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Thread: The Dayi 4x5 camera

  1. #1
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    The Dayi 4x5 camera

    I think it is better I start a new thread reporting on my new Dayi 4x5 camera, rather than contaminating the "Fun with Large format" thread.

    I have for a number of years been looking for a 4x5 camera that suits my mobile analog needs.
    I started with a Chamonix camera so I could leave my Sinar camera in the studio.

    It was a good camera with lots of possibilities, and I have written about it here on Getdpi before.

    But I want to walk the windy beaches in all kind of weather.
    One of my favorite is horizontal rain..
    And, the Chamonix was way to delicate for that.
    You just turn your back to it for a second and when you turn back again, its bellow is flying in the wind.

    So I sold it and bought a brilliantly converted Polaroid rangefinder with the possibility to switch lenses easy.
    I have a 90 mm, 127 mm and a 150 mm lens for it + a pin hole. And it got a rangefinder with a cam for the 127 mm lens.

    The back is for the Graflok system so I can put almost anything on it, including digital back, with a sliding adapter.
    Works brilliant.

    But, is has a bellow, so my obsession with horizontal rain ..

    So I started to lock at the Arca Rmdi, It have all I want.

    Then I started thinking, for a change. I have a well honed skill when it comes to buy a lot of expensive camera equipment.
    But why not try something different this time?
    So I started to search the Ebay site, and quickly did an interesting solution surface.

    It was a cheap technical camera, made in China. The brilliant thing about this camera model was that you have to bring your own camera back.
    That means that I personally bought a camera that was intended for the Sinar graflok back, So I just took one of my spare Sinar backs and put on it.
    Now I am guaranteed that I have full compability with all the stuff I am used to use!.

    So I buy one camera with a lens cone for the 65 mm lens (which I already owned)
    I also have a good 90 mm and 150 mm lens, so I buy them each a lens cone.
    Each cone comes with a helical for focusing.

    I was a little suspicious of its quality regarding the price for it.
    But I was really surprised by its good quality, I paid only 560 USD, including shipping for the camera.
    Don't really remember at the moment what I paid for the other two lens cones, but I thing it all was about 900:ish USD for the whole set up.

    But that was all I had to pay, every other little obscure detail for this system I already owned!

    So, I did trow it all in my little camera bag, and including the trusty tripod, it weighed in just over 18 kilo.
    Off we went for a 7 km walk around the "Billudden" nature reserve at the sea.
    (I include some picture from todays walk, from my iPhone and other "low life" cameras).

    Will write more tomorrow of my experience with this neat little camera pack

    This system demands a few thing of you, but if you can meet that demand then
    But that is for tomorrow.

    Ray






    Last edited by Grayhand; 5th May 2013 at 22:35. Reason: Why not?

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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    I bought a Gaoersi 4x5 for the same purpose, although I still use my Chamonix 4x5 F1. In fact, for me the Gaoersi and the Dayi would be best for long and night exposures. These cameras don't focus too close either.

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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    A very neat and efficient looking outfit Ray. I look forward to the update.

    Steve

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    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    So for the next part of this little "mini review" of the Dayi 4x5 camera.

    When the camera and the other lens cones did arrive, I first made a check of the infinite focus mark on the focus helical.
    This because it is not always easy for the supplier to adjust it perfectly for my different lenses in the factory.
    One lens worked perfect, and for two I had to adjust the helicals position so that I had infinite focus when the helical was positioned on the infinite mark.

    But for the 150 mm lenscone the mounting ring that the helical is mounted in was to short! When I did try to reach infinite focus with the helical on its infinite mark,
    the helical fell out of its treads in the mounting ring. That told me that I had to get a longer mounting ring to put at the end of the lens cone.

    Now we come to the part that Doug Peterson often talks about in the Medium format part of GetDPI, the importance of a good supplier/agent
    One of my favorite sellers on Ebay is Rudy, under the nick of "ecbuyonline2008", which I bought the Dayi system from.
    When I sent an e-mail describing my problem I got a prompt answer with the question, If I did know what I was doing
    I argued that this was the case, and in 24 hours I got an replay that the Dayi factory will send me a new mounting ring that was longer.
    And within a week I had it mounted on the lens cone and the helical for 150 mm lens adjusted for infinite focus.
    That is in my book perfect support

    When I did test the different lens cones with film there was no light leakage anywhere witch means that all parts fit perfect together.
    The shifting mechanism is non existing, in other words it is a plate that you shift up and down by hand to your desired position and then lock in place with a large screw.
    So no Arca shifting stuff here. But on the other hand did it work with out any problem so…
    I have read some where on internet about problem with 150 mm lens cone regarding shifting and vignetting But on this model I can not detect any vignetting with any of the lens cones.
    Just make sure that your lens have a big enough projected circle that covers the film, even when shifted, it shifts about +/- 15mm from center point.

    No mechanism for tilting, so nothing to review her.
    (But I am hoping that they will build a new model with possibility to tilt, but that is me hoping..)

    There was a different type of focusing helical on each lens cone. No one was splendid, but no one was bad either. They where adequate for what they should do.
    I could put it like this: When I was focusing the camera with the ground glass, I was completely absorbed by the process of focusing,
    and in no way did I feel that the helical was a problem. I forgot about the helical and just focused, so to say.

    The handle is quit nice and comfortable with a hole for a wire release to the lens.
    My camera was delivered with one that did fit the hole in the handle.

    So really nothing more tho put in my review of this camera. It is a device that does what it should and do it very well for its price.

    But you will have to be able to do some small mechanical work to assemble this system.
    You need some kind of tool to mount your lens in the lens cone, to tighten the locking ring on the back of the shutter.
    I recommend you get a good one that lets you reach down a bit in a deep lens cone.
    The photo below shows you this kind of tool. In the picture is also included a small screwdriver that you need if you have to adjust the focusing point of the helical.



    And as Richardman has pointed out, you are limited by the trow of the helical. That means that this camera is not primarily for macro photo.
    It is more like my Mamiya AFD camera in this regard.
    If I want to do macro, I have to get a special lens and/or some kind of spacer to increase the distant between the lens and film plane.
    But on the other hand, such a square spacer would be relatively easy to make for this camera.


    I borrow two photos from Rudy to show the back side of the camera with the Sinar back:



    But there is a few more models of this camera for different backs!
    There is also cameras for Toyo and Horseman backs that I am aware of.
    So depending on what you got on your shelfs..

    I will later write a little bit more of what I have included in my wee 4x5 kit.
    But let me just point out that regarding the weight of my kit, the weight of the outdoor case with harness and the tripod might be about 6 kilos all by them self.
    The camera and the lens cones do not weigh much. For the 90 mm, I think the lens is heavier than the lens cone...

    Ray
    Last edited by Grayhand; 6th May 2013 at 06:58. Reason: Beginning to genuinely hate the auto correct function..

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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    Ray, I have some experience adjusting for the Gaoersi's cones. The method is a bit less restrictive than DAYI, it would seem. I will write it up on a different threads as not to co-opt yours here.

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    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    I will give a simple description on how to check the infinity focus on the helical on a lens cone for the Dayi camera.
    And if necessary adjust it to its right position.

    Bear with me, if you think i am over-explaining this, I think it is better to be very clear in this description of the process.
    And If you find this unclear let me know, and I will try to fix that.

    Fig. 1 shows different parts of the lens and lens cone visible from the outside of the cone.



    To check the adjustment of a helical for a given lens and lens cone you need to mount the camera on a tripod.
    Then you need an object so far away for that lens to focus on that you could considerate as focusing on infinity.
    For my 65 and 90 mm lenses I used an tree that was about 150 meters away.
    For the 150 mm lens I used another tree that was about 300 meters away.That is good enough for me.

    1: Use a loupe to focus! I used a loupe with 6 times magnification. It is good enough for this task.

    2: Adjust the helical while you observe your "infinity object" through the loupe.
    If your infinity mark on the helical is in front of the focusing mark on the helical when the image on the ground class is optimal sharp, then all is OK!

    If not, then it is time to put on your engineering bow tie and do some adjustments.

    3: But to know what to do, first observe the distant scale on the helical:

    A -If the image on the ground glass is sharp but the distant marking before the focus mark is smaller/shorter than infinity,
    then you have to loosen the locking of the helical and rotate it anti clockwise to move the lens closer to the object go infinity.

    B -If your helical is at the end of its rotation span with its infinity mark stuck on the focus mark,
    then you have to rotate the helical clockwise to move the lens further from the object of infinity.

    (Rotating of the lens when standing in front of the lens)

    So now you know what kind of adjustment you have to do, now it is time to se HOW to do it.
    For this check out Fig. 2 below.




    4: Loosen the retaining ring of the helical. Then find and loosen the two locking screws located on the mounting ring of the helical.
    (Use a good screwdriver so you don't destroy the slot in the screw head. Apply sufficient pressure on the screwdriver!)

    5: Make sure that the infinity mark on the helical is in front of the focus mark first of all.
    Then you just rotate the whole helical assembly according to your finding from point 3 above until you got a sharp image on the ground glass.
    Just make sure that you rotate the whole helical assembly and not just the focusing ring of the helical, try to rotate by the front plate of the helical.
    So when you have a sharp image, verify that the infinity mark is on the focus mark.

    6: Now tighten one of the locking screws and the tighten the retaining ring and finally tighten the remaining locking screw.

    7: The last thing to do is tho ponder the actual position of the lens it self after the adjustment.

    How to positioning the lens so it is easy to operate when the lens cone is mounted on the camera?
    It is a matter of personal test and how the shutter for the lens is constructed.
    But you might find that the shutter is in a uncomfortable position after adjusting the infinity position.
    That means that you might have to remove the back half of the lens from the shutter and loosen the retaining ring on the shutter slightly,
    so you can rotate the shutter to a position that suits you. And it will stay in that position because the lens do not rotate when you adjust the focusing helical!
    Then you just tighten the retaining ring and mount the back half of the lens again.

    And then it is party time in the dark room

    But, if the helical is about to fall out of its treads, then the lens cone is to short. OR if you cannot screw it further in, then the lens cone is to long.

    Then it is time to check out how good your supplier really is

    But normally, the lens cone that is delivered for your lens is adequate so it is often just a question of a small adjustment, if any.

    The above described process is actually quite simple to do. It just look complicated because of the long description.

    Ray
    Last edited by Grayhand; 8th May 2013 at 21:28. Reason: Well, it's just one of my small hobbies, editing ..
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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    Greetings
    Looks like a great setup.
    What is the purpose of the iPhone and what is the attachment that is on it.
    Also what is the rig that holds it to camera?
    Regards Barry

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    I use the iphone as a viewfinder with an app that has the appropriate name of "Viewfinder Pro".
    Works really well and I dont have to drag with me many different viewfinders depending on the format of film I use for the moment.
    But due to limitation of the lens on the iPhone, I must use a wide angel adapter on the iPone to be able to see the same view as the camera does when using wider lenses.
    So that is the attachment.

    Here you can see the holder : sidekic iphone tripod mount - YouTube
    Nothing I will use in a stormy day at the see, but for "normal" use it works really good. Small and cheap.

    And I then already has my iPhone on the camera, I also use it as a light meter.
    There is a lot of light meter apps but I use iZoner a lot.

    Ray

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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    By the way, Infinity for most lens manufacturers is about 1500 meters or a mile.
    That will make your near marks more accurate.
    This a common mistake for focus settings when you must set or reset, for your camera, and using a much shorter distance for infinity, results usually in front focus when attempting something closer.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    By the way, Infinity for most lens manufacturers is about 1500 meters or a mile.
    That will make your near marks more accurate.
    This a common mistake for focus settings when you must set or reset, for your camera, and using a much shorter distance for infinity, results usually in front focus when attempting something closer.
    Rod
    I agree compleatly

    It is most out of laziness that I use the closer distances, I have no good object visible at my home at longer distances.
    It is of no problem at my normal shooting distances and with small apertures.
    But as you remark, as soon I shot object close to my camera and especially with large apertures, I will be walking on thin ice..

    At the moment where I stay I have a lot of open space and objects far of that I will use to properly set the infinity point properly.

    Ray

    PS
    But as long as I am using the ground glas for focusing there is no real problem!
    The problem arises when I try to use the distans scale for focusing, which I newer do anyway.
    I might give me problem trying to focus at "real" infinity and large aperture..
    Last edited by Grayhand; 11th August 2014 at 06:29. Reason: Incremental thinking.. .. .. ..

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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    Grayhand, I am having trouble finding the handy tool you have shown above. When I asked the Gaoersi guy, he said "use a pair of scissors" *smack head*

    I'd appreciate it if you let me know when to get one of those.

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Grayhand's Avatar
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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera


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    Re: The Dayi 4x5 camera

    Thanks! I purchased one!

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