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Guest post: Large format photography with Nikon D800 as a negative holder

This guest post on using the Nikon D800 as a negative holder for a large format camera + lens setup is by Jan Håkan Dahlström:

It’s really quite simple. What you need is a large format camera, a suitable lens and a digital camera body instead of a film holder. In this case it’s an Arca Swiss 4x5/9x12 rail camera, an Yamasaki Congo 180 mm/4.5 lens and a Nikon D800:

 

First, you’ll need to mount the D800 on the camera. I used a lens board with an opening about the size of the body opening of the D800. On the lens board I mounted a Nikon mount extension tube. The tube must be at least 15 mm, otherwise the prism of the Nikon body will hit the lens board. Preferably it shouldn’t be thicker than 15mm since the thicker the extension tube, the taller the lens you’ll need to use due to lens-focus plane distance.

 

 

All lenses over approx. 135mm can be used but a large format lens is to be preferred due to its wide image circle. Using a large format lens increases the possibilities to swing, tilt and rise the standards of the camera.

Once this is done, you can start shooting, preferably in the Live View mode. Procedures are now a blend of traditional large format photography and D800 high end digtal shooting.

Two sample images taken with that setup:

 

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  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    What a strange setup.

    • D800 = Biggest FAIL

      This is it for Nikon!
      Nikon has failed their loyal customers and any future customers due to continued AF and LCD issues on D800, D800E and D4 !

      Hardcore Nikon shooters have begun to move towards Canon !

      Canon 5D Mark III has turned out to be the true successor to the Nikon D700!

      SHAME ON Nikon !!!

      • NYC

        Clown

        • jeff

          +1

          • yrsued

            +2

            Give it up dude!!

            Most of us that make a living with the D800 are not having any issues with it!!

            • RoyL

              +3 If all I could have was a 5D3 I would take up woodworking.

        • Bozo

          What’s wrong with you??

      • kk

        fan boy

      • http://www.markmatthews.com.au Mark Matthews

        what?

        A. You are an idiot.
        B. Who do you think you are? seriously? Too pussy to even leave your own details.
        C. Total troll.

        Get off.

      • Dchino

        5d3 leaks light.

        I can’t imagine anything worse than that.

        • Max

          No it doesn’t… it never leaked light to the sensor.

          • Tom

            Yeah… You just can’t see what you’re shooting at thanks to the glare.

            • D800 = Biggest Win!

              ThaT’s it! I’m switching to Nikon!

          • Dchino

            It leaks to the exposure sensing elements. How else do you think they discovered the problem?

        • http://loewald.com/blog Tonio Loewald

          In all fairness, Canon did a better job of handling the light leak issue than Nikon has thus far done with the left focus field issue on the D800, and having focus issues in unpredictable and common conditions is probably worse than light leaks in unusual conditions.

          • Dchino

            Unpredictable focusing is a bigger issue while shooting in regular environments.

            But do you remember Canon’s response is: “Deal with it.”

            While Nikon’s is (or will shortly be), please send us your D800 for repair.

          • Dchino

            “Canon did a better job of handling the light leak issue than Nikon has thus far done with the left focus field issue on the D800,…”

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but has Canon’s handling for the light leak come down to “deal with it”, while Nikon’s is “send in you D800 for repair”?

            • Sahaja

              You are wrong. Canon quickly and publicly acknowledged the light leak problem on their website and provided a repair.

              For the left AF issue Nikon may now be providing a fix (though apparently some people have had to send their cameras in several times) – but, so far, they have not publicly acknowledged that some cameras have this issue.

            • D7fFiuhe

              Sahaja, I suspect a lot of these people who have to send it in several times are actually seeing things that aren’t there.

              The one example I saw where someone showed the focus problem it was a pretty obvious problem. I think the people get scared and start seeing problems that aren’t actually there. Nikon adjust the focus points and send it back (little to fix) and they still “see” the problems and send it back again.

              I think it’s psychological actually.

          • umeshrw

            Every problem requires some time to be found out. You may have found it quickly but for Nikon cannot find out and respond immediately to it just because the problem should be apparent in a large scale to be acknowledged. Also that it’s like if you get your complaint published in a newspaper but the related person hasn’t read it, then he will only come to know about it when he will come to know about it either if some body tells him about your article of if you post more complaints in different ways. Besides even if they are aware about it they would have to find out the reason and the fix which takes time. See recent NR post. They have acknowledged the problem and are working on it.

            • D800 issues?

              ALSO a lot of people don’t have the problem.

              I suspect it’s random problems in the calibration stage of manufacture, not particularly a batch of cameras that they can recall. I think Nikon will have to just say something like this eventually and ask people to send in their camera (maybe collect them from people like they did with the batteries) if the person is having the problem.

              The problem with doing this though is a lot of people will send it in because they’re scared they might have the problem rather than checking properly themselves.

              For the record I checked my D800 and D800E properly (with various lenses and test charts) and both are perfect.

      • Rudi

        What a monkey!

      • http://www.raphaelzydek.de Raphael

        Awwww come oooon guys. Give us a break! Just shut up, get out and shoot!

        • Ralph

          +1 Give me a break, every thread is being turned into this Nikon-Canon bullshit.

          Admin, why dont you just delete these off topic bullshit posts?

          • Calibrator

            Yeah, give me my D400 and D600 already!!!

            (=you are right, of course, but half of this forum is made of off-topic posts like these, posted by idiots & clowns anyway. His post is at least semi-off-topic…)

            • Me

              As is yours…enough about the D400 & D600, they will just be something else for all the tools the complain about. Just be happy you get anything.

      • Frank

        yes I agree. The reason I switched to canon = I waited too long for D800 and never had a chance to get my hand on it. Maybe people should wait for d900 now instead of trying to get d800

        • Troll?

          Why are you here then? Trolling?

          • ninpou_kobanashi

            People like Frank *should* switch to Canon. It’s more *popular*.

      • allen23

        the left focusing only seemed to have affected the early patch of D800 and all the people I know getting their D800 this month and the month before have not had any issues. as for the green cast of LCD, never had any myself

        • D800 problem?

          I got one of the first batch of D800 and I have no problems at all.

          It’s completely random IMHO.

          They might have tightened the calibration in manufacture recently though.

          Or perhaps most people have no issue and it’s a vocal minority making a fuss?

        • http://www.malphotography.net Michael Laing

          I haven’t had the issue with the left focusing but the first time I used the D800, the slight green cast on the back LCD was very noticeable. But now I have used the camera for some time. I don’t notice it. This probably leaves 3 options.

          1. I was seeing things (not unusual but definitely with a green cast)
          2. The problem was fixed in Nikon’s firmware update (which they deny)
          3. The problem goes with use.

          I would guess at number 3, for some odd reason.

      • http://micahmedia.com Micah
      • http://www.henrywhitehead.com Hendog

        I’m betting the trolls don’t own any D800s. I have had mine for months and it’s never let me down. I can honestly say I am delighted with this camera. The image quality is superb. If you actually use this camera for photography you will love it. I would like to see a less green tinted screen, but at the end of the day it’s hardly a big issue, I don’t use it to judge absolute colour.

        • Snake Plisken

          Absolutely correct. Couldn’t agree more.

      • ariliquin

        Hahaha, wishful thinking jackass. Proud D800E owner, no problems, just fantastic results. Thanks Nikon!

      • umeshrw

        How does this comment fit this post?

        Troll!!!!

      • Steven17

        There is one problem with your 5D M3, your entire AF points, from right to left will not works with the above Nikon hardcore set-up!!
        Nikon hardcore like me has lots of lenses, Tilt-shit lens, Macro lens, Manual focus lenses….that we already know how to focus with our gifted eyes and we also know how to make phone call without a smartphone.
        So far I have not shoot any photo at F1.4 with left focus point, but still need Nikon to fix the problem.
        Well, feel free to ask all of your friends to switch to Canon, another great camera by the way, that will pressure Nikon to speed-up the efforts to fix this left focus problem and perhaps I can buy a second D800 at 50% off (?)…lucky that when I shoot F1.4, I normally use the center focus point, thus it has not been showing up in my 10+k photo so far with the close to excellent of the D800 I own.
        Check this fabulous guess post again, where is the Auto Focus comes into play??

        • Flocculonodular

          Did your Tilt-shit lens come with any toilet paper ;-)

          • BartyL

            :)

        • Wow

          You sound really smart.

      • http://www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

        My D4 has no issues, quit being a little troll…

      • ME

        How about comment on the actual topic you dink.

        Neat idea.

      • Eric

        Dude. You must go back on your meds ASAP!

      • Drh

        Maybe in YOUR wet dream.

      • cbrown

        Mine works just fine! I have checked for both issues very seriously. No problem with color of my LCD or focus issues.

        Sorry your’s is a problem, but as small fraction of errors is not indicative of total failure as a company. If a few mistakes is enought to quit and close up your business- then government would be finished years ago. They make mistake after mistake!

      • bfjudo

        There is no problem, you are holding it wrong.

      • HansG

        It is obvious that you have not touched the Nikon D800! I owe one and I´m constantly amazed of the sharpness and the over all quality of the pictures I´m getting from it. The Canon MIII is, IMO, a great camera, especially if you need an all-rounder. However, if you want an outstanding photographic camera, there is no camera in the Nikon D800 price-range that can compete with the D800. It is as simple as that. I have not had any focusing issue with mine D800 and what I´m reading here, it seems like Nikon has addressed that problem. I´m not going to call you any names but it like your are a Canon fan. I hope you are not insulted!

        To counter your bottom line:

        Thank you NIKON for the amazing D800!

      • nikon CEO

        [shilling intensifies]

  • PeterJ

    That’s one way around the left AF problem we are experiencing.

    • shelly

      haha–thats what I was going to say

    • gsum

      What problem? My D800 doesn’t have this problem.

  • Question

    But why???

    • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

      because you can?

      because you have LF camera but not wanting to buy 85 PC-E?

      ask me, i don’t know. If i bother with LF camera, i do it properly, not like this, taking bad of both worlds and none advantages.
      It is as clumsy as LF is, but so little image quality as 135 kinofilm is.

      • http://www.flickr.com/genotypewriter genotypewriter

        Well you get many more lens choices and you can do extreme movements than with a PC-E, if there’s a need. Tilting by 8 degrees or so is not at all enough for shooting things at an angle at close/macro distances.

        • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

          …or just lazy to develop film.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe_leads Joe

          Finally a comment on this very interesting article.

          Yes, the PC-E lenses, though optically great, don’t allow too much of movement. In product or architecture photography you often need more than 8 deg. of tilt or 11mm of shift. That’s were this solution fits in.

          There are also alternatives from Cambo for those movements, but those are really expensive. A used large format camera could be much cheaper.

          • http://rearrangedphoto.tumblr.com rearranged

            This thing is not recommended for architecture photography since it lacks wide angle capabilities. If you’re going to have the hassle bringing a large format camera you should shoot with film, especially if it is for larger/better paid projects.

  • oldrendog

    go buy your canon

  • nuno santacana

    Tell me, how can Canon 5D III be Nikon D700 replacement if D700 is better than 5D III ?

    • Bobo

      who say D700 is better? LOL

      • gsum

        Nuno did and he’s correct.

  • Walter Perrott

    How is the extension tube mounted to the board?

    What type of autofocus problems are occurring with the D800E?

  • Mandrake

    Spammer alert.

  • http://www.sedetweiler.com scott detweiler

    I freaking LOVE my D800. What is wrong with you?

  • Bengt Nyman

    Hej, Jan Håkan Dahlström,
    What do you gain by this ?
    It looks like nothing but a clumpsy lens adapter for a manual focus vintage lens.
    Jag förstår inte vitsen.

    • Zeke

      Swings. Tilts. Shifts. Perspective control. Depth-of-field control. Zillion-megapixel panoramas. Super close-focus capability. As a replacement for Poloroids when shooting 4×5 film. 1/500th flash sync.

      • BP

        Love view cameras! Great idea. A recessed bord for the camera and a recessed lens board would allow wide angle lenses to be used. Still need info on how to mount extension tube.

        • julien

          Those adapter are hold by some screws, drill holes in the metal plate, puit longer screws and attach it

          add some glue to secure it and it’ll do the trick my d300s+grip with D3 battery holds well on the other side of the bigma with a kenko 2x teleconverter so it should do the trick

        • http://jhd.nu JH Dahlström

          Attention BP:

          I removed (unscrewed) the front adapter (where the lens should fit in) of the extension tube. I made the hole in the lens board smaller than the front adapter opening. Therefore I could drill holes in the board, put the adapter on the backside of the board, line the extension tube on the board frontside and finallay, push the screws through the holes in the adapter and the board into the extension tube an srew it together.

          • Global

            Hi, I don’t know much about this kind of setup — what advantages are you getting out of it? Why would you go through the trouble of this setup, instead of just using Nikon lenses?

            Sincere question. I just assume it doesn’t turn FX into Large-Format. So there must be a key point here missing (the “why do it” factor).

      • Sahaja

        A digital version of something like the Ilford 35mm monorail camera might be better for a 35mm sensor.

  • http://rearrangedphoto.tumblr.com rearranged

    Now, that’s a fat cat!

    • Funduro

      noo000OOOO you mentioned the ‘c’ word !!!!!! Why WHY W H Y did you have to?

  • jorg

    let us see some tilt/shift pictures!

  • Mike

    What’s the point of it? I cannot see anything in these pictures that can’t be achieved with any APS-C or FF camera.

  • Supercool

    Another Canon pissed-off bad loser. There are plenty alike .

    • DXO score

      This.

  • Fishnose

    I don’t get the point either. But I LOVE the cat photo.

  • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

    Could we get a parts list and a detailed step-by-step? I REALLY love this.

  • ahah

    Can you see????
    The cat in the first photo is totally out of focus!!!

  • Alan

    ??? I’m kind of missing the point of this. Maybe the “D800 as negative holder” is throwing me… If I ignore the post title, this looks more like another DIY tilt-shift rig.

  • http://www.deepakchourasia.com DeepC

    Looks like public is freaked out on Nikon D800 :). It is all about 36mp. They never tried all this before.

    • Hassy Blad?

      Because most people can’t afford or justify the cost of a digital medium format camera.

  • Ric

    The cat has eaten too many mice or Friskies.

    Time for a diet.

  • peteee363

    if you use a recessed lensboard, it pulls the front farther away, extending the bellows. this will allow for greater swings and tilts. when i was shooting 4 x 5, i always used the recessed lensboard for my wide angle shooting, along with a 5×7 lens for my 4×5 camera. this gave me more of an image circle to work with. also, from the panoramas the other day, this would also make for great panos too!

  • peteee363

    also, why does everybody seem to want to use the “steal me” neck strap? get a old fasioned hippy strap, it has all metal clasps, and is much more comfortable to wear. the dumb criminals can read the large nikon, or canon letters on the strap, it is advertising for any wannbe criminal.

    • Fat Cat & Friends

      Who’s gonna steal it? The cat?! Ha he can hardly walk!

    • michel

      I agree about the strap. Its garish. I painted out the Nikon D800 part with black leather shoe paint, worked very well. I also put black tape over the Nikon on the pentaprism housing, and black tape over the FX symbol and D800 on the camera body. Very neat! Then after discussion with camera shop about issues of left AF and other focus problems I have returned the camera for exchange when the next batch comes out in a month or so. In the meantime my D7000 will keep me happy.

      • Thom’s #1 fan

        Why ruin the strap? I just leave it in the box in it’s plastic bag till it’s time to sell the camera.

        Go buy a crumpler strap (they’re the best) or a black rapid or something.

        Also, you destroyed your strap and taped over everything then returned it because of reported left AF issues…

        You’re joking right?! Did you actually have any of these problems yourself?!

        I’m just gonna call you an idiot and be done with it.

        • michel

          I didn’t want to advertise the fact that I was carrying such an expensive camera. I had purchased it and since I had I could do what I wanted to with the strap. I put electrical tape over the identifiers on the body. That tape was removed before return. I also told the shop about the strap and they said not to worry about it. The AF issue was real in the camera I had. The shop offered to refund the transaction and order one for the future, or send it to Nikon for repair. Given the reports of cameras having to be returned several times to eventually “patch” the faulty copies, I thought It prudent to be patient and wait for one of the new batch to arrive. “Ruined the strap”? “Destroyed” it? Hardly… I “pimped it my own way by blacking out the motifs. So what??? You may call me an idiot for trying to lessen the impact of the camera by painting the strap and covering the identifiers, what you think doesn’t worry me. It doesn’t even worry me if you have to boost your own ego by criticising others, thats all your problem. If you think you will boost your image by garishly displaying advertising for this camera company, then thats fine. Perhaps you can get a T shirt printed up with “Proud Nikon D800 user” emblazoned on the front and back. That would cheer you up no end I would think

          • JR

            Most people no dont notice what camera it is. I’ve had a D800 for several months and people who know me well are like do you shoot canon or Nikon? Obviously they do not look at the strap or even the camera much. They just see it is a big black thing. It’s your own nervousness here, nothing more.

          • http://Www.novunlucis.com Dr SCSI

            @Michael, ignore the others…if you go to places where you think you need to downplay the value of your camera, then that is what is right for you. I completely understand this as I quite often walk around with equipment in excess of $15K and I am a bit nervous at times. You could also look into insurance to transfer the risk to someone else. I personally use L brackets from RRS with Camdapter wrist straps for my DSLRs and drop the neck straps all together. Then I have a black rapid strap fixed to a RRS knob clamp, which I then affix to the L bracket as needed. This gives me the ability to quickly add or remove a shoulder strap as desired; and the ability to work with two DSLRs using the Black Rapid double. Also, all of my collared lenses are fitted with RRS plates, so I can even sling them quickly on a Black Rapid strap.

            • peteee363

              if i decide to become a thief, tell me where you are, ok? whimpy neckstraps are only slightly better then any shoulder strap. i take a run in the direction your arm is facing, grab your strap, and i can enjoy my new camera, while you will get a neck strap. it is so easy to rip a shoulder strap off anybody who is in shock. before they can grip the strap, it is gone. if you have a metal clasp strap, clasped to the metal rings on your camera, and have this strap around your neck, nobody will get your strap by surprising you. also, i use two camera sets, with two adjusted straps. also, my metal clasps easily support my 50-500 lens on my d700 with grip, without cracking.

          • Thom’s #1 fan

            I was calling you an idiot because from your previous post it sounded like you were returning a used camera because of REPORTED problems with the camera.

            You did not mention that you legitimately had the AF problem yourself.

            I appologise for the misunderstanding.

            • Michel

              Thank you for clarifying that :-) The D800 is a great camera if it is perfectly set up. The few photos I took showed some of what it is capable of. I am looking forward to getting the replacement sometime in the next couple of months. Hopefully by then the bugs will all be worked out. I might just grab another strap instead of painting the next one though, painting the strap just upset sooo many people!!!

    • Rob

      Do you honestly think a criminal is going to NOT try stealing your camera because he thinks it might only be a $500 camera as opposed to a $3000 camera? Besides, any criminal who knows there are $3000 DSLRs and $500 ones can probably identify your camera at a glance anyway.

      • JR

        Exactly. Or he could just stop leaving his camera down unattended in public spaces. What a douche!

        • michael

          You should take meds. Are the voices saying he leaves his camera unattended in public places? I certainly didn’t see that in the posting. Why are some of you so upset that someone changes the colour of the strap and covers the camera brand? Just go out and take some photographs instead of passing comment on what someone chose to do with his camera

          • Dnkdjd

            Do you get a ego boost putting others down? Perhaps you need a T-shirt that says “Unhappy ex-D800 user” I’d cheer you on, I’m sure.

      • peteee363

        if you are near a crowd, and six people have steal me straps, and you don’t, which cameras do you think will be stolen first? i live near chicago, so we do worry about those things here. also, most of those steal me straps can easily be pulled right off your neck, as the plastic clasps pop very easy. so why not use a reliable strap on such an expensive investment. remember they steal the lens along with the body. most of my lenses are worth as much if not more then my body is.

  • Iris Chrome

    Ok… I’m a go stick my N70-200mm on my V1 now… that will be my new FX camera now you hear?

  • etr brony

    great post, amazing and interesting find. thanks for sharing

  • D800, new batches

    I personally don’t even care about the cat or the large format camera, don’t think anyone does.
    D800 needs to be fixed.

    Sorry for being rude but i’m being honest. The only thing people care about is the d800 being fixed. When that’s fixed i guess we can care about a cat and a large format camera attached to a d800.

    • BP

      What is wrong with your camera? Mine seems to work extremely well.

    • D800 and D800e owner

      Fixed? My D800 and D800E are perfect. Sold my d3s to buy the d800e after being so impressed with the d800.

      Maybe what needs fixing is your technique. Unless you don’t actually own the camera and are trolling. The latter is quite likely.

    • RoyL

      Fixed? Is it possible you just don’t know what you’re doing? Don’t throw around that “we” word so much. You get over there and I will stand over here.

  • Mike

    How much time does dude have on his hands to come up with this shit. I mean, come on! Doesn’t he know that you only need .00001 MP and 100 year old film glued to a pin hole camera built out of driftwood.

    • Global

      This thread is so sour after that Canon spammer posted.

      • Canon lost, face it

        +1000000000

        Canon do make nice video cameras and printers/copying machines though.

  • http://www.photographybydouglas.com Earl Douglas

    That is a fantastic setup!! Basically a 3,000 36 Mpixel back.

    Sorry so many people are lacking in their photography training and have never shot a view camera before don’t know what they are missing. I wonder how many new photographers know that you used to have to cock the shutter first and the image was upsidedown and reversed.

    Outstanding, makes me sorry I sold my Calumet 4×5 camera many many many years ago.

    • Whippersnapper

      What’s it feel like to have so little days left in this world? Is retirement treating you well?

      My basic point being: your old.

      • Whippersnapper

        *you’re

        • michel

          A life lived well is better than the nasty minded one you are living. Karmically you will probably be hit by a Canon camera delivery truck tomorrow

          • aznpoet

            LOL michel

          • umeshrw

            That is too harsh a punishment for even a canon troll.

          • Whippersnapper

            U mad old bro?

            • Reilly Diefenbach

              Did you ever see the movie “Idiocracy” or did you escape from it?

            • Whippersnapper

              It’s got what plants need bro!

          • Whippersnapper

            So Mike, how’s it feel to be getting forgetful and cranky about everything? The Internet must be like heaven to you. So many whippersnappers to shake your metaphorical cane at.

            Do you embarrass your great grandkids by trying to post on Facebook?!

            Oh baby boomers, once they all die off how will we ever know how terrible our generation is?! Please don’t die!

      • umeshrw

        God please forgive them for they know not what they are missing.
        But really go buy a film camera and shoot a roll of a transparency. Or if it is too much for you then for the next 100 pics do not use af and do not use monitor . Also if you are a compulsive machine gunner them click only one picture at a time. And I promise you that you will discover the joy of photography .

        • Whippersnapper

          Don’t worry, he’s just old.

      • RoyL

        At least he had the DNA and the brains to get old. Check yourself. (and check your English)

        • Whippersnapper

          I did and I corrected it. Didn’t you notice?!

          Old age making you absent minded bro?

    • Rob

      I think people are more disappointed in the fact that the article is NOT about what the title says. This is an adapter to make a D800 into a view camera. It has none of the benefits of a large format camera (save tilting/shifting/etc, which is not unique to them), so the title makes no sense. We’ve already had articles on doing this in the past, as well. There’s also no reason this would be limited to the D800 – it works with any full frame.

      A lot fewer people would be complaining if this was titled, “adapting large format bellows to a D800″ or “using a D800 as a view camera.” Or better yet replace “D800″ with “DSLR” in those titles.

  • Ralf

    The lenses were designed to produce a 4×5″ image so how do they actually perform on 35mm? Its just too expensive to try out for the hell of it. I have a hasselblad setup and tried my 80mm on the D700 and the results really weren’t very good at all and I expect they would be worse on my D800e.

    If these old lenses really do resolve well enough it would be a lot of fun to play with, especially as I do landscapes.

    • peteee363

      they do have more then enough resolution, but! the image circle is everything. if you have a 7″ circle (5 x 7) format, your sensor is still 24 x 36mm. so unless you move the back around, and stich up the images, you will not get any wide angle shots. just use the math formula for calculating the image circle effective angle of view. the focal length of every lens still focuses at the desired distance, then do the math. a 80mm lens, is still the same as an 80mm lens. while on large format this is a nice wide angle lens, it is a short telephoto on a 24 x 36mm sensor.

  • http://www.anotherlite.com NikonTim

    This is nothing new, Digital Medium format users have been doing this all along, I have been doing this for 4 -5 years with various Nikon DX cameras for some time, as well as using MF digital backs on a Large format camera body. Basically it gives you tilt/shift (any lens) and lets you experiment with other camera lenses as the shutter is in the camera body. You can stitch frames together to make Panoramas or larger more detailed composite photos. It is loads of fun but you must remember it all goes back to manual control. Live View makes it much easier to focus . . .

    • http://www.tayvinknightphoto.com Tayvin

      NikonTim,
      You’ve given the best explanation of what this contraption would be used for. Thanks!

      • http://www.anotherlite.com Nikontim

        Tayvin, your welcome . . I have a small blog where I talk about some of this at my website. http://www.anotherlite.com . .

  • Steve

    Sorry, but a large format camera like this and what do we get, a picture of a cat with it’s tail chopped off and a chair leg in sunlight? Epic fail…

    • Come at me bro

      Post your website/online album so we an judge you too.

  • T.I.M

    Cool, can I trash my SB900 and use a magnesium powder flash ?
    :o

    • The visible man

      You hate the D800 anyway. Shows up your mistakes.

      :P

      • T.I.M

        @T.V.M
        What are you talking about, I have a D800 and I love it.

        – great out-of-focus left sensor.
        – only 50 shoots and 2mn video to empty the battery.
        – can’t do a braketing with 1/2 steps if lens aperture is set to 1 step.
        – nasty noise starting at 600 ISO
        – can’t take more than one picture while the mirror is up.
        – 5 months waiting for delivery.
        – $250 taxes to pay because I ordered from Nikon Store.
        – $400 for the Nikon grip (I don’t want it anyway).

        I love my D800 (but for some inexplicable reasons I love my wife even more)

        • Rob

          You have to pay the taxes regardless of where you ordered it from. And the noise is better than the D700, so unless you’re coming from a D3S you can’t really complain. It’s better than 28 Nikon DSLRs and worse than 2. 3rd out of 31 ain’t bad.

        • umeshrw

          You should check if your battery is duplicate cause it should give you atleast 700 photos AND half hour video with live view. Mine does. Both of them.
          What is it about bracketting? You can change the bracketting steps in .3, .5, .7 and 1 stops.
          If I remember right , you returned your 800 because of AF problems so is this a second faulty D800 ?

          • The Visible Man

            He returned it because 36MP showed up his mistakes bro.

        • The Visible Man

          Like I said, shows up your mistakes.

          Makes them VISIBLE you could even say.

        • Out of focus

          Nasty noise at 600iso.

          LOL pixel peep much?!

  • JLK

    Please delete the sock puppetry.

  • Jonas Härter

    It seems like ages ago, i used my fathers Cambo II 4×5 inch and my F3 / F4 with an selfmade plate and an then new 120 mm Nikkor SW (super wide 5×7 or 8×10″).
    It worked well while tilting and minimal shifting, but the dark corners of the full Format and shadowed parts when stronger shifting stopped me from using it often.
    It made wonderfull pictures, but at least 5 min to take one.
    Because of the flash on my new boddy, my old setup dosent work any more… the distance plate – boddy is to small
    But an extensiontube or an TC14 may be e good solution to my problem.

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    What’s your problem?

  • click n shut up

    i’m not a fan boy, at first i start with Nikon since i have to provide videos i have to use canon too but i still love to take photo with Nikon. Both are great, brand fight never end
    just like Lambo or ferrari which one better.. same old stupid things to fight about.

    Camera and software, make a lot of our work easier. we are the one who control them,
    not the other way around.sometimes while going out with a friend i rather use cheaper camera. i use Nikon D90 for personal use and hobby. while for work Nikon D3s and 5D mark 2 and coming Mark 3 next month.

    my comment about this experiment is just few things.
    1) i like the effort for this experiment setup. trying out Large format.
    2) the result still the same since D800 is 35mm sensor. am i right?

    my sugesstion when is Nikon and Canon gonna make their first CCD full frame camera
    i like the character of CCD too.

  • Joseph

    This setup might actually be useful, especially for panoramas or stitching with one of those cool sliding adapters, except you can’t use any lens shorter than what, 135mm, due to not being able to focus to infinity? The camera body is in the way.

    It sure would be cool if there was a way to take the guts out and mount the sensor on a moving adapter back. Of course the engineering and practicality concerns mostly outweigh the benefits.

    Oh well. I’ll keep on shooting my 4×5 and 8×10 film.

    • david distefano

      and drum scan them at 10900 dpi which will blow away any dslr or mf digital!

  • Big J

    Very interesting setup. Gonna look into that. Thanks for the post.

    On another note, hoping the D600 comes out soon. I really wanna try pano photography with it along with street photography to hone my skills. In my opinion about the dispute between Nikon and Canon, it’s obvious that there will always be pros and cons between them. And to honest I’m glad there’s competition between those particular brands so that they are forced to come up with new innovative ideas.
    Hell, I’m gonna get soon a 5D Mk III for $2200 (through a friend, a deal I can’t really pass up) to try out video with it along with learning lightning and taking portrait pics until the the D600 hits so then I can get my camping gear ready and just try out new stuff with it. I guess what I’m getting at is the cliché comment of, “Get out and shoot” but at the same time doesn’t hurt to look over the fence at other brands (not just Canon), but to expand your horizons in one’s own creativity.
    Maybe one day I’ll be able to grace a photo gallery and leave my creative mark on the world for people to look at no matter what gear I was using at the time.

  • Anonymus Maximus 1st

    If one would use an 1.4x converter instead of an extension tube, would that then not pick up the picture in the image plain?
    There would still be the crop-factor but no more vignetting and one could use all lenses?

  • http://mob.ca megapixel

    The tutorial didn’t mention that nikon covers only 5% of the large format area.

  • Calibrator

    Bumper sticker:

    “D800: I mounted my old crap on it and all I got is ugly bokeh!”

  • Gareth

    Isn’t this a digital 35mm with a bellows rather than a large format with a digital negative back?

    How can it be large format if it is not recording in large format? Almost all of the image is cropped out by the tiny 35mm sensor.

    • http://www.flickr.com/genotypewriter genotypewriter

      Agree 100%… large format means the film has to be big enough and the lens has to produce an image big enough for the film.

      By the author’s logic, if I put a FF Nikon lens on a Nikon 1 camera using an adapter, it’s a 35mm camera. How silly.

  • Sahaja4

    Both companies make great cameras but, if I were a Canon user, I’d seriously think about switching to Nikon just so as not to be associated with idiots like this.

    Canon should send out a ninja to get rid of this guy – his “recommendations” must be harming their image and sales.

  • wait…. what?

    in the first picture (of the D800 with subject on the LCD screen), I thought I was looking at the camera on a tripod looking at a bear… lol. I was thinking, wow, what a brave soul, LF wildlife photography at close distances!

    but no, now that I have looked at the other pictures it’s just an extremely fat cat.

  • http://artier.us Aaron

    I’m going to write an article titled “Large format photography with iPhone 4 as a negative holder”

    (ima proud D800 owner)

    • http://artier.us Aaron

      But at least Ill make my title make sense-Ill turn off the iphone and duct tape a piece of film to the screen…boom iphone 4 film holder.

  • Opinion…

    I don’t really see a point in mounting d800 on 4×5. It becomes big and slow and neither superior to 4×5 (maybe cheaper and faster than film) nor to d800+shift lenses. Unless of course somebody needs telephoto shift lens to shoot cats.

    • John

      I like the idea of shooting cats.

  • MJr

    FAT CAT Photography, i think that will be my new brand name.

  • d800 fails

    Frustrated nikon d800 users are giving up on autofocus..
    After all the issues we had to suffer, it’s clear that some users are using the d800 as digital back or cheap video camera.
    ..And more users are drastically switching to canon, day by day..
    that’s so sad.

    • Pablo Ricasso

      But I KNOW the auto focus works on the Canon when they use adapters to mount the 14-24 on there. Right?

      Oh and… Someone please help me/ I lost most of my brain and I don’t know how to focus a wide angle lens!

      • Snap

        Lol yes! Loved this post.

  • http://www.VolCo360.com Ken Elliott

    Wow. I rather surprised that so few understand what this rig is capable of. Tilts, swings and standard movements are powerful tools in the hands of a professional. Use of a DSLR or medium format back (to stitch together images) is not that uncommon.

    I’m reminded of an old story. A lumberjack went into a hardware store to have his ax sharpened. The store owner suggested he use a chain saw instead as it would be much faster. The next day the lumberjack complained the chain saw was much slower. The store owner checked the gas, chain tension, then pulled the cord and fired it up.

    The lumberjack jumped back and shouted “What’s that noise!”

    • RThomas

      I am glad to see some rational discussion of camera technique here! I was a little annoyed with the trolling comments.

      Camera movements are amazing. One great thing about the view camera is that – on most models anyway – you can shift the back while not moving the lens. This eliminates any stitching problems that arise when you move the lens using a pano head and don’t have the lens lined up correctly. I’ve been considering doing this to my Cambo SCX. I just need to get a spare board, I already have the extension tube.

    • Joseph

      There’s a reason that people are skipping over the fact that you can have tilts/swing, which is that you can’t do much with at best a 150mm lens. Using a LF camera with an adapter limits you so much in what you can do that there is no point!

  • steve

    I have owned my d800 for about 2 months now and have to say it is the best camera i have ever had in my hands and ive shot with canon and nikon camera’s.
    I have not had any issues with focus nor any with lcd. The lcd looks perfect to me and the camera has a dynamic range that has floored me from the first shot.
    Love it! Love it! Love it!

  • Gary

    Jan, thank you for a great post. I had always wondered if this would work but I was afraid to try. LF equipment is very cheap – much less expensive than the 35mm tilt-shift lenses. Thanks again for the great post, and please ignore the philistine comments above.
    Cheers,
    Gary

  • Al

    That’s a very creative setup.

    I’m inspired to tinker a bit.

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