Saturday, March 15, 2014

Experiment - 35mm film in 6x12 back on 4x5 camera

I did an experiment this week with some 35mm film, in an effort to use a bunch of it I have around. I bought some cheap adapter things that allow a 35mm roll of film to be mounted on a medium-format (120) camera. They worked well on my Horseman 6x12 back, which effectively exposes the entire frame and sprocket area (about 30mm I think) by the length of the back, 112mm, so about 30x112. Putting that on my Linhof Master Technika, I then focused my Schneider 47mm f/5.6 XL lens to about hyperfocal and shot a few rolls of film at f/16 or f/22.

It worked perfectly and was a really cool effect. It's basically a mini 6x17 camera. By comparison, the Hasselblad XPan takes images of 24x65, so this is a significantly larger and wider image even compared to that camera with a 30mm lens. The downside is no focusing (well, you can focus on the ground glass just like normal, but I was shooting handheld!), and no easy way to frame. After practicing though I was able to estimate pretty well where the frame was going to be.

I think for general fun shooting, this may be a great way to shoot a roll of 35mm. I was able to get 8 frames onto a roll of 36 "normal" images, so I don't have to have a roll of film sitting around for ages trying to shoot so many photos if I just have 30 minutes or an hour to shoot some images, and I'm not shooting expensive 4x5 or 120 film (I literally have about 150 rolls of expired color film to go through that I picked up for practically nothing).

Here are some images. You can see that I gradually got better at framing. All with the 47mm XL lens, but of course any lens will work with this, including rangefinder-coupled lenses. I need to try some of my longer lenses next.

The other good thing about this technique is that I have a 100' bulk roll of Portra NC that is "unperforated." This allows me to shoot the whole thing easily and even get the whole 30mm width exposed. This is why some of the images above have no sprocket holes. Of course those sprocket holes are kind of interesting.

When I get a chance, I'm also going to try stretching a roll across my 6x17 camera - so that will be a 30x170 image, a roughly 1:6 image ratio. A "specialty" ratio for sure but probably quite dramatic.

1 comment:

  1. Let me get this straight... you think that 35mm film is approximately 30mm wide? I would estimate that you are about 5mm off ;)
    Anyway, you have some very cool photos here. Well done.