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Archive for December, 2020

Fotodiox has created a cool adapter for 4×5 cameras that have a graflok style back. This adapter allows you to mount a modern full frame mirrorless camera to the view camera and take a series of photos that you can stitch together to form a giant high resolution image. The adapter has several preset configurations but my favorite is the six horizontal shot panorama that creates an effective 43mm x 88mm panorama. For comparison the full frame sensor is 24mm x 36mm. I love adapters that allow me to use my classic gear with modern digital convenience and quality.

EOS R5 mounted on Fotodiox and Linhof Technika III Gen V

The adapter allows the digital camera to be moved around to preset and click indented spots to ensure a precise amount of consistent overlap and proper alignment. It works best with a camera that also has a revolving back. On the six shot setup you take three shots horizontally on the “top” half then flip the unit upside down and shoot three more across the bottom. You can then stitch the images together in Photoshop, Microsoft ICE or other stitching software. Although you take six shots the overlap creates a final image about four times the resolution of your sensor. With my EOS-R body that has 30.3 megapixels the final stitched images run about 120 megapixels and with my 45 megapixel R5 stitched images are about 180 megapixels. You will likely have to do a slight trim/crop to compensate for alignment issues.

It should be noted that anytime you do a panorama or any multiple frame stitching project there is a few things that can go wrong. First if the image has any objects moving, they will likely cause issues during stitching and this includes things like flags or trees blowing in the wind, cars on a highway or street, people, etc. Also the stitching itself can lead to some minor misalignments as well as subtle changes in soft and simple backgrounds where stitching may show a seam. I find that it is best to take all the shots at the exact same exposure. Do not use the camera on any auto exposure setting as each frame may have a different exposure requiring tedious matching in post.

My only complaint about this excellent device is that it can’t do a larger series. 4×5 inches equates to 101mm x 126mm. I get that taking the adapter to very edge would be challenging and maybe impossible on the graflok back, but why not give us an eight shot option for a super pano of 43mm x 110mm? Even a vertical oriented set up that does 8 vertical shots for a final of something like 60mm x75mm or something similar. But I still love this thing. You can do a six vertical shot that yields a 60mm x 60mm image area.

My Signet 35 taken with EOS R on Fotodiox Adapter on the Linhof Technika III Gen V with Schneider Symmar 135/5.6 @ f8. Six horizontal shots 43mm x 88mm.

100% crop from full resolution of above shot.

My Bantam Special taken with EOS R5 mounted on Fotodiox adapter Linhof Technika III Gen V and Symmar 135/5.6 @ f/8 5 seconds exposure ISO 100. 6 vertical shots 60mm x 60mm

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