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Old 20th February 2010, 02:02 PM
Deryck Deryck is offline
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Default Focusing on 4x5 ground-glass

Hi all,

might I pose a few questions?

Now that most of the pieces have come together (a BESELER 45MX condensor head modified to fit a DEVERE 504 column/bellows/base,
a CALUMET 4x5 view camera with Nikon 210mm. glass, and a stack of Regal ll film-holders with the Ilford FP4 load), I now consider myself basically equipped to venture into 4x5.

Having spent over 30 years as a "medium format man", the biggest challenge for me in 4x5 - though not unexpected - is getting under the dark cloth and trying to focus an upside down image on the ground-glass. My mark 57 eye-balls just cannot turn the trick , so I am going to need some sort of magnifier placed on the ground-glass to bring things into focus.

My questions are these:
What are my fellow FADU'ers with like problems using as focusing aids?
At what magnification?
Where can I get such a one?

Hearts in darkness,
Deryck
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Old 20th February 2010, 02:19 PM
JimW JimW is offline
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Nikon Loupe, available from (be quick?) Jessops. Or a Linen tester, as used in the print industry for checking the fit on a sheet of paper. Roll down to your local printer and ask to see one. I bought one of the bay for a couple of quid. They fold up to nothing, unlike my loupe.
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Old 20th February 2010, 02:20 PM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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What you need is called a "loupe". Mine are about x4 magnification, and I brought them on eBay. Robert White stock them, but brought new they are quite expensive.
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Old 20th February 2010, 02:25 PM
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Trevor Crone Trevor Crone is offline
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For an overview of GG screen I use a pair of +1.75/2 dioptre reading glasses bought from a market stall. Cheap to replace if they get damaged. For higher mag I use a Wista loupe bought from Robert White but can be cheaply got from Ebay these days.
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Old 20th February 2010, 02:53 PM
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Paul Mitchell Paul Mitchell is offline
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As a fellow 4x5 user I use a Canon 4x loupe which I bought 2nd hand for about 50. Try not to go any higher than 4x as all you are doing is magnifying the texture of the GG.

Paul
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Old 20th February 2010, 04:14 PM
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Mine is a Jobo 4x, and i am very happy with it... great lens quality... and cheap, even bought new!...
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Old 20th February 2010, 05:55 PM
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I use fairly high-power reading glasses (Boots, Sainsburys etc) - I need 2.5 dioptre anyway and use 3.5 for the gg screen because it is so close. Those, plus a cheap made-in-China adjustable loupe (again needs to be adjustable 'cos of my ancient eyes) does the trick. I have a better quality loupe but I keep that in the darkroom - I don't mind dropping the cheap one...
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Old 20th February 2010, 08:13 PM
paulc paulc is offline
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I had been using an element from a scrap 35mm lens. Under a dark cloth, it seemed to work OK. But today, acquired a Horseman 6x long loupe for the princely sum of 25. Initial impressions - Very nice to use, and just reaches the GG when I use a popup shade.
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Old 20th February 2010, 09:44 PM
Michael Michael is offline
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Mine's a Schneider 4x, which Speed Graphic sold me (they still stock it). It's as good as any, I should think.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 05:42 PM
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Martin Aislabie Martin Aislabie is offline
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To focus I use a Schneider Asp 6x Loupe - expensive but worth it - http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/product...1202&PT_ID=309

In addition, to aid comfortable viewing of the GG composition, I had the optician make me up a super strong pair of reading glasses, the last time I had my eyes tested. After I had my eyes measured, told him what I wanted, guessed a distance I wanted to view at (about 12 inches) and he slotted lenses in to get me what I wanted - surprisingly easy and only cost about an extra 35.

I also have a Silvestri 10X Loupe for viewing negs on my light box, while it cost less than half that of the Schneider, I really dislike it. With the Schneider I get no colour fringing and having set the focus a long time ago have never needed to reset it. Sadly, nothing of the sort with the Silvestri

There is a reason the Schneider and Rodenstock Loupes are expensive - you get what you pay for.

Martin
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