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Thread: The old and the new

  1. #1
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    The old and the new

    The Betterlight scanning back doesn't use a shutter... so pretty much any lens (with or without shutter) can be used.

    This is a Holmes,Booth & Haydens Petzval lens, made in 1860. For more history on this make of lens, you can go to http://hbh.gordonmoat.com/




    The lens has no aperture.. it's designed to only be shot wide open. I'll be playing around with this and putting up some test images taken with the oldest and the new.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    6000x8000pix capture, no IR block filter





    100% crop

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    HBH, IR filter attached, B/W conversion

    6000x8000 pix capture




    100% crop

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    no IR filter, b/w conversion


    9000x12000 pix capture






    100% crop

  5. #5
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    IR filter in place
    6000x8000 pix conversion




    100% crop

  6. #6
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    some more from this combo






















  7. #7
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    These are beautiful. I really like the softness that I'm assuming is a result of that old lens. The shot from under the bridge is amazing. The shadows are open and natural.

    I know it's not your normal subject matter preference, but I'll bet this would make an interesting portrait combo. Because of the back's time requirements, it would be like going back in time to the early studios.

  8. #8
    ddk
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    Re: The old and the new

    I love the subtleties and softness of this lens Jim, wish I could see what it does with portraits. Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

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    Re: The old and the new

    Absolutely wonderful. Reminds me of "the assassination of jesse james.. ". I think the photographer (roger deakins) actually uses these kinds of old lenses for certain effect.

    It's an interesting aspect of the larger formats that the dof properties often make large objects look like miniatures; using "sensors" much larger than those in the back of our eyes shrinks the world. I guess the vignetting also contributes to the effect.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    thanks all for the comments! This is rapidly becoming my favorite large format lens.

    Still playing around and figuring the ins and outs of it


    From Fort Ord yesterday morning














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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    The texture in the 100% crops, is that natural for that scanning back or a result of post-processing?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  12. #12
    ddk
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    thanks all for the comments! This is rapidly becoming my favorite large format lens.

    Really love this one Jim!

    Wish there was way to use this type of lens with standard backs, there's so much beauty here...
    Last edited by ddk; 11th October 2009 at 10:26.

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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Wish there was way to use this type of lens with standard backs, there's so much beauty here...
    I'm curious what you mean by "standard backs", but regardless there is a way it just requires jury-rigging or having a someone like the SK Grimes shop to mount it in a shutter for you. Or just mount it up on a camera that has a Sinar shutter.

    I also know Jim has been front-mounting a copal 3 to the lens for the flash sync to use with his Leaf back

  14. #14
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    The texture in the 100% crops, is that natural for that scanning back or a result of post-processing?
    post processing. the file coming from the Betterlight is about as smooth as they come. I add some 'grain' when post processing (i have some custom split tones/grain combinations that i add using Silver Efex.) I've never considered reality as very 'smooth'

  15. #15
    ddk
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    I'm curious what you mean by "standard backs", but regardless there is a way it just requires jury-rigging or having a someone like the SK Grimes shop to mount it in a shutter for you. Or just mount it up on a camera that has a Sinar shutter.

    I also know Jim has been front-mounting a copal 3 to the lens for the flash sync to use with his Leaf back
    I mean something like a Leaf 75s that needs a shutter to work with this type of shutterless lens. Its really a matter of triggering it, just don't know how to.

  16. #16
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I mean something like a Leaf 75s that needs a shutter to work with this type of shutterless lens. Its really a matter of triggering it, just don't know how to.
    that's the back that i have (75s).. I put a copal 3 shutter on the front of the lens, and used that to trigger the back




    This is from the above setup (3 frames stitched)




    (b/w conversion and grain via Silver Efex)






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    Re: The old and the new

    Jim, what iso are you around on the betterlight on those shots above? Just curious.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Jim, what iso are you around on the betterlight on those shots above? Just curious.
    Anything that's without the IR block filter is pretty much ISO 200 (like i said.. i added grain to the images).. i'll get some original and post it)

  19. #19
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    here's a 100% crop from an ISO 200 shot (no IR block filter)



  20. #20
    ddk
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    that's the back that i have (75s).. I put a copal 3 shutter on the front of the lens, and used that to trigger the back
    I didn't know that you were doing that I thought that everything was shot with your betterlight; thanks.

  21. #21
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I didn't know that you were doing that I thought that everything was shot with your betterlight; thanks.
    everything in this thread is with the Betterlight.. there's a similar thread in the Medium format forum about using the Aptus

  22. #22
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    Re: The old and the new

    Jim just love the shots, nice work.
    Was wondering about the Aptus and that lens if in the colour image there was much CA?

  23. #23
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    Re: The old and the new

    Amazing stuff, Jim. Love at first sight for me. Wow.

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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    some more from this combo



    Easily my favorite shot on this thread. Followed closely by the stitched version of that same scene.

  25. #25
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: The old and the new

    thanks lloyd! appreciate the comments. thinking of setting up the 4x5 with it and doing street portraits... slow film and no shutter.. just remove the cap and back on

  26. #26
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    Re: The old and the new

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    thanks lloyd! appreciate the comments. thinking of setting up the 4x5 with it and doing street portraits... slow film and no shutter.. just remove the cap and back on
    Love that idea. There on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, would certainly make for some interesting characters. Hope you do it.

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