Jump to content

The"4x5 conversion" 16 year report that was then- this is now


Recommended Posts

<p>When I introduced my first camera on March 11th of 2000 digital capture was still under development and large format was still the only way to obtain high definition images. After 2011 digital has caught up and last week at a book signing one of the most renowned fashion Photographers famous for his use of 8x10 told me his 35mm digital is sharper than his 8x 10 and he loves it.<br /> Such change which is echoed throughout the professional arena has caused a change in direction and justification for the so called conversion .<br /> I will post a list of numbered issues so as to address the changes .<br /> 1)Sharpness depth of field and even focus throughout the plane<br /> a hand held camera cannot be used for stop down photography <br /> a small sensor or capture area has a greater depth of field appearance than a larger area <br /> to address this issue for hand held use we introduced perfectible parallelism in 2007 to increase the sharpness by several stops without having to use smaller lens openings.<br /> 2) Bellows<br /> most so called conversions have been issued using the original Polaroid bellows except for our company and one other and which have many pinhole light leaks in the corners of the folds.<br /> these are intermittently masked by the fact the inner and outer bellows have become separated by the drying of the glue over time and so may give the impression of light tight when tested but intermittent leaks when shooting which cant be found until the bellows are torn apart and seen under a light.<br /> 3)Patents<br /> We haven't sued anyone who has made a camera for their own use and no longer care to address such issues as it was important at the onset but no longer is.<br /> 4) Lens interchangeability<br /> Firstly <br /> The basic configuration of these cameras doesn't allow for multiple cropping settings and doesn't allow for multiple cam settings <br /> therefore one would at best get one lens to focus crop while coupled that would be the first limitation but most importantly the limited bellow extension determines that the range cap off at 150mm .<br /> lens interchangeability is therefore pointless for the hand held application and weakens the structural so we abstained .<br /> All these cameras can be at best is like a big Makina 67 for responsive and spontaneous capture .<br /> trying to force it to be something else is IMHO pointless at a time when a Linhof which can do all else well is relatively inexpensive so I continue to recommend such camera for all Tripod use and use it myself..</p>

<p>5) 2 sided holders versus Grafmatics<br /> again up to 2011 I would say Lf photography remained the sole source for HD imagery and as most LF <br /> lenses were design for optimum performance around f 22 that sort of excludes the use of hand held 4x5 at wide open apertures and if performing fine is already a stretch when expecting to use fast shutter speeds.<br /> It is for this reason we have been very persistent in recommending the avoidance of 2 sided holders because as Schneider had posted in their website when they still made LF lenses " there is a 4mm play"<br /> .10 mm enough to defocus a photograph.<br /> We took this strict position during the testing of perfectible parallelism in 2007.<br /> 2 identical cameras were sent out and one was doing great and the other one horrible.<br /> the one which was underperforming kept being sent back and to our surprise had no malfunction.<br /> 4 months into the testing the guy travelled and left his 2 sided holders home because of the weight and <br /> borrowed a grafmatic from a friend and the film came back being of comparable quality to the other camera .<br /> So it is my position that if you can dimple strap down or tie the old holders it is idiotic for hand held use <br /> because you cannot stop down the lens to compensate for holder inefficiency.<br /> I will post the remainder of the relevant issues as time permits.<br /> Thank you.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Needless to say that in a hand held snapshot camera the only applicable movements are tilt and closeup<br>

here are samples of <br>

the close up feature<br>


<p>here is a sample of close up and tilt combined<br>


swings and shifts cannot be used in conjunction with rangefinder but in what is relevant to these crossroads in time is that swings and shifts significantly degrade the image quality by using the lens edges instead of the lens center and require smaller apertures.<br>

there is no loss of quality while doing swings and shifts in photoshop therefore for many travel and architectural photographers even those who use large format such corrections are best left to post production these days.<br>



Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Dear Mr Salomon<br>

no it is not an" Ad mission" and yes it is a set of admissions :) .<br>

as if this would all be in the hopes of getting better negatives more transparency is required ;)<br>

Let me give you an example ; You have been in this forum since 1999 - made over 3000 postings <br>

have you ever bothered to disclose in any of them that HP marketing was owned by your family? <br>

I ask because you told me a few months ago you are retired. How do you retire from your family? ;)</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Dear Rodeo Joe<br /> your question though highly sarcastic has a lot of merit in that the whole issue of the importance of parallelism has been treated very similar to the issue of whether smoking causes cancer.<br /> Tobacco companies chose the strategy to ridicule the notion that smoking was harmful because it was an issue which could not be resolved without heavy losses.<br /> the photography industry chose the strategy that parallelism would not be addressed as a concern firstly because at the onset most photography was ground glass and in which case a manual adjustment of the standards could correct the issue to some extent and then most photography was suggested f16-f22 strobe etc.<br /> There have been better cameras with acceptable levels of parallelism a calculation and measurement when the parameters were based on f22 photography in which case most minimal parallelism error can be masked by aperture.<br /> it is indeed alien to consensus that parallelism can be so critical in f2.8- f11 photography because it was an issue always skipped because if users may have known more that so much stopdown was required to get " all in focus" while using large format hand held there would have generated a consensus that large format hand held is simply not possible unless you strobe it .<br /> Some say the simplest answer tends to always be the truest.<br /> This proved to be the case.<br /> as mentioned if you move a lens.10mm from its infinity position it will entirely defocus an image and the usual parallelism error in large format cameras tends to exceed several degrees per standard so x2 that exceeds 5 degrees which can still be unnoticeable to the naked eye but translates into a necessity for closing the lens by several stops.<br /> secondly and the most relevant issue is that a defocused lens stopped down to f 45 renders less perfection than a focused lens at f22.<br /> it is a very simple fact on paper but extremely difficult and costly to achieve to attain zero error in parallelism between front and back standards on a 4x5 and quasi impossible on larger formats and the reason it was simply bypassed and I had no choice but to address it if I hoped to have a camera that could actually be useable as a large format snapshot camera while using slow films and natural light for people photography.<br /> when you combine slow film + format+ natural light the requirement is very strict.<br /> Otherwise to most a negligible nuissance of large format which has been bypassed to date in tripod photography and thus alien to concensus.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>7) " Synergy"<br>

I was enthusiastic and insistent that the concurrent functions of true parallelism+ a true lens cam+ true focus + quantitative parallax( true crop lines) + qualitative parallax optics added to the viewfinder which mimic the camera lens barrel distortions so as to provide the closest viewing to slr thru a rangefinder viewfinder would free up the user to pursue snapshots on the go with large format as if with the small popular German 35mm camera.<br>

I believe that after 16 years the extensive body of work generated in this manner by the users justifies my beliefs as while I cannot claim the cameras have produced the greatest body of work to date I am satisfied<br>

that the testimonials which insist the greater ease of use and responsiveness does translate into a spontaneity and ease in the subjects which has translated into the imagery.<br>

I do believe that If Polaroid hadn't gone belly up a month after it was introduced in 2001 the extent of the project would have had a much larger audience and then while the Polaroid films continued to be made under the Peters group digital claimed a significant portion of the market and all the more reason to put emphasis on the justification of a film expenditure at a time when few are willing by providing a higher quality result which would justify the film expenditure for this specific intended use.<br>

The issue of whether one would save money by using a less expensive alternative = the answer I get from professionals today is the lesser expenditure is digital and so that places a burden on the 4x5 consideration for the pursuit of spontaneity as follows<br>

cost expenditure+ spontaneity attainment+ personal effort expenditure at the decisive moment has to equate to a significantly better result to justify the expenditure by a user and that was the challenge I faced <br>

and I'm simply disclosing why I stayed on this course.</p>


Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>8) Why I abandoned the pursuit to remanufacture type 55 film.<br /> about a month ago I posted my opinion on the New55 page on Facebook telling a user what Helmut Newton told me on the first day I assisted him and that is that your picture is / can only be as good as the subject you choose and how you approach it and then embrace it.<br /> New55 deleted all my posts even though I'm not a resentful person and continue to endorse them but a few years back it became clear to me I didn't want to become whet I have just described happed to me .<br /> I didn't want to find myself in the position of needing to sell a lot of film and rather have a clear conscience and tell people what I believe which is that the use of a larger format is justified proportionally<br /> by a larger effort by the user to choose a larger subject in what refers to interest and or to make an effort to make it interesting. I have been criticized as if elitist because of my opinions and admit that when it comes to aesthetics I do believe one needs to pursue a goal even if it differs from the norm because it is ones own choice and have a very hard time looking at samples of a 4x5 film shown in attempts to demonstrate its quality and see the aesthetics being neglected because everyone I respect would say they can do the same for free or" you spent 18.00 to get that?" or I would feel like a nerd defending the cost if the aesthetics are not a priority.<br /> In a comparison I found it hard to justify the use of a Leica or a Hasselblad when film was the only option if the aesthetics were not an integral part of the picture and now that there is the digital option where after an initial expenditure there is not a cost each time you use it I cannot recommend to people who aren't willing to do the work it takes to get clever pictures that they should seek to use my cameras as in the absence of such effort the extra ease of use will not ease anything.and that my friends is the long and the short of why this subject has faced controversy even if the<br /> particular details differed at each turn when people eager to sell cameras to anyone who would pay dismissed what I said as rabble or elitism.<br /> I expect to make very few cameras and only sell them to people who have the ambition to seek to do<br /> a better picture than they did yesterday other than that I feel what I sought to accomplish was accomplished and now I am going to again pursue my profession which is photography.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites



H.P. Marketing was formed out of the remains of Zeiss Ikon Voightlander USA by the former President of Zeiss Ikon

Voightlander, Herbert Peerschke. I joined HP Marketing originally as a sales rep in 1978 and then became an employee

of HP Marketing in 1980. In 1983 HP Marketing was purchased by Gepe in Switzerland and Herbert Peerschke and his

family were no longer part f HP Marketing. At no time have I been related to the Peerschke family. Gepe was then owned

by Göeren Petterson and is currently owned by his son Sven. At no time have I believe related to the Pettersons. When

Gepe decided to close HP Marketing last year I retired as the company was closed the month after I retired and next

month will have been out of business for a full year.


So I do not know where you get your information but like many other things, you should verify what you post, otherwise

readers may think that everything that you post is accurate and true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Dear Mr Salomon : are you a man of your word?<br>

as per the following you were not going to attack my postings with suspicion allegations any longer</p>

<p ><a name="00dPlL"></a><a href="/photodb/user?user_id=47422">Bob Salomon</a> <a href="/member-status-icons"><img title="Hero" src="/v3graphics/member-status-icons/hero.gif" alt="" /></a>, Jul 30, 2015; 08:04 a.m.</p>


<p>"Be it as it may. I am going to ignore this from now on. I suspect that he originally posted this as a hidden ad for his cameras. Especially since he has not answered :<br>

1: what it pays that someone else asked 2: where it is available 3: why it would not be available through traditional sources.<br>

So, good luck with it, should it come to be."<br>

But here you are the same ol energizer Bunny .<br>

I think people believed you when you said that on July 30th<br>

I expect you to honor it GODDBYE!!!</p>


Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>I appreciate the narrative ref the lengthy trail of corporate entities associated With Hp marketing. People own corporations. I hereby accept your response as the truth being that your family neither owns Hp marketing nor is a beneficiary and that is the end of that.<br>

I and many other members of this forum hope you can find a better use of your retirement time than badgering members who have not retired with alarmism that would seem aimed at expediting their retirement.<br>

all best W</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites


" im not going to mortgage the house to buy a Littman"<br>

I was extremely saddened when the housing crisis deteriorated and posters on the " Littman on ebay 8000" told me they had lost their homes during the housing crisis<br>

the flip side of that came in a message quite unexpected from my first client the first Littman 45 owner earlier this year; and which read"It's been a very long time my friend! Hope you're well! My Littman 4x5 is the best thing I ever purchased. Have many images to share with you....<br>

I was quite surprised to hear at a later conversation that the camera ( all about it works perfectly ) after 16 plus years without no maintenance or improvements past the original first stage.<br>

So I have learned you cannot judge the world by the perception or expectations of just one person and so Glad to have carried on.<br>

I think it is best to seek your destiny than spend it discouraging people from doing things that one has no interest in. surely better to gain allegiance from those who share our views than spend life trying to change everyone's mind.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Tim I couldn't agree more. the weirdness has always been there but repressed hidden and concealed and which can look very annoying to those who thought reality was America in the 50s. that wasn't reality that was the biggest lie to date layer upon layer of don't ask don't tell.<br>

I would dare add that anyone can notice that on any given subject even the most offensive circa 50% are in favor and 50 per cent are against. <br>

In the end the answer is that issues of duality fail to resolve because they are not sufficiently important in themselves and only a consequence of a circumstantial necessity.<br>

if one takes a step back is isn't hard at all to see there is always someone trying to crash your parade because they cant find a better use for their time . it is weird but not that unusual lol</p>


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone who knows me knows that my family owns no photographic corporations or other commercial business. The

closest would be my daughter and her husband who jointly own their own law firm and my brother who is Chairman of the

GovernmentRelations Division of a large national law firm. None of them have anything to do with the companies hat I

have worked for. Good try, but always verify your statements and postings. You will notice that all I have asked you is

what this announcement is. I posted nothing about you personally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>All good but again I seem to have such luck in not getting tangled in discussion subjects which I don't understand do not interest me or give me headache's. and have never had the poor taste to demand a discussion have to be of my liking. there are so many subjects out there.<br>

I trust that there are people of good disposition who can benefit from the information as it refers to a camera rated as the most responsive easiest to use large format camera in history at least that was the opinion of Popular Photography and if not Id rather be fishing than bothering with the fidgety nonsense <br>

et voila</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Hi Mr Bedo;<br>

As I see it the future will be for those who want to use it for art and experimentation and for the line drawing qualities of a more 1 to 1 ratio other than that I don't see a future.<br>

Answering Mr Salomon<br>

In Spanish there is a saying" no hay mal que por bien no venga" which means that sometimes an unexpected<br>

unpleasantness can shed light on important aspects.<br>

In this case your volunteering of the great marketing trajectory coupled with being obsessive as to the type of posts or whether it may be an ad to sell a camera I can add the following<br>

I am not a photographic marketer by trade but a photographer- one who got results at the helm of the profession and the so called gibberish is the summation of the technical explained with the emotion justifying it to get results . cameras can do? " nothing" photographers do and a camera can only facilitate that effort one is willing to make.<br>

The most proficient applaud my gibberish or whatever it can be called.<br>

Like in politics now people prefer those who gets results to politician and in photography it is a comparable analogy.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Drew as your question was important I will expand the response:<br /> My position has always been that the larger the capture area the larger the need to justify composition flow and the synergy between the obvious and any inference one tries to convey.<br /> Unfortunately large format was embraced because it was no other choice at first and then because it was a higher definition than other formats and there has never been a pervasive understanding of the difference in what refers to the line drawing aspect of the image as opposed to an equal amount of resolution and texture by a smaller digital capture.<br /> you cannot justify what you don't seek take for granted or only embrace on the quest to something else.<br /> Someone who only listens to music while on a date because that looks good is not going to support the future of the music industry any more than people who embraced large format because it yielded " more impressive" results.<br /> The gaps are being bridged in what refers to quantity and not too much people can tell the difference much less explain the difference in quality beyond higher or lower quality.</p>

<p>rest assured that as some point there will have to be 4x5 and larger digital sensors not necessarily to support large format cameras but because Nasa for example will at some point <br /> realize that would be the only way to expand their telescope capability or letr me refraze..<br /> it would cost less to make a 20x24 digital sensor than to send two missions into space to send two telescopes instead of one and so a huge expense will pale by comparison and so rest assured large format will be around even if for a different reason and then there is the cyclical factor where the generational thing has your kids learning how to start from scratch and so it will be revisited once the process goes digital.<br /> You hear people say " real photography" as seems to be the marketing strategy behind new55 new 55 film which is clearly nonsensical if you skip the aesthetics because a larger area + a bad aesthetic choice renders an uglier picture and so it becomes " real ugly photography"<br /> A camera that can do anything without your effort is called a cell phone and now at 40 mega with nokia and soon will be 80 im sure with someone else and so in the absence of an understanding by artists of the benefit of the large format aesthetics I cannot assure a future that makes sense but will be surely dwindling.<br /> I am very clear about one thing and I have no other way to explain it.<br /> I have been a pro photographer for 30 years and was quasi born in a photo studio and so can tell u a very large camera slows you down but you end up with a lot of texture and a very small camera speeds u up but end up with what looks lacking lustre so in my book 4x5 lets you have the texture the ratio and at the cusp of what can be mobile enough to pursue the capture of spontaneity and so while not for all and not for all occasions I believe those who understand the benefit will continue to whatever degree is justified and for the rest nothing shall be missed as the tech rendered a great service and moving on is the way of the world.</p>

<p> </p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>i thought advertisements on this site were prohibited ?</p>


<h3>4 Conduct of Users</h3>

<p>Your right to access and use the Site is subject to the following prohibitions:<br>

You may not use the Site to advertise products or services, to solicit users to buy or sell products or services, or to make donations of any kind, without first obtaining the express written approval ofphoto.net. The only exception to this rule is that private parties may use the classified section to sell personal property.</p>


Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Mr nanian this is not an advertising but a narration of the change of use over 16 years. I find it in very bad taste that you would constantly email me privately appearing to be interested in the subjects and then throw a bucket of cold water as is this. please do not send me any more Pms perhaps if more people were interested in using cameras for what they could accomplish and appreciate them for what they are for I wouldn't have to come here to explain it. Obviously those who can seek the pursuit of spontaneity hand held have done so effectively. I'm going to gargle with that thought until the bad taste of the bad energy and negativity dissipates and then focus on an audience with higher aims. thank you. unbelievable!!!!</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Another way to answer your question would be to say that if a cell phone can provide a sufficiently Hd image I don't see a future where people would have to bother with all these rules unless there was an aesthetic pursuit whatever it may be in which case that requires good taste - that of course is subject to personal preference but in no case can it apply to the type of pettiness and nitpicking which we have had to read here. In this thread If I have mentioned my camera is because that has been my experience and anyone who reads the thread cannot say Im suggesting anyone should rush to buy a camera- much to the contrary I am saying that for those who make educated choices it may be a good choice. I think I have addressed the subject sufficiently for thos who may benefit and for the rest I invite you to engage your time in those subjects which interest you so as to use your valuable time and preserve the good vibe of the forum by trusting those who are interested will respond and if not it will take less bandwith . thank you.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...