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Thread: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

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    MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Hello,
    I'm a new guy here, so hello.
    Just starting to learn about medium format digital backs so I've been reading as much of the great information here as I can. But I haven't found an answer to a question for which I've searched here and on the web in general.

    I've been shooting film in a small medium format view camera with some older lenses. But starting to want to use digital.
    Is there a way to use a medium format digital back without using lenses that have a flash sync? I want to use some older vintage lenses and they don't have sync.

    Thank you!!
    Robert

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Robert on Phase backs they all have a sync port or should i say the P and IQ backs for sure.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Leaf as well. My bet is Hassy does too
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Ok, the digital backs have a sync port, but do they require that the back be used with a lens that has flash sync? In other words, will the back work with an old lens from a 100 years ago?
    thank ya,
    Robert

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by OlderThenDirt View Post
    Hello,
    I'm a new guy here, so hello.
    Just starting to learn about medium format digital backs so I've been reading as much of the great information here as I can. But I haven't found an answer to a question for which I've searched here and on the web in general.

    I've been shooting film in a small medium format view camera with some older lenses. But starting to want to use digital.
    Is there a way to use a medium format digital back without using lenses that have a flash sync? I want to use some older vintage lenses and they don't have sync.

    Thank you!!
    Robert
    Welcome on board Robert,

    Technically you can trigger the back with an external shutter, so for example if you have a leaf shutter lens with a pc port (Hassy V, Mamiya RZ or just a Copal shutter) that you can cock and release, then you'll have the on/ off signal for the back (with a sync cable).
    The trouble is to have the correct timing: All current DB's use a "Full-Frame" sensor which needs to be read at once and then flushed at once. Before and after these steps the sensor needs to be in total darkness.

    So if you're in a blacked-out studio and you're using an external shutter that is set to say 1 second and during that second you pop a flash with a short duration, then you will get a proper image

    If the conditions are not as described above then you will get various smearing effects, depending on the timing "errors" (some of these can create interesting looks especially with old lenses)

    There's a device made by Kapture Group that allows you to separate the capture signal from the flash sync signal with Phase One backs so this can help in some situations

    If you can find a way to mount your lenses into/onto/ behind/ in front of a Copal shutter then you will have a working solution

    There's a lot of trial and error involved which can be fun or can be very frustrating....

    Good luck!!

    yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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    Workshop Member lance_schad's Avatar
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    Re: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by OlderThenDirt View Post
    Hello,
    I'm a new guy here, so hello.
    Just starting to learn about medium format digital backs so I've been reading as much of the great information here as I can. But I haven't found an answer to a question for which I've searched here and on the web in general.

    I've been shooting film in a small medium format view camera with some older lenses. But starting to want to use digital.
    Is there a way to use a medium format digital back without using lenses that have a flash sync? I want to use some older vintage lenses and they don't have sync.

    Thank you!!
    Robert
    You could use the Kapture Group Multi Shot & Long Exposure Box


    You connect this to your Phase One Digital Back and you can use the wakeup and start/stop capture buttons to take captures from your digital back. It simulates the flash sync signal.

    From website:'The Kapture Group Multi Shot & Long Exposure control unit is designed to allow multiple exposures on a single digital capture and allow you to make long exposures for applications such as digital light painting or multi pop flash shots.

    This device is available with the P series multi pin or the older H sub mini connector. It provides the wake up signal and controls the duration of the sync signal to the digital back. This permits the user to layer multiple flash or multiple exposures onto a single digital capture"


    So if you have a way to mount the back to something and have a lens or pinhole cap on your camera, you can make an exposure. Very Cool.

    Lance
    LANCE SCHAD - Digital Transitions - Phase One,Mamiya | Leaf,Arca-Swiss,Cambo, Profoto
    direct/cell:610-496-5586 office:877-367-8537x224
    http://www.digitaltransitions.com email:[email protected]

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    Re: MFDB without a Flash Sync Lens

    Thank you Yair and Lance for the very helpful answers - I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
    Since they make a "Long Exposure Box" I assume that one can not make a time exposure on a MFDB without this box?

    In general, If one has a modern lens in Copal shutter with the flash sync cable and all, can one make an "Ambient" time exposure of a few seconds on a digital back? Sorry, I'm trying to learn and its tough being a newbie after 40+ years in film.
    thanks!
    Robert

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