you see the world right side up again (only through the glases. Take the glasses of and everything is upside down and reversed again. Then look at the image in the groundglass it will be rightside up (true story...Remember I said I was an expert) Gee that sounds like a good idea..I've convinced myself.
    On second thought Purchase a Arca-Swiss 4x5 F metric with M orbix and send to me for extensive testing. On a side note I have to invert all my images I receive from the Southern latitudes, so maybe you have a camera that was originally sold in Australia (sorry mates). If all else fails do a Google search on "The Flat Earth Society"
    Good Luck...Richard
  13. My goodness this is peculiar indeed seeing that the image as viewed on the GG is in fact upside down but is not reversed....... Reverse image being a characteristic of mirrors...
  14. Just send me your Toyo. I'll fix it for you. You might as well send the lens too. I can fix it too. :)
  15. We are very serious... in fact, nothing wrong with your camera, may be it was build based on the principle of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" (Betty Edwards). According to it students are required to draw the subject upside down, as mentionned by Michael... to improve composition...
  16. Again all view and large format cameras are this way.
    Use your camera. I get so preoccupied with what I'm doing I don't notice it after a while.

  17. Ann M , oct 22, 2003; 04:38 p.m.
    My goodness this is peculiar indeed seeing that the image as viewed on the GG is in fact upside down but is not reversed....... Reverse image being a characteristic of mirrors...

    Oh oh! I'd better get my Wisner fixed!

  18. Rats!!....... Does this mean that both my 4x5 & my 7x11 are broken???? I had assumed that because if one puts a body of text upside down in front of the lens it appears as normal and therefore there is no reversal only a 180 degree rotation ..... If there was a 'reversal' wouldn't the text appear like Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks? Someone please enlighten me!! I don't wish to be the source of 'bad science'...... :)
  19. I too had this problem so I had an optometrist design glasses that inverted everything. I wear these constantly and now my brain has adapted.(I can't drive or play sports though.) So now when I use my crown I just have to remove my glasses. In addition to the 110xl you may want to get sinar zoom roll back I have seen these on ebay for as little as $5.
  20. Hi Ann..I don't believe a "mirror " image is the same as a reversed image. If one hold an image or text upright and facing the mirror the mirror neither turns it upside down or reverses it. The text that you will see in the mirror is backwards not reversed. Repectfully, Richard
  21. Hmmmmm... I guess a brilliant career in optics isn't on the horizon for me. Alfonse, sorry for the confusion...... Robert what a coincidence I can't drive or play sports either!!
  22. Alfonse,

    At the risk of being the brunt of someone's joke;

    All the kidding around is due to the number of times these line gets used as a joke here in the forum. It's actually a commonly asked question from a novice who walks up and looks at an LF image for the first time. The thing is, most people that get a camera have already done some reading up on the subject and know the image is upside down.

    Every LF camera of everyone on the forum produces a rotated image, unless a mirror is used to flip it. Your camera is fine. Go out and enjoy it. You'll get used to the rotated image in no time.

    If this was a joke; May your lenses be the feeding ground of fungus and dust be a part of your every image.
  23. Ann,

    If you removed the bellows and could view the image on the ground glass from the front, or just slipped a sheet of paper in there, it would be upside down, but it wouldn't be reversed left to right, if you held your head upright. In other words, what you see on the left edge of the image would be the same as what you would see if you simply turned around and looked at the subject.

    But when we're using our "defective" Wisners and other view cameras (sorry Ron, just kidding) we're looking at the image from behind the ground glass. So it's reversed vertically as well as horizontally. Essentially, it's been rotated 180 degrees. Everything at the bottom of the subject is projected to the top of the film, the left of the subject is projected to the right on the film, etc., when viewed from behind.

    What's interesting is that when you move from behind the ground glass to in front, you are rotating your head 180 degrees around a vertical axis. That's why the left/right orientation of the image changes, but the up/down doesn't. If you were instead to rotate your head 180 degrees around a side to side horizontal axis, in other words moving your head from upright and behind the ground glass to upside down in front of the ground glass, the opposite would occur. You would see the image right side up and reversed left to right.

  24. Oh Peter... You have my head spinning.... however, you actually make sense! I just wanted to add that everything I know about large format photography I learned right here on! Cheers Annie.
  25. Alfonse's pacemaker is probably acting up again.
  26. I'm afraid that there's no solution in moving up here to the
    Southern Hemisphere - well Oz at least - as the photographers
    are also upside down, and a bit backward too.
  27. pvp


    Obviously, your dealer sold you an Australian camera. Get him to take it back. Or maybe you could try reading up a little bit about the optics involved. Start with "Optics in Photography" by Rudolph Kingslake; page 2 should shed some light on your problem.
  28. Dear Alfonse,
    it appears to me that maybe you have the groundglass inside out? You could try placing the glass rough side out, instead of in, that may help. Alternatively, you could try this, get a reasonably large mirror, placing it at a suitable angle between the subject and the lens, this has the effect of reversing the image left to right prior to the image entering the lens, giving the effect of correct orientation when viewed on the groundglass. The upside down thing may take a little more effort, it will require you to stand with your back to the camera and by using another mirror, (or the reflection in a nearby window) allow viewing of the image in an acceptable manner. A further answer to the problem would be the surefire method that I use, that is to take a photo of the groundglass screen with a digital camera. Then by downloading the image and running it through Photoshop, you can flip the image left to right and upside down thereby allowing the image to be viewed normally. For this to be relatively easy, you will need a laptop, a digital camera and some patience. If this all becomes too hard, simply stick to 35mm, as the results may not be worth all the hassle, (this is a proven method used Downunder!) Cheers, and lots of luck, Dean.
  29. dear alfonse,
    yesss! this is a common problem with lf cameras. i had it too until a "really expert photographer" told me the ultimate solution:
    he went to the hospital to let operate his brain. the neurologist turned his brain 180° around the horizontal axis, connected the optic nerves again and that's it!
    the only disadvantage is that he is not longer able to drive his car, but if you imagine these horrible traffic jams in the citys of the world, he won't really miss it!
  30. Dear Mr Deluer,<br>
    I stop joking : if your camera has a Graflock back, just buy a reflex angle viewer, and the ground glass image will be no more upside down.<br>
    But il will always be reversed left to right. The same situation happens also with some MF cameras, like TLR (twin lens reflex).<br>
    It's more simple to correct in the brain left and right image inversion than up and down.<br>
    Hope this helps,<br>
    Best regards.<br>
  31. In answer to Ann's question.

    The image you see on the ground glass is rotated 180 degrees. What we mathematicians call orientation is not changed. If you focus on a person facing the camera, his/her right and left hands are not switched around. Similarly, print won't look like what you see if you hold it up in front of a mirror and look at the reflection. That would be reversed or backwards or whatever you want to call it. You can see that orientation is not reversed, because if you fix the image in film, develop the film, and then view it from the back, you can see the normal upright image if you hold the film with the top up.

    However, the usual description of the gg image is also correct. You can accomplish a 180 degree rotation, by flipping in the third dimension about a horizontal axis (i.e., turning it upside down), and then flipping about a vertical axis(i.e, reversing left and right).

    If you play around with mirrors at all, you will realize the image you see there is reversed left to right. I was reminded of this recently when visiting my eye doctor. The chart is projected on a wall, but the room is not wide enough for the full 20 feet that is assumed. So they use a sequence of mirrors to reflect the image. The image of the chart you see in each of these mirrors is reversed from what you see in the previous mirror. So they need an even number of mirrors to produce an image in which the letters don't look backwards. In my doctor's office there were an odd number of mirrors (three), from which I concluded that the projector was starting with a reversed image, probably from a slide turned around, much as you would have if you put the emulsion side up in an enlarger. Pentaprism viewers on cameras employ an even number of mirrors to make sure the image is not reversed. Reflex cameras using a single mirror (as in a TLR) produce a reversed image. Since such a mirror is reflecting just the kind of image you get on the gg of a view camera, you can see that such an image can't have a reversed orientation, as I noted above. If it did, the mirror would reverse it again.
  32. Leonard, Thank you for your concise and well explained answer... I always find it takes me a while to become reoriented to the left/right reversal of my Rolleiflex after I have been shooting large format for a few days...... & thank you Alfonse for starting an interesting and enlightening thread. Cheers Annie.
  33. I think you should also send your enlarger in for repair. Not only will your camera shoot upside downa and backwards, but your enlarger does the same thing. Too bad we don't have a dark cloth for the darkroom so we can hide when standing on our heads to focus.
  34. Alfonse,

    You can usually get a refund from the manufacturer in these cases, but you do have to sign a waiver/declaration in order to get the refund which says "I the undersigned am too dumb to own a camera. From now on I will only use Crayolas"

  35. Keep it, enjoy it, be proud of it. Your great-grand-children will be proud of you and will be the proud owners of that camera too.... because of that feature, it's a Special or Limited Edition you have there. And sooner or later the subject you raised never mentioned again.... anyone has similar problem with digital camera yet?
  36. What a waste of time.
  37. Alfonse, these people are making fun of you and all their answers are wrong, the problem is the lens that is mounted wrong. Instead of having the lettering un top, it should be on the bottom. In other words place the lens upside down to get a right side up image....
  38.'re joking, right? Don't you know how lenses work? Don't you know that there's a prism on the top of your SLR that flips the image right-way around for you? How can you call yourself an expert if you don't know these things?

    Take one of your 35mm lenses and focus the image on a wall. Tell us what you see.
  39. Alfonse, dont worry your camera is fine, just make sure you buy a special enlarger
    that re-reverses your images when you print them or use reversal film!
  40. Thanks, everybody. This is the most fun I've had this whole long day!!
    Now I'm going to go around my house and turn all my prints right side up...

  41. Alfonse,

    Thank GOD I found you! I have had a similar problem with my Leica for years now.
    Every time I get my film back all I ever see is an extreme close up shot of the left side
    of my cheek. I dont know why. I make sure that I am looking through the eyesight
    and although the subject seems far away I am almost never looking at my own cheek.
    Its a shame too, cause its such a nice camera with the shutter and advance controls
    on the left side for lefties like me. I would have reported this problem to my dealer,
    but the film is always soooo sharp....

    any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated as I am beginning to feel
    like I have wasted $2500. Maybe the MP will be better,

    Paul Grossmann former 35mm expert.
  42. Alfonse really, all you need do is take the camera to pieces and put it back together inside out. Real pro LF cameras come in kit form, but the Toyo needs disassembling before you can use it. The dealer should have explained ...
  43. Alfonse

    I'm curious, what did your dealer say to you when you mentioned this to them....Once they stopped laughing hysterically that is.
  44. Well, I just tested a similar Toyo and it gave great results. However, looking at the images on film I noticed that not only had the image turned upside down and reverse, also the colors seemed reversed. In each direction (north, south, east, west) the same consistent reverse effects.
  45. If Alphonse were here, he'd be laughing out loud but he's no longer a photonet member. He gotcha!! Read his other posts about licking the insides of his Leica shutter cavity and cleaning his Noctilux with pumice.

  46. Someone very smart once told me that if you are seeing it upside down and backwards,
    you must be doing something creative. But if you must see it right side up, you should
    hire an assistant to hang you from yr feet while you compose images. I am sure any NBA
    player in the offseason might be able to help you with this if you are small in stature. Or
    you could get an NCAA player to help you with this, since they are in college they will
    probably work for less, unless they go to Michigan State. Ah, but enough of giving you a
    hard time. If you own any TLR 's, you will see that the image is backwards on the
    groundglass, this is in between 35mm and Large Format. So in a TLR you have one mirror
    that is correcting the image, in 35mm there are two, but in LF there are none. Go Google
    camera obscura, they see the world the same way as LF cameras. Also Google eyes, you
    will probably find out that they see the world upside down and backwards until our brains
    reinterpert the info. Or just hang by yr feet to make pictures, I'm sure the blood rushing
    to yr head will help inspire you.
  47. I just registered for these forums after reading this post. Mainly so I could say, LOL!!!

    Also (I'll make an official post about this, but it might be something well known) I'm just starting out in photography and I'm somewhat OCD, so I have to try and learn everything as fast as possible (I know it's a defect and my parents should have sent me back) but I remember reading a post about either a medium or large format camera for beggining photographers that wasn't built incredibly well and let in light, but photographers loved it because of the unusual results they would get. I remember it being somewhat clunky looking and that some photography class teachers suggested it for some classes.

    I know this is out of place and understand if you tell me to take a hike.

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